Sunday, December 4, 2016

Crime Scene

As I have mentioned in the past, one of Carter's struggles is his fine motor skills.  I know many children enjoy drawing and colouring in, but due to it being so difficult for Carter, it has been something he has avoided.  He has a lot of other interests, but this is one area that I feel he is missing out.  For this reason, I encourage him to draw pretty much whatever he wants just because I am so thrilled to see him drawing.

Yesterday we went to church.  The first hour consists of families all together with classes specifically for children later on.  During this first hour, we encourage our boys to listen or do a quiet activity such as reading or drawing.  Carter usually opts for just listening or reading books about flags while Tony reads or draws.

Yesterday was different though.

For about 15 minutes Carter was intently focussed on a drawing.  He sat there quietly drawing, except for one moment where he asked me how to spell 'Neville Chamberlain'.  When he was finally finished he proudly showed me what he had drawn.  Needless to say I was surprised.

Our exchange went like this: 
Me: "Wow Carter - what a cool picture.  What is it?"
Carter: "It's a crime scene Mum.  The guy here (pointing to the upper left) shot the lady with  a gun,  He has a bag pipe in his mouth because he is pretending to be Scottish when he is really American so the police wont catch him."
Me: "Ok, I see.  What is the red?"
Carter; "That's all the blood Mum.  See there is no blood on her face though -  that is so the detectives can ID the body."
Me: "Right.  That makes sense.  So why does it say Neville Chamberlain up the top here?"
Carter; "Because he is the Chief of Police Mum.  He was the British Prime Minister in World War Two until Winston Churchill took over so I made him the Chief of Police instead."
Me"Well that is a very interesting picture Carter."

Yes, I was impressed at the effort he went to, but seriously, a blood covered crime scene?  During church?? 
Love my Tarts!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The secret

I had an early morning doctors appointment Saturday morning.  I booked an appointment with the first available on a whim, as I get scalp psoriasis sometimes and it has been bugging me.  My regular GP takes 3 weeks to get into so for minor things I just see whoever suits my schedule.

When I arrived, I waited a short time and was called in.  I had never seen this doctor before, but he seemed pleasant and professional so I didn't waste much time in telling him why I was there and that I was interested in seeing if treatment options for psoriasis have changed/improved over the last few years.

My psoriasis is annoying and has spread as of late, but in the past the treatments were more of a hassle than the actual condition so I have tolerated it whilst it stayed relatively stable.

The doctor explained the treatments he thought would be worth trying and before filling out a prescription he asked if I am taking and medications, in case they would interfere with the treatment.

I listed the 6 medications I take.  I explained some are dependent on symptom severity (nerve pain killers) and others are round the clock.

Due to some of them being very strong medications that I need two doctors to approve them every 3 months as well as approval from Canberra, he asked me what I was taking each medication for.

After trying to give the shortened version of why I take them, he shook his head and said;

"Wow!  You have certainly got a lot on your plate.  It's rare I see someone your age with such health problems, yet you look healthy in the outside."

I politely laughed because there isn't really a response to that comment. I don't feel like my health leaves me with "a lot on my plate", it's just my normal.  I really can't remember it being any different.He went on typing and after a few minutes of silence passed he paused and turned to me.  With a serious look on his face he said;

"I'm sorry, I know this is a bit of a strange thing to ask, but you just seem so calm and happy but I know you would have to be in a lot of pain right now and I know what else you are dealing with....but how is it that you are happy with your situation?  I just really want to know what is your secret?"

Now I get this comment every now and again with people commenting that I seem happy despite being in pain and having seizures etc, but I just laugh it off or say I must be nuts, but this doctor was looking at me like he really wanted a serious answer so an awkward laugh wouldn't have cut it.

Instead, I opened my mouth and said the first thing that came out;

"My secret, is time.  Time heals things that medicine can't sometimes I guess."

He nodded and kept staring so I added on;

 "Not that I'm physically better at all, I'm sore every minute of every day, but what seemed like the hardest thing in the world a while ago is actually not so hard now because I have had time to adjust, but more so because I am stronger mentally now."

He nodded and went on writing and wished me well, but before I left the room he apologised for not being able to do more for me.

I wish now I could have explained myself better. I wish I could have said that there is no secret.  Time really changes your perspective if you let it.  I seem happy and calm because I truly feel happy and calm with my lot in life.  I have my days and moments of course and I'm not saying it's not difficult, but in many ways I have all I could have hoped for.  It is truly hard to be down about the things that haven't turned out how I would have liked when I also have so much to be grateful for.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pogo parents

Every Sunday we go to church.  There is time dedicated to kids activities and classes, but the first hour is for families all together and it's very quiet so we can listen to the speakers.  
Before I had children of my own, I envisioned that each week for that one hour, MY children would sit quietly and listen, or read, or draw, but they would remain in their seats and not make a big fuss.  I have 4 younger siblings and was good with children so I was confident I could make this "happen" when my turn rolled around.  
Fast forward a decade and it appeared we were on a pogo stick with the amount of getting up and down to take Carter out that was going on.  He was loud, restless, wanting to entertain those around him, and NEVER sitting in his seat.  Despite our best efforts, I got to the point where I truly believed that the two of us may never be able to stay in church for the whole hour because of Mr Tarts.
But we have persisted.  The expectations have remained the same, even if they weren't reached, we figured it was better to keep the goal rather than giving up:  
Some time has passed since those days and today I looked at our boys and realised that for a good year or so now, we get to stay in church.  There might be a toilet break, but other than that they are quiet (enough) and in their seats. They may read, or draw with a pen, but that's about it and it's enough for them.  The goal was finally achieved, not by lowering the bar, but by sticking at it, week after week, year after year.
It's not perfect, but that saying "this too shall pass" rings true, provided you add a little something on the end:
"This too shall pass, with a bit of effort and patience".

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's only been 11 years?

  Anthony and I have been married 11 years today.  It has both sped by and felt like it's always been this way at the same time.  

Anthony makes me happy every day.  Not all day, every day (that would be unrealistic and a huge expectation to put on another person), but definitely every day.  Sometimes it's specific events, other times it's just that content feeling of knowing I have someone pretty great to love and knowing that he loves me back.

Throughout the different stages of our relationship, the ways I appreciate being shown love have changed. Early on I really appreciate the time made to just be with me and the public shows of affection as in the early stages it feels like your relationship is very public and on show. 
After we were married, it was still time, as well as the little things that showed me how much Anthony loved and appreciated the person I really am as the newly wed stage means you are still learning a lot about each other. Once we had babies and toddlers in the house it was sleep.  Nothing else mattered.  Currently it's seeing how much Anthony puts my best interest and the interest of our family first.  He isn't concerned with appearance or image, he is concerned with the well being and happiness of his family.  Well....that and my love obsession with food.  My passion for food covers a multitude of different food types, depending on what I am into at that particular time.  One item, however, has been hard to come by so still remains high on my list of most loved and prized food types.

I love cheese popcorn.  The pre-made kind with cheese flavoured powder on it. You can get microwave cheese popcorn, and I enjoy it (even though it stinks out the microwave), but it's not the same as the kind you get already made up in a bag.  

The problem is, it's pretty tough to come by cheese popcorn.  At Christmas time, Anthony found a few bags being sold at The Reject Shop and he bought me 3 bags.  Once he knew I liked them (I ate 3 bags in 2 days), he went back and got more.  Those bags lasted another few days but when he went back, there were none left. We checked if there were more in stock and it turns out it's a discontinued product and once it's gone, it's gone.  

Knowing how devastated this would make me, after some enquiries Anthony found a Reject Shop about a forty minute drive away had 15 bags in stock and he jumped straight in the car to buy them for me.  All 15 of them. 

That's the kind of guy he is.

Around the same time, he took Carter out shopping and Carter (who is a WWE fanatic) wanted to wear his championship wrestling belt to the shop, and he asked Anthony to wear one too.  So being the good sport he is, Anthony spent over an hour walking around a crowded shopping complex wearing a child's wrestling belt.  

That's just the kind of guy he is. 

They aren't exactly 'big' things, but they matter to me. To have a husband who knows the way to my heart is very much through my stomach, and that part of what makes me love him so much is seeing how much he loves our boys.  

That's the sort of guy I want - and I've got it.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sun and games

This summer has been crazy with the chopping and changing in the weather.
We finally made it to to beach for the first time on Monday and we only stayed for an hour, but of course I got burnt.  It's a few days later, but I've got a lovely pinkish tan to show for myself. 

The next day we got to have a visit from my brother, sister-in-law, and niece before they headed off home to Qld.  It was very warm weather still so we thought a trip to Yoghurtland was in order. There is a Timezone right near Yoghurtland and it was calling to our children so in we went.  

Whilst in Timezone, there was a father with his daughter who were walking hand in hand.  The girl looked about 10 to 12 years old, and I thought it was really sweet to see them holding hands.  When the turned around, I saw the father was blind, as he was holding a cane and was sticking very close to his daughter as she led him through the maze of games.  He mustn't have had any sight at all as he bumped into a few of the machines. 

Right in front of where I was sitting was an air hockey table.  The daughter asked her dad if they could play and then situated him in front of one of the goals and placed the plastic handle you hit the puck with in one if his hands. 

I was so amazed with this father who was managing so well out and about despite the challenge of not being able to see, and even more impressed that he wasn't just there as a responsible parent, he was there to join in and play with his daughter.  Despite this though, I couldn't help but think that playing air hockey may not have been the best choice of game with an opponent who couldn't see - one player was clearly disadvantaged. 

I watched on as the daughter scored a few goals and her father used his hands to feel where his goal was to try and defend but wasn't having much luck.  It was even harder for him to know when to try and hit the puck as there was no way of knowing when or in which direction it was coming.

The daughter was laughing and cheering and it made me smile to see how much fun she was having.  But then she did something that made me realise what a lovely girl she must be.

Her father managed to hit the puck in her direction and she grabbed it and quickly pushed it into her goal. She happily shouted;

"Dad you did it! You got it in - well done!"

He beamed and laughed. They continued to play and whilst she continued to try and score goals, she also 'helped' her dad by leaving her goal unguarded or trying to push the puck in here and there.  

The game ended with her winning by several goals.  I think if she didn't win her father would clearly have known she was letting him win, but it was important to this young girl that her father got to score a goal or two.

I used to do that with our children, sometimes I still do. We play a game and I don't always try my best, I 'let' them score a few extra points because being so much older is clearly an advantage.
I want them to feel some of the joy that comes with competing and not being thrashed.  Parents often put their children's interest ahead of their own, but it was so beautiful to watch this young girl doing the same with her father.

No one wishes for challenges and trials, but this father was making the best of his situation, and it was also helping his daughter to grow into a kind, compassionate human being.  Sometimes the best examples can be the little people in our lives.