Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cooper Walks for Cambodia

I just wanted to share this story and photos with everyone. Cooper and his family are people we know through a Cerebral Palsy forum online. This little guy and his Mum are so very inspiring......I'll let the photo's do the talking and be prepared for a feel good cry.

Cooper Walks for Cambodia

Friday, October 22, 2010

Milestones and 'More'


It's a gorgeous Spring day in Canberra....sitting here in a singlet top! Aaaah Lovely. After 10 weeks of sitting on the floor, our lounge has finally arrived. But even better.....the day began with a word. That word was 'More'....and that word came out of Ayla's mouth! The planets, stars and the cogs in Ayla's brain all aligned to produce her first, undisputed word. It may not progress in the same way that other kids' speech does where they say it once and then there's no stopping them, but it's still her first undisputed word. It was said completely in context and at the right time. She wanted more pikelets, of course!

It's a huge milestone and it made me stop and realise that in the last 9-12 weeks, there has really been a string of little milestones.

I've noticed that Ayla is using her stomach muscles to sit up lately, instead of using her arms to push herself into sitting. And that when she topples over, it's a controlled decent instead of a crash! Ayla is becoming amazingly curious about her surroundings, exploring every nook and cranny in every location she visits. Her Preschool teacher told me today that she covers every inch of the preschool room (and it's a big room), each day that she's there. Yesterday they opened the door to let a breeze in and within seconds they couldn't find Ayla and she was sitting outside playing in the dirt. AWESOME! We have a 2-way bathroom and often find Ayla taking herself off to the bathroom to play. When we pull her out of there (it's not really safe to play by herself) and close the door, she knows to roll around to the other door! She initiates games of peek-a-boo, slaps her hands on the highchair to tell me to hurry up and put food in her mouth, passing things to me when I ask for them, rolling to me when I call her over, and attempting to 'put' things into and onto other things, filling up the containers in the bath and throwing them out of the bath, water and all. And it took a word (the biggest milestone of all) to remind me of all these little ones that are no less amazing.

To celebrate all of these milestones....and the milestone that is me finally working out how to embed a video in blog, I have included a video taken in January of Ayla and my Mum's dog, Gus. And at the top, as promised, the painting that I bought for Ayla from the Art show. It was painted by one of the students from Ayla's Specialist School.

Oh and on a slightly different we realised that we might be around $800 short for the next ABR workshop which is on Nov if you have been eyeing something off for Christmas presents on either Don't Tell Mamma or Mum and Dad's market stall, we would love it if you could consider purchasing it;)'s going to be pretty tight this time around. Thanks so much for everyone's support, we seriously wouldn't be powering ahead like we are without you all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Slippery Dip Fun with Daddy at Floriade

Feeling all warm and fuzzy today. Last night was the Opening of the Art Show at Ayla's Specialist school. I went along to help out with selling the paintings and craft entered by the students....spent a little money too. I bought the most gorgeous handmade wrapping paper and cards and a funky little painting for Ayla's room. I'll take a photo of it when I get it home next week. It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for her school and this week, more than ever, we really wanted to jump in and help raise that money.

Earlier in the week we had another meeting with the Principal and was informed that the Executive Teacher had already been up to visit Ayla's old school, Xavier. She had spent an entire day not just looking at Xavier but taking part in the Conductive Education programs in all of the rooms as well as having a cuppa with the parents at morning tea. I had the privelege of having a chat to this teacher last night at the art show and found out that she was SUPER impressed and absolutely loved her day there. Apparently, she's been eyeing prospective students for the new program that we are hoping to have started first term 2011 in Ayla's new school. I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy because not only did she visit Xavier and everyone from Xavier sent their greetings down to us but.....the visiting Teacher was thoughtful enough to request Ayla's placemat from Xavier so that she could have it here at her new school....made me well as being warm and fuzzy :)

So, we have a few meetings with the prospective Conductor and Steven and I will be holding meetings with all of the parents of the school to explain the program, the benefits and what some may see as the disadvantages (those being that you will actually need to come to school and take part in the program), and then re-assure them that they won't be bullied into anything they don't want to do. The Conductive Ed program will be purely a program of CHOICE. And I think CHOICE is a very important word in the disabilities world. CHOICE is not something that the people who are part of this world usually experience. And I, for one, am very proud that myself and Steven are going to be instrumental in bringing CHOICE to Canberra Specialist Schools.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Foods of Fancy

A couple of weeks ago I was all aghast at the 'Party Food' that the parents were providing for the Preschool End of Term Party. There was a list of foods pinned to the noticeboard and each parent had to put their name beside the food that they were bringing. Keep in mind that Ayla and I were new to "mainstream" schooling and had always enjoyed the healthy lifestyle that our Steiner Kindy provided.

So over I go to the list and gradually run my finger down it.....

Party Pies (1 dozen)
Party Pies (1 dozen)
Party Pies (1 dozen)
Sausage Rolls (1 dozen)
Sausage Rolls (1 dozen)
Cheerios (1 dozen)
.....and the list goes on, you get the idea.

All the way at the bottom of the page was Fruit Platter....THAT'S ME!!! So I put my name down beside the fruit platter. And so began my mission. Steven made some passing comment about the possibility of me getting all 'Jamie Oliver' and doing a big cookup and then all the kids not eating it. My response was ..."No no...just doing a really FABULOUS fruit platter". And I did......but then somehow I got all 'Jamie Oliver'...oops.

I nearly cooked myself into an early grave. I just couldn't stop thinking that if you provided healthy party food, the kids would eat it. There's really no need for all of the party pies and cheerios. In any case, I'm not really sure Cheerios could be classed as a food anyway. Just in case you don't know what a cheerio is....cocktail franks, weiners, little boys....whatever you want to call them. Those things that have something resembling meat....with all the added grissle, fat, bone, feathers....bluck!

Anyway, I digress :)

I decided that along with my FABULOUS fruit platter, I would come some other irresistables. We cooked Sesame Buffalo Wings (no buffalos don't have wings...chicken wings) and then I thought I would give a little respect to the new season - SPRING - and cook Devilled Eggs....eggs...spring.....I know your laughing at me!

You can see the FABULOUS fruit platter up the top.....fabulous right??? Right??? Yeah well anyway, I made 2...couldn't help myself.

Dropped it all off at the Preschool in the morning with everyone agape and most likely thinking, "I didn't see that on the list" and Steven hoping that it wasn't going to be a Jamie Oliver Healthy Food Disaster. And you know what? It wasn't :)

Steven did pick up and apparently it was a resounding success with all of Ayla's dishes walking off the table first!!! Weeeeeeeeeeeee. Experimental success! It seems that healthy party foods, presented nicely, really are the Foods of Fancy for Five Year Olds!

In other breaking news....the Luxmoore Family have returned to the world of Broccoli Box Farming......miss my vege patch. See below.