Friday, February 29, 2008

Just around the corner

Would you believe that this week, Turtle has been a completely different child? Sure he's had his moments as most 4yr old boys would. But overall I would have to say he is a lot better than the child he was being last week. This week he behaved during assembly and earnt 5 stickers at school which in return earnt him free computer time today (at school). Turtle's also been far better behaved at home also. I'm not proclaiming he's mysteriously turned into some kind of angel but I welcome any days where he behaves better than he previously has. I know there's a good kid inside him, he just has to get out once in a while!

I also finally heard back from that Gov't Dept we have to deal with. Finally my requests of referrals is being set into motion. With any luck in 4weeks time we should be well on our way to at least having an initial 'needs assessment' followed later with a 'full paediatric assessment'. Mind you these kinds of things should've been done 18mths ago!!

I've been to the gym twice this week. Ethan has been sleeping again of a day and he seems to be over his cold. So my workouts this week consisted of 1 body pump class and 1 boxing class. Next week I will get back to my 3 classes (over 3 days) and maybe a 4th day of my program.

Uni starts for me from Monday!! I received my study pack for 1 subject in the mail today and I've had a quick look through and am now officially scared!! I have 2 pieces of assessment due in week 2. That's 2 weeks away! Already!! Both pieces are graded as 5% of my final mark each so rather light assessments to begin with. I've seen essay questions for my 2nd essay assessment and that's what has caused the feeling of "oh dear what have I done!?" to set in!

On a good note relating to Uni though, I have spent a few hours over the past couple of days working out my degree structure with OUA. I think I have it worked out now. And it'll able me to major in English and History. I originally had no plan of having a History major but it seems to have worked out that way. I was going to use OUA this year as a means to hopefully gain a place through UNE but now that I've finally worked out a good structure (of course it needs to be approved as meeting all requirements) I'm not so sure I will still go ahead with that application. I will see how I go and then decide.

So as of Monday, I'll be spending less time mindlessly surfing around the net while I'm on the computer and I'll actually be studying, taking notes, setting up my study planner with assessment dates and so on.

And of course on Monday my Mum starts her 1week off work and has already planned lunch out on Monday, movies another day and going out on the Thursday. Wonderful timing Mum!! We don't get to spend much time together these days so I'll work something out so I can accommodate everything, or at least try to!

Obviously this week I am feeling better, calmer, more in control if you will. I know all too well how that feeling can turn back into being over it, fed up, not being able to take much more.

So while it's lasting, I'm enjoying the calmness in my house.......before the storm hits!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Just breathe....

Thankfully the weekend turned out better than my entire week!

After lunch on Saturday we packed up all the kids and they went to my parents house. We ended up bringing Ethan home later that night because he just wouldn't settle, and stay settled, so we went and got him and took him to visit some friends with us. Normally we wouldn't take him out past bed time but it wasn't like we were upsetting him by doing so seeing as he was the one wiiiiiidddddeeee aaawwwwaaaakkkkkeeee!! Pleased to say that once he did go to sleep (10pm!!), he didn't stir til 5:30am the following morning, then had a bottle and slept til 9am.

Even though we still had 1 child with us, it was just as good as being completely child free.

Ethan's day sleeping is still leaving a lot to be desired. I'm trying to work out what his new pattern is, and today it is "Let's not give Mummy time to go to her Body Pump Class that she was hanging out for all weekend!!" Typically, Ethan fell asleep at 9:45am and the class started at 10:30am. Guess where I'm not going today?

We had a good, solid, routine worked out that fitted in fantastically around the school runs, my going to the gym and still left me a small amount of time for "me". At the moment, I'm like a headless chook!

Sitting here procrastinating though is NOT getting things done. So I best get started!!

....hmmmm......fairly boring and mundane entry don't you think!?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chaos, Turmoil & Frustration

Where to begin?

I am having a ridiculously difficult week! Between Ethan changing his routine around, not wanting to sleep of a day, teething and having a cold; and Turtle (foster son) misbehaving at school, spitting, being fidgety, biting at home, being his usual defiant little self - I think I am going to explode........

I cannot express out fed up I am with Turtle at the moment. The challenge with him and his behaviour has been a constant battle since day 1 of him coming to be in our care. Do you think we've received support? Offers of assessments? Referrals for assessments? Followed through recommendations? Do you think we've had anything for him?

I am so thankful he has an understanding teacher. She is keeping me informed on his behaviour at school, and while to her some of the things he is doing are "small", it's just "yet another thing" to add to the list for me at home. I thought maybe he had ADD or ADHD (and I am not quick to use such labels), his teacher reassures me she has other students who take up more of her time than Turtle does. However, this doesn't reassure me when I see him punch his partner (walking in lines) or spit on him. It doesn't reassure me when the teacher tells me she couldn't control him during an assembly where he just would not sit still and behave. It doesn't reassure me when she tells me he refuses to do his work in class. Again, small things to her, just another thing to me.

I don't want to be seen as the parent who shrugs everything off and doesn't take positive steps to help rectify their child's behaviours. I don't want to be the parent that other parents look at with contempt because their child is possibly hurting theirs or being spat on. ]

I am at my wits end right now. I know Turtle's behaviours aren't as bad as I've seen from other children over the years, however, it doesn't make the situation any easier for me.

I am tired of speaking to him about what he's done wrong. Nothing we say or do has any effect on him whatsoever and we have tried many things! Yelling, time out, loss of priveleges (ie tv, favourite toy taken away), missing out on treats (ie the others get desert and he doesn't, he doesn't get his school lunch order), being spoken to by other people (ie grandparents, teacher). We tried implementing a behaviour chart where you earn stars but he was losing his stars faster than he was being rewarded with one. For every positive (good) thing he does, there's 5 negative (bad) things he does after it.

Frustration doesn't even begin to describe the situation!

I have again asked for help with him. I have again asked who we are meant to take him to see. I have again asked to be contacted back. Bloody Government Departments!! You see there's a certain way you have to go about things with them. But I'm fast running out of patience and I will be just going out on a limb soon and organising things privately myself. And forwarding all bills to them!

And through all of this, Chipmunk (foster daughter and Turtle's sister), has decided now it's time for her to start mimicking Turtle's behaviours.

And on top of all this, my 2 units for Uni start on March 3rd which is 1 1/2 weeks away.

Please explain to me how I am supposed to unwind, relax, and get into a good mindset so that I'm not overwhelmed by it all???

Thankfully I will have a 1 night break this weekend while all the children spend the night with my Mum.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

2yrs on......

Dear Nan,

Two years ago today, a chain reaction of events started that ultimately saw you leave this life behind. This time two years ago, you had suffered an aneurism at the base of your brain stem. You had gotten up as any other normal morning, began getting Krystal ready for school, put her drink bottle in the freezer and your headache hit. Hard. Fast. Strong. Painful.

A shower did nothing to relieve it. I wonder if you knew "this was it". I wonder if you had a thousand thoughts run through your head of things you hadn't yet done, things you hadn't yet said and thoughts you were yet to have and I wonder if you knew what was happening. By the time the ambulance arrived at your house, you were already unconscious.

I remember Mum ringing me that morning "We think Nan's had a stroke, I'll call you once we know more, go to work, I'll call you" I remember having my phone on me at work and getting a call and all I could hear was shuffling, a zipper, so I hung up. Seconds later it rang again, it was Mum, "She's not going to wake up Cez, Mum won't wake up" With that I left surrounded by a group of colleagues all concerned I shouldn't drive.

I arrived at Westmead Hospital in record time to find Pop and Mum in with a grief counsellor. Leah arrived at the same time as I did. This is when we were told the news....

"Your Nan has had a major aneurism. We have her currently sedated on a breathing machine. Now there are lots of tubes, don't be alarmed, they are helping her breathe right now." They didn't need to say breathing machine, we all knew it was life support. I suppose they didn't want to seem heartless and use abrasive words. Breathing machine somehow sounds gentler than life support I guess.

You didn't look sick. You looked pissed off if anything!! I still have a small giggle at that. Your forehead was red like it gets when you were cranky telling off one of us grandkids when we were small. I figured you had a bingo game on that morning that now you'd have to miss. ("of all the nerve!" I hear you say!)

I don't think I quite accepted the possibility of you not waking up, or the severity of what we were facing, until I saw you that morning. Then it hit, and hard.

My nan was going to die. I'd just lost a baby 2weeks beforehand, could my life get any worse?

Each time someone went in to speak with you and hold your hand, we'd notice things on your face. A lip tremble, a tear escaping your eye, a flicker in the fingertips. Were we imagining these things? They say people who are unconscious can still hear, so we all spoke to you as if you were wide awake.

Once the Doctor's had established that nothing could be done to save you, or release the pressure from the aneurism, you were moved to a ward room where we waited for the rest of family. During the day we all took turns of sitting with you, stroking your hair, your hands, your face and talking to you.

You received lots of comments from the nurses about your skin, "she has such soft skin, she doesnt' look 67, I'd have said 50 at the most." You were too young to be lying in that bed, you still had so many plans and much to live for.

I don't remember what time your life support was turned off, somewhere around 9pm I think. You held on as best you could breathing on your own for 45minutes and then you took your last breath. We were all by your bedside, at Pop's request, when you took that breath. We watched you struggle for each breath in your last attempt to hang on. I know you gave it all you had to pull through, even if the odds were stacked so highly against you. You still let us know "hey I'm trying not to leave!"

After that final breath, the room fell silent. And then all you could hear was our hearts breaking and the tears flowing.

And here we are now 2yrs later, feeling like it was a lifetime ago aswell as only a week ago. So much has happened since you passed. You have a new great grandson, and a new grandson, both of which we all wish you could see. You'd have been in all your glory being able to show them off.

Both my girls still often talk about you, ask questions and remember times spent wth you. I'm sad that Ethan won't know you in that sense. But he will know you through our hearts and our memories of you.

We're all heading out to your house today. Everyone will be there not only to remember you but also for Krystal's birthday. Yes I know, I can hear you, "it was her birthday a week ago" and not really a great day to 'celebrate' is it?

I know you're still around sometimes, I will have random thoughts and hear your voice, have the urge that I need to ring you for something, and dream of you in a way I know is you saying that you're ok.

Two years on; you're still missed and loved, cherished and thought of, for now, for ever, for always.

RIP Nan. We love you.
9.11.38 - 17.2.06

Friday, February 15, 2008

Organisation.....feasible concept or myth?

Today I found my readings for one of my subjects and saved them to the computer. Also printed them out as I find it easier to read something in hard copy than on a computer screen. This is my attempt at becoming organised. In reality it's somewhat of a myth to be organised, well in this house at least. Since I've been on Maternity Leave, organisation is something I only dream about! (along with a great deal of other things!)

I think I am about as prepared for Uni as I can be until I actually begin and have my study guides for my 2 subjects. I'm both anxious and excited about commencing my degree!

Wish me luck!

I also learnt today that a squeal is a universal form of communication. Ethan has taken to squealing when he's happy, laughing, upset, crying, frustrated and to get your attention. Each squeal has a slightly different sound too. And of course there's the best squeal of all which ends in fits of laughter. Such a character, my son.

Hmm not doing too badly with this blog thing, 3 posts and I'm not bored with it yet.

Maybe I'll post something deep and meaningful another time.

Til then...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

First word & pain

Ethan said his first word this morning!! He was being cute in his bed, obviously not sleeping, and he blew a raspberry and said "bub". It was so adorable because right after he gave me the biggest cheesy grin. I'm sure that grin meant "There! You have my first word, now stop trying to make me talk!"

No doubt, it will seem like a week has a past and I'll be saying "be quiet" and "do you ever stop talking?"

This morning I had my body pump class. I LOVE body pump! Before the class I went and stepped on the scales and saw that I had gained 400g on last week!! How that happened I do not know but it was enough for me to say "Right! RPM after body pump it is!" And so I went and did an RPM class straight after. Surprisingly it wasn't as difficult as my first 2 RPM classes I did four months ago. I am thinking that body pump has helped the strength in my legs (squats/lunges) because when I attempted those 2 RPM classes (before trying body pump) I was struggling to do the standing up rides. This time I was able to keep pace and stay up for the length of the "track". Very proud of myself there. (and I better see that 400g disappear next week!)

Uni starts in 2½ weeks, time to start getting organised. I am in the process of working out a balance, schedule if you will, so that I'm able to keep up with study, the kids, the house and still have a bit of "me" time. (I'm a mother......what's "me" time?? I'd give anything to go to the toilet uninterrupted some days!) I'm taking the advice of a couple of good friends and some kind of a schedule or chart is just what I need. Something visual to make sure I'm on track and everything that needs taking care of, is done.

Random fitness quote I found today to end on, made me laugh!! :

The word aerobics came about when the gym instructors got together and said, "If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it jumping up and down." ~Rita Rudner

Saturday, February 9, 2008

And so it begins...

And so it has begun, the blog, again, although it has been quite some time since one has kept up with a blog.

So, why now? Well, why not? I thought about it, decided to and here I am.

I don't promise to make this riveting. I don't promise to be a part of anyone's favourites. I do however promise to rant, rave, dribble and whatever else I feel the need to do.

Subject matter of course will be the ramblings that are my life.

So, it's begun, the blog of the next chapter of my life.