Monday, December 1, 2008

Tagged again!!! Thanks Aprilyn (grin)

This is the Crazy Eights tag courtesy of my friend Aprilyn...

8 things I'm obsessed with right now
1. Gardening - it is my stress reliever
2. Scrapbooking - enough said
3. Going to the park with the boys - while they still think playing with Mummy is fun
4. Spending time with good friends - not enough time in the day
5. My new outdoor setting - finally I have one!!!
6. My new camera - I think Kev may need to get another job with all of these expenses
7. Having an organised home - well as organised as it can be with two four year olds
(grin)
8. Spending time with my family

8 words or phrases I use daily
1. In a moment
2. Harrison stop hitting your brother
3. Mitchell stop teasing your brother
4. Toilet time
5. Okay boys time to go
6. Go to bed
7. I said go to bed
8. If you don't go to bed...

8 TV Shows I love to watch
1. Desperate housewives (great trashy viewing)
2. Find my family (a real tear jerker)
3. Louis Theroux presentS (great docos)
4. Bullshit! By Penn & Teller (thought provoking tv)
5. Aircrash investigation (what can I say? I AM a ghoul)
6.
7.
8.



8 things I did yesterday
1. washing/ ironing
2. gardening
3. cleaned the back of the car... where I spilt a bottle of soy sauce!!!
4. organised the boys
5. organised Kev (or micro-managed him as he prefers to say)
6. entertained guests
7. cleaned up after everyone left
8. collapsed in an exhausted heap


8 of my favorite places to eat
1. Cafe Nova - local place with great food
2. My Dad's place - where the wine is ALWAYS plentiful!
3. at the park... so the boys can play
4. at home with family and friends
5. anywhere Thai!
6. anywhere Indian!
7. anywhere Italian
8. anywhere that I don't have to cook - all Mums would agree with this!

8 things I'm looking forward to
1. spending Xmas with my boys and Kev
2. watching the boys learn about the world and make friends
3. spending more time with Kev - there never seems to be enough time
4. seeing my Dad's new home at the beach - watch out Grandad you are going to
have lots of visits!
5. seeing Kev's mum and dad when we can
6. growing old with Kev
7. being a mum - it is more than I could have hoped for...
8. spending time with friends and family

8 things on my wish list
1. lose weight
2. get more exercise and stay motivated
3. learn to be more tolerant... maybe by the time I am 80???
4. learn photography and take some classes
5. a holiday with the girls - as many as possible!
6. help both boys with their therapy
7. get my photo albums up to date
8. get my garden looking nice

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

I've been tagged!

I have been tagged by Joanne.
You should check out her beautiful blog which is full of wonderful scrapbooking layouts ...

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. List 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

So, here are the 6 random things about me:
1. I love pancakes with maple syrup (but only real maple syrup)
2. I love to clean (its a curse I know)
3. I live in the town where a lot of the television series McLeod's Daughter's was
filmed (and no Pat I can't send you Aaron Jeffreys)
4. I love weeding (the results last longer than house cleaning!)
5. I have blue eyes with yellow rings around the pupils
6. I have a brand new digital SLR camera (is it wrong to love an inanimate object?)

The six people I tag are: Shelley, Aprilyn, Rhonda, Toni, Hayley & Lauren

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Understanding language disorders...

As many of you may know both Mitch & Harry have been diagnosed with severe language disorders and are considered in the first percentile for their speech and language (meaning out of 100 children - 99 children would score higher than them). This is very hard for many people to understand because both boys are chatty, bright and responsive. Even doctors have questioned the diagnosis... which sometimes make it hard for us to know what to believe. But the reality is that while both boys are beautiful, loving and intelligent they do have difficulty with both expressive and receptive speech.

Here is a brief description of language disorders in children by Dr McDowell a leading developmental paediatrician...
(you may want to turn the volume up)



Here is the same doctor discussing whether language disorders can be cured...


And how inadequate speech services are within Australia...


And finally what this can mean when the child grows up...


While it may seem a potentially grim diagnosis - neither Kevin or myself view it as such. We are extremely fortunate that the boys' language disorder has been diagnosed so early and that despite their difficulties they are very happy to talk (and talk and talk). We view our role as helping the boys to develop strategies to assist them with their language. Although the boys do very well themselves. Mitch typically inserts phrases he knows will garner favourable feedback... "you are my BEST friend" and "I love you so much". And Harry talks about things he understands like numbers, the alphabet and colours - he even types his name out on the computer now. These are the ways they have already learnt to cope when their language lets them down. Best of all they are happy boys which we hope will continue as they face the challenges ahead.

Phew, now if you have managed to follow all of this my thanks :-)
Hugs,
Lisa

Monday, November 10, 2008

Turning 40 and other milestones...




Well I am on the countdown to my fortieth birthday. It is hard to believe that I am actually going to be forty! In some ways I still feel like I am in my twenties, until I look in a mirror and see an older, more wrinkled face looking back at me. There is certainly a freedom in growing older. I worry a lot less about what people think. I am kinder to myself and hopefully to others. I am less judgemental of others. And I allow myself time to smell the roses. Of course the aches a pains which weren't there 20 years ago remind me now and then that my body has aged.... but I have to say that I like growing older.

Life is good. Mitch & Harry are growing into beautiful boys with loving hearts. They are making new friends and enjoying kindy. And even the hurdles we face with both of them don't seem insurmountable. Kev is enjoying his work. He is a loving husband, a doting father and a good provider. Our home is comfortable and welcoming. And we have good family and friends.

The one hardship is that I don't have my beautiful Mum to share this time. The pain of her death never really goes away. I know how much she would have loved to be part of the family gatherings and how she would have loved to spend time with her three grandsons. Harry in particular talks about his Gran often. I realise he wouldn't have a particularly strong memory of her, but he gets comfort from seeing photos of her and talking to me about his Gran. Everything in my life has been touched in some small way by my Mum and this is what gives me comfort. I feel blessed to have had such a beautiful Mum.

So life is good. I look forward to the next forty years! And as I look of the photo of me as a little girl I wish I could say to her that life may get tough at times, but there are enough sweet moments to make the journey worthwhile.

Hoping everyone has a great week,
With lots of love,
Lisa

Monday, November 3, 2008

My latest layout...




I just wanted to share my latest layout. I love this photo - it was taken at Port Vincent as Kev walked Mitch, Harry and Jay back to the holiday house. I entered it in the Camelot Forum October challenge and won a $20 voucher to spend at the store!

Life is very relaxed at the moment. Both boys are enjoying kindy and Harry seems to be settling in (which is a relief). The garden is looking lovely. And the house is (relatively) tidy. It doesn't take much to keep me happy (grin).

Hope you are having a good week too,
Hugs,
Lisa

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Camelot - lets go shopping...

By chance a few months ago I came across an online store and forum for one of my favourite scrapbooking stores in SA - CAMELOT! This shop has to be seen to be believed. Room after room jam-packed with everything you could possibly want. And just when you think there couldn't possibly be anymore you venture outside to a huge shed with row after row of paper shelves with every imaginable kind of card stock and patterned paper. It truly is like an Aladdin's cave!

Anyway, one night I was surfing the net and found their forum and so (of course) I joined. The forum is still very new and quite small. BUT the girls are lovely and welcoming and the moderators are clearly passionate about scrapbooking.

So if you are looking for somewhere to do a bit of retail therapy or if you want to find a forum to share ideas about scrapbooking and card making then why not visit CAMELOT.

Friday, October 24, 2008

More scrapbooking and an brief update...



Here is my latest layout. Each year just after the boys' birthdays I write them a brief note to include in their album. They each have an album for each year of their lives. Kev has pointed out if I keep scrapping at the same rate the boys will need a semi-trailer to take their albums when they leave home (grin).

Speaking of the boys - the first 2 weeks of kindy have been a steep learning curve for the boys and I. They have clearly found the effort of getting out the door by 8.30am each morning a bit tiring (they like long, leisurely breakfasts). A few times they have cried and asked to stay home, but we have headed to kindy anyway and then within a few minutes they are excitedly playing with their little friends. Well I should say Mitchell is playing with his little friends, who are all girls by the way. Harry doesn't seem that interested in playing with the other children and prefers solitary activities like puzzles, the computer or drawing. This is something that the kindy teachers and I are watching closely in case it becomes an issue. They are at kindy four mornings a week and on three of those mornings I go straight to the gym afterwards for 1/2 an hour. At the moment it is a big struggle because I am SO unfit, but the ladies at Curves are lovely and I hope to lose some weight and improve my overall fitness.

Apart from that I have found a renewed passion for gardening and am out in the garden most nights - weeding, hand watering or generally tidying up. The garden is certainly showing the fruits of my efforts and it looks very pretty despite the lack of rain. Goodness knows how it will cope with summer. I have found that my time gardening is very therapeutic and that coupled with my exercise my mental well-being has improved markedly. Who would have guessed I just needed some sheer torture followed by solitude to feel happy (grin)?

Well I better sign off now,
Hoping everyone has a lovely weekend,
Lisa

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My latest layout...


Just wanted to share my latest layout.
Very simple, but I like it :-)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Microwaves and toys and other important lessons for four year olds...


Mitch and Harry recently had a very important lesson. I decided to check the emails(our computer is in the shed) and both boys seemed to be settled watching TV. So out I went and within 5 minutes I heard a frantic shout from Mitchell and crying from Harrison. So I rushed inside only to discover the kitchen was filled with smoke and the microwave seemed to be on fire. Closer investigation revealed that one of the boys had placed a Thomas the Tank Engine Helicopter toy with a large magnet on it inside the microwave and hit autostart. Apparently the toy had exploded into flames and the door had shot open. There were still flames coming out of the toy when I came inside - so I had to use tongs to dump it into a sink full of water. Harrison was hysterical because he had tried to take the toy out and had burnt his finger. Luckily he didn't get the toy out of the microwave otherwise I imagine the kitchen bench would have been burnt or worse. Once the emergency had passed I made the boys throw their toy into the rubbush. Somehow the microwave survived - a little scorched, but still functional. Harrison was so traumatised that a week later he still keeps saying he is sorry. Mitchell on the other hand seems quite oblivious to the danger and excitedly recalls "lots of smoke and flames Mummy".

I thought the day couldn't get any worse and after tidying up the kitchen and airing out the house we went outside for some fresh air. I popped inside (I should have learnt my lesson shouldn't I?) to get a drink for the boys. I heard Mitchell say "Look at all the buzzy bees" and then Harrison started crying. Once again I dropped everything and rushed out to discover that Mitchell had found the fly catcher filled with dead flies and containing an awful smelling liquid and had thrown it at Harrison. Poor Harrison was covered in dead flies and fly attractant liquid and was sobbing hysterically. So off to the bath for both boys! And a strong drink was the order of the day for Mummy!

I am left wondering what they will get up to next...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Complicated...

My latest scrapping layout...




And here is the journalling. If you click on it it will enlarge so you can read it...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My beautiful Bonnie...




A few weeks ago my beautiful Bonnie had to be put down. She had lost an alarming amount of weight in under two weeks and appeared distressed and in pain. The Vet was extremely kind and offered that we could do all kinds of tests to try and determine the problem. But as I looked at my beautiful Bonnie's dear little face I couldn't stand the though of putting her through all of that just to keep her a little bit longer. So it was with a heavy heart that I asked for her to be euthanised. I stayed with her and told her how much I loved her and how she would soon be playing with Patrich and Missy. And then in a moment she was gone. Kev buried her under our grape vine and we planted my favourite rose (Angel Face) in her memory.

Bonnie was 15 years old and a much loved member of our family.

She had been with me through my first marriage. My divorce. My marriage to Kev and the birth of our boys. She was a loyal friend and a trusted confidant.


IF IT SHOULD BE

If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.

You will be sad, I understand.
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day, more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years.
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come -- please let me go.

Take me where my need they'll tend,
And please stay with me till the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me,
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.

Please do not grieve -- it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years;
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

--- Anonymous ---

The Nutella Thief...



I have recently noticed we seem to be going through more Nutella than usual. Here is a likely culprit!

I went for a shower and returned to the kitchen to discover that Harrison had pushed a dining chair into the kitchen, climbed into the pantry and retrieved the jar of Nutella for Mitchell...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kindy



Well Thursday was the boys' (and Mummy's) big day. The first day at Kindy. We turned up with lots of other parents and children and waited for the doors to open. Harry was so excited and introduced himself to everyone there. Mitch just wanted to open his lunch box, despite the fact he had eaten one Weetbix and three slices of toast with Nutella for breakfast!

The Kindy Director met us at the door and introduced the boys and I to their SSO who will work with the two of them over the next 5 weeks. Melissa is about my age and the boys warmed to her straight away. Before I left Harry was drawing and Mitch was hammering into a pin board with Melissa.

I headed out the door and off to my Mums' group. I was SO proud of my boys that there were no tears shed... I just couldn't believe how far they have come and I spent the morning smiling.

When I returned to the Kindy the teachers were pleased to report that both boys had joined in all of the activities, had played well with the other children and had virtually ignored each other (which is apparently unusual for twins). The boys were so excited and asked to come back the next day.

It was such a sweet moment to savour. That despite all of the hurdles they have faced and all of the issues raised at the last team meeting, both boys are so sociable and confident. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment that Kev and I have done a good job preparing them for kindy/ school. While always mindful of future issues, it is lovely to take a breather and just celebrate the special little boys that Mitch & Harry have become...

Hugs,
Lisa

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A big step...

Dear all,
Just received a letter last week to let us know that Mitch & Harry have been accepted into Elsie Ey Kindergarten for their pre-entry program. They will attend 2 3/4 hours once a week for 5 weeks and then start fulltime kindy which is 3 hours four days a week in the following term. I can't believe where the time has gone. It only seems a heartbeat ago that these tiny babies were struggling for survival and now they are heading out into the world. They are very excited! Mummy is a bit nervous. And Daddy is worried about Mummy.

The great thing is that they will have a support worker with them each day for pre-entry - to assist them with focussing on tasks, toiletting and generally learning the kindy routine. This was organised by the Principal prior to the team meeting last month as she felt the boys would benefit from additional support (and is at no additional cost to us).

When they start at kindy they will be evaluated to ascertain wheher they will qualify for the Possum Room - a room where they have one teacher to 8 students with special needs. Part of me wants this not to be necessary, but if this makes their lives a little easier then Kev & I are both very supportive of this option.

So think of me next Thursday when I drop the boys off for their first session. I am sure there will be tears. BUT I have a sneaking suspicion that they will be mine.

Hugs,
Lisa

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Mitch & Harry

Our beautiful boys turned four on August 16th.

This was the first year that they really understood what was happening and we had to do a countdown of how many sleeps there were until the big day. This year was extra special because they got to spend it with Nana & Grandpa from Queensland. They had a lovely party at Hungry Jacks and even though the weather was dreadful the boys and their little friends had a wonderful time.

Next week is their cousin Liam's birthday and they are now counting down to that party! Then the three boys will share a combined family party at Gran & Grandad's place.

Here are some photos from their big day...

Harry and his dinosaur from Nana & Grandpa


Mitch and his special construction blocks from Nana & Grandpa



The boys enjoy the icing for their birthday cupcakes


Mitch has cuddles with Grandpa


Yummy birthday cup cakes


Harry enjoyed his 5 cup cakes!


Cuddles with Nana


Thank you to everyone who wished the boys a happy birthday :-)
Hugs,
Lisa

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thank you...

Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone who has contacted us over the past week. We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by so much love.

The boys are coming up with new phrases all of the time...

Mitch's latest - "Look you guys, just stop picking on me okay"
In response to being tickled

Harry's latest - "Mummy I am a baby banana and bananas have cheeks that need to be kissed"

And my favourite expression?
"muddlepops" - muddy puddles (grin)

Hugs,
Lisa

Friday, July 25, 2008

A medical update on the boys...

Today we had a team meeting with the hospital child development unit team. Attending were the physio, OT, speech, paediatrician, kindy director and a paed reg. Each of the team members who have treated the boys over the past 12 months presented their findings on the boys and their views of ongoing needs.

Speech - both boys have severe receptive and expressive language disorders. They cover this by deflecting the conversation when they can't understand and as a consequence most people don't realise the depth of their language problem. The speech therapist also commented that they have areas of very good knowledge and understanding, but the basic building blocks of understanding and expressing themselves are disordered. She stated this will be a lifelong problem - that they will learn, but that this will take a great deal of effort on their part.

OT - she noted that both boys are extremely busy and still struggle to focus on activities. Harrison in particular is easily distracted and has difficulty working out the "voice of authority" in the room. She discussed their sensory issues and stated that they have significant sensory problems at times which typically manifest with meltdowns. She noted that their poor muscle tone means they tire very easily and that Mitchell can only cope with standing in one place for 5 or 10 minutes. Their fine motor skills are poor and they struggle with holding a pen or any activities which invole dexterous movements. She also commented that both boys have difficulty with motor planning and as a consequence tend to struggle with physical activities. She stated that this is a lifelong problem and that as they progress through school they will need a lot of support and parental involvement. On the positive side she commented on how far the boys have come with learning to sit for activities and follow instructions.

Physio - she noted that both boys have very low tone and poor core strength which means that any gross or fine motor activity takes a lot of effort. She voiced concerns that they have not significantly improved their muscle strength, gait or general movement over the past 12 months. Although she acknowledged that there has been a negative finding for Cerebral Palsy, she is of the belief that their problems are very similar to those with Ataxic CP and she feels this diagnosis may be made later. She stated that these problems are lifelong and will become more self evident as the boys grow older (in comparison to their peers).

Paed - acknowledged all of the therapists' assessments, but stated that both boys present as very bright and personable. He discussed the possibility of ADD or ADHD and stated he would not diagnose these kind of problems at this young age - and that meds to control aspects of these disorders are not particularly effective in this young age group, with the side effects generally outweighing the benefits.

Kindy - the director of the kindergarten attended and told us that she has applied for additional support hours for the boys and she is endeavouring to get them into a session with a small group where they will be with neurotypical children and have additional support. She is also seeking government approval for the boys to attend an extra term of full time kindy (4 x 1/2 day sessions/ week). Usually children receive 4 terms of full time kindy - and she hopes for 5 or even 6 terms for the boys. She was very encouraging about the supports the kiindy can offer and they have a number of children with special needs who already attend the kindy in mainstream and special groups.

The conclusion is that the boys will be referred to NOVITA which offers OT/ Physio and special groups for children with disabilities. They are hoping that NOVITA can offer the boys (and us) extra support at no extra cost. Speech therapy will be provided by DECS (Department of Education and Community Services) and we can supplement this with private therapy if required. Once the boys are accepted by NOVITA then they will be discharged from the hospital's CDU. The paediatrician will continue to coordinate their care.

Sorry to be so clinical, but this is the best way for me to explain it. At the moment Kev and I feel totally overwhelmed. Its not that we have been told anything we didn't know, it's just to have it all spelled out in detail is confronting. We are so grateful for the care and concern the staff have shown our boys (and us). So now we just have to pick ourselves up and move forward. On a lighter not I came home and both boys insisted I join them in Harry's bed for a "triple cuddle" - kind of puts it all in perspective :-)

Lisa

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Just for a laugh...

Love this clip which I found on YouTube.
For all the scrappers out there this one is for you :-)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Being a Mum...



It is now two years since my own dear Mum died. I miss her every day. Harry in particular talks about his Gran and he often asks to see photos of her. I don't think he completely understands at this stage, but he tells people he loves his Gran and she is in the sky and in our hearts. Mum often talked about her fear that the boys wouldn't remember her, but in my own way I am trying to create a memory for them of their Gran.

Thinking about my Mum got me thinking about my own experiences of being a Mum. And I realised that my mothering style is a reflection of everything that my Mum taught me. Sometimes I catch myself saying something and I have to smile, because I remember Mum saying the same things to me as a small child. Mum has been the single biggest influence in my life and I only hope that I can give my children the kind of childhood she gave me.

Family is so important to me. That is why I feel so blessed to have a close relationship with my family. I may not see everyone as often as I like or I may not keep in contact as often as I should, but they are often in my thoughts. I look at my beautiful boys learning about the world and sharing special times with their cousins and I am truly happy. These precious times my Mum would loved to have shared. And while there is sadness that she can't be here with us in a physical sense, I know that the life she helped create for me will continue to influence myself, Mitch & Harry and future generations.

Being a Mother is the most important thing in the world to me. And I thanks my beautiful Mum for showing me the way.

With much love,
Lisa

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Feeding the cows and other great adventures...








Don't you just love these photos! Harry is clearly loving his first experience of feeding cows. And Mitch is sleeping through the entire process! This was taken a few weeks ago on my Uncle M's 60th birthday. We all went out for a beautiful meal and then afterwards headed back to Uncle M's and Auntie M's farm. The boys are still talking about it.

Each week sees another small step forward. Harry is trialling wearing underpants at night and he is very excited with being such a "big boy". It is not unusual for him to loudly announce to anyone that "now I do poos in toilet" - which I am sure thrills others no end. Both of the boys' speech is certainly improving and while they do have obvious difficulties with understanding, they really try hard to express themselves. Only over the past couple of months has Harry been able to really tell us what he wants without us taking forever with multiple guesses to work out what he is saying. And as a result he has become much more responsive to us and the meltdowns are far less frequent. Apart from that Mitch has taken to his glasses like a real trooper - which is great and he suddenly looks so grown up and serious.

The biggest news is that in less than 2 months both boys start early entry kindy. It is hard to believe that our little men are grwoing up so fast! I am sure they will love kindy. Mummy however may find it a bit of a challenge (grin). They will start off with 90 mins once a week for the last 5 weeks of term 3 and then will move into pre-entry. They are doing a extra term to aid in assessing what support they may need in the full time kindy setting. At this stage we are waiting for the team meeting and will take it from there.

Some of you may notice I am posting this at 3.15 am and wonder why I am not in bed like all sane people! Well unfortunately I can't seem to sleep since I started trying to get to bed earlier (lights off by 11.30pm). I am sure this is just my body's way of saying "hey you have knocked me about with all those late nights don't just think I am going to do what you want" (grin). Hopefully this will improve soon! Because I certainly need all the energy I can get running around after Mitch & Harry.

Sending lots of love to you all,
Lisa

Friday, June 27, 2008

A quick update...




I just realised I need to update a few things...

Firstly I was lucky enough to be chosen to be in the final for the Scraptacular 2008 for Scrapbooking 4 Less - Toni's beautiful layouts saw her declared the winner. Congrats Toni and all the other entrants. It was a lot of fun!

Also my cousin and his wife have had a beautiful little boy - congratulations S&S on the birth of your beautiful boy. He is gorgeous.

Finally unfortunately our meeting with the team for the boys therapists, paediatrician and kindy was cancelled today. I had myself all prepared for today, but it wasn't to be. Makes me realise how in all my years in hospital I truly didn't understand how much the health system seems to give families the run around. But no use in complaining (any more than I have) and we just have to wait for another appointment... hopefully before the boys leave Uni (grin).

Oh and this is a layout of the boys visit to the Big Rocking Horse with a little friend of theirs :-)

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend,
Hugs,
Lisa

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mitchell's Glasses







As promised here are some photos of Mitch with his new glasses. He is actually very good at wearing them, but now and then he rebels and you find them carefully placed on the bookcupboard or a table. They obviously are helping him because he doesn't squint as much and doesn't stand on top of the TV anymore.



Hugs,
Lisa

Friday, June 6, 2008

Speech therapy update

Well a fortnight ago the boys had their formal speech assessment in preparation for the Development Unit Team meeting next month. And the abridged version is that both have been diagnosed with a severe receptive and expressive language disorder and they tested in the first percentile for their age, meaning that if 100 children were
tested 99 children would score better than them. I actually took this news in my stride (which surprised me) and I took the literature I was given and left the rooms.

My poor hubby is devastated - he said he thought that "one day the boys would be fine" and this has hit him really hard. I have tried to emphasise to him that they are still our two beautiful boys who are social butterflies and love life, but
it is hard. Mitch & Harry are of course oblivious and they told me they "did a good job" :-)

So now it just needs to sink in...

The Speechie was great and took ages to explain this all to me. She agrees with my belief that the boys have microscopic damage done to their brains as a result of the extreme prematurity (even though all CTs etc have been clear). And she explained that the problems the boys have with their speech can never be cured, but can be managed to varying degrees.

On a happier note - Mitchell has his glasses and he loves them. The firt time he put them one he turned around and said to me... "Mummy I can see. Now I can read books!". He is very good with keeping them on and carefully puts them on if they fall off. At this stage the only problem we have is when Harry and Mitch have a fight - then the glasses seem fair game :-(

If I get myself organised I will post a photo of Mitch with his glasses - he looks so grown up!

Sending much love to our family and friends.
Even though we may not be in touch often you are in our thoughts and hearts,
Love Lisa

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day



Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers who read this blog.
I had a very special day. I was woken up after a lovely sleep-in by two happy little boys who jumped on the bed and demanded a cuddle and shouted "Happy Mother's Day Mummy!" Then they gave me my Mother's Day presents - firstly the latest Ben Lee CD and then my beautiful eternity ring with three stones symbolising the three men in my life.

I have been dropping none too subtle hints about an eternity ring for the past few years and each time Kev would smile and change the subject. Then Pat visited from Sydney and asked what Kev was buying me for Mother's Day. She said a look of panic went over his face and he realised it would involve his least favourite activity.... SHOPPING! Then she suggested she would find out some things I might like, but had he though of a ring.

So last Thursday we went late night shopping just to check out some jewellers and I saw this ring and just fell in love. It isn't too big for my hands and the ring on display fitted perfectly. So Kev went back and picked it up yesterday.

Isn't it beautiful? I just adore it.

Happy Mother's Day,
Love Lisa

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I HATE spam!





I really do hate spam! And not that processed muck in the can (although I don't like that either), but those incessant messages you get in your inbox offering to increase your sex drive, enhance your manhood or help you win millions.

My latest introduction to spam has been on this blog. So now in an effort to limit the spam I encounter on a daily basis I have changed my blog setting so that I can moderate the comments before they appear. All that means is that if you post a comment it won't appear until I have a chance to read it... Hope that makes sense.

Sending lots of love to our family and friends,
Hugs,
Lisa

PS - Here's a thought. Maybe the guy who invented spam DID have a very small manhood and that's why there has been a proliferation of those kind of messages. (hehe)

Monday, April 21, 2008

And life goes on...




The challenges of raising two very opinionated three year olds are many! Sometimes Kev and I look at each other at the end of the day and are amazed that we have somehow survived. Harry is particularly stubborn at the moment. He insists on doing everything himself, which as you can imagine takes a long time. BUT today it was very cute because he told me "no Mummy you not come in toilet I do it myself." So I stood outside of the cubicle (at the local park) and waited for the little master to complete his ablutions. I could imagine all kind of disasters... wet pants... wet shoes... BUT he DID do it all by himself. He was so proud and told Kev all about it when he got home. However he blotted his copy book by purposely scratching the car with a bark chip - he was so quick I couldn't even try to stop him. It was one very sad boy when Daddy got home.

As for Mitch he is adamant that he wants help with EVERYTHING!!! He looks up from under his long brown lashes and says "its too hard". I am sure this works on lots of epople, BUT not Mummy. It honestly takes all of my strength to not jump in and put on his shoes or put his toys away... instead a wait and wait and wait. He is so loving and adores long cuddles and kisses. He has been battling neverending nasal congestion, so we are waiting for an ENT appointment in August (hate to think how long it would take if we didn't have insurance). I just want to make sure that there isn't something we could do to ease his obvious discomfort. Sometimes at night he honestly sounds like Darth Vader with his noist breathing.

Apart from that we are starting to think about kindy - the boys will start early entry next term which is just 90 mins once a week. We visited the kindy the other day and both boys were immediately at home, grabbing the teachers' hands and leaving us without a backward glance. I think Mummy might be the one shedding some tears though when the first day arrives...

Hoping that all our friends and family are contented and well,
with lots of love,
Lisa

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Guess what?!! I have made it to round 4 of Scrapbooking 4 Less' Scraptacular 2008!




I just had to share that I am up to round 4 of the Scraptacular 2008! Can you tell I am excited? I have always felt that my scrapbooking doesn't quite measure up to the other amazing work I see in magazines and on forums. BUT this time I decided to bite the bullet and submit my work. This is the final round and I am waiting to see what the criteria is and who I have to model my work on this time. The layout above and the layout on my previous post were submitted for round 3.

For those of you who love scrapbooking here is a link to Scrapbooking 4 Less. Shelley has some of the best priced scrapbooking stock around and the forum is a lot of fun!

Now I am doing a happy dance!
Very exciting :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moments of beauty




I just wanted to share my latest layout of Harrison. These beautiful images were taken by my friend Bec when visited Sydney in October. Aren't they breathtaking? If only Harry was this serene all of the time (grin).

We are looking forward to a holiday at the beach this Easter. The packing and unpacking is a drag, but the boys love the opportunity to go to the beach and where we live isn't exactly coastal! It will be lovely to catch up with some of our family who will be there too.

Hoping that Easter Bunny is generous to you and yours,
Love Lisa

Friday, March 7, 2008

I feel sick...



Why is it that being sick is so much harder with children? I can remember a time when if I felt sick I could stay in bed all day. And now? Well Harry wants breakfast at 7am and nothing or no-one is going to stop him on his quest for 2 weetbix with hot milk and a slice of toast with "begemite". Mitch on the other hand would happily snuggle for an hour or two. He is NOT a morning person and neither am I... so we understand each other (grin).

The past week and a half I have felt really tired and lousy. So after a couple of visits to the GP and a chest x-ray I discovered I have Pneumonia. Now many eons ago when I was a nurse I looked after many people with Pneumonia (usually the elderly - does that mean I am getting old?). Anyway they would often mention how tired they felt and while I understood why I didn't truly understand. Let me tell you I feel tired... bloody tired... fall asleep at the table kind of tired. Infact every day this week I have ended up in bed sleeping while the boys have their nap. And even then I feel tired. Anyway on antibiotics and trying not to do too much... so I am hoping it will get better soon. Although if anyone can tell me how to rest with two three year olds I would be glad to hear (grin).

Apart from that I wanted to share my latest entry in our Scrapbooking 4 Less Scraptacular. It is a beautiful photo taken of Mitch & I at my Dad's place.

Hoping everyone has a restful weekend,
Hugs,
Lisa

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Moving forward...


I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been so loving and supportive as we faced our latest hurdle. With the benefit of week the diagnosis seems less dire and I am certain that we are already doing the right things for Mitch regarding his speech. Our latest playgroup at the Hospital was an interesting affair because it seemed obvious to me that our case had been discussed. Everyone was very careful with what they said - but the good news is that we will be having team meeting with the therapists, the paed, the kindy and ourselves to discuss the plans for Mitch & Harry. This seems a good way to make sure we are moving towards a common goal. I will reserve my judgement on the speech therapist until after this meeting...but I can say that in the cold, hard light of day it is apparent to me that she doesn't know how determined we are as a family to ensure our boys get optimal treatment.

A dear friend of mine reminded me today about how I have somehow lost myself over the past four years - and I am sure this happens to most parents. However her words did have a ring of truth to them - so I am going to try my best to let all of this therapy talk slide until the next meeting and focus on just being me and having fun with the boys. The beautiful thing is that both boys appear to have no clue about my inner turmoil and are loving life! Although if Harry gives me too much more backchat his life may be shorter than he can imagine (grin).


Speaking of Harry I thought you may like this layout. It just captures his Joie de vivre - his love of life! Down at the beach and loving splashing about in the shallows. Notice he is wearing his lifejacket - which he insists on wearing even in ankle deep water (grin). He is definitely his mother's child - obsessed with the detail. He checks before we go anywhere what we are doing, who we will be seeing and what snacks I have packed... as I said he is a mini-me through and through.

Anyway that's it from me for tonight.
Thank you again to everyone who has emailed, phoned or spoken to me in person. You have no idea how much it has meant to me.

Hugs,
Lisa

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Speech Therapy, Scrapbooking and Swimming...



I know that this is a strange combination but it really sums up our past month.
Firstly speech therapy... where do I begin? I was informed yesterday by the speech therapist in the boys' hospital group that Mitchell doesn't have verbal dyspraxia he has a language disorder (Harry is to be assessed next week). She said that he uses a lot of learnt phrases to fill in the conversation (which I have long known) and that he really doesn't understand a lot of what we are saying to him. We have now been told that he needs more intensive one on one therapy than the hospital can provide. The funny thing is that just at the beginning of term we got to the top of the public waiting list for our area, but the speech therapists agreed amongst themselves that the boys didn't need two seperate speech therapists ( due to possible confusion for Mitch). So now we are back at square one. Up until now we have paid for a private therapist through our health insurance because the boys weren't deemed to have a significant speech problem initially. Then when we were referred to a Paed when the boys were 2 1/2 years old, he felt the boys needed help with speech and got us into this hospital group and on the Child Development Unit waiting list for ongoing assistance during schooling.

Last night I just fell apart. How much more can I take? I am so tired of never getting a break - it is just one thing after another. I said to my friend yesterday that the moment I went into premature labour there has never been a day without worry - and I am just so bloody tired. I know I shouldn't complain and things could be so much worse, but I feel at breaking point. I don't know what to think. What does this mean for Mitchell? Does he also have an intellectual delay? Will he ever understand? Will speech always be a battle for him? And then how is it that one speech therapist (who has seen him for over a year)has said verbal dyspraxia with good receptive skills and another (who has seen him twice)says no this is wrong he has a language disorder and has poor receptive skills? How as the mother do I know who is right? It's not a rollercoaster - because that has a start and end - this is a merry-go-round where I am forever trapped waiting for the next calamity to strike. How do I get past my tears? And how do I know what to do next?


I DO know that tomorrow I will get up and the boys and I will face whatever challenges are ahead, but I am just so tired.

Now on a lighter note (thank god I hear you cry) scrapbooking - for those of you that know me well you would realise that I LOVE scrapbooking! If I could do it every day I would! Anyway, it seems like the gods have been conspiring against me over the past week because Harry has decided he doesn't want to go to bed. So our nights consist of Kev and I playing tag team putting Harry back to bed until he falls into an exhausted slumber. Now this would be okay except that he insists on screaming endlessly in a pitch that can decalcify the bones! I have no idea why he has started this... maybe it is just a stage, but boy is it exhausting. So by the time he falls asleep I feel to tired to contemplate anything creative so there goes my scrapbooking... However I have manage to complete one layout for the Scrapbooking 4 Less Scraptacular competition - it is of Mitch looking very grown up and serious at Port Vincent.

And finally swimming. I have had great intentions for months to get the boys into a swimming class more for the exercise than anything - maybe it will exhaust Harry so much he will beg me to let him sleep (I dream). But I just can't seem to get motivated. The boys love the pool and so do I - although I have been known to frighten small children as I clamber into their wading pool with both boys. Kev on the other hand doesn't like swimming or pools or the beach at all. Which makes it an interesting exercise when we go to the pool and he doesn't want to swim. Because let me tell you there is nothing more difficult than watching two little children at once in the pool! So for the moment I have decided to put this into the too hard basket. Sounds un-Australian doesn't it. Maybe my boys will be scarred for life with the knowledge that they didn't learn to swim until they were four years old. Or maybe they will be scarred by the mental image of me in bathers! Who knows. I suppose that's the interesting thing about parenting, you never know what is going to happen and how this will come back to haunt you in your dotage...

With much love,
Lisa

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Has Tom Cruise finally flipped his lid?

Has Tom Cruise finally completely lost it? I couldn't resist checking out his latest effort on YouTube - and what a frightening display it was! Laughing inappropriately Mr Cruise rants on and on about his special gifts as a Scientologist...without revealing what those gifts are or why he feels so special. Makes you a bit scared to watch it! Well it did scare me anyway. And I am hard to scare...after all I have twins! Check out the interview which allegedly was leaked from a Scientology Forum...




Its a strange, strange world...
Lisa

Monday, January 7, 2008

For all parents who feel that their job is never done...

For all parents who feel that their job is never done...and no-one listens to what they say...
Here is a fabulous song someone sent me a link for...

Cabin Fever...


Is it just me or does anyone else notice how their children seem to fight more when it is a really hot day? Recently we have had days over 38 degrees Celcius and so we have been house bound at times. It just seems this kind of weather brings out the worst in my boys. They are happily playing and I turn around to find one of them trying to embed a toy in the other one's skull! I don't know who ends up doing the most yelling - them or me. I start each day with a list of lovely activities for us to try and by mid-morning I am thinking of putting them both up for adoption! Harry in particular has this piercing voice which only gets louder as the day progresses - he seems to have NO internal dialogue and tells me EVERYTHING he is thinking or doing.


It goes something like this...

MUMMY!
MUMMY!
Yes Harry
I play with toys!
I play with Thomas the tank!
Yes
MUMMY!
MUMMY!
Yes Harry
Mitchell is playing too!

So you get the idea - I mean I love his ability to communicate it would just be nice if he didn't do it ALL OF HIS WAKING HOURS!!!


Mitch on the other hand is usually quite happy cuddling his teddies and playing "pignigs" where he sets up lego and play food for all of his toys. It's just that Harry can't help but organise him (I don't know who he takes after). And as you can imagine this leads to tears. Mitch fights to the death to keep his toys and Harry simply lays on top of him until he can't breathe.

So Mitch has discovered the ultimate weapon - biting! Yeah terrific - my three year old is biting his twin brother. Although I can sympathise because if someone kept telling me what to do and kept taking my toys I would want to bite them too (note to self...make sure Kev is happy - he has sharp teeth!).


So I am looking forward to a special day tomorrow - CHILD CARE!!!!!! Yahoo! I drop the boys off and have long periods of silence. Which really is ironic, because the people that know me well know how I LOVE to talk. So the ultimate irony I have a mini-me who is driving me insane! You know how when you were naughty your Mum would say "one day you will have children and then you will know what it's like!". I do now!


I love my boys to distraction - but I am worn out. So off tomorrow to catch up with a girlfriend and share a glass or two of wine.

Aaaahhhh..... bliss....

Wishing everyone a blissful week,
Hugs,
Lisa


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Farmer Christmas and Happy Birthday!




What a fun time... being three years old and experiencing Xmas in all its noise, fun and messiness! Mitch & Harry have really celebrated Xmas this year.


They are a little confused about the details. They know that it is "Baby Jesus' birthday Mum", but they think the jolly fellow in the red suit is "Farmer Xmas" (which has cause much amusement to friends and strangers alike). They have loved receiving gifts (who doesn't), but even more they have relished handing out presents and a big hug or kiss. They now want chocolate for breakfast, lunch and tea (me too), but are starting to realise that all good things must come to an end.


An added bonus has been having Kev home over Xmas. They adore their Daddy and love going out to the shed to do secret men's business - who knows what they do in there! And most of the time they have wanted to help with sorting out toys and handing on some much loved treasures to the "younger generation" - although Harry did sob when his last sleeping bag for bed went to his little cousin Liam.


We have also been lucky enough to spend time with our dear friend Avi and his family (photo courtesy of Charles- Avi's father). We got to show them some tourist sites and enjoyed far too much good food - highly recommend the Jerusalem in Hindley Street - absolutely yummy food. The boys love Uncle Avi and were much taken with his thoughtful gifts - Thomas the Tank Engine series one through to five is on permanently in our house these days.


Apart from that the past week has been almost unbearably hot. And the boys have missed being able to spend large amounts of time playing outside - and so has Mummy!


Hoping that each and everyone of you had a wonderful Xmas and is set for a joyous New Year.

With much love,

Lisa


PS - look at the photo closely and you'll see why that location was chosen (grin)