Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Shop, sunburn, building and a bike

Wednesday 3rd: Ruth created such a big game outside today. She was making "Lucky Dip" bags for the others to buy. Thankfully the money was just acorns. I heard them telling Hezekiah that he must collect more at the start of the day, and that must be his money for the day. It's not fair that he keeps going to collect more through the day. :-)
In their game money really does grow on trees. :-)
It's been great having Brooke coming over to join in the fun. I always appreciate her willingness to play with Hezekiah as well, and she is even aware of Asher's need to be watched more carefully.
These two didn't put suntan lotion on, and had a lot of exposed skin over the hottest hours of the day yesterday. So they were rather sore overnight and are still sore today. I had suggested a bath with Epson salts last night but I think they wanted to spend as much time with each other as possible. When Daniel left this evening he quickly put some Calomine lotion on to at least make it more bearable to drive home. I wish I had thought of the Calomine lotion last night.
Hopefully they have learnt the lesson (a very hard way) and won't expose their skin so badly again.
Asher had been watching the children on the tramp from the window and really wanted to join them. So we decided to give her goggles a try. Her neurologist believes the light has more to do with the seizures on the tramp than the actual bouncing. And for now it seems to have worked. She had a great time with them with NO seizure!!! Yay!
Thursday 4th: Rachel was back at work this morning but then Daniel and most of his family came back for a visit this afternoon. I spent so much time chatting that I missed taking photos. Tim had so much fun playing with the younger children. And then he was such a blessing to us and used Brendon's week-eater to clear the two ditches around the property.
Above: Philip heard me mention that I would like to ask the tall guys to help get the safety net and canopy poles down. He got busy with it straight away and within no time the canopy poles were down. He and Ruth then got the tools out to take the bottom poles off properly. I feel so much better about it now. It was rather unsafe with poles breaking and being loose.
The main reason for the visit however was for the 4 parents and Daniel and Rachel to sit and have a good chat about their relationship. It's the first child of theirs in a serious relationship, so we are all in a new area of parenting. We had a lovely time of sharing and getting to know each other more. It's nice knowing we are all on the same page and have the same ideas for the years ahead.
Saturday 6th: Ruth took this photo of Anakin with Anastasia. Anakin was lying on her mat, so she put Anastasia there for the photo.

Ruth and Brooke used this old frame to create a tent (with old sheets that I had thrown out).
They did allow Hannah and Hezekiah to come and visit.
Sunday 7th: Our Pastor came around for a visit this afternoon. When he was leaving I asked if he would be willing to give the children a ride on his bike.
I have such fond memories of having rides on my Dad's bike - so I was sure they would enjoy the experience. Just a short ride down the road was enough for the fun memory to be made.
Ruth wanted to try and hold Anastasia on her potty. She is not as dry during the day as she was in her first month. She is often dry through the night though. Even holding for 4 to 6 hours and then using the potty when she wakes for a feed. I remember Ruth being dry at night when she was a baby. I also remember that she would eventually just wake for a wee (not needing to eat) and so I eventually "trained" her to ignore the need and just use her nappy as I didn't want the hassle of waking to take her to the toilet. I'm hoping I will have enough energy to keep Anastasia dry at night.
Ruth also enjoys getting Anastasia to "walk". It really is sweet seeing the reflex that babies have to lift their feed and place them in front of each other.
Monday 8th: Hannah was invited to attend the CEF camp this week. She was so excited about going. She was up so early this morning, dressed and ready with her bag all packed.
Last night Asher had a bad episode at 9pm. They are happening more often lately which is a concern. Today she had a 1 min Tonic Clonic at 4:15pm. She went very blue, even her hands. So we were very thankful it was again short.
Wednesday 10th: Asher was showing a bit more interest in Anastasia today when she was under her toys. I encouraged her to lie under there with Anastasia, and so she started gently touching her. So special.
No harm I having a mid-week outing. Brendon and Ruth enjoyed some ice-cream-Sunday's at the tea rooms this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Beach success

First children's photo for the year.
Brendon has this week off. It's great having the 1st and 2nd as public holidays as it means he only has to take 3 days leave to have a whole week off.
Rachel and Daniel headed down to join his family for a picnic lunch before heading to the beach. We had lunch at home and joined them a bit later.
It gives us the first opportunity to try out Asher's new goggles (with proper polarized lenses - as recommended to try by her neurologist). We were thrilled that they worked and she didn't have a seizure or even any pacing and we were able to stay for hours.
It didn't take them long to get into the water.
Brendon took Asher in deeper. She just loves the sea so much.

I brought this little tent with for Anastasia and I. My parents bought it for us when we lived at the coast in South Africa when Rachel was just a 2 year old. So it's done very well for being 14 years old.

A few of the older children went in deeper. It's not the beast beach for swimming though, so they had to be really careful.
The beach was chosen for sentimental reasons - not swimming, so no one minded. It was still loads of fun.
Eventually Brendon had to bring Asher out as she was so cold. We managed to eave her goggles on for a while as we weren't sure if looking out over the water would affect her. Thankfully she got really into playing with the stones, so we could eventually take them off and her glasses were enough.
We had a bit of a problem with her throwing the stones, so it was good we had her bucket with to give her something specific to do. A bit later Brendon did allow her to throw, when it was a specific game they were playing - with no one in front of them. It looked so special. Brendon, Asher and Philip (who was having great conversation with Brendon) all sat throwing. It would have made a lovely photo - but I missed it.
Hannah, Hezekiah and Jonathan had a great time together. They spent so much time in the water (more than anyone else).
They did come out at one point to warm up, but it wasn't long before they headed back again. Such wonderful memories made today.

The young couples enjoyed the time to just sit and chat.
Asher warm and enjoying sitting in the tent with Anastasia and I. We had to move further up on the beach as the tide started coming in. Katrina (Mrs Sampson) sat with us and we had such a good time chatting.
Then the big spades came out to dig a moat.

It didn't take long to decide to burry Daniel's legs. Brendon enjoyed getting in on that action.

I'm so glad we got to enjoy the day with the Sampson family. It was such a lovely afternoon of fellowship and fun.

This evening the entertainment was a puppet show with some of Hezekiah's teddies. Hannah didn't take long to get into it.
Ruth was sorting the stones she collected on the beach, but enjoyed the show too.
Then more characters were added and Rachel took over from one of the teddies.
Hezekiah enjoyed being his tiger too.
A fun end to a very fun filled day.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Hair cuts, turkey and talking

Saturday 30th: Asher was having fun with the carpet this morning. I always get a bit nervous when I can't actually see her properly. Thankfully just saying "Where is she?" will get her to respond - normally with "Where's she?" and then "I can't" (long pause) "see you".
She does still so love playing peek-a-boo. She actually heard me saying "boo" to Anastasia the other day and she came over with a big smile, wanting to play too. So I think this might be why she is showing a bit more interest in Anastasia now. I can see lots of fun ahead when Anastasia can play peek-a-boo with Asher.

I was looking back at comparative photos between the children when they were babies. Anastasia does look a lot like Hannah and Hezekiah. Asher looked quite different at this 1 month photo comparison (not shown here).
And the 3 year old photos also show Asher looking rather different to Rachel and Hannah. I then realized that the older two got hair cuts when they were around 2. So although much later, I decided Asher really did need a hair cut. Her hair looks so thin.
Cutting it will hopefully help thicken it up and also just be easier to handle. She often takes her elastics out and then we have hair hanging everywhere. Especially a pain when it goes in her food.
So although this photo was taken on Sunday - I put it here to show what the new hair cut looks like. She actually looks a bit more like the older two now.
It was a challenge to cut her hair, but it went a lot better than I anticipated. The kitchen step lady worked well as a seat (with a place for her to hold on) and then after these photos were taken she started trying to get down, so Daniel came and held her still so I could try get it looking somewhat neat. :-) Thanks for the help Daniel.
Hannah decided she also wanted her hair cut. It was VERY long and beautiful with the lovely curls she has. But its also a pain to have to brush such long hair. So it will be much easier for her to handle now, and it's still nice and long.
Ruth is very excited about her main Christmas present - that finally got sorted today. My old phone was easy enough to "open" so she could use it for her prepaid sim card (which also thankfully fitted). So we gave her a $20 prepaid to get her started. She has longed for a "proper" phone for so long. So she is thrilled. She is on Whatsapp if anyone uses that and wants to keep in contact. :-)
Such a cute little pose.
This evening Asher came running to me at 7:30 and I thought a seizure was about to come. It didn't, but she felt horrible and had pain. This happened again at 9pm (she sits up in bed and when we get to her we can see on her face that things are not right). At 9:10 she had a seizure and went really blue. She was very unsettled afterwards too. This nightly things are so horrible to watch. My heart aches for her.
A park trip again today for Rachel, Daniel, Hannah and Hezekiah. Thanks for the photo Rachel. Unfortunately Hezekiah didn't want to be in it.
Daniel came on Friday for an extended visit (with them heading off to do things with his family on Sunday). It was nice that he could join us at the Patoa Discipleship Project on Friday night at the farm.
Sunday 31st: Ruth having some fun with Hezekiah on snapchat. The one thing she was so looking forward to having on a smart phone. Rachel got herself a new phone on boxing day which she got set up over the last couple of days and spent a lot of time having fun on snapchat too.
Ruth got this fun one of them.
More of Ruth and Hezekiah.
Rachel took these of Anastasia.

One of the first ones that Rachel did with Asher was the cat sticking it's tongue out. So then she kept sticking her tongue out to try and see the big tongue again. :-)

Hannah, Hezekiah and Rachel all Christmas bunnies.
Some fun ones Rachel did.
And to make sure everyone in the family is included in the fun, I had to include some of Mum and Dad.
Ruth created this game for them to play. Scooter hockey perhaps?
Monday 1st January 2018. And just like that we are into the new year. Daniel and Rachel had a long day at Pigeon Bag with his family yesterday, so they just went home with them and headed up back to our place this morning. Thankfully they were happy to get helping get the house ready for lunch. I had already put the turkey into the slow cooker at 4am (after one of Anastasia's night feeds). Ruth had asked that we do a turkey (for the experience) and so we decided it would be nice to enjoy that today.
Ruth made some starters while the roast vegetables finished cooking. Rachel, Ruth and Hannah all worked together to get those ready for the oven. I forgot to take a photo of the meal, but deciding to do the turkey in the slow cooker was a good idea. I knew that it wouldn't be undercooked, and if I cooked it a bit too long, it would just mean it would fall apart (which it did). It wasn't dry though (as is often the worry) and was a lovely lunch. We were pleased to have the Fazakerley's join us (I only noticed later that Christopher didn't get in the photo - sorry Christopher).
Ruth was excited about making jelly for desert and we had a left over pav from Christmas, so we enjoyed that with whipped cream. We also had some sparking grape juice (in wine glasses) so that was a nice treat too. We were thankful for the enjoyable day together and the lovely food we could share.
Unfortunately Asher had a seizure at 4pm, just as the Fazakerley's were getting ready to leave. Thankfully it was short.
We had been given the boxes of apple juice and Dad suggested using the Soda Stream to make Appletiser with it. Yum Yum.

And finally I managed to get a video of Anastasia "talking" (you can see this was after 9pm). She was talking away to Brendon and as soon as I came behind them she stopped. So I had to hide behind him and then when she started talking again, I carefully slipped my phone to the side to catch it. :-)