Thursday, December 13, 2007

I belong to an international premature baby/ child site Preemie-l and recently discussions have centred around the impacts of extreme prematurity.

I thought I would share a little of our journey. Our twin boys Mitchell & Harrison were conceived after 8 years on IVF. It was a difficult pregnancy with many alarms, but we made it to 24 weeks and were feeling very excited about the prospect of being parents after so many years of trying to conceive. My husband was transferred interstate (back to my family) and I drove the 1600kms with my friend to our new home. It was a blissful time - I could feel the babies moving and apart from the morning sickness which never abated I felt happy and well. I did however notice that whenever I went for a walk my belly would tighten - but I reassured myself that these were just Braxton Hicks contractions. On August 12th 2004 I noticed a small pink loss of mucous when I went to the bathroom. I tried not to worry and I went about my normal day. BUT later that morning I noticed the same thing, so I contacted my Obgyn. I was at my mum's place, but didn't want to worry her, so I went into another room and quietly called the receptionist. She reassured me it was probably nothing, but organised for me to come in later in the evening. 6pm that night my hubby and I went in for what I believed would be a routine check-up. But we were told I was 4cm dilated and in labour and my babies would be born that night.

Somehow we managed to hold off their arrival for 4 days and suddenly we had two tiny babies fighting to survive. Mitch 660g and coping on CPAP and Harry 840g and struggling even with ventilation. Hours passed into days. Days into weeks. Weeks into months. Many days I would hang over the top of their humidicribs silently willing them to survive and tears fell. I appeared (to my family and the health professionals) to cope, but inside I was a mess. How had I done this to my precious babies? This must be my fault...musn't it? Had I pushed myself too hard to unpack our house? Should I have driven interstate? At this stage I listened to all the advice from friends, family and medical professionals - prem babies catch up by 2 years of's remarkable what medical science can do these friend had a child with the same problems and you would never know it today... As a parent I clung desperately to the hope that despite being born 15 weeks too early that somehow they would defy the statistics and would be "normal"...what ever that meant. I am sure that I heard what I wanted to hear, but at the same time I am certain that many people also told me what they thought I wanted to hear. So after 5 long months I brought home two tiny, fragile babies who struggled to feed and failed to meet the milestones I had read about in my myriad of pregnancy and baby books. Still I clung onto the hope that in two years they would be barely recognisable as having being born prematurely, and that finally I could relax.

And now we are 3 1/2 years along in our journey and each day brings new challenges. Mitch & Harry are happy, delightful little boys but they ARE exhausting. They rarely sit still and are very loud. Harry NEVER stops talking unless he is asleep, he has sensory issues, speech problems, gross and fine motor delays, chronic malabsorption issues through bowel surgeries and is yet to be toilet trained. Mitch is poorly coordinated, falls over at least 20 times a day, has verbal dyspraxia and as a result becomes easily frustrated and lashes out at his more verbose brother, he also has malabsorption problems, astigmatism and myopia (due for glasses soon) and is yet to be toilet trained. Both boys attend two therapy groups a week as well as other numerous appointments. However despite all of the obstacles in their way they LOVE life and constantly amaze Kev & I with their determination and courage. Harry has learnt to climb on all kinds of play equipment without help. And Mitch loves to take care of his various teddies and dolls - lovingly feeding them and putting them to bed.

FINALLY we have been approved for a small carer's payment fortnightly to try and offset some of the associated costs of their ongoing therapy and transportation. And only now has it finally hit me that this will NEVER end. That my beautiful boys will always have impacts from their premature arrival. Somehow I had imagined or convinced myself that with enough therapy, love and attention, that one day a doctor would say to me "your boys are 'cured'". BUT that will never be. Please don't misunderstand me...I love and adore my boys and I can't imagine my life without them. I just (sometimes) feel sad that Mitch & Harry face life with additional challenges, when sometimes life is hard enough as it is.

Thank you for letting me share my story,


Friday, November 23, 2007

A very special Xmas party

Yesterday we were fortunate to go to the Women's & Children's Hospital Premature Bay Xmas Party...

Fortunate to catch up with the staff who helped make our journey through NICU a little less traumatic...

Fortunate to spend time with the friends we made whilst the boys were in hospital...

And fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate Xmas with Mitch & Harry after such a difficult start to their lives...

BUT I suppose most of all I felt fortunate when I looked around at so many children and realised that Mitch & Harry could have had it so much worse. There were children with permanent feeding tubes, with oxygen, in wheelchairs, and with obvious lifelong problems.
And yet amongst all the families who had gathered to celebrate Xmas there was a feeling that somehow we had survived.
As I listened to the excited chatter of the children waiting for Father Xmas to arrive I realised how much this journey over the past three and a half years has changed me...
I celebrate the small things, rather than longing for the big things. Harry now dresses himself with just a little help. And Mitch loves to help around the house. These may seem small things to others, but to me they are a precious reminder of just how far both boys have come from the fragile beings desperately clinging to life in NICU.
I try not to sweat the small stuff (although sometimes I still do). So what if the boys have food on themselves, the table and the floor. They love to eat and for many parents of prem babies this is a dream come true. How fortunate are we that both boys eat without any pressure from us!
Most of all I treasure the special relationships in my life. There are so many people I would have never known if not for the boys' premature birth. Caring doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. And dear friends who came into my life just when I needed them. I nurture those relationships to the best of my ability and hope that those special people realise what a gift they have been in my life.
Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need to know :-)
Sending lots of love to my family and friends,

Monday, November 12, 2007

The continuing adventures of Mitch & Harry

So much is happening at our house at the moment...
Mitch & Harry have finally graduated to big boy beds and their own rooms. The original plan was to have them in the same room - but due to the space limitations of both bedrooms it worked out easier to have them in different rooms. They are still next to each other and we often find them climbing into bed together for a cuddle. We invested in some Ikea shelving units for their toys and they love to play with their toys in their room. Fortunately they are fairly good at packing up with a bit of help. Anyone who visits our house is immediately dragged into the boys' rooms to be shown around.
Our next bit of exciting news is that both boys are now enjoying having tea with Mummy and Daddy at the big table. Up until now they always had tea before we did, because they were ready to eat at around 5pm and Kev often was only getting home at that time. Now they enjoy going outside to play and then coming in to sit at the table. Kev & I have both been surprised at how well they have taken to sitting on their booster seats and remaining seated until we have all finished our meals. An added benefit is that they are now trying new foods much more easily - Harry's new favourite is "eellaclado" (avocado) and Mitch's is "dinosaur lettuce" (because Mummy told him that dinosaurs eat lettuce).
And yesterday we visited the CP Specialist and he has cleared the boys of Cerebral Palsy. He believes that it would have manifested by now and that they are exhibiting none of the classic signs. So we are just to follow up with our Paediatrician. This was a tremendous relief, although even if they had been diagnosed we would have dealt with it. The boys are also getting a great deal of benefit from two special playgroups they are attending a week - both are about 30 mins from home and it seems to take forever to organise ourselves, but the boys are learning and growing, so that's all that matters.
So I suppose that's about it for my update. Life is very busy, but also very happy. Some days Kev and I are exhausted, but one look at our precious little boys and we realise just how lucky we are and just how far we have come.
Lisa xx

Friday, October 26, 2007

Farewell to my beautiful Nana

Dearest Nana,
You have been such an important part of my life ever since I can remember. I know that life for you had become so much harder over the past ten years or so - and I am glad for your sake that your suffering is at an end, but I miss you with every fibre of my being. I can't begin to imagine that I will never see you again in this lifetime. But I hold onto our special times together and the knowledge that you will be with me always.
Nana, you will always be part of my most precious childhood memories...
- Days spent with you and Grandad at Coppins Terrace
- Holidays at the Cottage that Grandad built at Victor Harbour
- Holidays with Mum, Dad, Adam & you at The Coorong
- Visiting you in The Mall at Judells and watching you work your magic
- The BEST roasts in the world!
- Convincing Mum that I should be allowed to shave my legs - thanks Nana :-)
- Giving me my first grown-up handbag and always buying me beautiful dresses
- Encouraging me to study and being so thrilled when I succeeded
- Long chats over endless cups of coffee when I first left home
- Loving me and making me feel so special
Nana, the world is a better place for me and for our entire family because of you. You were more than a grandparent. You were a role model. You were a confidant. And most importantly you were my friend.
I will miss you until God holds us both in the palm of his hand,
with much love,

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Now we are three...

It's hard to believe, but three years ago Mitchell & Harrison were almost two weeks old and were struggling to survive. Every day I would drive the 45mins to visit them in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and would pray that I wouldn't be greeted by more bad news. Each day seemed to bring more challenges as the boys faced surgeries, procedures and infections. BUT somehow they finally came home - due in part to the wonderful caring medical and nursing staff at the hospital and also (I believe) due to sheer luck. Each birthday I always find myself transported back to those early months when we didn't know what the future held. I relive those memories and spill tears for all that our precious baby boys endured. I also cry for the lost dreams and for what may have been. It may sound terribly indulgent, but there is a part of me that still grieves for the loss of my pregnancy at such and early stage, that I never got to enjoy those last months of nesting and preparing the nursery and mostly, that Kev never got to feel his baby boys kicking...
And then I look at how far we have come. How these tiny little babies are now young boys with minds of their own, who know what they want to do (even when Mummy tries to convince them otherwise) and who are making friends. I am so grateful for the boys' social skills - that they are loving and caring and that they are confident and chatty (even if Mummy is not always sure what they are saying). Mitch who loves duplo, cuddles and his special sheet. Harry who has a great sense of humour, loves puzzles and drawing. These precious little boys who give so much love and only want a cuddle or someone to read them a book. I am in awe of their strength and their determination...
I don't know what I did to deserve such unconditional love - but I will be forever grateful for this precious gift...
I love you Mitchell Steven & Harrison Adam,

Monday, August 6, 2007

On the road to recovery...

I just had to share this cute photo of Harry. He has recently become obsessed with wearing sunglasses everywhere...including the bath. So this morning he was adamant he wanted to wear his glasses in "the bubbles". As you can see he is well on the road to recovery, although at this stage we are still steering clear of playgroup and childcare until both boys are cleared by the doctor. We have had 2 1/2 weeks of virtual isolation, but somehow we have survived (grin). All of a sudden my baby boys are really growing up - they love having their little boxes of toys in the loungeroom and then they pack them up before heading off to bed. Harry is a much more willing participant in tidying up - Mitch requires constant encouragement. Harry is so funny he now praises himself - I will find him packing up a puzzle saying to himself "good boy Harry. Well done". This is such a fun stage - the boys want to communicate and are very sociable.

It is now less than 2 weeks until the boys' birthday - hard to believe they will be three years old. We are hoping that they will be medically cleared so their party can go ahead. But regardless we are sure they will have an absolute ball...

Hoping everyone is coping with the cold and wet...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Plague strikes again...

Don't you just love the diseases a toddler (or two) can bring into the household? Our family is currently in the grip of a salmonella outbreak! We are uncertain of the original source of the infection, but the consequences are being felt (and I mean truly felt) thoughout our family. Poor Harry was the first to be struck down and ended up in hospital with Mummy for 2 days on a drip. Then just as he started to improve, Mitch became ill. And then as luck would have it, just as both boys started to feel happier and more energetic...I got it. And I am not a good patient. I can't stand staying in bed if I can things going on and I have a insatiable desire to be in control from my "deathbed". So poor Kev has been home today, trying to placate the three of us.

Hoping that these things don't spread by the internet (grin)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Scrapping up a storm...

Thought I would share some of my latest layouts. I was lucky enough to get the July scrap pack from Shelley at Scrapbooking 4 Less . It has been lots of fun looking through some of my old photos of the boys and creating my layouts...
Other than that life is great in the Reid household. The boys are happy and enjoying life - although battling more than their fair share of coughs and sniffles. Kev is enjoying work and getting an occasional strategy game. And I am still scrapping and loving being a stay at home mum. All of this contentment is in sharp contrast to this time last year when my dear Mum died. The past year has flown by, but I miss her more and more each day. Even now I think "I should ring Mum" and then the reality hits me. One thing that provides me with a great deal of comfort is the happy memories of the times we spent together. I just hope I can provide my boys with the same kind of precious memories...
Sending lots of love to my family and friends,

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A precious gift...

Today has been a very long day for our family - I have a nasty tummy bug, Mitch has conjunctivitis (again) and we are trying to potty train two very stubborn little boys. Poor Kev has spent the day at home with us and I am sure he is counting the minutes until he can get back to work. In amidst all of this chaos - I have had time to think about how lucky we are as a family. Yes! Lucky! Because despite our various minor ailments and the fact that the boys have hidden the puzzle pieces in the wood box for the hundredth time - our lives are happy.

This leads me to the reason for today's post. A short time ago I read online about a precious little boy Kaleb Schwade who was a normal happy little 5 month old when his Mummy dropped him off to childcare. And then he was allegedly shaken so severely by his carer that he sustained a major brain injury that has left him blind and fighting for his life. The doctors (from what I understand) hold little hope that he will have any quality of life and believe he will remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. And his parents are desperately praying for a miracle. And while the situations are vastly different - I can truly empathise with the parent's overwhelming grief at this time. For we experienced many months of wondering, wishing and hoping with Mitch & Harry.

This Kaleb's Mummy's blog - if you have time drop by and maybe leave a message of support.

So today, even though I feel crappy and the boys are driving Kev and I slowly round the twist. I will pause for a moment and think of another mother who would give anything to be thinking about potty training and common colds...



Monday, July 2, 2007


Mitch & Harry love their Nana & Grandpa in Queensland so much! Each day is punctuated with discussions about them - and Harry often asks to go in the car to see Nana and Grandpa. I often wondered how well the boys would remember their grandparents - especially because we only get to see them once a year. BUT the boys obviously remember their recent holiday to Queensland and when they watch the TV and see the beach they tell me "Nana & Grandpa at beach".

And then there is Grandad. He visits every week and the boys love listening to him read their favourite stories. Grandad rides bikes and so when I mention visiting Grandad both boys start talking about bikes. Grandad has a great cubby house and swing set at his house - much more exciting than at home.

Aren't my boys so lucky to have loving grandparents who factor so strongly in their lives...

Hoping that you have someone who makes you feel safe, secure and loved,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My weekend away and other things...

It has been ages since I last updated my blog - a fact that my dear friend Kate reminded me of today. I met Kate when I was working in ED in a place far, far away! There was something about Kate that I liked immediately - although she later confessed she was a little bit stunned to meet me. You see readers, I haven't always been the well balanced individual you see before you (grin). In those dark, distant days I was a Registered Nurse who took life a bit too seriously...

Then with the birth of my dear boys I had an epiphany (great word isn't it!) and came to realise that life is far too short too spend it worrying about everyone and everything. That the most important thing in my life was to love my family and friends and leave the rest to the cosmos. Now this works well in theory, but now and then I still need a reality check. Sometimes I still get caught up in trying to do too much to the detriment of my dear boys. I mean the housework never ends does it? So why obsess about it when I have two little boys asking to do "puzzles Mummy". Anyway today I was doing my usual afternoon clean up and both boys grabbed me by the hand and asked to do the "Wiggles puzzle" - so off the three of us went into the lounge room and for the next hour we did puzzles, cuddled and played. Maybe I need more of those kind of moments, when I stop worrying about the chores and just enjoy being a Mummy...

Harry in particular has been quite clingy over the past week as I had a weekend away last weekend. A whole weekend of scrapping and adult conversation. It was utter bliss. I sat with my friends Freya and Mandy and we ate chocolate, scrapped and generally caught up on each other's lives. We stayed at the Old Mill in Hahndorf in a self-contained cabin. It was lovely - but SO cold. Each morning the grass was frozen and so were the cars. But we rugged up and kept scrapping. The best bit was arriving home and having two little boys and one big boy waiting with open arms...

My last bit of news is that a photo posted on the boys' website has been used by the Boston Medical Center NICU in their latest brochure. A few months ago I was contacted by email to ask for permission to use the image and I agreed. As I looked at the image of my hand holding a tiny foot I realised just how far we have come...

Sending lots of love to all our family and friends,

Friday, June 8, 2007

Our new beanies...

Don't you just love these beanies! The boys' Nana & Grandpa brought them back from New Zealand and from that moment the boys have insisted on wearing them (even to bed).

Just had to share,

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Growing up and other challenges...

I have been looking through some recent photos taken of the boys - like these ones of Mitch in March - and I have been amazed at how quickly the time has flown by. I remember hearing from many mothers that their children were grown up and out of their home in the blink of an eye and now I see my boys growing up so very fast. As they are growing up they are also developing more and more of their own distinct personalities.

I'll give you an example -
this morning after his bath Harry refused to wear his red jumper no matter how many times I told his it was the same colour as Murray and insisted on wearing his Bob the Builder Jacket...

Then Mitch became upset when I took his socks of because he wanted to wear them in the bath!

Where have those compliant little boys gone? They are long gone and in their place are two very different, but somehow very similar boys who have opinions and aren't afraid to voice them (hmmm.... who do they sound like?). I have said since the moment the boys came home that I have loved each phase of their development , but this new phase is so exciting. Both boys want to communicate so much - and although sometimes I don't understand every word, I still see their brains developing as they learn more about the world.

Another issue I have been pondering - since a recent post on Austprem - is how to deal with prejudice or misunderstanding from others when it comes to my boys. You see everyone that knows my boys and their story are full of praise for how far they have come and what happy little guys they are despite such a rocky start to life. BUT I already have had comments from other people regarding their small size and appearance - most of these comments are kind, but some are downright offensive. So as a Mum how do I deal with this problem? And how do I prepare the boys for questions which might arise later on in life?

All things to ponder as we enter the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend, which is not on her birthday, but is a lovely excuse for a long weekend.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Such a special bond...

I just had to share my latest layout...
Yes! It is the photo from my previous blog entry. I must admit it is one of my favourite photos and I have made sure both boys have a copy in their own albums. My labour of love at the moment is creating albums for Mitch & Harry. They obviously share a lot of the same photos, but they are different. I made the mistake of getting carried away and getting all of Harry's photos up to date and then realised (belatedly) that of course I would have to repeat the entire process again for Mitchell. Kev did suggest I could just write in Mitch's album "see Harry's album", but I don't think that would go down too well in the years to come. I hope that when the boys are older they will be able to look at their albums and get a true sense of their childhoods and the special people that helped shaped their lives.


Check out my Slide Show!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Brotherly love...

Sometimes Mitch & Harry amaze me...

Some days they fight like cat and dog...

But other times they are so kind and loving to each other...

To give you an example I will tell you the story attached to the photo (above). Mitch still has some difficulties negotiating steep inclines and tends to avoid them. Anyway one day when we were in Canberra we went to a market. They had been so good sitting in their pram while Mummy & Auntie Jenn wandered about looking at craft and yummy food. By the time they got outside they really wanted to stretch their legs and so they were let out of their pram harnesses and took off to explore the world. Jenn's little girl Mikaylah was there too, but she was happy to play close-by. Anyway, Harry took off up a ramp next to where we were sitting - and Mitchell tried but fell over. He then called out to Harry - in words that I think only the two of them understood and Harry turned around, walked back down the ramp and held out his hand to Mitch. Then the two of them walked up and down the ramp hand in hand. Such a moment of utter sweetness...

Mitch & Harry I hope that you are always there for each other and that the obvious love you have never fades. When ever you need someone to help you through life you will have each other. Hold onto that, cherish it and never let it go.

with all my love,


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mitch & Harry update...

As the readers of my blog would know we have recently been concerned that both boys may have Cerebral Palsy. Today we saw a specialist at the hospital and he is cautiously optimistic that both boys are showing NO signs of CP. He acknowledged that they are developmentally delayed, but he says that their level of language and motor skills would still be considered within the "norm" for their corrected age. It would be remarkable if they didn't have delays due to their extreme prematurity, low birth weight and rocky road through NICU - so Kev & I are both happy that at this stage there are no glaring problems. As for their odd walking style he noted it wasn't consistent with CP - as it comes and goes and he feels that as the boys develop muscle mass and strength they will become more stable.

He also mentioned that extremely premature babies often have learning problems - which aren't always based on intelligence, but on the way the child learns. So we need to be mindful of working with the boys' kindy and school teachers to find the optimal method of learning for both boys. From my very rudimentary understanding of learning this can also be the case for many full term children, but it is interesting. Recent research has indicated that the premature baby's brain is anatomically different to the brain of the fullterm baby and this may help explain the learning difficulties and developmental issues faced by many premature babies.

What does this mean for Mitch & Harry? Life for them goes on as usual - they are happy, sociable little boys, which will hopefully stand them in good stead for the future. We are extremely blessed that despite their awful start to life they are walking, talking and developing. It is certainly not the case for all premature babies born so early. Now we have a plan for some additional therapy to assist them and us in optimising their development. While we are mindful that there may be further hurdles in the future, we are trying to focus on enjoying the boys' childhood while preparing them to be happy, sociable individuals. And they certainly are social butterflies as evidenced by this afternoon in the hospital playground - both boys walked around the play equipment holding hands with a new little friend they met and talking with other children.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Just listen...

Today I was reading one of my favourite blogs Terrible Palsy and the latest post Analyze this really spoke to me. It made me stop and think about the times that I would blunder in where angels fear to tread and try and say something comforting (or so I thought) to someone who was suffering.

My Dad and I have recently been discussing this very subject - why people feel the need to offer platitudes rather than just listen. I suppose it partly comes from an inherent human need to comfort others. It may also be that rather than truly listening to what a person has to say we anticipate what we imagine they might like to hear.

I'll give you and example -
Recently we scattered my beautiful Mum's ashes at the seaside. I was obviously upset and many people came up afterwards to speak to me.

Some told me my Mum was in a "better place" -
Better than being surrounded by family and friends who adored her?

Some told me at least Mum wasn't suffering any more -
I wondered would Mum have chosen suffering over death
- chosen to stay a little longer to see her baby grandson Liam?

And some told me that Mum was "ready to go"
But I wasn't ready for her to go and I am sure my Dad and my brother
weren't ready for her to go either.

Don't get me wrong each of these statements was said with love and concern - and yet they provided little or no comfort to me...

One special friend who I have known since childhood said something to me that touched me so deeply and made me realise she understood my pain. What did she say? What wise words did she impart?

She said "I am so sorry".

Four simple words that reached out to me and gave me comfort.

I suppose there is a lesson for all of us -

Most of us just want to be heard
We don't need solutions or answers
We just want someone to reach out and show that they care...

Thank you to all of my friends and family who show me how much they care about me.
Each hug or kiss helps provide me with the strength to face another day.
In return I hope I can really listen to what you are saying
- to stop, take a breath and listen to the true meanings of your words

With much love and gratitude,

Monday, May 7, 2007

Moving slowly forward...

After a weekend of tears and constant questions I managed to return to a semblance of normality today. I needed this time to grieve, rage and question what I had been told - but I realised more than anything Mitch & Harry need me to be their Mummy. So this morning I spoke with our lovely local doctor and he contacted our new paediatrician to request an emergency appointment. Then I spoke with our Neo (another lovely doctor) who was able to clarify the issues for me and reassure me that he had organised for us to see the specialist next week. So things are moving slowly forward.

But what helped me more than anything was the outpouring of support we received from friends, family and strangers. I was humbled to receive a message from an inspiring woman Glenda Watson Hyatt - please take the time to look at her blog Do it myself and I am sure that you will be inspired too. I also received a lovely message of support from Shelly. Two ladies I had never met - but who reached out to me with such kindness.

Now that the dust has settled (so to speak) Kev & I are just taking each day as it comes. We are waiting to see the specialist and paediatrician and are hoping that we can some answers to our questions. For now we are focussing on taking care of the boys and each other.

Today I watched Mitchell determinedly sort through blocks and Harrison steadfastly working on his puzzles and I was amazed at how far they have come in the past few months. They are happy little boys and they love life. Despite this bump in the road we are blessed to be taking this journey with them...


Friday, May 4, 2007

Where do we go from here?

Well today we visited our Neo for the last time and prepared for our transfer to a local paediatrician. The Neo commented on how well the boys were growing - they are now within the "normal" parameters for their actual age for height and head circumference and are only slightly underweight for their age. He thoroughly examined the boys and then dropped a bomb-shell that it is probable that both boys have Cerebral Palsy. I am absolutely gutted. I have always felt that the boys' gait was an issue - and have been comforted by the physio and Neo's belief that there was no indication of CP. But the Neo explained that by now he would expect that their stance and gait would have improved and that their coordination would be better. So both boys are being referred to a specialist and a paediatrician and from there we will know what the future may hold. So now we have a weekend of wondering. Of course my beautiful boys are just the same - loving, affectionate and dynamos - but now there is something hanging over all of our heads.

I am just so scared for their future...


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The boys first day at child care

Today Mitchell & Harrison had their first day at child care. They were very excited as we drove into the carpark, but Harry was a bit sad when it was time for Mummy to leave. I went off to get a haircut and then spent the afternoon watching trash TV and reading trashy mags. I rang to check on the boys a couple of times and they were having lots of fun and were enjoying all the new sights and sounds. Then I arrived to collect them and Harry really didn't want to come home. Mitch however asked for a cuddle straight away and didn't let go until he was safely in his car seat. By all reports it was a successful first day and they played well with their new friends. So same time next week we will be back to "kindy" for the day. It makes me realise how quickly my beautiful boys are growing up. They are sociable and affectionate and reasonably confident - I just hope that Kev and I have prepared them for the world outside of home.



Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Blogging against disablism - the world through my boys' eyes...

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2007

Imagine looking at the world through the eyes of your child...

Imagine only seeing the person - rather than their disability...

Imagine loving everyone with a kind and open heart...


I had dreamed of being a mother for many years, but I never dreamed the life lessons that motherhood would teach me. Having two beautiful boys has opened my eyes to a whole new way of experiencing the world.

Mitchell and Harrison have many friends and make more friends wherever they go.

They smile equally at the young and the elderly. Sometimes they blow kisses.

They love their Great Nana's "car" (wheelchair). They love giving Nana kisses. And they talk to everyone in the nursing home from the nurses to the residents.

They love their Uncle Trent. They don't care that he has Down Syndrome. What matters is that he enjoys playing with them and has the best collection of DVDs!

They have friends with feeding tubes, wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and other equipment...

BUT this is of little interest - they just want to play and have fun.

They happily talk with anyone they meet. They love everyone with an open heart.

Their world isn't tainted by prejudice...

What a wonderful way to live...

If only it could be like that always...

Sunday, April 29, 2007

And still the rain comes down...

The past few days have been delightfully wet and cold at our home. The rain has been soaking our parched garden and filling our empty rainwater tanks. What a wonderful time of the year! I don't know about you - but I LOVE cold, wet weather...

The boys have just discovered the delights of beanies, rubber boots and thick jackets. They look so snuggly all bundled up to keep warm. The only downside is that with all this rain they can't get outside to play very often. So we have compromised and are making regular trips to the indoor play-gyms for them to stretch their legs and run about. Each time I spend time watching Mitch & Harry play I am amazed by how far they have come in such a short amount of time. Those tiny little, frail babies are now robust, energetic little boys who love climbing, jumping and running.

Just happy thoughts for a lovely, rainy day...


Friday, April 27, 2007

Let the rain fall...

Well after months of drought the rain is finally falling heavily. The boys are inside wearing their new rubber boots and playing with puzzles. Piles of washing are drying (very slowly) inside. And I am sitting in the shed listening to the rain fall on the tin roof.

Doesn't everything just seem clean and new after rain. Don't the plants seem ready to grow and bloom. And don't rainy days seem the best days to read a book or snuggle up to a loved one and watch an old movie.

Just like with the seasons, life seems to go through times of profound change. At times life seems so hard and every activity a burden. And then all of a sudden you find yourself looking forward to things and planning ahead. Our lives are such a precious gift - and yet sometimes we are so overwhelmed we can't see the beauty surrounding us. So on this rainy day I am choosing to take some time to celebrate the good things in my life...

I have a wonderful husband...

I have two beautiful, loving little boys...

I have a terrific extended family - we might not always get on, but we are always there for each other...

I have good friends...

I am safe and the ones I love are safe - no wars, famine or persecution...

And I am free to be who I choose to be...

Kinda makes you grateful to be alive doesn't it?


Monday, April 23, 2007

Blogging against disablism...

During the course of checking out one of my favourite blogs
Terrible Palsy. I noticed a call to action. On May1st bloggers are being invited to post a message regarding disability and the discrimination that the disabled face. Since we entered the world of prematurity almost three years ago my family and I have come in contact with many children who have lasting impacts of their prematurity - including Cerebral Palsy, Sight Impairment, Intellectual Disabilities, Hearing Impairments and Autism. On May 1st I will be posting a message of support for our friends and a plea for understanding...

I ask you to join me in voicing the injustices that face those with a disability...
for more information please visit Diary of a Goldfish


Sunday, April 22, 2007

The childcare dilemma...

As most of you would realise I am a stay at home mum (hence the blog name). I have loved being at home with my boys, but recently have found life has been getting harder. I just don't seem to have either the energy or the willingness to do much for myself - all my energy goes on my precious little boys. Anyway, after much soul searching we enrolled the boys in childcare once a week. The boys and I went to check out the facility and before I knew it they had joined the colouring in and were happily playing with the other children. They cried when we had to leave! Best news is that they can start at the commencement of the next school term which is just over a week away. At this stage I am not returning to work for a while. I hope to use this day to do something for me - maybe get a haircut or go to the gym. Hopefully the boys will love their time at childcare - only time will tell. One thing is for certain - I WILL love having a few hours to drink hot coffee, eat breakfast in peace or close my eyes for a few minutes. And then I will be counting down the minutes until I get to see them again...

Hope everyone has a blessed week,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Life with two 2 year olds...

Life with two 2 year olds is never easy - or so it seems to me. Life is lived in fast forward! Fights are always loud! Crying even louder! BUT the cuddles and kisses are the sweetest.

The past couple of months I have really been struggling with what I term 'depression and anxiety' - it cycles between the two. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I am trapped in doing nothing and moving nowhere and other times I seem to need to do everything all at once. This (as I am sure you can appreciate) is very exhausting for my loved ones and for me too. I have cried with frustration at not achieving all I want to and then have cried from exhaustion when I finish what I want to achieve. This state of highly labile emotions is draining. And I worry about its long term effects on my boys...

But then there are the sweetest moments when they look at me and smile or rush to give me a kiss and I realise I can't be such a crappy mother after all. Mitch in particular loves the "cuddy" on the run - he rushed over, flings himself at me and then just as quickly resumes his game. Harry warms up slowly to strangers, but is so loving to his Daddy and I. And now we are watching their loving attitude to each other develop. Sure - Mitch still gets cross and hits Harry. And Harry cries. But now and then they reach over and kiss or hug each other without prompting. Or they share their yoghurt. And its at these moments that I realise that's what's important in life - being kind to each other...

So I resolve to be kinder to those I love...

And to try and not let life drag me down...

After all, if Mitch and Harry love me - then life is good...

Hope each and everyone of you feel loved too,

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter holidays...

Well we got back from our Easter holiday this morning - glad we left early as the traffic was already building up. Port Wakefield Road at holiday time has been a nightmare for as long as I can remember, but with the early checkout we were home in just over an hour.
We all had a really relaxing time at the beach and the boys loved having a house full of people. There were 9 adults and 4 kids in the holiday house. The house was fairly new and had a great kitchen and all of the modcons. Port Clinton is a sleepy little town, but it suited us perfectly. We wandered off to check out the garage sales (why do people keep old boots and broken washing machines to sell?) and picked up some jam at the town fete (I can never resist homemade conserves!). And we ate like kings! My cousin Kirrily organised each family to prepare an evening meal - and it was lovely to only have to cook once in three days. Each morning bacon and eggs were on offer - as I write this I can feel the cholesterol seeping through my veins (grin). The boys loved all of the adults - and Mitch proferred lots of kisses and hugs to Uncles Bruce, Adam and Chad. And poor Grandad/ Grandpa/ Paktpa didn't have much time to rest inbetween all the cuddles and bike rides he was required to give. Both boys really took a liking to my Cousin Chad's girlfriend Lisa - but couldn't get past the name "Chad" - so she was christened Auntie Chad. Even tonight Harry was calling out plaintively for "Chad", maybe in the vain hope that we had smuggled Lisa home in a duffle bag.

And then on Easter Sunday morning we were lucky enough that the four boys didn't realise what was supposed to happen - so we had breakfast before the Easter Bunny visited. Harry enjoyed his chocolate - but Mitchell isn't much of a chocolate fan and he preferred his Bob the Builder cup, bowl & spoon set. And their cousin Jay tucked into his chocolate treats too. Cousin Liam is a little bit too young for chocolate so he ate his farex and watched all the proceedings with great interest. And then all too soon it was time to head home...

Hope everyone had a great Easter,

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sick as a dog...

Well this week has been a blast (sarcasm intended) - I have felt awful and very sorry for myself. Ended up going to the local emergency department in the early hours of this morning due to a blinding headache which wouldn't settle. Turns out I have a virus and a sinus infection, which could go to partly explaining why I have felt so awful over the past week. So dosed up in antibiotics and strong pain killers and praying that I feel markedly better by tomorrow.

We are supposed to be heading away with family to the beach for Easter, but if I don't feel better we may not go as I don't want to inflict my "little ray of sunshine" personality on everyone! I think secretly Kev would be quite happy if we stayed home - holidays just aren't his thing. He found 11 days in Queensland difficult. He is a homebody and so am I - except now and then it is nice to get away from endless piles of washing and never-ending cleaning.

Anyway, must pick up some more Easter eggs for the weekend...
Hoping that everyone's Easter is a blessed time for them and their families,

Monday, April 2, 2007

Why do I feel so blue...

Some weeks just seem so much harder than others. I feel miserable today and since Kev is working late and the boys are engrossed in Bob the Builder I have come to my blog to have a self-pitying whinge.

I suppose the main problem is that the boys and I appear to have a nasty virus and as the day has progressed I feel like I am walking through wet cement. I ache all over and have a headache - and I am sure the boys feel the same. We all want to have a "pity party" at the moment...

I think that things have also been stirred up because I have been creating some long overdue videos of last year. Every time I see a photo or some footage of my Mum I struck by how bloody unfair this all is... that she should be here spending time with her three grandsons and planning her next big holiday. I miss her more and more each day. Each get together seems to have a gaping hole where Mum should be...and every time the boys do something new I just want to be able to pick up the phone and call her...

And I suppose I also feel tired - infact I know I do. So tired from struggling to maintain some normalcy in our home - so that the boys don't have to cope with a down in the dumps mummy. And tired from the usual running of the house things that seems to become more overwhelming by the minute...

My dear hubby Kev has asked me to try and slow down - but I seem unable to do this. Its like I have some deadline to meet - that no-one knows about except me. So he comes home and I am exhausted and cranky...

Well I suppose I better go and check on my cherubs - they need some extra mummy-care AND they don't care that I am tired, they just want cuddles...

Tomorrow can only get better...

Friday, March 30, 2007

The boys' latest physio assessment and more...

Well today the boys had their physio assessment at a local park - the physio wanted to see how the boys climb and play, but when we arrived at the park it was closed for maintenance! So we went to the oval next door and the boys ran around and generally showed off.

As I may have mentioned in the past, both of the boys have a wide legged gait and tend to stagger when they are tired. The physio noticed that their walking has improved and has suggested some exercises to help with their coordination problems.

Lack of coordination can be causes by prematurity but at the same time I am completely uncoordinated...SO the boys really can't win.

The physio also showed the boys how to kick a ball - something I haven't been able to get them to do. And they both took to it like pros - although Mitch needs a had to hold whilst he is doing it.

Apart from that she commented on their low tone particularly in the legs and hips - which also helps explain their funny walk. I once mentioned that they look a bit like Thunderbirds and there was a deafening silence - until someone asked what "Thunderbirds" were. Made me feel really ancient that my references to old TV programs were not known (grin).

So all in all it was a useful assessment - we have lots to work on and an idea of where we will go in the future...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Life goes on...

Well I have something to confess...I have been way too slack with this blog. Seems like life is just so busy. By the time my little munchkins are in bed it is all I can do to stumble out to the computer and send a few emails. But enough of these excuses!!! I am pledging to update my blog once a week - shouldn't be hard should it? Hard to say, but it is a fun way to keep in touch with friends and family.

Both of the boys are growing and developing every day. Their speech is improving so much and Harry really tries to get you to understand what he wants to say. Today Grandad was visiting and he decided that he wanted to watch Bob the Builder, only a few minutes later he obviously changed his mind and grabbed Grandad's hand saying "dide" which to everyone else sounds like "Dad" but I know means "outside". He was quite insistent and a few tears were shed as we explained it was too hot for "dide". Funny little boy, he is overcome with tears quite often but is then laughing and smiling within minutes. Mitch was more reflective today and tonight we realised why - poor little guy has a high temp and is feeling a bit blue. So it was a dose of Panadol and off to bed. He woke a while later crying piteously for a "cuddy" (cuddle) and so he and I watched some TV and had a lovely "cuddy".

More exciting news is that I am applying for a job! Just one day a week (hopefully) but it is working in a doctor's surgery. I have been toying with the idea of very part-time work, but haven't been keen to go back to the wards (as an RN) - so this would be wonderful. I have sent my resume in and have my fingers crossed. Up until now I couldn't bear the idea of the boys being in childcare, and frankly it wasn't worth the risk of infection, but one day a week would be lovely for me (and hopefully them).

Best of all we are heading to Queensland on Monday to see Kev's parents - 11 glorious days away! I can't wait, but am praying our flights go smoothly. I can just picture the faces of the passengers as we enter the terminal - muttering to themselves "oh god I hope they aren't sitting near us!" By the way the photo is of the boys' last visit to Bargara, Queensland in Dec 2005.

Well must head off to bed - sending lots of love to everyone,


Thursday, February 8, 2007

The plague abates...

Things are slowly getting back to normal in our household and the boys are a lot happier. They still have snuffly noses, but are back to their usual playful selves. We headed back to Playgroup today and they both had a ball. Harry enjoyed painting and Mitch enjoyed playing basketball - watch out Da Vinci and Jordan... I just realised that I couldn't name a current basketballer...I think this means I am truly in Mummyland. I know what the current ABC kids' line up is of a morning, but don't ask me anything about current affairs!
I am toying with the idea of going back to work for one day a week, but every time I think I have made a decision I change my mind. I love being a stay at home mum! But part of me thinks I should be doing something more... I also wanted to share my latest layout. I did a terrific class at Scrapbook Country in Gawler with Liz and this was the end result - thanks heaps for your patience Liz! Anyway, not much else happening in our part of the world. Scrapping, being a mummy and trying to be a good wife are my main goals in life at the moment. Although losing some weight should also be in there somewhere...aaahhh just pass me another glass of white.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Plague continues in our household...

As you may have read in my previous entry both boys have been unwell with a nasty virus. And so the saga continues... Two grumpy boys with nasty coughs and runny noses do not make great companions!!! Luckily Kev has been on hand to give me a break. At the moment Harry wants only Mummy and certainly doesn't want Mitchell to share in any cuddles. To make things worse now I have the same virus (I think) and so am feeling tired and lethargic. What a happy household - I am sure Kev can't wait to get back to work on Monday. Even with all this going on I still managed to get some scrapping done of our recent trip to Canberra. This is my first attempt at doing a mosaic with a photos...I am really pleased with how it turned out. And the other layout is snap shots at Cockington Green - a village of miniature houses and people on the outskirts of Canberra. Well time to be brave and check in on Kev and the boys...

Hope everyone has a lovely week,



Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A holiday of sorts...

As some of you may know - Kev loves strategy boardgames! His obsession with games probably explains why he can put up with my obsession with scrapping. Anyway each year over the January long weekend there is a convention in Canberra - CANCON - and this year we decided to travel over as a family. The idea was that we would take two days to get there, but as often happens with plans...they changed and so we drove over in one day. The boys coped really well with the journey over and loved all of the bush biscuits and treats handed out from the front seat. We stopped at various parks and they played and charmed people with their willingness to give out loads of cuddles to anyone in close proximity. The time in Canberra was special because we caught up with our dear friends from Sydney - Mick, Jenn, Zac, Charlie & Mikaylah. Mitch & Harry loved spending time with the big boys and it was wonderful to spend time with Jenn each day. The day before we headed home Mitch seemed a bit miserable, but I wasn't overly concerned. On the journey home it rapidly became apparent that they were both unwell with chesty coughs and conjunctivitis. We had the option of staying overnight somewhere or push through to home - and we decided on the latter. The last few hours from Renmark to home were dreadful as both boys were feeling miserable, had temps and sore eyes. I dosed them up with Panadol and we headed to the emergency department. Turns out they both have a viral illness, conjunctivitis and ear infections. As a result they are both miserable and irritable - and who better to irritate than each other! So there have been quite a few fights in the Reid household. I think poor Kev is quite looking forward to going back to work next week! As for me...I am counting down the days until they are their usual happy, energetic selves...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Time passes quickly...

Gee it seems like ages since I last left a message on my blog! The days are just flying by and the boys keep me very busy. They are such bundles of energy and love life. Sometimes at the end of the day Kev and I collapse in a heap infront of the TV. I am still trying to keep up with my scrapbooking - and I completed this page tonight. The boys love this little car, but sharing is not an option! Apart from that life is good. The boys are happy and healthy and we are planning a lovely holiday to see Kev's parents. Hoping everyone is having a good start to their New Year,
Hugs & kisses, Lisa.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Latest scrapbooking layout

Just had to share my latest layout... aren't the boys cute? One day I am sure I will get around to scrapping something or someone else, but for now they are my favourite subjects.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

The end of the holidays...

Well it is the last weekend before Kev goes back to work and life returns to normal! It has been lovely having time with him and the boys love having Daddy home. We have managed to get a few things done around the house even though he got called back into work a few times. I have been able to indulge my obsession with scrapbooking and even had a full day to myself to scrap with a friend. I did this layout's of Harry and he just looks so cute in his little blue suit To me he is a masterpiece, although some may say I am a little biased. Both Mitch & Harry are learning new words, Harry's favourite phrase is "No Mummy" and Mitch loves "row, row, row" (your boat). Both boys love cuddles and Mitchell loves giving kisses which is fine as long as you don't mind the occasional lick on the face! Hope everyone had a safe and happy festive season,