Sunday, July 24, 2011


It has been a crazy busy week around here....all centred around Ayla's 6th Birthday.  First she stands just in time for it and then I've been running around like a crazy person all week trying to prepare for the biggest and best birthday EVER!  Leading up to her birthday I hadn't slept in 3 days.....mentally preparing everything and then for some reason dreaming of myself racing down slopes and gently winging my way back up mountains on chairlifts.....excited much?

But all the stress and sleepless nights were totally worth it.  In the words of Frankenstein...."I'm Alive!!"  :).....Let's start at the start.

Ayla's birthday didn't truly start until Daddy came home around 6 on Friday night.  Prior to that the only Birthday fun we had had was Mummy singing Happy Birthday (seemingly Marilyn Monroe style according to the video LOL). 

 Both Cuties...Ayla and the Birthday Mummy.
We spent the day baking and decorating a birthday cake and collecting 'stuff' for our snow trip.  And then finally Daddy came home!  The special birthday dinner was served up, presents were opened.....and then came CAKE!!  I would have to say that as far as Ayla was concerned this was my first Birthday Cake success.  We have had lots of great cakes but Ayla isn't really into the sweet things and it's always difficult to work out what she considers a treat.  This, apparently, was the cake she had been waiting for!!  She ate her serve, half of mine and then half of Steven's...and today she was most unimpressed when she was served lunch and not cake.

It's my version of Strawberry Shortcake.....Gluten free sponge cake, filled and smothered with a combination of sweet cheese filling, cream, strawberries (chopped, squished and 'sauced'), with crushed meringues all over.  The entire cake only (including filling) only had 1 cup of sugar....just perfect and I'm totally proud of myself.

But the real fun was to be had at the snow!  About a month ago I wrote a post about Disabled Wintersport Australia and how this group makes snow fun accessible for everyone.....and they didn't disappoint!  They have special equipment tailored to every ability and fabulously trained instructors for every child.  Ayla's instructor was Jordy and he was amazing with her.  Excited, playful, respectful and caring.  You could tell that he couldn't wait to get her up there.  I was a little concerned whether Ayla would enjoy it or not.  The last time we went to the snow it was blizzard like conditions and she didn't enjoy it.  She thought the best part of the day was lunch.  But this time, conditions were perfect and you could tell she was loving it by the way she was giggling and squealing.  Below is a short video and a selection of photos from the day.

Ayla's carer from school, Joan, also came with us yesterday so that we all had a bit of a break.  It meant that even Steven could go off for a little while and just hang out alone.  Having Joan there made everything so much easier.  Dressing a child in snow clothes isn't a simple thing but with 2 of us working on her it was a little more breezy.

To top the day off....I also had an amazingly fabulous time snowboarding.  There was a little worried person inside me that thought I was getting a bit old to get back on a snowboard after 7 years.  I honestly don't know what I was worried about!  It was almost like riding a bike...almost.  After a lesson, I picked it up much easier than I did the first time around and was soon going up and down the mountains fairly confidently....until I stacked it on a blue run :).  I think I'll stay within my abilities and stick with the green runs for a little while.  Yesterday I felt truly alive.  The past 8 weeks have been hard with Steven away and the last 2 weeks have had me feeling totally trapped.  School holidays have meant that I haven't been able to go to yoga or work during the week so I was starting to feel like a caged animal.  After Ayla's lesson had finished, I took some time to be totally selfish in order to refresh myself.  I hopped on that board and took off and apart from a couple of short 10 minute breaks to check in with Steven and Joan, I didn't come back until after 4pm....and you couldn't wipe the grin off my face!

I think I'll give Ayla's birthday 10/10 this year!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Milestone Time!!!

It's that time we all know and love.....well around here anyway.

Ta Daaaaaa!  The Little Mrs standing up all by herself! 

It's time to start a whole new level of child proofing :)  Thank you ABR!!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Lesson in 'No'

I don't know.....I don't think I won this battle!  LOL!  See what you think...

I know she understands the word 'NO'....because she pulls her hand back and looks at me when I say it.  Sometimes she even gives me an evil giggle (Steven witnessed this for the first time recently....Told you so!!!) 

I think recently we have started to see a whole different Ayla.  In fact, I think we are starting to see the '6 year old' Ayla, instead of the perpetual toddler.  She takes notice of everything, including watching one lone bird fly overhead until it's out of sight.  That might not sound like a whole lot of anything to some of you....but it's a pretty major step forward for Ayla.  It wasn't that long ago that we took an expensive family trip to Taronga Zoo, stood no more than 3 metres from an Elephant and still Ayla didn't see it.  She only saw the big picture that the elephant was a part of. 

We're getting there....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

We Care and We Vote

Today I read an article by a woman who is her daughter's sole carer....for life.  I truly hope that I never reach the depths of despair that this lady has reached.  Please read this.....this is the life of the Carer.  There are tens of thousands of us living this harsh reality of Australia's 3rd world disability system.

We Care......And We Vote!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

An Anniversary in Images

Today is 1 year since my Dad, Ayla and myself drove into Canberra for the very first time.  One full turn of the seasons.  This is exciting to me....maybe not to anyone else.....but it makes me feel excited.  It has been a fabulous year full of really positive changes for all of us. 

Ayla is in a wonderful school where she is truly embraced.  That's what I always wanted for her.  I still can't believe that both the Principal and the Deputy Principal regularly visit Ayla's classroom just in time to watch her step into her classroom and cheer her on.  Steven is finally doing what we moved down here for in the first place....and seems to be loving it (except the study).  And I have found myself in a fabulous job within a family run health food store and I actually feel like a part of the family AND I'm doing what I always wanted....seeing patients at the Allergy Centre and within my own clinic at Power Living Canberra. 

There have been bike rides, walks, markets, a visit from family (and hopefully some friends will visit us soon too), little trips around the region and more trips to come.  Here's to another exciting year in the Nation's Capital.  Enjoy the pics....
Winter 2010

Spring 2010

Summer 2010/2011

Autumn 2011

And then back to winter again...

Friday, July 1, 2011

The 'R' Word

Lately, Steven and I have been discussing the 'R' word (you know....that Retard word) and it's uses and connotations a lot.  With Steven being at college, he's been in a position (on numerous occasions) where the term has been used by lecturers and students alike.  Whether to make a point, get a laugh or whatever.  Steven has been quite upset about it and has had many things to say to all of those involved....leading to inevitable discussions between us about picking your battles.

From my own position, as long as the term isn't used in a derogatory or malicious manner, and happens more as a slip of the tongue, I'm usually ok.  And Steven seems to be coming around to this opinion too.  Recently Robert Rummell-Hudson from Schuyler's Monster Blog has also been writing posts around the term and something he said confirmed my beliefs around 'picking your battles' (actually it was just one thing among a truly fabulous post).  He said, "There's a saying that if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem starts to look like a nail".  I don't just resonates with me.

Anyway, I wanted to include a link to this particular post for you all to read.  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this topic but remember.......if you can't say it nicely, then don't bother saying it at all.  This isn't a forum for nastiness.