Saturday, February 10, 2018

Swimming progress

Hezekiah wanted to show me what he has learnt this last week during his swimming time at school. So we headed up to the pool this afternoon. Hannah got to show me how much she has improved too.

It was amazing to see him happy to put his head under the water like this.

He had told me that he had touched the floor of the pool. So he showed me. I'm so pleased he has gotten over that fear of going under.

Seeing Hannah dive so nicely he wanted to work on his dive too.

And his freestyle is coming on so very well too.
Well done to you both.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tabloid sports fun

What a beautiful day for Tabloid Sports.
Once Anastasia was awake and fed, I left her with Rachel and brought Asher up to watch the fun and games.
Above: They had a break just as we arrived and the water was sprayed up to allow anyone to cool off under the spray.
Then we spotted Hezekiah and Ruth with this challenge.
Then we saw Hannah at the tire tower challenge.
Good job Hannah.
Then we followed Hannah to the tug-of-war. At first they had to pull with water praying their feet. A really muddy tug-of-war.
And then they moved onto the dry grass and had a really good challenge with as many on each team as they could get.

Then we managed to find Hezekiah and Ruth again at their next challenge. Hezekiah had been looking forward to this one.
Scoring his goal.
Good job Hezekiah.
Then it was Ruth's turn. Well done for keeping up on that slippery surface. It's always fun that Ruth can wear this blue tutu from one of her dancing concerts as she is in Taylor - the blue house.
I dressed Asher in blue too, to support Taylor (and I had blue on myself too).
There wasn't any activities I thought she would be able to join in on, but it was good to have her there to watch some of it. As we were walking from the car she had seen all the children on the field and waved and say "hi". So that was already an encouragement to me. I still remember her first visits to preschool - and she didn't even notice the other children.

I was also pleased with Hezekiah's involvement today. Last year he had not enjoyed the tug-of-war and was a bit nervous about doing the challenges today. But he tried hard at them all and enjoyed the afternoon.

And as a nice end to the day, Taylor ended up winning overall.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

First school visits and a birthday cake

Wednesday 7th: Asher's first school visit today. Just for the morning. Unfortunately she had a seizure on Tuesday at 4pm and then another one this morning at 7am. Thankfully nothing while at school, but another one at 6:30pm. So a rough two days neurologically.
Thankfully she was pleased to see her box with familiar things, and enjoyed playing with them all. She wasn't looking great and I wondered if we would see another seizure in the morning, so I asked Rachel to bring her cake for morning tea, rather than waiting for lunch.
Rachel went to a cake decorating course on Monday evening, so she did this cake for Asher. It worked out well to celebrate with her class today.
Beautifully done Rachel.
Happy 5th Birthday Asher.
One candle hidden behind the horn (I didn't think about that). It was nice to have her class sing for her and get to enjoy her cake together.
I ended up staying and helping with keeping her distracted till around 11. I was then able to head home for a bit before picking her up at 12:30.

She will have her buggy at school too. This is another "safe place" for her. She had some morning tea while in it this morning. I need to just bring her tray next time and then she can even do a bit of "work" in there too.
The day went really well. Much better than it could have. Rachiel (her Teacher Aide) also commented on how well it went. We had both been prepared to potentially have a lot of screaming and even hitting - but she didn't do either. So wonderfully successful from that side of things.

BELOW: Nice to get a 2018 School photo of them all this afternoon.

Hezekiah's art that he brought home today.
Rachel did some shopping on Monday when she was in town. She spotted this pillow and thought of Ruth. Ruth had mentioned before how she loves these - with the little sequins that can be pushed two ways (so either a white background with a gold dear - or a gold background with a white dear). So thoughtful of Rachel.
Rachel and I headed off to do the egg collection this afternoon. It was nice to get out and spend a bit of time chatting.
A neighbour brought this cake as a "birthday" cake for Anastasia. She apologised for it being "late" but it was actually perfectly timed. Asher's cake was provided in the course on Monday, and so it was not Gluten Free. This cake is GF though, so it was nice for everyone at home to have some cake.
Thursday 8th: Another morning school visit today. And it went so much better.

They have "fitness" first thing in the morning and so we went outside with Asher. She ran over to where all the children were playing catch. Hezekiah spotted her and even tried to help teach her how to play. It was very special to see.

Her teacher suggested chalk for outside, so once she had lost interest in their game I got her drawing with the chalk (using "Wheels on the bus" song - which she often "draws" with at Champion Centre).

Her teacher also got some balls out which worked well and then gave Rachiel some bubbles. So she had a few different fun and familiar activities outside which was a great help.

The primary head teachers in the class on Thursday mornings after morning tea, and she gave me this encouraging feedback:
"We had a shared writing session on the mat, and I wrote a story about Asher being at school, and then asked a student to come and draw the picture to go with the story. Asher then also on her own accord, came up and took the pencil and also contributed to the story by drawing and making dots. She did this on more than one occasion and it was delightful to see."

We are all so very pleased that she is settling in so well and already starting to look at what the others are doing and even joining in.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Fancy chairs and family smiles

Thursday 1st Feb. Asher's teacher wanted a photo that she can use at school. So I took this one this evening. Such a lovely smile.
This morning Asher had an MRI under general anaesthetic. They allowed Brendon to take a photo of the machine. Thankfully it all went well.
BELOW: Friday 2nd: Our first children's monthly photo on the new furniture. Much easier to get everyone on.
Asher didn't have a proper school visit today, but I did put her uniform on so that she could get used to it. She also spent the morning at Lynda's home (her first EIE at preschool) and had her school "box" with her. The idea is that she gets to know that it has all familiar activities in. It will be her "safe place" at school, so it was really nice for her to have the opportunity to play with the items in a safe environment (as she has been to Lynda's home before).

The adaptors arrived today so that we could finally get the chairs working fully. Not only the recline, but also vibration. So we had a bit of time to relax this evening.
Asher thought it was fun too.
So much excitement for the children about the lounge suit.
Ruth called me to take a photo of these two in their "onesies".
Saturday 3rd: Ruth having some fun with Asher.
Sunday 4th: Ruth is Anastasia's personal trainer. Look how strong she is holding her head up so well. Ruth often gets her doing "sit ups" where she holds her two hands and Anastasia will pull herself up into a sitting position.
Monday 5th: Hezekiah was busy with his Reading Eggs and Math Seeds this afternoon. It was cute to see Asher go and sit and watch him.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Loft bed, new car and matching pants

Wed 24th: Ruth always likes putting Anastasia on Asher's lap. Asher is getting better all the time at interacting with Anastasia.
Unfortunately Asher started pacing again this morning and had a seizure at 11:30.
As she looked ok after her sleep, I thought I would take her with to the pool this afternoon. Making sure her goggles went on before she walked into the pool area (as last time she walked past the pool first - so I wanted to make sure that wasn't the issue). Unfortunately after some fun in the pool she again had a seizure. So the mystery still remains as to why she coped for so many hours in the pools at Hanmer. Thankfully she had wanted to get out the pool and so she was walking around with me when the seizure started. It may have been a lot harder for me to get her out the pool.
Thursday 25th: Ruth loves putting Anastasia up in a sitting position. Here they are having some giggles together.
Asher had another seizure this morning at 10:30. Just 1/2 a minute this time.
So there was no way I was taking her to the pool this afternoon. Brendon watched her and Anastasia though, so that I could go and have a swim with the children. It was so good to get a lot of lengths in. It was SO hot today, so it was great to cool off and get some exercise. The pool temperature has been in the 30s, but with the outside temp at 37, it's still wonderfully refreshing.
For months now Ruth has been investigating getting a loft bed. So she was thrilled when it finally got made today. She has been working over the summer holidays and her one big goal with earning some extra money was buying a loft bed. She could not afford it herself, but did contributed financially to getting it made. She is so happy with how big her bedroom is now. :-)
Fri 26th: Ruth setting up cuddles again. :-)
With Rachel having her restricted licence in a manual car, she can now switch to an automatic and when she does her final license (even though in an automatic) she will not have it restricted to automatic only. So with her working this summer, she has earned enough to upgrade from her 3 door manual. So I got hunting today on Trade Me and found this car which Brendon and Rachel went to town to test drive.
They were both really pleased with it and we got a real bargain as the guy just needed a quick cash sale as he has to fix one of his other cards.
Rachel is very pleased with her upgrade.
(Note: Our next step was to sell her manual. Within a week of just mentioning that it was up for sale, it got sold.)
We headed to the final Summer Friday night bible study. Normally Brendon will take Hezekiah and Asher home after dinner, but this evening we decided to see if we could manage with Asher there. It went so well. We brought an self-inflating mattress and her own familiar pillow and blanket. At 7:30 when the study started (and the time she normally goes to bed) we switched off her music DVD and she happily went to sleep.
Hezekiah and Hannah enjoyed playing before and after the study and Hezekiah did really well sitting quietly through the study too. If only we had tried it a couple of weeks ago. :-)
Sat 27th: Ruth is very busy sorting out her room now that she has her new bed. I suggested she use one of the 3 bean bags we have to fill up the other two as they are all looking a bit empty. These bean bags are really good quality leather ones that Nana gave us when Rachel was still a baby. So they have lasted wonderfully well.

BELOW: It was so hot again today and there was no ice cream in the freezer, so we decided to help everyone cool off with ice cream Sundays at the tearooms. A nice last minute family treat.

Ruth's room looking nice and organized. I had suggested getting some rails for under her bed for hanging up her shirts as well as dresses. Her shirt draw is always really hard to keep organized, so I think this will work really well for her.
Looking so nice and neat.
Monday 29th: Asher had not had another seizure since Thursday so we thought we would try the pool again today. Unfortunately she again had a seizure. This time Brendon and I were both there with Anastasia (she had just woken when they were leaving). So I took Brendon, Asher and Anastasia home and then went back to join the children for a swim. It was great getting to help Ruth with her swimming as well as get more lengths in myself.
Tuesday 30th: The children only start school tomorrow but Champion Centre started today. So Ruth came with me. It was great having her with to help with Asher as I had my hands full with Anastasia.
We even made a parent child outing out of it and did some shopping on the way home. We now have matching pants. I saw a mum at the pool with shorts like this to swim in, and it looked like a great idea.

BELOW: An updated video of Anastasia "talking". I do wish I had gotten one with her talking to Debbie last week. It was so precious.
Thanks for filming Ruth.

Wednesday 31st: School started today but as Asher will be having visits next week and starting soon after that, I decided to wait on taking a "2018 school photo".

Dad and Hannah went to collect the eggs this afternoon and enjoyed a treat at the tearooms. It's working out well to have a forced little outing each week (even though the pickup is only 5 minutes away). It's a good excuse to get some one-on-one time.