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Thursday, April 29, 2010

good news/bad news

Hello, Roger.

Whoops, sorry, thought I was in The Great Escape for a minute there.

Well, anyway, hello my lovely readers!  It's hard to believe, but it's Northern Hemisphere Wednesday (aka Thursday in the Land Down Under) already.  Which must mean that it's time to share my news, both the good and the bad.  The ugly, I'll leave for another day.  The original and best Good and Bad news is of course, over at my lovely friend The Missus' blog, , so after you've been completely over-awed by my a) exciting life and b) meticulously crafted writing, head on over and check out The Missus' news.

Good news?  I have my stroller back
Bad news?  It smells unfriendly

Good news?  The Bear had his first ride on a shopping centre ride today
Bad news?  It finished
Good news?  The old forearm across the stomach trick still works for getting a toddler into a stroller
Bad news?  The screaming split my eardrums
Good news?  The screaming cleared my sinuses

Good news?  Pacino and I have our appointment with our Autism Advisor tomorrow
Bad news?  I have mega amounts of driving to get there
Good news?  They don't need us to take the Bear

Good news?  The big mean bully got into trouble at school
Bad news?  None.  None at all
Good news?  The Gig's response when I asked how her day was?  "Good!"  It's been a long time...

I'd love to share more news with you, but I left my short-term memory somewhere, and now I don't know what else happened this week.

Hope you news was all good this week!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

have stroller, will travel

Hi, my name is Millie, and I'm addicted to my stroller.

I have reached the point where I can't do without it.  It's constantly in my thoughts (usually because I'm remembering that I still haven't cleaned out the crumbs and squished banana from the cracks), and I can't go anywhere without it.

My son is over two and a half years old; in fact, I'm just about at the point of saying he's nearly three.  And yet, at this ripe old age, he is yet to visit the shops unfettered, free to walk demurely by his mother's side run like a lunatic through the shops out onto the busy road.  I'm just not brave enough to face it.  Ok, he's a runner, and a sensory seeker, and has no sense of danger, but still...shouldn't I at least attempt to let him walk?  If not now, then when?  Will he be fifteen and still lolling about in a stroller, all because I'm too chicken to let him out?

Partly, it's a fitness thing.  This is embarrassing, but at two years old (nearly almost three), he can outrun me.  And man, can he corner!  To misquote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, this kid corners like he's on rails!  My arthriticky old knees and ankles just can't cope, not to mention my poor, overworked lungs which practically burst whenever the Bear puts on a burst of speed.  I'm the first to admit that I'm not the fittest person around, but I've never been outrun by a two year old before!

And partly, it's a "public perception" thing.  In the stroller, he's still, and I'm in control.  Out of it, he's the boss and I'm rubbling the bite marks on my arm from when I tried to hold him back.  Or he's lying on the ground, dislocating his shoulder (not really) in the attempt to get away and run, run like the wind.

And partly, it's convenience.  Where else am I supposed to put the shopping bags, other than hanging somewhat dangerously from the back of the stroller (don't tell me you've never done that)?  I'm not meant to carry them, am I?  And chase the Bear?  What is this, Boot Camp?

I thought about my stroller a lot this weekend, mainly because I left it at daycare last week, so I've been without it.  We borrowed my SIL's yesterday, and even though it's our old one (with the newborn bassinet bit, unlike our umbrella stroller) I hated it with a passion.  It was big, unwieldy and awkward.  So very, very awkward.  It took me three goes to get into the lift at Borders, and I still managed to bruise a total stranger's shins.  I'd also forgotten how to collapse it, and I think we've all been there, haven't we, girls.  Only usually, it's with a two week old baby and people give us kind, sympathetic looks.  When your kid is two (nearly almost three), people just think that really, you should have your crap together by now.

So here's to my stroller, love of my life.  Thank you for the many hours you have spent restraining the Bear and carting my shopping around.  Thanks for never complaining when I hang bags of dog poo from your handles.  Thanks for being so easy to collapse and to...what's the opposite of collapse?  Thanks for being a very cool shade of lime green and black, to help me in my quest to be the world's coolest Mummy.  Thanks for putting up with being cleaned so infrequently.

I'm picking you up from daycare this afternoon, stroller.  I'm sorry I forgot you, left you to fret for an entire long weekend that I was never coming back. 

Let's never be apart again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

the curious incident of the dog in the night

This dog, unlike the one that Sherlock Holmes referred to, did bark in the night.  He barked, and barked, and barked.

This is unusual for either of our dogs, but especially for Harlan, who's the older, sensible one.  Our dogs sleep in the laundry, and we have a laundry chute (which always reminds me of Sheila the Great, by Judy Blume), so I yelled down to chute for Harlan to "SHUT UP please be quiet dear sweet Harlan". 

It took a while, but he did stop barking.  For about 5 minutes.  So I opened the chute again, ready to call encouraging comments down to him.  And that's when it hit me.  The smell.  The stench.  The awful, overwhelming, overpowering reek of a good little dog with a bad tummy who had been trying for over an hour to let us know that he needed to go out, NOW!  So I raced downstairs, opened the door (thereby smearing poo all over the floor, as the door opens inwards), and let him outside.  He was very grateful, to say the least.   Jasper the Insane thought a 2am frolic outside was great!  Sad to say, he displayed very little empathy for his poor, ill mate.

So far, so gross.  But then, while I was feeling lazy (and tired) and would happily have cleaned up in the morning, Harlan refused to go back into the laundry.  So, at 2am, I cleaned up dog-poo, of the variety.

Luckily, Harlan seems ok this morning.  Rest assured we'll be keeping a close eye on him.  For the record, when I have a moan about my un-housetrained dog, it's not this good boy, it's Jasper the Insane.

Me?  Tired, and most of all guilty.  Poor little H-Bomb.

And, because I couldn't insert photos the other day for some reason, here is the Gig with Jasper the Insane and Only Periodically Housetrained.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

good news/bad news

Here we are again - I can't believe how quickly the week has gone.  To join in the good news/bad news madness, hop on over to my friend the Missus over at  and link up!

Good news?  My shoulder is slowly getting better
Bad news?  I still need a lot more physio
Good news?  You should see Rob the hottie physiotherapist!

Good news?  I'm meeting my brother and SIL for lunch
Bad news?  Right at the Bear's sleep time

Good news?  My son can thread cotton reels like a champ!
Bad news?  We now have cotton reels all through our house
Good news?  They're very bright, and should, theoretically, be easy to see and not trip over
Bad news?  I said "theoretically"

Good news?  My crazy dogs, the Bear and I just went for a walk
Bad news?  They are the world's most stupid, insane-barking, embarrassing dogs
Good news? I love them anyway

Good news?  My kids' immune systems are getting stronger by the minute
Bad news?  It's because my house is an un-hygienic tip!
Good news?  I don't really care

That's me done for the week - head over to the Missus for the original good/bad news!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

funny girl

Yesterday I was thinking about all the funny things my daughter has said over the years, and they really made me laugh.  So, in the spirit of sharing, here are a few of them!

  • At 2 years old, I told the Gig that she was "making Mummy very sad".  Only to be eyed up and down, and asked "Where are your tears then?".
  • This time she was 3, and not feeling well.  I put my hand on her forehead and said, in time-honoured Mummy fashion, "Cool as a cucumber".  Two minutes later, she put her hand on my forehead.  "Cold as a pumpkin, Mummy."
  • When picking up my 4 year old nephew L from his last day at daycare as my sister and her family were moving to another city, I told L to say, "bye Eastville*!".  L repeated, "Bye Eastville".  From the seat next to him, six year old Gig said "See you in Hell, Eastville!".
  • At 4, on a plane, reading the safety card,  (breathlessly) "It's true!  They do have slides!".  Yep, honey, and with any luck we won't be needing one!
  • Fairly recently, having heard her dad use the expression "gorillas" for thousands of dollars, she looked at her school fees and said "Whoa!  That's a lot of gorillas!".  Sadly, she was right.

I wanted to include a photo of my angelic daughter, but I'm stuggling with uploading one.  I have no idea why it won't work, but I refuse to be frustrated so I'm giving up.  Sorry.  Anyway, I hope my funny girl made you laugh!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

flotsam and jetsom, bits and pieces, this and that

Ok, so my rage is ebbing away, slowly being replaced by acceptance.  I'm surprised that the diagnosis affected me so much, because it wasn't like we weren't expecting it.  I think what really got to me was having to talk other people through their own feelings about it, when all I got from anyone was "He's fine, look at so-and-so", or "All two year olds do that, stop worrying", or my all-time favourite "You need to take him to the park more".   For the record, we're at the park a lot!  So now I feel a bit resentful that no one listened to me when I was worried, but now I have to be the one to comfort them after my concerns were proven valid.  Anyway, life goes on.

The Bear is doing brilliantly!  Yesterday at playgroup he put two words together ("More bubbles").  That is the exact phrase we have been working on for three months, so it was very exciting and rewarding to hear him say it.  He also followed two sets of one-step verbal instructions yesterday.  Yay for increasing receptive language!

I've learnt a couple of things already.  One is that I prefer to descibe his condition as "Bear has Autism", rather than "Bear is Autistic".  (No, Bear is Bear, and he has autism.)  First and foremost, he is a beautiful, funny, affectionate little boy who loves the Wiggles and reading Spot books.  Oh, and he has autism.  The other thing I've learnt is how little the PDD-NOS label means, and how seldom we use it any more.  For one thing, no one knows what it is!
Believe it or not, we have a life outside of therapy!  This morning, the Bear and I met his auntie and baby cousin at the park.  We had a great time (sorry, no pics, forgot the camera and didn't have a chance to take any anyway) and can't wait to go back.  Next time, we'll go to a park with a fenced off play area ;-).

The Gig is looking forward to her Guide (Girl scouts) camp in a couple of weeks.  Next term, they're doing outdoor camping, and she really can't wait for that.  She is also giving a speech to her class about autism, as next Friday is Dress Differently for Autism Day, and she wants all her class to join in and help raise money.  I'm beyond thrilled about this, as only a couple of weeks ago she said she was embarrassed that the Bear can't speak, and embarrassed that he has autism, and she didn't want any of her friends to know. 

And Pacino has moved offices, and now has a larger office with a view of the river.  It's amazing how much that's been affecting his mood, and how relaxed he was when I picked him up last night.

So what about me?  Well, I finally got my hair done, after four months (my regrowth was lovely), and I've been to the physio for my shoulder.  It hurt, and I'll have to go back lots, but at least I'm doing something about it.

Right, well you're all caught up now, and there's silence from the Bear's room.  Hopefully I wore him out at the park this morning and he'll sleep...wish me luck.

Friday, April 16, 2010

rage, rage against the dying of the light

I am raging.  Raging.  I am angry.  I am so very, very angry.

It'll pass, and it's better then self-pity.

But for now?


Thursday, April 15, 2010

good news/bad news

Here we are again on another lovely Thursday Wednesday.  You know, it'd be really helpful if someone could have a chat to the good folk at Greenwich, and whatever the US equivalent is, and ask them to work out a way that it could be the same day at the same time in Australia and America.  It's make good/bad news much easier!  Any volunteers?

Good news?  I'm having physio for my sore-for-seven-months shoulder this afternoon
Bad news?  It'll hurt, and I'm a big sook
Good news?  It's time to myself

Bad news?  The in-laws are here
Good news?  It's because they're here that I can go to physio
Bad news?  I made my MIL cry
Good news?  I think she finally understood the frustration of knowing my child had autism for 6 months, and being ignored and/or belittled for my worries until diagnosis day

Good news?  The Easter chocolate is finished
Bad news?  Der, see above
Good news?  Chocolate is my year-round friend
Bad news?  I have none in the house

Good news?  It's my puppy's first birthday today
Bad news?  He's still not reliably house-trained
Good news?  I haven't killed him yet

Good news?  The weather is finally cooling down
Bad news?  Nup, none.  Bring on winter!

That's about it from me, but do head on over to my fab friend The Missus, at  to check out the original and best Good and Bad News - and while you're there, link up and join in the fun!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

i'm back, and i have news

So sorry about the complete absence of blogging over the past couple of weeks.  There's a couple of reasons - firstly, I was spending lots of lovely time with my children, secondly, I've been deliberately trying to break my very bad internet-all-the-time habit, and thirdly, I wanted to wait until I could share this news.  It's been consuming most of my waking thoughts lately, and a few of my sleeping ones as well.  But now, finally, we have...a...DIAGNOSIS!!!!!!!!

The Bear has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not otherwise specified), which is an Austism Spectrum Disorder.  Essentially, it's mild autism.  Dr Wonderful, the paediatrician, was full of hope and support and encouragement.  The Bear is now eligible for some excellent services (and the funding to go with them), and we have every hope that his symptoms will improve.  He had a lovely time in Dr Wonderful's surgery yesterday, checking that all those pesky cupboard doors were working (they were), and that the taps were gushing water consistently (they were), and that the wheels on the cars were turning as they should (they were).  He was somewhat concerned, though, that the Little People Bus wouldn't sing its oh-so-irritating song like ours at home does (note to self - lose batteries or lose mind), but when he discovered that Dr Wonderful's computer clearly needed servicing by the Bear, he was happy again.  By the way, I'm quite pleased that he wasn't the child who wiped all of the good Dr's case notes by pressing buttons...there but for the grace of God...

He gave the Dr a beautiful high-5 on the way out, and made lovely eye-contact with him, which was great to see.

So how do I feel?  I'm not sure, actually.

We were expecting this diagnosis, so I'm not shocked.  It's still a big adjustment, though, and I think it'll take time to sink in.  For the moment, I am so completely overwhelmed by the paperwork involved that I can't really think of anything else.

Oh, by the way, we asked about the initial thoughts that the Bear had verbal dyspraxia - highly unlikely.  Apparently dyspraxic children have normal receptive speech, whereas Bear's is delayed.  Also, his stimming has been increasing, which is a trait of ASD rather than dyspraxia.  It's academic, really, as he'll need the same, if not more, therapy anyway.

One more thing - I'm very new to all of this, so if you are ahead of me on this pathway, feel free to let me know if you think I might have misunderstood anything the Paediatrician or therapists have said.

Over and out!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

good news/bad news

I'm a bit late this week with my good and bad news.  It's been a hectic Thursday Wednesday here, what with the Gig's school holidays starting and the Bear's OT.  But better late than never.  If you'd like to join in (and if not, why not?) with the good news/bad news fun, head on over to my good pal The Missus (and check out her adorable little guy at the same time) at .

Good news?  The Gig's on holidays!
Bad news?  10 days of thinking up entertainment plans for 2 children of very different ages
Good news?  Both my chickens are home with their Mummy for 10 days :)

Good news?  I just found my favourite brand of nappies (diapers for my American friends) which we used in Europe and I looooved, at the supermarket - they are finally available here!
Bad news?  That's how tragic my life is, that nappies is good news
Good news?  They were on sale, too

Bad news? OT was a disaster this morning
Good news?  The Bear's having a break for 2 weeks over the holidays
Bad news?  None, really :)

Good news?  We have Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday, and lots of Fish
Bad news?  That Easter Bunny better get a move on with his her shopping!

Well, that sums up my week of news - I'm taking a bloggy-break until the long weekend is over.

Happy Easter everyone!