Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alex's assessment

Just a quick update. No photos today because, well because I haven't taken any. Been a little busy with Alex and printing wedding invitations.
Alex had his 2 year corrected assessment on Tuesday. 3 hours of all sorts of interesting fun and games. I do find these things interesting though I have doubts over the accuracy of them, especially when you have a 2yo who doesn't always want to co-operate.
Alex only woke up just before we left, had a drink in the car and hadn't had any food so I expected him to be quite cranky but in general he was very good. Only got a bit upset when they kept trying to get him to do something he didn't want to or stop him doing something he did.
Of course there were some things he didn't do on demand which I know he will do at home and other things he could have done if they were worded a little differently or the tools were a little different. Like the plastic doll they had, all plastic with no clothes. Alex doesn't have any dolls at home and I don't know that he has even seen one like that before. Still he was able to point out the 'baby's' eyes, hands etc but couldn't identify her hair. Her 'hair' was a pattern in on the molded plastic head. He could have probably identified 'head' if they asked but I think expecting him to call a plastic pattern 'hair' was a bit much. I could almost see him thinking 'you idiots this thing has no hair' :)
Similar thing with drawing. Alex can draw lines, circles and even a good approximation of a star, with his crayons but not for the assessors. They gave him a very long pencil and he likes to hold pencils on the very end (not the tip) so the way he was holding it, it ended up almost horizontal and he couldn't apply enough pressure to draw.
Then there were other things he did that I didn't know he could do. Things he hasn't been exposed to before or we just hadn't noticed. Like threading a block on a string and walking sideways.
There were even things he did too well, bypassing the basic skill they were testing. Like a puzzle he was supposed to put together on the table. He held it up in the air in front of him and did it there. Failed because it wasn't on the table but I thought it showed a lot more skill and imagination to do it they way he did.
Anyway he scored in the low averages (which I think is different to below average) for most things. I'll know more when we get the report in a few weeks. His area of strength was his motor skills which is really funny cause last time they were his area of weakness. They also commented on how physically strong he is.
Physically he is healthy (we knew that) and normal. They were surprised he has done so well without any OT or physio help and said nice things about how well we had done with him. His height is 88cm which puts his expected adult height around 5'9". Weight was 12.2kg (less than on the home scales) and his head circumference hasn't changed since November which I think is strange but the Dr's don't.
We finally got someone to take our concerns about his tongue and hand seriously and now we know what's what. He has Geographical Tongue which isn't a problem and wont effect his speech or eating. It just looks strange. So nice to know that!
The problem with his hand is a Ganglion so they are sending us a referral to a hand surgeon. It does need to but fixed before it effects his hand mobility. Especially important as he is left handed and the Ganglion is at the base (palm side) of his middle finger on the left hand.
Not looking forward to him having surgery especially an anesthetic. Typical I think of any parent of a prem that has been ventilated before (especially for a long time and has CLD). The anesthetic is the scariest thing. I am looking forward to it being fixed though before it gets worse. We have to wait for the referral.
Now I have to go and find out why my dear husband isn't home yet (dinner is ready) and just because you asked here's some photos taken here and now.
This is Alex amusing himself tonight with his latest game. Shredding tissues, wiping spit all over his face and sticking bits of tissue to his face. I had to stop him when he started sticking them up his nose!

and a really simple scrap page I did as a tittle page for Alex's scrapbook.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A wet weekend

Not much of a weekend here. It rained all day today so the washing didn't dry, Alex couldn't play outside and we didn't wash the car. Actually we didn't get anything we'd planned done. Yesterday was pretty much the same too. Alex has been difficult and it's throwing everything out of order. He just doesn't want to sleep. He goes to bed at night and if we are lucky he goes straight to sleep but then he is waking up multiple times in the night wanting to play or even demanding to watch TV! Now as long as he doesn't scream himself sick we can leave him in bed and hope he goes back to sleep but he habitually takes his clothes and nappy off and we can't go to bed ourselves until he has settled because we have to keep checking that he is still dressed. Why did he have to choose Winter to go through this stage? That is I'm hoping it's just a stage.
Last night he didn't go to sleep until about 3am , the night before was just before 2am. It's not as if he isn't tired, he is, which makes it worse 'cause he is cranky when he is tired. Last night after he finally went to sleep he woke up again at 5am. He wasn't screaming so I stayed in bed and spent the next few hours just listening to him. Eventually he went quiet again until about 7am and then back to sleep until 9am when we found him with no sleeping bad, socks or trousers on and his nappy undone. So this morning we were all too tired for our planned early start and I had to wash his wet PJ's.
Tomorrow will be interesting. Alex and I have to be out early and if he keeps us all up tonight it's going to be very difficult.
The good news is Alex's talking is taking off like crazy. He isn't any easier to understand but he is using more words and at least I can understand him. He said turtle in the bath tonight and 'ubble ubble' which is the noise the turtle makes. He is speaking French quite well but Graham and I don't so we have some creative conversations. Everything he says seems to start with la or le. He has a pair of la shoes which are la blue.
Oh and Alex is taking after his Grandmother. He has a habit of picking the skin off his finger tips! His thumb is quite raw and sore looking now and he wont leave it alone. He has mastered the art of picking at it one handed (same hand). Something previously only seen in the women of this family.
OK photo time.
Don't these two look cosy? Good thing Tilly is only a small girl or they wouldn't fit.
I don't know what Tilly will do without her bed buddy when Critchon goes home.

My darling husband bought me some amazing flowers. The scent was fantastic and filled the house. Unfortunately they didn't last very long. This time of year with the heating on it just dries the flowers. They don't die they dry. Having to put them up high out of reach of the cats and Alex means they are closer to the aircon too which doesn't help.

Got the 'new' car yesterday! This is the swap for the 4x4.
Eunos 800 or Xedos 9 or Mazda Millenia.
Not the Miller-cycle engine.
These were something like $80k when new but now are cheap as umm cheap cars.
All luxury. It's our first car with ABS, air bags, cruise control and leather seats!
It has power seats, sunroof, 3 sunvisors, cup holders and some funky 4 wheel steering at low speeds (good for parking).
It was a wet and dark day today. So much for my plans to wash and polish the car before taking photos. I ran out between showers to snap these just so I had something to put on my blog. There you go Mom and Dad, that's the new car. It's big isn't it? Would look better with some nice wheels and decent window tinting. The back window has tinting that has fogged up so we'll have to find out about replacing that. It's a bit disturbing to drive when everything in the rear view mirror is blury.
It's got a big boot and 5 seats so do you think we can pick you up from the airport Mom?

Alex looks happy from the safety of the stairwell but if we try to take him closer to the car he screams. The whole reason we wanted to get rid of the 4x4 was because Alex was scared of it and refused to go in it. So we get a nice sensible 4 door car and what happens, he wont get near it. We'll try again when it's not wet outside and he can walk to it himself.

Just for the scare factor :P
This is what happens to my hair in wet weather.
Nope this isn't caused by static electricity, this is just wet weather frizz.
It's even worse with static but I don't usually have any static problems.
Surprised Alex isn't scared of me rather than the car.
Pretty bad though when your son walks in and sees a photo on the screen of you looking your worse and says 'mama'. Would have been much nicer if he didn't recognise me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Scrap happy

I was feeling creative and needed a break so I scrapped this tonight. Everything made by me! That's the photos, the elements, the paper and the child.

Something to laugh at

Thought it was time for a new profile photo. A nice grainy black and white with a sense of humour.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lots of photos

About time I did an update. Been a bit busy with photos and wedding invitations lately (as well as the usual Alex).
The long weekend was nice but we didn't get half what we wanted done. The rain didn't help though Graham still got the car washed. The people who were coming to look at Graham's car didn't turn up and haven't called. There were another couple we were going to see about swapping the car but when we tried to get Alex in Graham's car he had a screaming fit so we couldn't go. We will try again next weekend and have arranged to meet them half way so if Alex screams all the way, it's only half as long. The scream is painful but something we can all survive as long as he doesn't reach the throwing up stage. I don't think anyone would wont Graham's car if they see it with fresh vomit. Not that we will force the issue if Alex screams again next time we try. If it comes to that Graham will go on his own and have to make a decision without me. Thing is I'm better at spotting the details, like previous repaired damage, early rust and I have a better ear for engines so Graham values my opinion on cars.
We didn't make it to Krispy Kreme last night for National Premmie Day which I'm really disappointed about. Not because I was dying for a doughnut but because there really wasn't much happening to mark the day and I wanted to show my support where I could. Graham got home late and by the time he came home Alex was asleep. We could have woken Alex up and gone but by then there was only an hour before the event finished and it would have taken 40mins to get there.
Alex got a parcel from Nagga and Grumpa yesterday. He loved opening it and was still playing with the tissue paper today. He got some beautiful clothes that should fit him next summer (I hope) and some pencils and left handed scissors (for later). I got some of the Boots No7 moisturiser I was after.
Spent a while on the phone to Jim tonight, on speaker phone. Alex was fascinated by the voice in the phone. I told him it was a little man in there. He kept waving to him but I don't think he believed me. I've had no luck teaching him to say Uncle Jim or even just Jim. Alex has a book of photos he likes to look at and his favourite is a group photo of Graham and myself, my parents and Jim. Alex will point to each and I have to name them but he always skips Jim. If I ask him to show me each by name he will point to them and even point to feet, eyes etc for me but he wont do Jim. It's like he wont identify someone he doesn't remember. I tried to get my web cam working so Jim could see Alex but I haven't got it happening yet. Still a few more things to iron out on my PC and Graham hasn't got anything like that reinstalled yet.
Alex likes to play pretend phones. Anything roughly shaped like a phone will work. He has tried remotes, shoes (and socks), blocks etc but the cutest was last night when he saw some junk mail advertising phones. He picked it up to his ear and said hello :)
Ok here's some photos. As the mud has dried up a bit I wanted to get some photos of Alex on his bike outside but he wasn't interested. Seems outside is for toy lawnmowers and chasing the cat and the bike is only for inside. I wish he'd told me before I struggled to get it outside whilst keeping the cat inside and Alex from falling down the stairs.

I've been wanting to get a good photo of Alex's eyelashes. He has such long lashes but they are so fair they come out like this.

Something I made for Alex. It has pictures of things he can say with the numbers still for counting. He loves opening the inner flaps.

How cool are these tiger socks. Alex growls at them. We had to move up to the bigger boys clothes on the weekend to find some socks to fit him and they are all so serious looking. These were the most colourful/fun socks I could find. These are size 5-8 and only just fit. It's silly, some of his trousers are still size 1, most of his tops are size 1 or 2 but his feet are huge!

This is where Alex shouldn't be! I try to stop him climbing on the lounge, especially as the first thing he usually does up there is hit the cat and the second is take the light bulb out of the lamp. He was looking out the window at a dog on the footpath but it's things like this that end in bruises!

Here's some photos from the other weekend with Tom. I think Tom was a little frustrated with Alex's weight :)

No Alex wasn't punching Tom it just looks like that.

Alex's eyes are stunning when they catch the right light. I can't believe how grown up he looks some times.

I love this photo of the boys in the 'spa'. Tom is really hamming it up and Alex looks like he is peeing in the spa.

Why are toddlers so facinated by pegs?

This is what happens to little boys who mess with Mom's folding laundry trolley.

I had the lights set up for Tom but took some snaps of Alex in all his scruffy glory while I was at it. Wrinkled clothes, messy hair, bruised face and all.

Graham will kill me if he sees these :)
I got him to sit in the sweet spot while I checked my exposure and lighting.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

On your bike!

It's raining, it's pouring!
It's been raining since about 3am. Lovely heavy rain. The new gutter is holding up beautifully but the gutter outside Alex's window is over flowing again. It's always been a problem, might be the best place for a water tank.
Alex's new bike arrived today but he couldn't play outside. Crichton couldn't play outside either. So one of them spent the day avoiding the other.
Tilly seems a bit better, hasn't been sick at all today but she wont eat the chicken mince the vet prescribed.
Alex got new shoes too, some black boots for Winter, size 7.5F. How can a 2yo have such big feet! At least the boots give him the extra mm he needs to reach the pedals on his bike :)
Alex has a new word today, 'noodle'. We've just had noodles and Thai red curry for the 3rd night is a row (it's yummy and I have a lot of chicken mince to use up) and Alex loves the big thick noodles. He likes spicy food too. Only problem is we smell of curry now. It's oozing out of our skin. I'm surrounded by the scent of fenugreek and curry leaves.
Graham and I are both (still) repairing our computers. Graham has had an ongoing problem since his main hard drive died. He bought a new one and found he didn't have a cable for it so he got a cable the next day and then found he didn't have a spare connection for the cable and then he couldn't find his windows key or remember his admin password :)
I'm trying to back up my 2 full drives to 2 300GB external drives but finding it extremely slow. I didn't realise external USB drives were so slow. Then I have to rearrange my partitions to make better use of the space I have and still keep a back up of everything.
It took 4.5 hours this morning to copy one small drive.
I now have 1680GB of hard drive space on my PC and it's mostly full! I've been burning off photos to DVD whenever I can but I need quick access to my photos and filed away on DVD is not quick. So I keep quite a few on the HDs. I got back over them so often. The other major hard drive filler is my scrapbooking files. Then there's video files. Even when I've burnt off a DVD of Alex's latest starring role I still like to keep the raw video files on hand. Alex likes to watch them too :) The latest video footage of Alex is over 35GB!

Just the one photo. Until I've got my PC all sorted I don't really have hard drive space to work on photos.
Alex on his new bike.
This is the lowest the handle bars and seat go. He needs his boots on to reach the pedals when they are all the way down. There's a long parents handle that goes on the back to push him around and the steering can be locked so he can't turn when we're pushing him. Hmmm let's hope he doesn't discover he can put the brake on while we're pushing.
There's also a sun shade that goes over the top for long rides. I wonder if it would keep the rain off?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sick little girl

I love the photo of Mom's roses from yesterday so tonight for a creative release I scrapped a page for them.

Today has been a very long day after a very long night.
Alex didn't nap today. I tried but the first time I put him down the doorbell rang and then the phone and the second time Graham came home just as he had gone quiet. So each time he started complaining and had to get up again.
Tilly is sick so it's been harder than ever to stop Alex bothering her. She is feeling all sooky and just wants a lap to cuddle in but I can't sit with her without Alex climbing all over her.
Last night Tilly didn't look right and by 2am she was throwing up. I have good hearing so when she threw up in the hallway at 5am it woke me and I had to get up in the cold and clean it up. I thought about pretending I hadn't heard but I knew if I didn't clean it up she was try to cover it up and just spread it around. The evil me thought about waking Graham to clean it up but in the end I remembered I'm the Mom and Mom's get the yucky jobs so I got up and cleaned up and tucked her into her bed.
This morning we found she'd been sick on the rug too at some stage so I got to clean again. She was sick 3 more times before midday which earned her a trip to the vets. She had a shot to stop her chucking and is now on antibiotics.
It's been an expensive day. First the vets and then Graham had to buy some new computer bits 'cause his PC died last night.
The good news is Alex went down tonight without a fuss and ate well today.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mom's roses

This photo is for my Mom. These are your roses Mom!

It's been a good weekend but a busy one. I still haven't got the washing done!
Alex slept in well for us each day. Today we wanted an early start but he didn't wake until 11:30am!
Saturday Graham had to work in the afternoon and R & R came over at night and made us dinner. A nice relaxing night and Alex had fun with the extra attention.
Today we went to Kurrajong to T & D's kids school fete. Alex got to see some animals and a big fire truck. The tires were bigger than him.
Then we went to Mom and Dad's and watered the plants (yes it's a watering day) and picked up the fallen fruit, swept the patio, filled the birds water dishes, cut the dead heads off the roses and I cut the best of the roses to bring home :) Some of the rose buds have caught the frost and are black but there were still some beautiful roses out.
Alex was excited when we got there and couldn't wait to get out of the car but he got quite cranky when we left, I think he wanted to keep looking for Nana and Grumpy. He slept all the way home though, had food when we got in, went to bed, got up and ate again and was back in bed by 9pm.
That makes 6 good nights in a row now, touch wood.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Funny faces

Just a quick update to give me a break from photo editing. I'm down to the final 50 from Tom's photo shoot on the weekend but as I can only work on them when Alex is asleep it means I'm trying to cram it all in at night and right now, I need a break before I go blind!
Actually I should just go to bed new.
Tonight has been our 4th good night in a row with Alex (touch wood). It's too soon to hope that we have this screaming/chucking problem sorted, especially when he does it during the day if he thinks he doesn't want a nap, but things are definitely looking up.
We need to work on his waking process once the sleeping is sorted though. He used to be so good when he woke up. Half the time we wouldn't even know he was awake unless he was 'talking' to his teddy. Now he goes from sleep to instant screaming when he wakes. If left too long the screaming becomes the 'I'm going to throw up' cough. Sometimes he starts with a fake cough before the screams and he throws everything in his bed out. Teddys, pillow and blanket. He has really good aim too, he throws them at his baby monitor, there by guaranteeing maximum noise. Then he screams he head off because he can't reach his teddy. Mind you we get the same tantrums when he is playing if he can't reach things he wants. It has been easing a bit this week, maybe because he has had more sleep.
The really good thing though is his eating. After sooooo long struggling to get enough food into him he is now eating practically everything I offer him (touch wood). 3-5 meals a day with snacks and milk. I really hope this keeps up. It certainly is a load off my mind and so nice not to be throwing food out all day. He still prefers bought food to home cooked and he demands the TV on to eat, which I hate. Not too bad during the day when something like playschool is on but at night not even the ads are kid safe.
I can see the difference the extra food is making already. His face is filling out again. Any weight change shows in his face first. Oh and he is heavy! Last night he curled up in my arms and I had to carry him to bed and it was a struggle (much easier when he is 'sitting' on my hip).
I wanted to get a photo to show the different in his face. Just a snap shot in his highchair before he went to bed tonight. Of course he started being a clown and I was worried he wouldn't calm down enough to go to bed.
Check out this series of snaps. Such a funny little man.

The 'raw' patch down the side of his tongue is really noticable tonight.

He is coming out with all sorts of new words, mainly just copying us rather than using them correctly, but his understanding is amazing.
Tonight he was standing in front of the TV with his back to me, way too close as usual, and ignoring us telling him to move back or sit down. So I said 'where's your nose Alex' and he touched his nose. We then went through ears, hair, mouth, feet, hands, belly and back to nose. He did them all perfectly with his back to me and without showing any other sign he was listening. I've never done all that with him before and didn't even know he knew feet, hands and belly. We don't do eyes because he pokes himself :) Graham didn't see him do it so I had to ask him to do it again and he did!