Monday, June 30, 2008
lost blog posts and 365 day photos
Yesterday while I sat on the train to the city I wrote this fantastic blog post on my phone and emailed to myself, well it never arrived so my wonderful post is floating somewhere in the ether with all of the other emailed from a phone blog posts.

As Michael has done a post about it you can read DADS CHAMPION for the latest soccer news. We are so proud of our guy.

So all you get from me today are some more of my 365 day photos, I am unhappy with the gap between photos so I have to start remembering to take the camera with me!! While I love the rebel sometimes just the though of lugging it around sees me put it back. I will make more effort because I love the record keeping quality of these.

While my love of scrapbooking hasn't waned the simple logistics of album storage has caught up with me and I am more choosy about what pages I do. With 14 full albums after 6 years of scrapbooking that is about 700 layouts, if I were to keep up at this rate that would be close to 2000 layouts by the time Alec is 18 and some 44 albums, a bit scary I think! I see more 365 day photos in my future.

Monday, June 23, 2008
Alec scored his second goal at soccer on Sunday. I will try and explain why this is so fantastic, fantastic enough to make me cry.. again

When Alec was three he communicated with squeals, life in general would put his body into overload so all he could do was shut down, withdraw and scream. Scream in frustration, fear, anger and anguish. What few words he had he would repeat over and over again. Thomas the tank engine was his world, he would go places with a thomas engine in each hand, like they were his buffer against the world.

Then came speech therapy, every week I would sit there and watch his sessions, masking the tears as I saw how hard he worked and how wonderful his speech therapist was. We would make progress, then fall back a little but always going forward, each week another lesson learnt and lots of homework, our life had become a speech session. I remember when we started teaching Alec imaginative play. Rather than just line up all the trains side by side I introduced animals and some people, we were doing really well, the animals were all going to the train station to go on a train ride.. then the phone rang, 2 minutes later I retuned and there were all the animals lined up facing the rail way track.. imaginative play was obviously over but we had made a start.

The next year was hard, Alec was at kindy, doing 2 sessions at the early intervention centre and I session of speech each week and 4 half days of kindy, we drove a lot! We drove the same routes, there could be no deviation, routine was the most important thing in Alec's life, being able to predict what was going to happen next, which road was to be travel. No deviation no spur of the moment visits or stops. Then one day in August after 18 months of weekly visits we are told speech is finished! how far he had come, a little boy of few words and virtually no comprehension, how must it be to hear the words but not understand what they mean, I still can't comprehend what it must have been like for him not being able to tell what other people were feeling, not able to read facial expressions or body language, these were all things that had to be taught. Next up was pre primary and more early intervention, seeing him grow and learn, how good were those therapists, how much they cared and loved the children and how much do we love them for what they have given us.

Everyday is a new day, we still have issues, autism has its characteristics that are always there, but we built a framework for Alec to build on, learning communication, how to approach social situations, how to handle his sensory issues. In the last 18 months Thomas has been outgrown, he finally added people to his play and his brother, no longer was it just Alec.

We put a lot of thought into soccer, would he handle it, could he take direction and would he be able to work in a team environment. Each week he is getting better, listening, following direction interacting with others. Those arms are a bit less flappy, that head a little less wobbly and those legs aren't tripping him up 1/2 as much as they were in the beginning. And he has scored 2 goals! To see his face and body language, he literally walks on air when this happens. We are so proud, the work this little boy has done, never did he complain about doing therapy, it was always an adventure. Always bright always loving we are so lucky to have this beatiful boy. Autism is a challenge but I would do everything I have done again, I still worry, could I have done more what am I doing for him now and will it be enough. We take it day by day, week by week.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008
buses, clean undies and the CSI team
you know how it goes.. always wear clean undies in case you are hit by a bus (and why a bus???) this has ensured I have worn clean undies every day of my almost 42 years, some may have not been 100% dry when I put them on but they were clean!

well my biggest fear used to be what would the CSI team think when they came to my house and found it revoltingly grotty... that was until I spent 4 hours cleaning this morning and decided if they (or anyone else for that matter) was in my house after I had died I wouldn't care because I would be dead.. that is how much I hate cleaning.

Yes I am still wracked with guilt for not supplying my children with a sparkling house with no bits of crud in any corners behind the doors and a streak free spotless shower, not the one with orange tinged mould and a door you can hardly see through that we have and the rooms with rounded corners from fluff build up, the fluff has compacted and that stuff is like concrete now and there is no way I am any way inclined to get down on my hands and knees and chipping it off.

And then to add insult to injury Alec asks.. who is coming to visit, at the ripe old age of six Alec has realised that you only clean when visitors are coming, if it is your mother this starts a whole week before hand if it is friends and their families the day before and then a select few are allowed in to see your true colours and can come any time unannounced even.

And then their is poor Michael who feels as though he is under telepathcs assault as the cloud of bad feelings follow me around the house and I humph and sigh and carry various bottles of cleanser and spray that have either never been used or have a squirt left in the bottom and a dud sprayer. All he had to do was ask what I wanted done instead he feels guilty for having breakfast and I don't understand why he doesn't just ask what I want done, because we are after all having visitors tomorrow, isn't it obvious what has to be done..
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
a holiday album
What is it.. June now?? we went on holiday in January and I still haven't done my album. I have agonised over this, I pull everything out, put it back away again until today! I have finally decided what I want to do.

I have chosen to do it 5x7 and printed directly onto fine art paper, then I am going to bind it with the bind it all. I've made 4 template pages for the left and right hand size then all I have to do is resize the photos and slip them in and add a little journaling on the bottom. Each page is just going to have a sentence or two the main story will be told on the inside of the opening page. I am going to burn all the photos onto a disc and put them at the back of the album.

Here are the templates and a page from the album.

UPDATE: well I have finished all my pages and I have managed to get 60 photos into the album. Below you can see a screen shot of all the pages, the only negative is I only have 5 sheets of fine art paper and I need 6, the front photo is going to be printed on photo paper, if I can get more fine art paper today I may print it on that too. I was tempted to print out what I could but I want it to all be the same, I also entertained thoughts of using off cuts to make up another page but decided that was a bit too tacky.


Monday, June 16, 2008
it's raining it's pouring
wow it has been wet here.. I believe I am now a full member of the soccer mum's club, I came home from the game Sunday morning with soaked through shoes and wet undies, yes you heard right, wet undies!!! it was raining so hard I was soaked though, as was the rest of the family. Alec thought it was a hoot and loved running around in the rain. I was so worried we were heading for a meltdown when he realised he would have to get wet but quiet the contrary.

Last week I pulled out the Kaiser laugh wood thingy cut widget and painted it and covered it. I had intended just to paint it but the finish was really poor, the cut is pretty rough, so I covered it. Then I had a yeah now what moment and went and raided the garage. So a nice little bit of pine, some dowel and help from Michael to do the drilling and we have a ta da! item. You've got to admit it is pretty cute.
Then I was going through my Buzz and Bloom stash and made this layout.

We take so many photos but the ones with a parent in them are few and far between. It is still a high priority but we just don't seem to be able to do it, the photos we do have we look daggy in because we either 1) just woke up 2) have house cleaning/gardening clothes on 3) are talking during the photo.

So this isn't the best photo of me but I am with my boys that is all that matters. They are the most amazing little things I am so enjoying watching them grow. yes they are amazingly frustrating sometimes but they truly are the most important job I will ever have.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
my book arrived and a layout
I am pretty happy with how my blurb book turned out!! it arrived this morning . It ended up being 80 pages and it is a hard cover with a dust jacket, the only thing I was disappointed about was the cover is plain and the cover photo isn't on it, the paper quality is really quiet good though, so over all I am pretty happy with it.I love this photo, what else were rubber boots and umbrellas made for but playing in the rain. We installed zac browser for the boys yesterday and it is a big hit, being the first time we let them go for it and they both played on it for over an hour, it is also a great browser for Riley who is just starting out on the computer.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
zac browser for autistic children
I found this story during my travels today, even though Alec is quiet good at using the computer we still have some episodes when it does something other than what he wants it to do so I am going to download and instal it on the laptop

Grandfather builds Web browser for autistic boy from

(AP) -- John LeSieur is in the software business, so he took particular interest when computers seemed mostly useless to his 6-year-old grandson, Zackary. The boy has autism, and the whirlwind of options presented by PCs so confounded him that he threw the mouse in frustration.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008
rage and desperation
who knew it would be so hard to get my child educated. I love Alec's teacher, the problem isn't there. At the end of last year I was told one thing about Alec's aide funding allocation or level or whatever it is called and then this morning I am told he actually has none, so I should feel amazingly blessed and grovellingly* grateful for any help my child receives (ok that last bit is my interpretation but I am mad so I can use a little creative licence)

Alec's case manager from the autism association came out and did another assessment, he needs help. He has poor muscle tone, weak upper body strength, he fatigues quickly and he needs OT during the day. If he doesn't get his squeezing and joint compression done he can;t focus or concentrate and his stress levels rise. At night when we get ready for bed if he is really wound up we open the little door in his head and let all the thoughts go, I know he needs this when he starts talking to himself really quickly, it is as though the amount of stuff building up in his head becomes unbearable. You know what though, he laughs, he loves the door in the head idea and it works. I will do whatever works, I am just amazingly frustrated that he has no consistent help, I am now at the stage where I can't do the best for Alec, I have had to call Michael into the fray, I know I am emotionally involved but I have become too emotional and it puts you at a disadvantage when you are dealing with these issues, I don't want them to cringe when they see me and think.. oh no here comes the deranged demanding mother again.

I hate this because this is the biggest priority to me and it just doesn't seem to be to them. Autism brings with it all kind of things but some of these things Alec can be helped with so he can learn and be part of the class.

I just want to have a throw down screaming tantrum right now.

* I made that word up, I really like it

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Monday, June 09, 2008
Alec's first goal and the &*%# new bed from Ikea
part one...It finally happened, Alec scored his first goal during yesterdays soccer game. We are so excited still and he was just ecstatic... he was walking on air for the rest of the game and played so well. We have it on video but no photo. Our poor old computer is too dated to be able to handle downloading the video so we have to do it through the tv and record it to dvd. I'm going to try and work out how to turn video from a disc into a video clip on the computer so I can share.

part two...So Friday we get our new bed from ikea, this was a monster of a thing to put together, and included borrowing a car with a tow bar from one person and a trailer from another. We are all fine the first night but then Sunday morning Michael gets up and the slats collapse/fall off the rail under him. Then this morning at 5.20am when he gets up it happens again but then mine collapse/fall off too!!!! what is going on??????????? did I just spend $1150 on a dud???? I mean if we have to take it back I will be so annoyed in a deranged sort of way it wont be funny.

Being up since 5:20am has not put me in good spirits I'm afraid.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
a fall at school
during lunch yesterday Alec fell off the path into the sand, he had twisted his leg and fallen.

He lay there and children tried to approach him, he lashed out and squealed, his teacher tried to calm him, he was frantic trying to get the sand out of his eyes. He didn't know what was happening, what were these strange feelings he was having, everything was all too much so all he could do was withdraw, touch would have been painful, he was in pain, but he doesn't know it is pain.

If I had the power I would protect him from every hurt, I can't. I hate that he hurt and couldn't say he hurt, I hate that he felt out of control, panic and fear. I need to understand so I can teach him.

I'm sad, just so sad.

School is difficult to deal with at the moment. How do you convey in mere words all the little things about your child that are different from the child next to them but make them in need of more help, more time and more resources, especially when the teachers haven't had experience with an autistic child before. They get funding for Alec, but we don't get the amount of one on one work that we are funded for, I sometimes think they don't quiet get it, every time they send the aide somewhere else they are reducing Alec's ability to learn. We don't ask for more than we are entitled, we try not to be too pushy, we just want the right thing to be done. I'm frustrated right now, I don't know what else to do. I would love to be able to afford another school, we have heard of some wonderful programs at other schools, maybe that is where my wages will go when I start work next year. I can't let Alec down and I feel as though the school is at the moment.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008
breaking the silence... musings of a stay at home mum (SAHM)
clarification: I have so much respect and am in awe of working mothers the following blather is in no way meant to insult them or make anyone feel bad, I know I have been so lucky being able to stay home with my boys for so long. As I contemplate going back to work next year I am overwhelmed just thinking about how I am going to fit in what I do now and get myself to work each day.... but sometimes I am just as overwhelmed staying home and coping with the day to day..end edit

I am a SAHM, I would just like to know when the staying at home bit is going to start, I only have 2 more terms of Riley at kindy then I have to suck it up and go out and get a job!!

There is no staying home.. it is a lie

From the time you wake up and reach for something to prop your eyelids open with you are on the run. If I could stand to leave the house without showering I would forgo this luxury just to get that extra 15 minutes, although now after 6 years I do actually get a shower before 2pm, but now I am in there making lists and trying to remember what Alec has to take today, is he in sports uniform? is it library day, and if it is where is the library book. Do I have juice boxes for Riley's lunch or do I have to stop at the petrol station on the way to school (see my great forward planning at work here)

When they were little it was different, I could be dressed and ready to leave the house.. for anywhere!!!! at 7am, only because I had usually been up since 4am entertaining Riley, then they hit school and there are places you must be at a certain time. I remember Alec's first day of kindy, we were almost late because we stopped to chat with the neighbours, no more of that now, out the back door and into the car, because if you don't get to school by 8:12am you are out of luck if you wanted a parking spot. Once you are there there is reading, puzzles and impromptu teacher parent meetings to contend with. If it is a non Riley kindy day then I am left to amuse him for the day, if not I have that luxury all women live for.. grocery shopping without the children, because we all just love grocery shopping don't we girls. You get that done, run a few more errands and you are home in time to eat some lunch while you put away the shopping while watching Dr Phil, then you realise there are no clean school uniforms so you are off to your next least favourite place... the laundry.

Then there is school pick up, Riley finishes at 2:30 Alec at 2:45, I am on play equipment pack away roster so on Wednesdays and Fridays I am there at 2:15 packing away, I collect Riley then we wait 15 minutes for Alec, at the moment we are being health conscious (like the boys have a choice) and we are walking home from school. Today I think Riley actually enjoyed it instead of begging me to go and get the car.

Then it is home to make afternoon tea, catching up on the day.. what did you do today sweety, oh nothing much followed by that perplexed look of why on earth do you want to know what I have been doing. I know what Riley did because I did some kindy helping today, we made masks, Riley was a tiger and he made a tail and painted a stripy picture and came out the door at home time in his tiger outfit looking gorgeous.

So now it is 4pm, afternoon tea is done with now I have to think of dinner.. I have the potatoes sorted, have a look at these crash hot potatoes from the pioneer woman's blog, I almost wish I had a steak to go with it but as I lacked any kind of ideas or inspiration when I did the shopping last week I bought 6 chooks and the fixings for a super sized pot of bolagnaise sauce for the freezer so we could alternate chook spaghetti chook spaghetti chook spaghetti for 2 weeks, Michael didn't look too thrilled at the prospect, not me as I could happily eat the same thing every day.

So tomorrow is another day, the usual school scurry then errands, a trip to buy some more bread mix and then home with Riley, we might ignore the grotty bathrooms (Michael will make that scoffing noise now because I always manage to ignore the bathrooms, it is true readers, Michael cleans the bathroom) and the pile of laundry to fold and watch a movie, only as long as I get to pick.

oh and before I go, I wanted to share some 4 year old wisdom with you, the oven timer is going off and I hear Riley call out.. I will get it for you mummy... thank you Riley... I am being very helpful aren't I mummy.. you are being very helpful thank you.. yes... something helpful came over me
the wii
Friday we went to our Friend Ali's for wii games and pizza after school and the boys loved it, then Saturday morning uncle Rhys turned up with a wii for the boys!!! He had wanted to get them one for Christmas but everywhere he went they were out so finally he got hold of one.

We played almost all weekend, it was a great family thing, we did bowling, golf and baseball and the boys tried out the boxing. Last night we had a family bowling tournament and Alec thrashed us, he got 6 strikes I think and ended up with a score of a197!!!!And then after soccer on Sunday Michael made us all pancakes, Alec likes them done in the shape of his name.