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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

my girl

This girl is amazing. She's strong, intelligent, kind, loving, caring, funny, artistic, creative, musical, compassionate, friendly and cheeky.  Oh, and did I mention that she's incredibly beautiful?

She loves Selena Gomez, Camp Rock, Twilight, Harry Potter, Dr Who and so much more.

She takes great care of her dogs. 

She adores her little brother.  He is so lucky to have her for a big sister, always watching his back and protecting him.  It's not easy to be the sibling of a special needs child, but this gorgeous girl displays such love and understanding that it humbles us every day.

She's our Gig, and we love her so very, very much.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

smarter than the average bear

It's been a while since I posted about the Bear and his speech issues.  Which is odd,  as the reason that I started this blog in the first place was to be able to process some of the thoughts and emotions that his journey raises.

So let me tell you how he's going.  Well, he's doing very well with repeating words.  He now repeats about 50 words, including "day-ya" (shower), "dow-dare" (downstairs - said with force, to the dog), "dad-da" (no, not Daddy, but Jasper the dog), "nin-ny" (kindy) and "dee" (afternoon tea).  If he wants something, and we ask him to use his words, he will say "more".  Unfortunately, if he hasn't had "some" of whatever he wants in the recent past, interpreting "more" can be difficult, to say the least.  If he wants assistance, he is learning (with prompting) to say "eh" (help).  And when he wants a cuddle, he needs to say "uh" (up) before we will pick him up.

He is yet to initiate any words other than "har", which means car.  "Har" seems to mean, "Mummy, I'm a bit bored with you.  Let's go and get Daddy and the Gig."

My little Bear is also doing very well with his Occupational Therapy.  He has some motor planning problems (probably motor dyspraxia), and we are working on getting him able to draw descending vertical lines at the moment.  We are also working on sequencing activities, using flash cards to tell him what's coming next.  This is going well.  He likes knowing what's next, but isn't quite so keen on relinquishing control!

The third therapy he is receiving is a Playgroup attached to a Special Needs Early Childhood Unit.  We've only been twice, and each time he has done some spectacular door work.  The second time, his door work wasn't nearly as frenzied or desperate as the first time, so hopefully it will ease as time goes by.

In the meantime, here's what he's really good at - problem solving!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

down and out

I was recently asked to reveal my secret. How, I was asked, do I manage to look so young, fresh-faced and utterly gorgeous in every photo?

What? That's not how it happened? Are you saying that, in truth, there was a thread about profile pics over in SIF's fab community and I gratuitously showed off that I have no double chin in my profile pic? (Trust me, I have one - or even two -in real life.)

Is that what happened? Really? But what about my little fantasy that I'm being asked to share beauty secrets? Ohhhhh, I get it...fantasy! Right.

Oh well, because I'm nice, I'll share my no-double-chin secret with you.

Two words. Down, and Out. But the other way round. Out, and Down.

When you're posing for a photo, and pose you must, my friends, because face it, no one's getting any younger here, all you need to do is stick your chin out, then down. Your neck will hurt and you'll look like a turtle, but beauty is pain, my friends, beauty is pain. As for the turtle thing, I'm not sure about you, but I'd prefer to look like a turtle than look double-chinny.

And because I'm extra nice, up the top are some photos to prove my point. The top one is, obviously, the after shot. (They weren't meant to be up the top; they were meant to be down here, but I can't work out how to shift them around. Also, the before shot was clearly meant to be the after shot. Pointers gratefully accepted!!)
Yes, it's true, I'm going public with a non-down-and-out photo. I must really love you guys!

Friday, March 26, 2010

flashback friday: hello baby

Gorgeous from the start.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

good news/bad news

Yep, folks, it's Fake Wednesday again, which means it's time to join The Missus in all the fun of Good News/Bad News. If you'd like to join in, head over to and link up!

So here's my news for the week -

Good news? The Bear responded really well to his OT this morning
Bad news? He had one tantrum which resulted in a fat lip for me when he threw his head back
Good news? I'm still pretty ;)

Good news? It's nearly school holidays
Bad news? The Easter Bunny is very disorganised
Good news? Still plenty of time to shop
Bad news? Still plenty of time to eat Easter Eggs

Good news? The Gig has finally finished her reading assignment
Bad news? It took her soooo loooong
Good news? She did a great job

Good news? Pacino (remember him? used to be called MOTH?) is taking time off over Easter
Bad news? He's not taking all of the school holidays
Good news? We still have 6 days together as a family

Good news? I'm going out to breakfast with the girls tomorrow after we drop our kids off
Bad news? I'm already thinking about bacon and eggs. Not to mention mushrooms, tomatos, haloumi cheese and really good coffee...

Good news? The Bear is in bed so I can't throw him in the car and go through the McDonald's drive through
Bad news? Now I'm cranky because I want Maccas

And that's my news for the week!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

when you're this cute...

You can raid my pantry any time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

a day at the zoo

We went to the zoo yesterday. It was a cloudy, humid day, with rain threatening from morning till afternoon. But it didn't spoil our fun.
We fed Kangaroos,

and miniature horses,
and cuddled guinea pigs.

Because after all, that's what going to the zoo is all about. Spending some time up close and personal with the animals. We didn't cuddle the koalas, because the queue was really long and, well, we've done that before.
Yesterday really illustrated to us how very different our two children are.
One communed with the animals.
The other, meanwhile, had fun with a stick and some dirt.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

flashback friday: pop art family

We had a brilliant day at the Warhol exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art a couple of yers ago. The Bear was about 5 or 6 months old (why do I never date photos?), so the Gig would have been nearly 9.

We try to go to a few exhibitions every year, and this was one of the Gig's favourites. Notice my little button-pushing baby, even then trying to reach a button to push. Some things never change, they just turn into developmental issues ;)

good news/bad news

Well, it's Wednesday (in the US, here in Aus, it's Thursday, and as my good friend The Missus lives in the US, and I'm linking to her fab blog carnival thingy, let's just pretend, ok?)

So where were we? Oh yes, it's pretend Wednesday.

Good news: The Bear had OT this morning
Bad news: I had to drive across the city to get there
Good news: It was rescheduled so I got to avoid peak hour traffic
Bad news: The Bear was deeply hideous throughout the session
Good news: His therapist got to see what I've been dealing with this week

Good news: I had a healthy lunch
Bad news: I had far too much of it
Good news: I found chocolate sprinkles at the back of my pantry
Bad news: I ate them

Good news: The weather is finally cooling down
Bad news: A cyclone is on its way
Good news: Alarmist news reports notwithstanding, it won't come anywhere near us
Bad news: There's no bad news about that, you drama queen!

Good news: No bills in the mail today
Bad news: No cheques either

Good news: Most of the girls are being nice to the Gig again
Bad news: One is still ignoring her
Good news: She has learnt a lot from this experience
Bad news: She had the experience

Good news: The Bear is asleep for once!
Bad news: This means he won't sleep during the day for another few weeks
Good news: He's asleep NOW!

And that about sums it up. If you'd like to join in the good news/bad news fun, head on over to and link up! (I say that so confidently, like I have any idea how to do it myself...)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


We went to the Emergency Department of our local hospital last night.

It was the Bear's fault.

He drank my perfume.

Yes, that's right, he drank my perfume.

I mean, really, perfume? It can't taste good, surely? Once we ascertained that he was ok, there were lots of jokes from the nurses about how his poo is going to smell today. Sweet, I assume. Sweet

What I really want to know his how on earth he reached it? It was on the back of my chest of drawers, with the waste-paper bin (don't ask, I have a 2 year old) in front of it. He is too short, or so I thought, to possibly reach it. And the drawers weren't pulled out. I'm sorry, but no 2 year old is going to carefully push the drawers back in to hide the evidence of his crime. He's not Machiavelli, for goodness sake.

But anyway, he did it. And I've just this second worked out how.

He's not really, or rather, not just the Bear.

By day, he is a mild-mannered (yeah right) toddler boy.

By the-five-minutes-Mummy-had-her-back-turned, he is...

Dum-da-dum-da-dum, Inspector Gadget, dum-da-dum-da-dum whoo-hoo whoo-hoo

I'm sorry Bear, but your secret is out.

Monday, March 15, 2010

random thoughts

My dogs have fleas. Hopefully not for too much longer, since I finally bit the bullet and bought the $87 tablets. I tell you, these dogs are costing us more than the kids!

There is the sweet sound of silence coming from the Bear's room. Dare I hope that it's because he's ...shhhhh...asleep?

The Gig is at school. Hopefully not being teased, ignored, excluded, picked on, or laughed at by the group of girls who have been making her life a misery for the past 3 weeks.

I'm not doing a lot. Blogging, washing, ironing, sweeping the floor, playing with the Bear, doing his speech therapy exercises, drinking tea, eating more lunch than I needed, or even wanted (I'm greedy like that).

And the MOTH? He is no more.

Fear not, dear readers, he is still very much in the picture, but as of last night, he is no longer known as the MOTH. He says it's a stupid name, and he wants to be called something cool. So, from now on, in bloggy-land at least, he will be known as...

As in Al.

Friday, March 12, 2010

flashback friday: could you be the most beautiful girl in the world?

The Gig, aged 7 and a half (nearly). Would you believe this photo wasn't posed? We were on our way to a work Christmas party and I said, "Hey, Gig, turn around", and this was the result. How beautiful is she?

And this was about 9 months later, just before her baby brother was born. We had such a great day watching her aunty sing in a performance, then ice-creams for all. It was still winter, just. Sometimes I love the sub-tropics.

Monday, March 8, 2010

best behaviour

This morning, the Bear and I went for an interview at his new kindy. It's part of a local special school, and his application had to go to panel to be approved. This interview was the final thing before his enrolment was finalised.

Well! Can I just say that he must have known today was an important day. He must have been very aware that his immediate future rested on this interview.

"Oh!", you must be thinking. "How beautifully, how perfectly, how sweetly he must have behaved."

Well you'd be wrong.

So very, very wrong.

The Bear pulled out all the stops and did some sensational door work. (Door work, for those who don't know the Bear, involves opening doors. Then closing them. Repeat ad infinitum.) Then he started his light-switch work. He switched the lights on, off, on, off, on, off, like a thing possessed.

Then he started biting. Me, thank goodness. I now have seven bite-bruises, all on my lower left arm. That's the one that was stopping him from opening the main door.

And oh! Then he noticed the Principal's pen. Clearly, the lid needed to be taken on and off a few times. And who better than the Bear for this important job? Whoops, another bite for Mummy. Upper arm this time, for a change of pace.

At this point, the Principal noted that he was displaying a lot of ASD behaviours. Really? I hadn't noticed.

But do you know what? That's exactly the behaviour I wanted to see from him today. You see, he needs this place at this kindy. They are the best people to help unlock the child within my gorgeous boy. He will grow and develop to be the child he is destined to be. They are the people who will teach him, and me, and us, so much as we travel this as yet un-named path. We don't know yet whether the Bear has a Speech/Language Impairment, an Autism Spectrum Disorder or both.

What we do know is that he's our bear. And we love him.

Friday, March 5, 2010

five question friday

This is my first attempt at a link-up thingy, so I hope I do it right. Five Question Friday is courtesy of the fabulous Mama M over at, so head on over to check out the original!

OK, so here are the questions :)

1. What's your guilty pleasure?

Chicken flavoured two minute noodle sandwiches, on white bread with butter. I can't believe I just admitted that. Gross much?

2. What is your favorite TV series?

30 Rock. Love love love it. Alec Baldwin is the funniest man alive.

3. Can you speak any foreign languages?

No. Tiny chocolates (bribes? rewards?) courtesy of Frau Finlayson in year 12 notwithstanding, no, sadly I can't.

4. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Not enough. I'm a handbag girl.

5. What's your favorite kind of M&M's...peanut, almond, straight up regular, etc.?

Almond? I'm so moving to America! Of the varieties we get here, plain all the way. Those peanut ones are wrong.

who is the ...oddest... of them all?

Toddlers are weird, huh?

The Bear's latest obsession is the full length mirror in my room. He loves to race down the hallway, terrifying any small dogs in his path, to check himself out in Mummy's mirror.

But lately, it's taken a new, bizarre turn.

Each day there is a different selection of random objects in front of the mirror.
Today, it's a teaspoon, a toy crate, the phone, a roll of contact and one of my shoes. Yesterday it was a breadboard, a magazine, a toothbrush, a bucket and two teatowels. Not because I'm messy (although I am), but because, for whatever reason, these are the objects that have caught the bear's eye throughout the day.
And how does the toddler about town check out how he looks holding these things? Why, by looking in the mirror, of course!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

motor dyspraxia

The Bear had Occupational Therapy again this morning.

At the end of his session, his OT told me that I had to prepare for the fact that he may well have Motor Dyspraxia as well as Verbal Dyspraxia. From the little I know, MD is another motor planning disorder involving the gross and fine motor muscles.

I was taken aback, as I'd thought his motor skills were a little delayed (and I mean a very little), but apparently he's 6-9 months delayed in a lot of his fine motor skills, and when she has tried to get him to copy her actions, he hasn't been able to.

Again, it's too early to diagnose, but it looks likely.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Here, my friends, is the picture you've been waiting for.

My lovely cream sofa. Completely covered in dorwee. I'm sure you'll be able to work out what dorwee means, after checking out this picture. (Please ignore how filthy my sofa was under the dorwee. It's clean now...apart from the dorwee, which is a permanent reminder of my little Bear, aged 2)

dear john (or whatever your name is)

Dear Man in front of me in the queue at the bank,

He's fine, really. He might be noisy, but he's fine. He's 2. Two year olds don't usually like the bank. It's very dull, you see. All that waiting in line, with nothing to look at but grown-ups' legs. Yes, I know he's doing that awful, loud, moaning whinge, but he's ok. He just doesn't have any words. He can't say "Mummy, I'm bored." Or, "Mummy, can I please have some sultanas?" I simply have to guess what he means. And sometimes I get it wrong. Please bear with me. And please recognise that all toddlers are whingy at times. Not just mine. So please, if you don't mind, stop turning around and glaring at me.



Dear Lady at the Library,

Yep, he's whinging. I know. Oh boy, do I know! But you know, he's been as good as gold ever since we left the bank. And he loved being in the childrens section, looking at books and watching other children. And yes, he threw a book that I gave him when he started screaming. But did you really have to say, in that disapproving tone, "Good Heavens!". Did you really have to make me cry in the middle of the library? All toddlers misbehave. And once in a blue moon, it will be because the parents don't discipline them. But 99% of the time, it's because they are toddlers! Just so you know, mine can't talk. So it makes working out what's wrong a bit more difficult. But that's not why he screamed. He screamed because he's TWO YEARS OLD!!! And, to be honest, all us mothers want is a smile. An "Oh, you poor thing, I've been there before, it''ll pass, don't worry" sort of smile.

So please, think before you judge next time.



Monday, March 1, 2010

red + blue + purple + green =

Rich, dark, delicious, scrumptious brown
How gorgeous is this face?
Luckily they were washable pens