Sunday, September 23, 2018

First cold and some fun in the sun

Monday 17th: We left too early on Friday to worry about getting Anastasia's 10 month photos, but today she was just so tired that I didn't bother either. The cold that started last week thankfully didn't worry her over the weekend, but I could see how sick she felt today. Falling asleep while sitting in her ExerSaucer. I saw that she was nodding off, so put a couple of soft toys in front of her for a pillow. Thankfully she did get more sleep through the day, but she is waking more at night too. So much post nasal drip that I think it was especially nice for her to nod off in this upright position.

Tuesday 18th: Although not over her cold, she was happy enough this morning to get some 10 month photos.
She hasn't put any weight on over the last month, most likely due to the fact that she is so very active, crawling around all over the place now.

"Lovely Little Sister" indeed.
She is not standing totally on her own yet, but it's not too far away.
An hour after the photo shoot she was exhausted again and enjoyed sleeping a bit more upright in my arms.
She does not often just cuddle, so Ruth enjoyed getting some cuddle time with her this afternoon. She is normally too much on the go to stay still for more than a couple of seconds. Poor poppet.
Wednesday 19th: I called the Plunket Line to just chat about what things to look out for with this illness. It was nice to just have a good chat with the nurse and know I wasn't missing anything. She mentioned lifting the cot for her, a full 15cm on the one side. It worked really well and she has started sleeping a lot better in her cot now. Not as good as before the cold, but much improved.
BELOW: Thursday 20th: The Ticket to Ride game has been so well enjoyed. The three of us all got really long trains today. It's been good to see the great improvement Hannah has made.
Friday 21st: I had a very challenging afternoon with the children and got so very frustrated. Brendon had asked Robert (the HR guy at work) to give me a call as he has been able to help me with over the phone counselling in the past. Well, at first I just didn't even want to talk to him. I was crying so much I didn't know if I would even be able to explain what was going on. Brendon encouraged me to just try and I am so glad I did. It was firstly great to not be judged. And once again he was able to ask the exact questions that I needed to be asked. I had never really analysed why I can get so upset in situation like today, and so it was really helpful to have someone help me do that today. I realized that the thing that was upsetting me was the meanness between the children. I realized that I experienced meanness when I was a child, and so I was wanting to try and protect my children from that pain. Robert suggested I try to just not get involved and let things play out.
I would often here the mean conversations starting in the room next to me, and would start at the children, trying to get them to stop. The result however, was that they never really get to understand what the end result of their speech will be. They don't really see how mean it is. So over the next week I made an effort to just ignore meanness that I heard. It was hard, but it helped. I think this will help the children to start seeing the meanness themselves.
Parenting sure is hard, but I am so thankful for the help and support that the Lord has given me.
It was then really nice that in the evening I got to go out with Rachel and Ruth to a lady's event that the Medical Centre was hosting. Ruth came with to sell some jewellery (they had invited her to have a table). It was a very informative evening and nice to just have something different to do. Ruth sold a few necklaces, which was great, and another bonus was that Rachel won one of the spot prizes (she had a red sticker under her chair). What a lovely hamper. So a great night for us all.
Saturday 22nd:
Sweet child.
Her siblings enjoyed putting this cap on her.

The Plunket nurse I had spoken to over the phone in the week had suggested getting both Anastasia and I out into the sun more, so this morning was a great opportunity for that. Ruth also used the time to get a load of photos of her while out there.

Always fun to pick the weeds. :-)
Such a happy girl. She loves clapping now too, so this was a lovely photo capturing that fun too.

BELOW: Hezekiah was a great helper with this bed. Brendon had turned over the weeds with his big fork a while back, but I hadn't gotten to clear the weeds and grass yet. So we sat and hit the clumps on big rocks to loosen the soil and then remove just the unwanted plants. The sweetpeas on the fence are looking good. I hope we get a lot of flowers from them.

Ruth also decided that it would be fun for Anastasia to have a ride with Asher. :-)
And on her own.
Ruth enjoying some time with Asher in the sun. Such a cute photo.
Another great photo by Hezekiah. It was nice to have a game with Dad this afternoon.
Rachel was in town for work this afternoon and so stayed over in town.
Asher had a seizure this evening at 8:30. She fell off her bed when it started but thankfully didn't seem to get hurt from the fall. That's only the 3rd one this month, so it's been a good month for her.
Sunday 23rd: Yesterday afternoon my lip started swelling up. At first I wondered if I had been bitten by something outside. A few hours later though, it was down. Unfortunately in the early hours of Sunday morning I felt the swelling come back. And this time it got even worse. It lasted a lot longer too, but by Monday it was going down. I suspect it was angioedema related to stress from Friday's issue with the children (as I hadn't eaten anything different and don't generally react to anything in the garden). Thankfully it was not at all painful, just totally numb (and rather embarrassing at church on Sunday morning).
Anastasia hasn't been sleeping well since her cold and so I have to try and break the bad habit she has gotten into of waking so often at night. It's always so draining. It's been so much harder with Anastasia than with any of the others. So I have had to regularly ask the Lord for His help to get through.
I'm so thankful for Brendon's support and the extra sleep I managed to get this afternoon.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Games and park fun

A lovely relaxed Sunday morning. Rachel doesn't often play Bang with the girls, so they were very excited about her agreeing to play with them this weekend. It also gave me an opportunity to get all the sheets off the beds and get them all tidy. I managed to get most of the packing done too.
Then we had our first family game of Ticket to Ride. I couldn't believe I forgot to take a photo before we collected all the trains. The score was really close between us all though. You can see the coloured score counters on the side there. All 5 scores within 8 points of each other!
Great photo Hezekiah.
We then had lunch and finished up the last bit of packing and cleaning.
One last game of chess before we left (so that I could also get a photo of this cool chess set).

BELOW: A different route home as we didn't need to go through Timaru this time. So the inland road for a while. Such a beautiful countryside. I'm sure I took a photo of the same area on a previous trip through this area. So pretty.

We had planned to stop at the Ashburton park on the way home. We ended up spending more time here than we anticipated. It was a lovely addition to the weekend away.
This creation seemed to be a bit of a strange one. It didn't really do anything. Rather a big contraption for just 2 seats. You could get them to bounce slightly, but that was it.
Always fun pretending you are a hamster in a ball. :-)
Great climbing Ruth.
And Hannah showing us how strong she is. This was very long and she made it all the way across.

Anastasia having some fun too.

Unfortunately this horse didn't rock as well as others Ruth has been on.
Such a nice relaxing time.
I ended up chatting to a Dad of a autistic boy. It was nice to have an opportunity to chat and encourage others.
We got home a bit later than planned, but Asher's teacher aide had brought her home and gotten her settled so that we didn't need to fetch her on our way home. Thankfully Brendon had Monday booked for leave too, so we could all just have a relaxing evening, knowing we could sleep in a bit the next morning. It was a wonderful weekend and we are so thankful it worked out as well as it did. And Asher had no seizures over the weekend either - which was an added bonus.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Lunch, lake and back on the ice

There were so many choices for lunch (Ruth had looked on-line) but we just found a parking and picked the first one. It was a perfect choice. Such lovely food and great prices.
Just look at the size of that burger. And Gluten free too.
Ruth's selfie camera is not that great. We should have just asked the waiter to take a photo for us. A special memory though of a real treat.
Ruth, Hannah and Hezekiah all wanted an ice cream after lunch. Not one of them was able to finish it though, so they all ended up in front of Brendon. They were huge though, so although he had quite a bit, he couldn't finish them all. :-)

BELOW: Then back to the enjoy the lake. I love this photo.

Brendon and I drove the car around to a parking closer to the lake and in that short drive Anastasia fell asleep. So the three of us just stayed in the car while the other 4 enjoyed the lake.

They enjoyed skipping stones on the water. And then headed up to the bridge. The photo below taken from the bridge. So lovely.

I had to go through all the photos Ruth and Rachel had taken. There were a few really lovely ones though.

Then we headed back to the house and enjoyed a giant game of Jenga.
Rachel had unfortunately gotten a couple of bites on her feet while at the lake, so she decided to stay home with her feet up while the rest of us headed back to the ice rink.
While this morning Hannah was overwhelmed by it all and didn't end up skating much, that happened for Hezekiah this evening. We didn't realize he could have just asked for different skates. He didn't feel as comfortable on the ice, and it may very well have been the skates. Afterwards Brendon told us he spotted a lady change her skates twice before she was happy with them. At least Hezekiah had great memories from the morning.
Hannah made some great memories this evening and did so very well. Eventually not using the frame either.

It was very special skating at night, with the stars above us. What perfect weather today for such an amazing day.

I was eventually confident enough to have my phone on the ice with me, so took some photos and videos. Ruth had some fun trying some different things with her feet.

Hannah did really well getting off the frame.

More fun.

Ruth wanted to take a video of me too.

Hannah did so well in taking our tips on how to get faster. Great work Hannah.
When she first tried to do this, it was so scary for her and she just didn't want to do it again. So she was very brave to keep trying and it paid off.

Having a little race.
What a lovely evening. Again I was so thankful that Brendon was happy to entertain Anastasia so that I could have this time with the girls.

Ice Skating and lake lookout

Saturday 15th: A fun filled but relaxing day today. It was nice to have ideas of what we wanted to do, but no actual plan that we had to stick to. The children would ask what was happening and I kept saying "there are no rules - lets just see what we want to do". It was a great mental break for me to not have anything planed or organised. Nothing needing to be done by a certain time, just enjoying every hour as it came.
Our casual start to the day led us to Lake Tekapo first.
The last time we were here I was pregnant with Hezekiah. :-)
Then we headed to the ice rink that Ruth had found out about on-line. It opened at 10am, so we had the timing perfect.
We hired a penguin for Hezekiah and a frame for Hannah. Unfortunately Hezekiah got very stressed as he felt unsteady and worried about falling. So he got off the ice and we switched the penguin for another frame.
Hannah also felt very fearful, so she didn't stay on the ice long either. So Ruth and I ended up using the frames for a while. This was a great help to me as I could skate around quickly and get my own confidence back.
The last time we went ice skating (also over 7 years ago) I was very unsure on the ice and kept feeling like I was going to fall. I ended up staying at the side most of the time. Such a contrast to the confidence I had on the ice as a child. I remember skating rings around my Dad when he came. My older brother and I would often take a bus into town to go skating on a Saturday. Such lovely memories, but so sad when all the skill I had as a child was gone. So today restored some of that confidence. Having a quick skate around with the frame was an amazing help. Especially as I felt unsure as soon as I put the skates on. I started wondering why I was trying this, but it ended up so worth it.
I was very pleased when Hezekiah decided to have another go. This time with the frame. And having watched Ruth and I use them for a bit helped him to understand how much they helped. He did so well.

VIDEO: Ruth really enjoyed the freedom the frame gave as she could skate around quickly too. So we decided to have a race. :-)

LEFT: It ended up being the 4 of us on the ice this morning. We had loads of fun.

BELOW: Did I mention it's an outdoor ice rink? So it's only open till the end of September. We timed our holiday perfectly. It was such an amazing experience to be skating outside. The ice rink that I went to as a child was underground. So quite a contrast. :-)

Hezekiah did so well that he even had a go without the frame. Great job Hezekiah.
Rachel was disappointed that she didn't feel as confident as when she went with her friends earlier this year. We chatted about what might be different and she said perhaps it was that a few of them held hands and skated around together. I was a bit nervous as I wasn't sure my skating was good enough for that, but we decided to give it a try (and mentally risk a fall). We didn't fall though and it was good to get Rachel moving a bit more confidently on the ice. We think the distraction of friends chatting away was also a big help on her previous skate.
Thanks Dad for watching Anastasia so that we could enjoy this experience. Brendon isn't too keen on skating, so it worked out well that I could join the kids.

BELOW: Then we headed up to the hill where the observatory is. There is a $8 entry now (which I don't remember from our last visit). Sad that it's always about money. It is a lovely lookout spot though, so it was a nice experience (and one I remember well from our last visit).

Hezekiah said he wants to take a photo with him holding the lake. :-)

On top of the world. :-)

Rachel's idea of a photo from the very popular rock.

We had to wait in line for our turn to take photos. Thankfully there wasn't anyone waiting after us, so we could take quite a few.

This time Ruth's suggestion of a photo - a photo of a photo being taken. :-)
And then I will include some photos from Ruth too.

BELOW: She was the only one who took a photo of the top section of the lake. I really like this one with the reflection of the mountains in the water.

Enjoying using her selfie stick.
Hannah and Hezekiah didn't want to join in.

And after this photo I had to go and get some big splinters out of Hezekiah's hand. The had found a stick that he was having so much fun with, until he got injured. It was probably the worse splinters he has ever had. The staff at the tea rooms were really friendly and helpful though and got their first aid kit out. They didn't have a pin, but Rachel spotted a triangle bandage and told me that there would be safety pins in there. Which were instrumental in getting them out.
Another beautiful photo taken by Ruth.

BELOW: Another of Ruth's. She liked the spot this guy had chosen and it makes a great photo.