. . . in all seriousness, thanks for stopping by! This blog will no doubt evolve over time, and will include all sorts of content. My aim is to let you know what we're doing as a family, how I'm coping as the mum of a child with Cerebral Palsy, and a variety of other things too.

If you are the parent of a special needs child, I pray that you will find encouragement, hope and support within these posts. I'd like to get to know your story too, so be sure to leave a comment.

I hope you'll come back soon.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Through the Lens Thursday

I know that I'm not the best photographer, but over the past couple of months, I've taken more photos than I have in a long time.  Better angles, positioning, etc - see I don't even know the correct terms - will come with time and practice.  So in the interim, you my faithful reader, are going to have to put up with my inept attempts at creating an artistic masterpiece!

On your mind
What are you thinking about? The news? Your family? Yourself?
Share what's on your mind.
When I was at the mall the other day (yes, I do spend quite a bit of time there - it's winter, give a girl a break) I noticed a billboard advertising the university.  Really made me think.  We have come to rely so heavily on technology, what does happen when we don't have access to our laptops, smart phones, emails, etc?  Even after the earthquakes, we had some capability to connect to the rest of the world.

Fave photo
Re-share a favourite photo
Reuben has always loved his little brother, and I think that the love is radiating from him in this pic. To be honest, I usually don't like photos of myself (who does), but this one isn't too bad. I think that Phil looks rather handsome here too. We had photos of Reuben taken when he was about 9 weeks old, so I really wanted to get some taken when Isaac was around the same age. This was a bit later than that, but with everything that had happened, I was going to go easy on myself.

Where you slept
Where did you sleep last night? Take a photo and share it.
Sometimes on a cold frosty morning (we've had a lot of those lately), when I don't want to get up, the boys will come in to bed for a cuddle with me. Only problem is, they can get a bit rowdy, and then don't want to get up and get ready for school/preschool.

From a high angle
Shoot your photo from a high angle looking down.
These boys sure know how to chilax!

Take a photo of movement; a car flying by, a person dancing, someone jumping - anything!
I know I'm always saying about how much Reuben and Isaac adore each other, but you know what, it's really cool when they can just behave like normal brothers.  Wrestling on the floor, tickling each other, the sort of thing when Cerebral Palsy doesn't really get a look in.  It will always be there, something that affects Isaac, but I pray that we're able to raise him to be a person who does things despite the limitations of his disability.

The other day Isaac's Physical Therapist said that she had seen a teenager playing goalie on a hockey team.  The boy had similar movement and balance issues to what Isaac has.  He didn't let any goals through, and when the game finished, he was coming off the field and fell over, the same way that Isaac does.  This has given me real hope that Isaac may in fact live a close to normal life.  That his disability won't limit how full the that life he lives will be.

Something cute
Did you spot something cute? An animal? A person? A thing?
Oh, yes, I so spotted something cute!  There's a cheetah and a crocodile, Reuben and Isaac, a couple of hats. . .yep, they ticked all the boxes.

Where you shop
Do you shop online? Or in a store? Share where you shop.
I've talked a lot about going to the mall a number of times in my posts.  And now, I'm being really brave.  I need to get new glasses, it's kind of an age thing, lol.  So ignoring the fact that I really hate taking my own photo, which pair do you think look best.  Leave your comments and votes - left, middle or right?  Please be honest, I can handle it.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Happy Birthday Reuben

This year for Reuben's birthday we decided that we'd have some of his friends come over for some games, dinner and a sleepover.  We were blessed with a fantastic, unseasonably warm day.

Phil was in charge of the games - having worked as a youth pastor for many years, he has loads of games to call on at a moments notice.  For the party he decided on food games.  Although it was a toned down version of what would normally be called food olympics, because this was a group of five and six year olds.

After tossing marshmallows and catching them in their mouths, the kids then threw them all at Phil (food fight style).

The trampoline is always a great attraction, we knew that getting the largest available was going to be a necessity with a family of boys.

Boysenberry drop: open one can of boysenberries, drain of juice and drop boysenberry into volunteers mouth.  Phil and I did a demo for them, but they weren't too keen on this one.  Isaac, however, was up for the challenge!

Reuben was not about to be outdone by his little brother.  You'll notice that we werre responsible and covered their clothing.

Hotdogs and chips all round.

Chocolate mud cake, mmmmm.

All in the bed and the little one said . . .

All Blacks third test match was on that night, so the boys put their haka skills to good use after the national anthems.

None of the boys were able to stay over, but that didn't stop the fun.  Reuben, Isaac and Phil had a sleepover in the lounge.

Happy Birthday Reuben, I love you buddy.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Through the Lens Thursday

From a low angle
Get down low and shoot
Saw this double rainbow on the drive home from work the other day, the incredible thing is that the main rainbow was complete, across the side from one end to the other.

Take a photo of time; a clock, a watch, before and after - anything that symbolises time!
When I was pregnant with Isaac, I seemed to lose things all the time.  The clasp on my watch broke while I was out on day. I didn't even feel it fall off.  This is the replacement that I got. But, not only did I lose my watch, a couple of months earlier, I lost my wedding and engagement rings.  I'm not a really sentimental person, but it was my rings given to me by husband to express his love for me, so I was a little upset.  I have to admit that I did enjoy going shopping for replacements!

You'll notice that the clocks at the old railway station (yet another building in the process of being demolished) are showing different times.  The one on the left stopped at 4.36am on 4 September 2010 (when the first of the big ones hit).
Take a photo of anything yellow - the sun, or something you see!

I know that this looks silver, it was a cloudy, overcast day.  Normally, if the sun is shining, the yellow of the sun reflects a golden glow from this statue/momument.  Not quite sure what to call it, but it's the logo (emblem, symbol) for Champion Centre.

Out and about
Get out and about today and take a photo of what you do

Often on a Sunday afternoon, while Isaac is having his nap, I'll go out and do a couple of messages.  Reuben comes with me a lot of the time.  Poor Isaac wakes up, and is really sad and disappointed that he's been left at home with Daddy.  Around school holiday time, you can sometimes find the vertical bungy at the mall.  They were there this past weekend.  Reuben asked me a few times if he could have a go.  Since he had some money of his own, I said that if he used that, then yes, he could have a turn.  He had a great time.

Something we don't know about you
Can you twist your tongue? Did you get a diploma in something? Do you love Justin Bieber bad? Share something that we might not know about you.

I have worn glasses for reading since I was 15 and about 8 years ago I got progressive lenses.  As a bit of a gody-good at school, it was unusual theat I preferred to sit down the back of the classroom.  But when I had my eyes checked by the optomitrist because of continual headaches, I found out why.  I'm far sighted, and it wasn't picked up until then because I could always see the charts - at school they only did testing at distance.  What's been really funny, is that a lot of our friends have been getting reading glasses over the past number of years.  They say they feel like they're getting old.  What does that say for me?!  As for my lovely sister, she is always giving me a hard time about having bi-focals.

Share something imperfect. Is it you? A broken glass? An irregular shape. Something!

Aside from the fact the this photo is not quite in focus - auto focus cameras, I must have had a case of the shakes - this shows my imperfect, white, chubby fingers with short uneven nails.  Once my nails get to a certain length, they just seem to break.  For no reason whatsoever.  Frustrating and annoying, and me not at my best (lol on the last part).

In your bag
What's in your bag? Share it.

I carry this lovely little bag in my handbag.  It was given to me by the lovely Miriam from Create, Hope, Inspire and is just the right size.  I've actually managed to cram quite a bit in there.  Sanitiser, bandaids, lozengers, powder foundation, puffers, and at least a weeks supply of my medications (you know because without them, I am more than a little crazy)

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles

I sent Isaac into the bathroom to wash up ready for dinner tonight.  He's normally pretty good at washing his hands, but seemed to be taking a while.  When I went to check on him, I found him sitting on the floor, with a whole bottle of liquid soap poured out over him.  "Wouldn't work" he tells me.

The other day, when the soap was running low, Reuben had opened the pump and poured a little bit out onto his hand, so that we could get washed up for dinner.  Obviously Isaac thought that he would do the same!  Since dinner was already sitting on the table, I wanted to get Isaac sorted quick as possible.  So I pulled off his clothes and got him into his pajamas, then we went and ate dinner.

Later, when it was bed time, I suddenly realised that I had just left the bathroom as it was. I did another quick clean up, and then threw the clothes into the washing machine.  Our washing machine is a front loader and front loaders are meant to use low sudsing soap powder . . .

So now I'm trying to figure out how to get the soap out of the clothes!  I scooped the remaining suds out (3/4s filled the tub with bubbles, twice), added some water, drained and repeated a couple of times.  Hopefully it's been enough to get any excess soap out of the machine.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Just how much does he understand?

Tonight on the news there was an item about a baby in NICU. Afterwards Phil was helping Isaac finish his dinner, they were talking and long story short, Phil said "you were sick like that when you were a little baby, but you're all better now."  Isaac said to him with a sad face "I fall down." "Yes, you fall down more than other kids, but you're getting better at walking, and you'll be able to do it buddy."  "OK Daddy" replied Isaac.

When Phil told me what happened, I wanted to burst into tears and hug my precious little boy.  It also makes me wonder just how much Isaac knows and understands about what has happened to him.  But it's amazing to see the faith a young child has in his father.  Isaac trusts Phil implicitly, and believes that if Dad says it's going to happen, it will.

As I've said before, Isaac loves going to Champion Centre.  The therapists are fantastic, and they think that Isaac is great.  But I have to ask you, who wouldn't love a little cutie like him?  Computer therapy involves singing and stories, counting, pushing buttons and popping bubbles on the screen.  As if that's not incentive enough, there's usually a reward of stickers for a session well done.

There are always interesting toys to play with and textures to explore in play therapy.

Isaac enjoyed standing to play with this puzzle track.  It's a lot like the car tracks we have at home, only this one is painted in pretty colours.  I am amazed at how well his balance is improving.  It's hard to believe that he's only had his walker for two months.  What a difference it has made.  His confidence has grown, and his brain is learning what is required to keep him up and steady.

Before he got his walker, Isaac often used to practise his standing and balance on the trampoline.  This is great since it's got a rail to hold onto, no falling and breaking your wrist with this one!

Another thing that Isaac has been doing regularly at home since he started at Champion Centre is singing.  And music therapy is all singing. When he getting into his carseat, we sing up, up, up, and then when he sits down, we sing down, down, down, raising then lowerly our voices.

The sound cradle is really cool.  I've never seen anything like it before.  It's stringed like a guitar or harp or something, and when it's played, the sound waves vibrate through the wooden cradle.

Look at the balance and concentration.  Aren't those ribbons moving beautifully?  Not only does this work on on balance but moving the arms across the centreline of the body, both horizontally and vertically.  Think that I've got that right.

Lots of concentration here matching the shapes and colours then getting the shape into the hole round the correct way.

It's not surprising that when Isaac has finished his morning of therapy that he is super tired.  So tired that sometimes he is almost asleep in the car by the time we get to preschool - less than 2km away. When he gets to preschool, it's lunch time, then he goes down for a nap.

Through the Lens Thursday

Your view today
What's your view today? What can you see? Snap it. Share it!

Through the skylight at work, the sun is slowly melting the snow away.  Brrrr, makes me cold just looking at it.

Take a photo of a drink, a beverage etc
 With all this cold weather, hot chocolates have been the drink of choice around our place.

6 o'clock
Take a photo of what you're doing at either 6am or 6pm
Preparing for the spellathon next week.  I thought that the words were quite difficult, considering Reuben didn't know what most of them were to read.

 Best bit of your weekend
What was the best bit about your weekend? Take a photo of it.
My bed!  I booked a sleep-in for Saturday morning.  There was no rugby Saturday morning due to the snow, and since Phil had been away the weekend before, I decided it was my turn for a treat.  I really did not want to get up.

Take a photo of a door, big or small.
Many doors in the central city look like this - behind security/safety fencing, with USAR (Urban Search & Rescue) tagging after the building was searched for survivors/victims of the earthquake.

I noticed these doors from across the park, on my drive to work the other morning.  Whether these toilets are functioning or not, I'm unsure since there were a couple of portaloos nearby.

Take a photo of a piece of art you have displayed in your home, you've created or you see while out. Any art will do!
 This art installation is on the site which was previously Oxford Terrace Baptist church, the first baptist church in the city.  Don't need to say much more than that.

Various kinds of art is popping up on empty sites all over.  The city may be broken, but healing comes from brokeness.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Weekend Shenanigans

We've spent a fair bit of the past week being home bodies.  I love wearing my merino tops and sheepskin slippers, snuggling under my new quilt with the pellet burner cranked up against the cold.  Sometimes the kids drive me nuts, and other times they are really cute and I just want to cuddle them.  It doesn't take much to drive me nuts! But I think it was made worse because Phil had decided that he was going to go camping in the back of the van by himself over the long weekend, so I spent the whole long weekend at home by myself with the kids.

The boys were disappointed that they hadn't been able to go with Phil, so the other night Phil took them out to the van for their bedtime stories.
Since he hadn't packed it down, the bed and everything was still set up.

I really enjoy how well Reuben and Isaac get along with each other and play together.  Sometimes they are so funny . . .

I have been determined to become more regular with my posts, and tried loading this on Monday.  But what do you know, I encountered more technical glitches.  I'm getting really annoyed at things not going right, might just have to give our work IT guys a call.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Through the Lens Thursday

I'm hoping that for once I'll be able to get this post done and dusted BEFORE midnight!  Time will tell . . . (doesn't help when something bizzarre happens with the formatting, apologies for that - I've managed to get it less weird than it was)

Anything from your morning; you in bed, breakfast, commuting to work, anything!

Unfortunately the frost on the plants didn't show the way I had hoped.  I snapped this shot just before we left for school and work.  And BTW, I DON'T do mornings ;-)

Anything empty; an empty room, glass, bottle, sky, beach, anything!
I had nadda, nothing, zilch for today's photo, so I've pinched one from last year.  This is one of our fish tanks on the afternoon of 22 February 2011.  When I left for work in the morning this was full of water and tropical fish.

On your plate
What's on your plate? That could mean - what's on your to-do list today? Or literally what's on your breakfast/lunch/dinner plate?

My boys like their food.  Can you tell?  Today we had banana and yogurt for desert.

Something close-up; your eye, the grass, a toy ... absolutely anything!

Isaac loves having a bath and loves the bubbles.  He would have several baths a day if he could!  Doesn't even mind having his hair washed - such a change from his older brother.

A street sign, a shop sign, someone doing sign language, any sign!

Everyone in Christchurch knows about these.  I ran out of time to go and take a photo of the "Earthquake Damage" road signs, which I'm guessing have been specially made for little ole us.

Something Beautiful
Share something beautiful in your life

We had about 10cm of snow fall yesterday.  It's the third big dump in the past year, that has vertually brought the city to a standstill.  I can't believe how big the snowflakes were.

You wearing a hat, someone else wearing a hat, a hat in a shop - and yes those in cooler months - beanies count! 

With so much snow around and the temperature barely making it into single figures, Isaac wanted to wear this really warm hoodie.  Ted is dressed for the weather too.  We had the pellet burner cranked up to keep us nice and toastie warm.

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