Sunday, June 10, 2018

Marbles, mates, fun and famine

Tuesday 5th: I love how affectionate Anakin is, and it was so nice to see Asher allowing him to lie on her lap this afternoon.
Getting some practice on the balance bike this evening.

Wed 6th: I had to stay with Asher for a bit this morning while we waited for the teacher aide to finish her meeting. What a fun way to practice counting. I love that Asher brought it to me to do with her.

I had been struggling with a terrible spasm in my back since Monday, and as I couldn't get an appointment with the local physio, I just made an appointment with the chiropractor in town for 6pm. Rachel offered to drive me in as I could not turn my head properly, and Ruth asked to join us. Unfortunately it was the first time ever the chiro has not helped. I felt even worse when we got to the shops afterwards. I was glad Rachel could do the rest of the driving.
Asher had a seizure at 7pm while we were out. Thankfully just a 1 minute one again.

Thursday 7th: I really had to get photos of Anastasia reaching out for Anakin, to show Hezekiah. I had recently done his 6 month baby book pages, and I have photos of him in exactly the same position, reaching out to Patches. So it was special to show him the photos when he got home.
Lovely motivation to move. Anastasia is fascinated with Anakin and notices him whenever he is in the room.
Hezekiah was thrilled when he saw this big empty box this afternoon. He was busy in his room for a while and then he came to show me his creation. He hid like this at the back door too when Dad came home. Brendon was onto it and immediately said "is there a box troll in the house?"
He was excited to take it to school the next day too. Once we had parked he was out of the car in a flash and had his box back on. As he walked in one of the Mum's saw him and said "a box troll" which made his day.
Friday 8th: In desperation I made an appointment with the doctor this morning to get some anti-inflammatories to try and ease my back pain. And then the physio also managed to squeeze me at lunch time. Brendon came home to watch Anastasia so that I could get to her. I'm SO thankful to both of them for making it happen. She helped me understand why the chiro had not worked, as it's a postural problem. She encouraged me in that it is very popular with breastfeeding mums as it's very difficult to keep our shoulders back while feeding. She gave me an excellent massage, got some needles into the worst spots and then also gave me some great exercises and stretches. So although it's not going to be a quick fix, I feel encouraged that I'm now finally moving in the right direction to ending the pain.
Hezekiah's class showed their art work inspired by the Lorax movie.
Both Hezekiah and Asher got certificates at assembly today. They have recently started taking photos of the children in groups like this, and so tried to include Asher. Perhaps she saw them all holding their pages up, and so she lifted her iPad and blocked her face. :-)
Hezekiah's certificate was for "working hard to do some fabulous maths by breaking numbers into bits when adding and always having a smile on his face."
Asher got a bit more practice on holding the certificate this afternoon. She got hers for joining in dancing with the class. The teacher commented on how well she is doing in joining in with a few of their musical activities. Although Asher doesn't really understand this all, it was nice to acknowledge the great improvement she has made. And it's one more little thing to help her notice what's happening around her.

I do just love how cuddly Anakin is. He is so big though that he can't really sit on your lap and has to use the chair too. He often tries to get as much of himself on you though. Hezekiah is always willing to give him a good cuddle.

BELOW: Anastasia just loves being tickled and her laugh is just so precious. Ruth's getting the hang of this tickling too and I had fun watching them have a similar game a few days later.

Rachel had her hair course again today. She is very excited about being asked to do her friend's hair for her wedding next year. So she got to try a couple of things today. I really like the twist on the left one and the curls on the right.
Rachel had her first non-rugby match job with vbase this evening. They were short staffed for a basketball game at the Horncastle arena. As Rachel was already in town for the hair course, I suggested she take the shift. She enjoyed the change from the cold rugby stadium. I keep asking her to take photos of where she works, but as she is always so busy (and often doesn't have her phone on her) she managed to get this photo of the change rooms. Vbase supply them with their tops, so it doesn't matter if they work a few days in a row, as the company keeps all the tops and gets them washed after each shift.
Rachel stayed in town overnight and then headed back to Amberley for her weekly café work, and then headed straight back into town for another rugby game shift. Thankfully this game was earlier than the others, so she could drive home afterwards.
Thankfully we had planned to all attend the church's movie night on Friday night (rather than asking Rachel to stay home with some of the younger ones) as the only change to plans was that Rachel didn't attend.
Asher did really well - watching her own music dvd (softly) at the back of the room. It was more of an adult movie based on history, so perfectly suited to Brendon's tastes. They will have a more child friendly one next month. At least the kids enjoyed the fish and chips dinner. :-)
Saturday 9th: Anastasia decided the toys that Asher was playing with looked like fun.

I didn't wrap her for her nap this evening, she just fell asleep with her toy / blanket thing on her face (she had been sucking one of the sides). So cute.
Asher had a seizure at 9pm this evening. She knew it was coming though and got up off her bed twice just minutes before it started. So we were specifically watching her carefully. Thankfully it was only around 30 seconds long.
Sunday 10th: When I looked through my photos I could not understand at first why I had taken this one. And then I remembered. The 40 hour famine. Hannah went the 40 hours with no furniture and Ruth went without devices and without talking. They both started at 6pm on Friday evening (so Hannah sat on the floor through the movie). Hannah slept on the floor for the two nights and I suggested she just sit on the soft carpet to eat her breakfast this morning.
They both did well in raising money for children in need. Great job girls.
Ruth had taken her phone with in the car so that when the 40 hours were up (at 10am) she could use it. Unfortunately I hadn't checked the battery life for her and it was flat. So she had to wait till we were home after church to get her cell phone fix. She was so excited to have it back she even let these two sit next to her and watch her playing games.
It was so funny to see all three of them on one chair that I asked them to pose like this, and then showed them the 3 monkeys that I had them copy. :-) My little monkeys.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Run, braid, play and sing

Thursday 31st: Hurunui Zone cross country today. Once Anastasia had fed and had her nap I headed over as I new it was starting at 11am. I didn't however realize that they do the races one at a time, so I was very pleased to hear that Ruth's race was first. Year 8 girls. I always feel for Ruth when she runs in the year group as she is the youngest.
Thankfully it was dry, but it was very cold It was 3 degrees when I arrived and when I left at 11:30 it was only 4 degrees.
10 girls heading off.

What a beautiful spot to have the race. Ruth was thankful that it was not as hilly as her school race. I wouldn't describe it as flat, but perhaps in comparison it seemed flat.

And a sprinting finish. She came in 9 out of 10. Good effort Ruth. I'm sure if you start practicing through the summer you will do a lot better.

Friday 1 June. Rachel left early this morning for her introductory hair dressing course again (before 7am). They were assessed on their braids. She had never done a fish tail braid before, so it was good to get the extra practice. Her other braids were good enough on the first day.
Another "hair up" today. Rachel then spent the night in town as she was flying up to Auckland early on Saturday morning. She was one of just 3 St John Youth (out of the 30 that applied) to be chosen for a photo shoot of their new uniform. So they flew them up to Auckland and had a fun day of activities so that they could have photos in and out of uniform. We have gotten to look at the photos, but because of copyright we can't share any. It was a lovely experience and I'm so pleased she got to do it.
Full school assembly today and Hannah's group got to share their bits about camp to the whole school.
Ruth enjoying working out some songs on the guitar this evening. The children know so many of the songs from The Greatest Showman that we decided to buy a copy so that we could all watch the movie through. So they have been singing a lot of the songs lately. I really enjoy listening to them. Asher and Anastasia enjoyed it this evening too.
Two guys from work helped Brendon to pick up a piano that we were given this evening. Brendon bought fish and chips on the way home to at least feed them as thanks. Anastasia decided she wanted to try a chip too.
What a wonderful blessing to be given a piano. Although Hannah's bedroom has more space, we only just managed to get it through the kitchen into the hall. So it ended up having to just go straight down and into Hezekiah's room. My sewing cabinet was in this spot - so it's moved next door to Hannah now. Ruth didn't hesitate to give it a try and it sounds quite good. It has two keys that stick and would obviously improve with a good tune. But for now, I'm really impressed with the sound and very thankful.
Saturday 2nd: Ruth took Asher down to play today. I'm sure Asher will enjoy the piano a lot too.
Cuddles with Ruth after her netball.
Sunday 3rd: Perhaps not really appropriate to be taking photos in church, but I wanted to have record of this little routine that Asher has. No matter what she is busy with, when the singing starts, she goes to Dad and wants to be up in his arms. She must really love the vibration as he sings. I like his singing too - but she likes the feel of it too.

With Rachel away from early Friday morning till late on Saturday evening, today was the first time to get the monthly children photo. And nice to have it on a weekend and a change from school clothes.
This one was on my phone and so a bit fuzzy unfortunately. Sweet smiles though.

So I took a couple on my camera too. This one is a little clearer, but I didn't catch the smile on Anastasia. It's getting more and more tricky to get a photo with them all looking good. :-)
Monday 4th: A public holiday today, so no need to rush getting dressed. A lovely one of Hezekiah and Anastasia at 8am.
Ruth took the day off school to catch up on some of her Guiding things. This was one activity she needed to do.
Asher often watches one of her music dvds on the laptop while we watch things as a family. She has been breaking the keyboard though, so we got her a simple dvd player so that there are no buttons for her to fiddle with. It was sweet to see Anastasia roll over to have a watch with her. Anastasia likes her bible dvds.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cake, shoes, course and shave

Wednesday 23rd: Rachel is very excited about making the cake for a dear friend's surprise birthday party on Saturday. With the busy weekend she has ahead, she had to get the cakes made today. She did the ganache crumb coat (which she is getting really good at now) and so that will help keep the cake nice and fresh. The icing will get done tomorrow.
Thursday 24th: I heard today about Ruth getting into the inter school cross country, so we decided we really had better get her some proper shoes. Brendon had noticed how she is wearing away her school shoes, and said her sore knees are directly related to not having the proper support in her shoes. So Ruth and I (with Anastasia) went into town this evening to get them. This gives her a bit of time to practice in them before the race next week. And the ones we bought will also be really good for her weekly netball through the winter. Hopefully her feet don't grow too much and she will get even more good use out of them once the weather is warmer.
There is a plan for her and Brendon (and possible Rachel) getting out running more regularly once it's warmer. She would love to be more prepared for next year's cross country. So they will need to start early. Ruth has a lot of potential, but just needs that time practicing.
While we were out Rachel finished decorating the cake. Thankfully I'm really late with writing this blog post, as it had to be kept a surprise.
Friday 25th: Rachel left early this morning (before 7am) for her hair dressing course. She has to do 3 "hair ups" for her assessment as well as the braids they did last week.
I asked her to send me some photos. :-)
Thankfully she could drop the cake off at the party venue as she then had her first shift at her new job with vbase. She did the Dine Academy course in the last holidays, was offered an interview, and then offered a part time position. They do all the catering for Horncastle Arena and the AMI stadium (as well as other places). So she was excited about doing her first shift tonight (she works as a cashier at this stage). As she finishes after 9:30 she stayed with friends in town. She then headed to Amberley for her Saturday work at the café, and then back to town for the party. What a crazy weekend for her. But all very exciting.

I attended the primary school assembly this afternoon. Hannah giving me a smile as her class waits to share some of their experiences from camp.
Saturday 26th: I wasn't sure if Anastasia's feeding and sleeping would work in with Ruth's netball game as Brendon and Rachel were both working. Thankfully it worked out perfectly. It was so nice for me to get to watch Ruth. With it being a home game it was so easy for me to quickly pop up. I arrived just after the game started and managed to stay till the end.
The courts were very wet from the overnight rain, but we were all very thankful for the dry morning for their games. That post looks so high for these girls.
Ruth playing defence - making use of those nice long arms.
I was really thankful that Asher coped so well today (after the disaster last week). I just gave her the iPod to listen to music and she sat happily in her buggy the whole time. She would clap every now and again too. I wonder if having all the cross country practice has made her more familiar with the area? Sometimes it's a real mystery as to why she does or does not cope with things.
Hannah and Hezekiah were happy to be with too. Hezekiah enjoyed the park while we watched, and Hannah took this photo of us before we left. It seems like such a simple thing to organize to watch a netball game, but so many details had to work out and I was so grateful that they did.
Asher had a 1 minute Tonic Clonic seizure at 3pm this afternoon. We had forgotten to give her midday medication. With her being at school during the week and getting it there, it has been harder for us to remember on the weekend. You get out of habits so easily. So Brendon and I both felt really bad about forgetting. It's just another of those times where we just have to leave the past behind and not allow guilt to grow. It will make us be more aware in future.

LEFT: Anastasia thinking it's a funny game when Ruth put Asher's blanket on her head.
Sunday 27th: Brendon preached today. Unfortunately Anastasia was fighting her sleep and got rather loud. So I just took her and Asher to the car and so we missed the sermon. Brendon woke with a headache again this morning, so I was really pleased it had cleared by the time he had to preach.
Monday 28th: Ruth giving Anastasia some sitting practice. She has loads of core strength, but is not really aware of needing to balance herself yet. She can sit for a few seconds, or even longer if propped up against something. It's nice to get time sitting totally independently though.
Such happy faces.
Our bible study has moved to every 2nd Monday now.
Ruth propped Anastasia up in this fun bean bag.
It's been good to see Asher and Anastasia learning to have other people interacting with them.
At one point Brendon and I were both sitting at the table having our dinner and Asher was happily playing with Holly. It was so nice to just get that little break.
Unfortunately not long after the study started, Asher had a bit of a hard time neurologically. She didn't have a seizure, but felt really bad. So that was a bit of a distraction to Brendon and I. We kept thinking a seizure was coming, so were pleased that it settled.
Ruth looking very sophisticated with her new glasses.
Tuesday 29th: It was lovely to see Asher happy to play with the kitchen when we arrived at school today. It's a big step for her to be enjoying more of the activities in the class. She sticks to what is familiar and comfortable, so it was really encouraging for me to see.
Wednesday 30th: Anastasia has finally decided she won't just do the odd roll, but can actually use that skill to really move. I put her down were all those toys are and she ended up way over to the side. It's so cute to watch.
Asher's hair has needed a trim for a while as it's regularly in her eyes again. I got the crazy thought tonight to just shave it off. I took the longest attachment I had for the barber shears but was not wanting to have it as short as what Brendon or Hezekiah have it. And it actually worked out ok. She seemed to like the vibration of the shears and tolerated more work than when I used scissors. It was rather tricky using them on the top and trying to leave the hair relatively long (and neat). Not bad for a first effort. :-)