Tuesday, April 29, 2008
taking stock, regrouping, and enpowering on the first day back at school.
Sometimes getting the things your child needs is hard. Last year it was great, everyone listened and agreed on the goals for Alec and how we would get there. This year I have felt pushed out, not by Alec's teacher but some higher force at work that I just can't work out and no one else wants to name.

We have our first IEP (individual education program) meeting this week and with the sounding out and questions I asked at the end of last term and discussions with Alec's teacher and aide this morning I feel better prepared. We worked out some strategies and I spent the morning doing some compics for a schedule for him and organised the creation of a work box so that when he finishes a task he can get the work box, otherwise the noise very quickly over powers him and he needs some quiet time.
To me everything is about doing the best I can for Alec. Right now I feel positive, I am hoping that by next week he will be getting the one on one time with his aide that he hasn't had so far this year, I am pushing for 2 20 minute sessions a day with 5-10 minutes of OT and massage followed by writing as Alec has very poor muscle tone and upper body strength, he has a lot of trouble holding the pencil.

He really does amaze me though, he has his own coping strategies. All the coloured pencils are in boxes together at school, and he asked if he could take his pencil box to school, I though it was to just have there but Helen tells me he has one of each colour pencil in there, he has picked out all the ones he likes and this way he knows he has all the colours and where they are. I learn something new about Alec every day.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008
I'm a soccer mum
Today was my first day as a soccer mum. It was a bit chilly and blowy, we turned up at 10:15 for our 10:30 game and there were all these people we knew, I loved that as I am so bad in social situations but you know I even talked to the other mums and dads from Alec's team. Two of Alec's class mates are on his team, this was why I signed up. Another mum from school is in another team and we also saw Alec's aide as she had come to watch her son play in the under 13's. He had so much support from everyone I was really touched that they all watched him and told me how well he did.

I am a very proud mum tonight.

He played so well, he looks a little gangly and gets the ends mixed up and keeps going even if the game has started heading the other way but he did so well! I was so proud of him and he had fun so that is all that matters. Oh and they won their game too.


Friday, April 25, 2008
to my dad
My great uncle Bobby passed away yesterday, my dad had been sitting with him and a few minutes after he left uncle Bobby left us. I am so proud of how well my dad has cared for uncle Bobby, my mum too. Not just ensuring he has been well cared for but visiting and taking him out every week. They would pick uncle Bobby up on Tuesdays and take him out for morning tea, Riley was lucky enough to go on these outings too. When uncle Bobby started to decline they would go and visit even though he didn't really know who they were any more.

Uncle Bobby has always been there and I suppose we think people always will be but over the last two years he started to decline rapidly. He has been a prisoner of war in New Guinea and never married, I suppose now I should find out his story so when my boys are older they will know Bobby better.

This is a reminder to me to appreciate my family and I hope when the time comes I can do a good a job as my dad has looking after our family.

Alec took the photo of Bobby at our Good Friday picnic at Kings Park in 2006.
Monday, April 21, 2008
the good-bye bags
I am really proud of myself at this moment and also very sad.

For some reason I have a real problem parting with my boys clothes. Today I am sending these bags of clothes to the salvo's.
In there are my maternity clothes, the last of the baby clothes, in fact there is almost a full bag of size 0000 - 0, Riley is 4 but I just couldn't part with them. Even last years winter clothes they had out grown. It is done now and I am even half way through my own cupboard, I really am a pack rat and this was good for me. I know that once it is gone I wont miss it, it was just hard, I kept bringing out little clothes I found to show Michael he would just smile, but when it came to shipping off a couple of his old tigger jumpers he was very reluctant, they have been put aside for now and I will have to work on him some more.

oh and why the good-bye bags, well Riley had started pulling some baby toys out of one of the bags and I told him where they were going and told him they were the good-bye bags and he was good with that, then he saw Alec's tigger and said tigger isn't going in the good-bye bag is he? I said no, he is staying home with us and then he said, well where are the staying home bags them mum
Sunday, April 20, 2008
All about orange
It is autumn here now, we aren't treated to the delight of the changing colours of nature signalling the move from one season to the other here (here being Western Australia) I always love looking at peoples autumn photos, so rather than over burden my senses with autumnal scenes I went looking for orange, having little boys orange is a very popular colour, my boys look good in orange. So here are some gorgeous orange photos I found, I was inspired to look by Heather's green

1. Autumn Ride !, 2. Orange as any orange on a tree, 3. Leafing Orange, 4. Orange 395, 5. Orange Daylilies, 6. lunch and dinner : pumpkin and orange soup, 7. A Bit of Orange, 8. Orange ~ Up......, 9. international orange, 10. morning: orange canvas glow, 11. orange pillows, 12. orange again ...
Friday, April 18, 2008
mum.. can you give me a favour and I was wandering
Well the first week of the holidays is almost gone, sniff sniff. We have had some great play dates this week which means lots of photos! If you are interested in seeing ALL of them check out my flickr. Below are a few more 365 day photos, some days have 2 or 3 because I just couldn't choose which photos to do!

And as for the title, well that is what Riley says when he wants you to do something, he is very funny right now, while we were out today he turned to me and said, mummy this is a wonderful adventure

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
holiday play dates
We jut got home from a visit to Lissy's. It seems like ages since we all got together. below are some pictures Lis and I took on Lis's camera, we had a play then headed for Whiteman park so the kids could have a play at a big playground and they had a ball.
Riley and Morganne having a cuddle, Riley always wants a cuddle and a photo of them together.
play in the boat
Alec loved this, they had a flying fox thingy that they could all reeach, he said/yelled MUM.. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVAH!!!
slide races

it was pretty hot by the time we had finished and the kids had run themselves ragged and Morganne has slept the whole time, Lis and I were lucky enough to find a bench under a tree in the playground. After that we went back to Lis's and had some lunch and the kids played and Lis took up Michael's pants, she kept saying.. are you sure these are right? are you sure these are right? Michael's pants always need taking up.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
so there are great doctors out there after all
Yesterday we had a visit to a paediatric surgeon for Alec. As we arrived at the door and I had awful flashbacks to Alec's initial autism diagnosis as this was also the office of the oh so useless negligent rude insensitive paediatrician we saw. To my utter amazement though we weren't kept waiting 2 and a half hours, we sat for 5 minutes and there he was calling Alec's name.

And what a lovely man, looked at us, smiled talked TO Alec and actually told us all the options, I was thrilled. He was surprised to see Alec was autistic because he does present really well in these situations, we have done a bit of role playing and social story type conversations with him about what is exactly going to happen. So we went away with the answers we needed. Poor old Alecie he is a little embarrassed about the whole thing, you see his foreskin is very long and not retracting but he was so good and we will try some more cream for it and see if that works before we resort to surgery.

After the doctors we went to the asian grocery store and picked up some yummy steam pork buns and other goodies and decided to stop and eat at the Red Turban, I probably should have gone with take-away as Michael suggested but the day had gone smoothly so far. Well if the doctor could have seen Alec 10 minutes into our meal there would of been no doubt in his mind that he was autistic! The poor thing I feel like it is all my fault when he is in a situation that makes him anxious, he starts talking and we get a slightly shrill sound in his voice and before we knew it he was going to live with grandma and not coming back because... well by then I was trying to eat as fast as possible so I could take Alec for a walk. We did try to get him to eat something as he does like naan bread but Michael thinks it might have had too many smells from the tandoor, Micahel tells me Alec likes roti's better, (he ate 2 when he got home, we are thankful for freezer food) he would take a bite of the naan, throw it back in the basket and tell us what was wrong with it, it didn't have even colour on the back. So we sat and Alec melted down.

I got my last mouthful in and said.. ok lets go for a walk, I paid the bill and we went and got them an icecream for the trip home. He was fine by then but at home his blanket was never far away and rubbed his ear with the corner, he sat on us or between us .

We told them last night that if they woke up and we were still asleep they should play in their room. Well they are so proud of themselves because they did exactly that until I got up. We are just having a quiet day at home, once I manage to run myself through the shower I might take them to the park as it is a lovely day...


and some photos from the park
We met Ali, Jayde and Sami at the park for some bubble blowing

Friday, April 11, 2008
album cover
What do you think? I think something is missing, I thought maybe a transparency or just letter stickers right across the front, or letter stickers on the transparency, might have to play with that one.

It is going to be a combined school photo and certificate/award album so a pretty long term thing.

Any suggestions are very welcome! (I don't have a single school type thing apart from the numbers!) and I'm not sure how I want to bind it so it is being left intact for now, cause one day I might have a bind it all... LOL I am going to start a bind-it-all money jar


Thursday, April 10, 2008
a 365 day photo
I'm slipping a bit behind with these, I have decided to just do photos with people, some days there aren't any of those, I am hoping over the holidays to get more photos. It is getting hard to get the boys now, when they see me they hold something up, run away or put their head under a pillow.

This one is a straight lift of Ali Edwards photo editing in her weekend creative:Hello life mini book I'm liking simple right now and this is clean and simple.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008
a new banner and some ramblings
no, I don't think I will get any scrapping done today. I have no photos printed, no ideas and no desire.

I do want to read some more of my book. Michael picked up the final book in the Tamuli, the Hidden City by David Eddings for me at Borders yesterday, which in a way is annoying as I have had the whole set for 10 plus years but in our movings we have managed to lose one volume of the Elenium and one of the Tamuli. Yes I am a science fiction fantasy nut. So far this year I have read a dozen Raymond E Feist books and I'm on my 18th David Eddings book. I have always loved reading and these two authors are among my favourites, I have had both sets of books for many many years and I like to reread them all over again about every five years or so.

So apart from sneaking away to read for 1/2 an hour while Riley watches Bear in the Big Blue House all I have to do is pick up Alec and take him to the dentist.

Oh and I have a new banner, I don't think it will last long but the old one had been up more than a year, the photos were getting a bit dated.
Monday, April 07, 2008
searching for a spark
of inspiration, mainly to stop me sitting and mulling over things I don't want to do.

I am masterful at avoiding confrontations, I use avoidance diplomacy, no one knows I need to speak to them about something so no feathers get ruffled, perfect situation. Not when you are the primary advocate for your child. I have had to shed my reluctance to offend and be able to say HEY!! I'm not happy about this, what are we going to do?

Alec's school situation has been bothering me and now I have all the facts I have to act. Apart from the initial registering of concern I have, it will then be schools turn to come back with a pretty good reason why or hopefully an open invitation to some dialogue and I get Alec what he needs.

Definitely something I couldn't have done two years ago, one thing the parent education days the Autism assoc run teach you is you are it, you are your child's primary advocate, I am just thankful I still have them as a life line, we wouldn't be where we are today without them.

Only 3 more days of school after today and then holidays! I'm starting to tee up play dates already to get us out of the house and I think some trips to the park will be included, the big playground wont be there much longer so we might as well make the most of it.

Scrapping wise I have ideas for a few mini albums but lack the drive, I am thinking of doing a combined honour certificate/school photo album as Alec has 3 certificates now and I'm hoping more are on the way over the next 12 years, I just need a bind it all, might add it to my birthday wish list.
Friday, April 04, 2008
Today Alec received an honour certificate, we are so proud of him we are almost bursting.

Today I am looking after this little princess, Michael took this photo at Alec's birthday party and I used it as one of my projects at Buzz and Bloom last month

And here is a 365 photo I overlooked, this is Alec and Riley the week before school started, they are practising. They both saw little pencil case sets and they told me they needed them to get ready for school. I think they went through about 30 sheets of paper but they had such fun, Riley's classes were going to be play time, outside play and lunch with the emphasis on lunch.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008
have you seen this???
This is so very cool. I have wanted to do a coffee table book for Michael of some of his 100's and 1000's of photos of coffee, and yesterday while blog surfing I came across a link to blurb booksmartThis is the dust jacket for Michael coffee book, you can have soft cover or hard back.

So far I have finished one 40 page book and I am doing my 356 day photos in a book too as these will make great pressies, I told mum and she thought it was a great idea. She is not really a scrapbook type of person but does love photos so this will work well.

The thing I like about this one is that it is all on my computer and I have better control over viewing previews of the book as big or as small as I like. I'm going to send the coffee book for printing tomorrow.

Can you imagine a hardbound book of your favourite layouts, makes me dizzy just thinking about it!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
rain rain come and stay, shopping for something other than scrapbook products and resting up
Well the dreaded lurgie still has me in its grip, very over feeling like a have a wet sponge in my ears, you know that squishy sound it makes when you squeeze out a wet sponge, well that is in my ears. Having Michael home yesterday was great because after we had done our shopping I crashed, Riley watched tv and played on the bed and I slept.

Monday we went and bought winter clothes for everyone, we braved the weather, it poured with rain!!! we loved it, we are big rain people. We got a little wet but I can live with that. It was so strange it was like every other person in the city had decided to go shopping on what could quiet possibly be the wettest day of the year, it isn't often we get 39mm of rain in a day here.

Just so you wont be disappointed I did do some scrap shopping at the retreat, Karen has the best shop, I picked up some yummy paper, I just love paper but have agreed with myself to only buy in lots of 2 or 3 instead of 10, and see that big flower, Karen was selling them individually, I have lusted over that flower for like 2 years.. was that when they came out? I only ever wanted the blue one and there it was!! I also picked up the {note}worthy spiral notebook and isn't that fancy pants paper gorgeous!

And look at the pressie Karen gave me! she is so sweet... you are so sweet Karen! Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend and for taking care of me. It is just so beautifully done I don't want to undo it.