Friday, January 16, 2009

photos by Noah

I've just uploaded our recent digital photos and this sequence I think proves that when Noah says "I didn't touch the camera" it's not quite the truth!

You can almost hear his brain working - a photo of the computer desk (note the missing camera)

the window by the computer, then another view of the blind showing part of the culprit's facewhat you see if you get behind the blind

suppose you open the window a little further?
and maybe climb out?

onto the grass!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rant about Noah

I have just had a call from the 111 operator saying someone has been phoning them from my cellphone and do I need help - I had just taken my cell phone away from Noah who was playing with it while he was supposed to be watching TV. I am mad because I had already said he couldn't leave my side all day but then I'd felt sorry for him.

He was by my side because he pulled a major piece of drainage pipe off the side of the house, this means the dishwasher will empty into the foundations of the house, so I've had to turn off the dishwasher - a major problem in a big household.

Yesterday evening Noah told us he'd thrown my camera out the window by the computer. Paul looked at it and while getting very cross with Noah broke the strap to the camera (we will call that Noah's fault!) The camera told the full story as it was full of pictures, first of the computer screen, then of the window blind, then of the open window behind the blind, then of the garden table under the window then of the lawn - it was obvious that Noah had climbed out of the window with the camera.

Yesterday had also started unpleasantly (although this wasn't deliberately bad behaviour) when Noah climbed into our bed and fell asleep beside me. I thought Noah was very hot and wondered if he was sick, then realised the heat was all around me. Just then it stopped feeling hot and instead felt wet and I realised Noah had wet our bed. Paul actually thought this was very funny and said he'd never seen me get out of bed so quickly, so Paul had to remake our bed before he went to work!!

I am full of cold and feeling very sorry for myself and now I really will have to keep Noah by my side so will probably feel even sorrier for myself by the end of the day! Roll on 4 O'clock when Paul gets home early so we can look around our being-built house.

Lily's hearing is worse

Lily had an ENT appointment first thing on Monday morning. After a bit of thought and pushing from me, Paul agreed with me and decided to take her. The choice being I take Lily plus Noah, Isaac and J or Paul (who is already working in the hospital) takes Lily (and no small children) and Lily then goes to his office and sits quietly.

It was quite funny to hear him describe waiting for half an hour then when the consultant recognised him everything happening quickly! He also said how weird it was sitting in the hearing test sound proofed room - you hear your pulse in your head and a bit of tinnitus - I have been in rooms like that on many occasions with various kids so it was odd to realise that for Paul it was the first time. He and I have different roles around the children.

The news was not good. Lily's can barely hear in her right ear now- about an 85 decibel loss, between severe and profound, the left ear is the same as last time, about a 40 decibel loss, moderate. The doctor has no idea why she's losing her hearing and as all the tests have been negative and steroids haven't helped there's nothing else he can do. He gave Paul some literature on cochlear implants in case it gets worse. I'm not sure whether people with DS can get cochlear implants - the info seems to say if you have additional disabilities they need another conference.

He also checked as to why we haven't yet had an appointment with the hearing aid people at the hospital only to find they hadn't got his referral, so Lily has been re-referred and we'll hopefully get an appointment soon.

Lily seems to manage pretty well with this degree of hearing loss. We notice she shouts more and can only use the phone with her left ear and has the TV on very loud but otherwise she picks up most of what we want her to. I'm hoping that certainly with hearing aids it shouldn't affect her ability to do her job - unpacking lingerie at a department store.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

holiday preparation

This time next week we'll be in sunny Nelson starting our fortnight's holiday there. The kids are getting very excited, especially J who has not been on a plane before - or as she keeps reminding us she has but it was when she was a baby. Lily and Noah have been helping her learn about flying by telling her about flights they can remember. J now expects to get headphones, meals and movies (which they remember from flying to the UK) but will be disappointed as on domestic NZ flights you are lucky to get a biscuit - you only get one if you say yes to a hot drink as the biscuits are often tucked inside the paper cup!
Paul has been doing his bit by pretending the car is a plane, racing along roads to take off and reminding everyone to put their seat backs upright and their tray tables tucked away.

I bought some cute little children's cases called trunkis in the Ezi-buy sale for Noah and J. they have played on these constantly since we bought them and although I keep confiscating them to our bedroom they are soon back in the garden racing each other or sitting on them to watch Lily on her playstation. One of the little catches fell off one today so I hope they'll still be in good enough condition for taking on holiday - still they've almost had their $50 of play worth anyway.

Next week I won't have Hannah or Beth to help with the kids - Beth went back to Auckland yesterday and is back at the law firm tomorrow and Hannah is at a teenage Christian camp called "Soul survivor" and moves from that to one called Summer Wine. I have hopefully arranged to have a morning tea here next week too - we have heard of a family who have just adopted a Chinese baby boy with DS and they may come along with two other families with kids with DS. I hope we don't put the new family off!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lily's haircut (update)

In my last post I said that Lily hadn't asked the hairdresser for the style of Harry Potter or Professor Snape. I didn't know the characters in High School Musical so didn't ask about those. But today I found out she'd taken a picture of Zac Ephron with her and asked for hair like his!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Proud of Lily

After my rather depressing last post about how Lily manages everyday life, I'm proud to say that yesterday she caught the bus to town by herself had a haircut, bought herself lunch and caught the bus home.

As always it's thinking outside the box that helps. She finds it impossible to read a bus timetable and her memory is too poor to just remember when the bus goes. Sometimes she will just go to the bus stop and wait for up to 35 minutes and other times she'll use her half price taxi vouchers and still pay rather a lot to get home. Yesterday though I suddenly thought to give Lily her own timetable with just the numbers that matter to her. I worked out what time she needs to leave our house to catch a bus into town (quite a difficult calculation as the timetable just has the time it leaves the outer terminal and I have to allow time for Lily to get a coat on etc.)and just put the five most likely morning times she would use. On the other side of the card I wrote the time to get to the bus stop in town (5 minutes before the bus leaves) for the late morning and afternoon buses home.

So off Lily went very excited. She went to the hairdresser and didn't ask to have it cut to look like Harry Potter or Professor Snape (both of which she has done in the past) Then she went on to McDonalds for lunch and bought water rather than a fizzy drink, and a kids size meal rather than her usual upsized combo.

When she got home she was delighted with herself and so was I. Let's hope she keeps it up!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Lazy days

Holiday time is really setting in now, spending days just lazing around at home until the kids drive us so crazy we have to go out!

On Saturday I had a lie in while Paul got breakfast for the children (this means going back to sleep after Isaac's 6am awakening) When I got up I decided to be super mum and put the wet washing to tumble before I had my shower. The day didn't start well when I found Noah had included nappies in the washing (bit cross with myself too as I'd checked the washing as I put it in but had only discovered two of the four nappies) this meant gel and paper covered everything including the washing machine. As I went to have a shout at Noah I passed Lily's bedroom and noticed our only sheet of wrapping paper cut and crumpled up on the floor. She had decided to wrap Beth's birthday present by cutting a hole into the middle of the wrapping paper that was only big enough to cover one side of the present. She had attempted to cut another bit the same size and tape them together but as she rightly said "It didn't work"

Super mum disappeared entirely and I became very grouchy mum indeed. Noah and J were sent to shake out washing and pick off as many white bits as possible and Lily was sent out in the rain to the Warehouse (a super store just round the corner from us) to buy some wrapping paper.

About half an hour later the phone went and it was Lily to say she couldn't "find the Warehouse" Luckily it was Paul who is so much more patient than me who answered and directed her back home.

The day ended better perhaps because Beth offered to babysit while Paul and I went out for lunch together (with just Isaac) and to choose lighting for the new house. Lily also managed to find her way to the Warehouse after a bit more geography teaching and phone calls from me each few minutes as she walked there to check she'd found it - (it is on the road parallel to us and means walking along our road then a link road between the two roads, a distance of about 200 metres)

In the evening Paul went with the older kids to the movies to see the Yes Man and I had a lovely quiet time surfing the Internet.

Sunday was Beth's 24th birthday and everyone but Hannah (who was working) was there for the lunch time BBQ. Lily decided to be a Yes man saying yes to every request. it didn't work out as well for her as in the movies and meant instead she ended up doing lots of housework plus crazy things Joe suggested like eating grass!

The older ones (Joe, Sam and Anika, Beth and James) disappeared in the afternoon and early evening but arrived back along with Hannah and her flat mate just as we'd bathed the little ones and got them into bed. So we had another celebration as we ate pavlova and brandy snaps.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

After our hectic Christmas we had a rather more subdued New Year. The older kids (Joe, Beth and Hannah) decided we weren't much fun and all found a different place to celebrate New Year. (Sam and Anika were already away on holiday and Rachel still in Auckland) This left us just with Lily, Noah, Isaac and J. At half past eight we all sang "Auld Lang Sine" then I told them that it would be a New Year when they woke up, and they could come into our room and wish us a Happy New Year.

Paul and I settled down for some blobbing out, watching DVDs. I bought a great TV series when ewe were in the states, called "Jon and Kate plus eight" It's about a family (true life) who have 6 year old twin girls and 2 year old sextuplets (3 boys and 3 girls) and it's great because it makes our life seem easy in comparison! Paul also likes it because he says I boss him around like Kate does Jon (I wish I were also so good at keeping a clean and tidy house as her)
In return for putting up with my choice, Paul got to put on Boston Legal - Beth gave him series 2 for Christmas.

The children have tried to make New Years resolutions. Noah's is to get himself dressed each morning. He achieved this yesterday and managed to have his shorts, T-shirt and jumper all on backwards! Lily plans to load the dishwasher without being asked, go without fizzy drinks (she originally said none for the year but we persuaded her to modify this to two a week!) and have a bath each day without being asked. We will be delighted if she remembers any of these! J decided to be our maid and clean all the rooms each day - this only lasted for New Years Eve and it was rather frustrating trying to watch TV then with her making lots of noise in the kitchen. We suggested it would be great if she could work on telling the truth, but don't hold out any great hopes for this.

My resolutions as always are to get fit, lose weight, stop biting my finger nails and get over my fear of driving the car. I am perhaps just as grandiose as the kids!