Hip Hip Hooray

A quick update. It is 15 degrees (59f) has been raining for 2 days solid and tonight we are driving off to spend a few days at the beach as a part of our mid-year school holidays. I actually love doing off season activities, so we’ll wear our rain jackets and enjoy the empty beach. Being an optimist, I’m sure we’ll also get some beautiful clear crisp days as well. Fingers crossed.

It’s been busy on the home front. Baby J is now one year old! Not only that, but last night he took his first wobbly, unaided steps and today he is walking across the room. Go baby go!

N has been talking non-stop – and I mean non-stop for a while now and, typically for a 2yo is giving some royal command performances with his impressive tantrums. Favourite topic of conversation? Trevor’s motorbike. Trevor is my neighbour and his ears must burn with the number of times his name is mentioned in a day.

L is as challenging as ever and I am hoping that the disruption to his routine that the school holidays bring will not make things even worse. I start each day hoping that I have the patience and reserves I need to get through it. I’m constantly seeking out new, engaging activities for him and that certainly helps.

What is not helping is my godforsaken back – oh no! Oh yes! Actually, it’s not my back. It’s more my hip. And now I officially sound like a really old lady, uh oh, I feel like one too! My sacro iliac joint (where the back and the hip connect) is very unhappy with me. Having my spine fused has meant that this joint has had to take some punishment. I need to rest it as much as possible, but with three little boys? It’s not happening folks. So, I’m strapped up, I’m medicated, I’m desperately trying to avoid the next earth shatteringly, excruciating jab. Sadly, this will take some time to heal and I’m already a month into this new world of pain. Enough whinging.

You will hear from a happier me after I return from our mini-break.

Bear With Me

I had the absolute pleasure of taking the two little boys to a show at the Out of The Box Festival last week. Together with our lovely friends, we went to Bear With Me by Tyrone & Leslie.

We all brought our own teddy bears along and with about 50 others we sat on the floor and enjoyed a beautifully whimsical show about bears. We had a cardboard box to sit around. This turned out to be a very good thing as, while we were waiting N started drumming away on his and got the whole room of kids drumming like mad. Then as the show started, Baby J started pushing the box all the way to the stage (not very far away). I opened the box and popped him in and he had a lovely time standing up in there and really enjoyed the show without me having to run after him every couple of minutes.

N panicked when the lights went down and really wanted to leave, but it was great that he was able to hang in there because there were ukuleles! I talked him through his initial concerns, calling Tyrone & Leslie ‘the funny daddies’. He wasn’t really sure whether he enjoyed the show until afterwards. But once it was over and he could relax, he loved it and is still talking about the ‘teddy concert’ and the ‘funny daddies’ with great affection a week later.

So here you are my lovlies, one of the songs from the show…

Get Out Of Town!

We’ve just had a long weekend here. I remember how I used to look forward to three days of relaxation and some extra time to do a few things. Not these days. Long weekends and school holidays fill me with dread. How on earth am I going to keep my 5yo happy, entertained and keep myself from going insane?

I am usually pretty hopeless at planning too far ahead, but for this weekend, I managed to pull something off. Something very special.

I love to get out of town and recharge the batteries with some good clean air and simple living. But doing that with three little kids, isn’t exactly easy. I have found a lovely couple who have a property and who want to support families with special needs kids. Hands up! Me please!!!! I booked myself and the kids in for the weekend.

On Saturday morning, I packed up what seemed to be half of our belongings, strapped the kids in and headed for the hills. This is not a B&B or a farm stay, this is something quite unique that I’ve never really seen or heard about before. You have your own self-contained rooms which are connected to the main house by an enormous veranda. Chris & Karin are there to support you – they provide all the food and do all the cooking. You can have your own space or you can be more social, but you eat together and they will show you around the property, involve the kids in various activities and try to give you a bit of a break while also getting on and doing their various tasks around the property.

main range view from the veranda

My kids just LOVED it and so did I. Within an hour or so L was shadowing Chris in all his activities. Chris fired up the quad bike and took him on a ride around the property – he was in heaven! Happily sitting there taking it all in. All his sensory needs being met and just loving the space being out of town provides. The little boys were just as excited. Baby J got a ride too, but N – who loves the idea of motorbikes and who talks about them all the time, there was no way he was getting on that quad bike!

big fire, big sky

The weather was a bit drizzly and quite cold, but it held off from really raining on the first day. We had a huge fire that night and L was just fascinated by it. The two littlies fell asleep out there cradled in various loving arms, warmed by the massive blaze and L just kept dancing around it feeling that invisible barrier between the cold and the super hot. He almost singed his eye lashes off a couple of times but he didn’t thank goodness.

The next day we went fro a great walk in the morning. Then Chris got the tractor going – whoa nelly! That was pretty damn exciting for three little boys. L was happy as Larry riding around up there on the classic old International. N ‘helped’ a bit with some of the fencing work that was going on and then as a final treat they took us down to the creek.

The creek was just stunningly beautiful and the boys had a wonderful time walking through the water throwing rocks in and getting themselves completely muddy and wet – what good fun!

So I think you can tell that we had a wonderful time. The boys had an absolute ball – they played, ate and slept with vigour from all that fresh air and activity. I got a great break from L’s full on behaviours, noise making etc. I’m now convinced that he needs to grow up with more space around him. I hope we can get back again soon. Totally addictive.

Under Siege

I know! I’ve been a bit slack. But I’ve been under siege. Since coming back from my weekend away in Darwin it’s been payback time for mumma! Things are just starting to settle down a bit now – two weeks later.

My 5yo L has been screaming. SCREAMING!!! Screaming in the morning, when he wakes everyone up in the pre-dawn dark of early winter. Screaming relentlessly throughout the morning routine of getting ready for school. The other day I had to carry him kicking and screaming to the bus. When he gets home from school? Let the screaming begin! (again). It is a form of torture. The weekends are worse.

I’m trying everything. All my tricks. He’s getting lots of attention, lots of positive praise when he is not screaming. Lots of outdoor fun. Plenty of food and water. I draw the line, I warn, I time out, I time myself out. I document to see what I am not seeing. But the screaming combined with the opening/closing door compulsion, the light switch compulsion, the need to find every dangerous or hot thing to touch, the climbing, the stripping, the scratching, pushing and of course, the pooping well, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t bringing me down.

On the upside, I’ve been inspired by Lauren over at Hike Blog Love. She’s always getting her kids out into the great outdoors. So, I’m going to be following her lead and I’m planning on setting up a special needs & friends bushwalking group. We will get together once a month on a Sunday to go for a walk and commune with nature.

I’m in the process of testing out our first couple of walks – which will be pram & wheelchair accessible. Anyone can come along and join us. I think it will be lots of fun and at the very least, it will give me a break from the screaming. If you are interested, let me know.

Here’s some photos from last weekend’s efforts. It was our first taste of the cold!