Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Lowdown

This is a desperate attempt to ressurect my poor blog. (Hey, it's Easter, right? Seems appropriate...) Unfortunately I'm really out of practise and don't quite know how to go about it, so stick with me while I try to guide you through...

PREVIOUSLY, IN THE GOOD HOUSEHOLD:

August:

Yaya finally made the move from Greece to join us. It was a bit of an operation involving a chaperone (her friend Anna) and a taxi ride from London, but it worked and she's here. Transition went amazingly smoothly, and she has been getting a lot of help from physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Since she arrived, she has actually gained so much in mobility and independence. As of now, she is largely self sufficient around the house. She can get in and out of bed on her own, dress/undress without help, shower by herself, get in and out of the car (almost) by herself (she has a step stool to stand on, because our car is very high, so someone needs to put that in and out of the car for her, and a sort of nylon band to help her lift her leg high enough, which she handles herself,) go up and down the stairs to the kitchen, and generally potter around the house as normal. We even managed to get her to go out a few times! ;) When she arrived in August she could do none of these things, so this is massive improvement.

She has been getting to know the children, and she is responsible for feeding Philip when he refuses to eat his dinner :P





September:

Philip started school. Since he had his Asperger's diagnosis before starting, we were able to spend a good amount of time meeting with his teacher beforehand, talking through Philip's needs and the ways we use at home to help him through things he finds challenging. He started with one-to-one support in the mornings only, since that was when most of the "structured teaching" would take place; but the school soon decided that Philip would do better with more support, and that it was especially the more "unstructured" and more chaotic times in the school day that he struggled with. (There were a few incidents, such as him trying to escape or hiding away during play time and refusing to come out.) His one-to-one support was expanded to include the whole day. Philip's One-to-One, Mr E, is fantastic, and Philip is very fond of him -and so am I! He has shown on many occasions that he really takes the time to figure out what makes Philip "tick" and I am 100% sure that this school year would have gone a lot less smoothly without him.

As it is, Philip loves school and is actually very popular -especially with the little girls! :P It is a constant source of amusement that Philip will be walking down the road to school and any number of little girls will start waving at him from across the street, or rushing over to hug and kiss him (sometimes in groups!) Philip would happily accept the attention and enjoy it, then I'd ask "Who was that Philip?" and the response would be "I don't know." (Friends and playmates are fine, names are not so important in Philip's brain!) His closest friends are 3 girls, all of whom claim he is their boyfriend. (Philip: "No Erin, I'm not your boyfriend. I'm your friend.") One of them likes giving him a bearhug, getting really close to him and saying "Philip, you like me, don't you? You really really REALLY like me!"

Of course, as much as some things about school are genuinely challenging for Philip, he does also try to "play the system" some times. ;) Example: Philip hates going to assembly, because it's too loud. They are working with him to help him find ways to manage it, and have a timer so that he *has* to stay in for a set length of time (gradually increasing.) Recently, Mr. E approaches me and asks if Philip has any snesitivities or aversions to specific colours -why? Because he has been saying he doesn't like the assembly hall, because of the colour of the walls. Hmmmmmm... That's the first time I've heard him mention that! Later that day, the following discussion takes place.

Me: Philip, Mr. E said you don't like the assembly hall.
Philip: Yes.
Me: What don't you like about it?
Philip: I don't like the walls. They're too brown. I don't like brown.
Me: Ok. Chocolate is brown. So now you don't like chocolate.
Philip: No! I like chocolate!
Me: Ok. But Bingo is brown. Does that mean you don't like Bingo anymore?
Philip! Nooo! I like Bingo!
Me: Mummy's hair is brown. Don't you like mummy any more?
Philip: No, I like mummy.
Me: Philip, I think you're trying to play a trick on Mr E. I don't think you don't like the colour of the walls in assembly. Tell me what it is you REALLY don't like.
Philip: The walls. They're....erm...too FLAT.
(Translation: Telling them it's too loud isn't working that well any more, let's try coming up with other things I don't like, it will buy me time!)



October:

Teddy turned 2 years old, and started crawling. We encouraged him to do that by placing him on the floor and piling all his toys out of reach at the other end. Yes, we're mean :P Here is a video of him figuring it out (he started doing it proficiently a couple of weeks later.)





We also found out we're expecting baby #4. Currently nicknamed "Clover" and due around the 9th of June.



November:

...passed in a blur of nausea and extreme tiredness. I suspect I may be having twins because the symptoms are so much more intense than they were with Matilda and Philip, but when I have my 12 week ultrasound we find out we're only having one baby. The whole of the month is filled with worry because I keep spotting blood (this happens on-again-off-again until January.)

Clover's first picture!


December:

Nanny comes to stay and we host Christmas for the first time ever! It actually goes really well, I manage not to burn the food and everyone likes their presents. (Quote of the season: Matilda, upon opening her present from Yaya: *excited squeal* "Congratulations Yaya, you made a good choice!" (Erm... Thanks?)



We also get to go on the steam train and meet Santa, thanks to Teddy's special needs team! :)

Getting ready to board the Hogwards Express:



Teddy and his baloon:



Slightly underwhelmed by the party favours...



Tuckered out at the end of the ride:



January:

This is the month that we will find out if Clover is a boy or a girl! Philip is absolutely convinced it's a girl and refuses to discuss the alternative. I'm counting down the days to my scan.



On the day of the scan, Philip is at school but we take Matilda with us so she can have a sneak peek of her baby brother or sister. The sonographer tells us she'll try and see the sex, but it's not always possible to say. But as soon as she looks, it's obvious -Clover is lying with *her* legs in the air, flashing the world!





February and March:

...are largely uneventful. Philip has a birthday party but no photos because the camera wasn't being cooperative. I start feeling Clover move and think about the birth. I want to have another homebirth like I did with Matilda.

The highlights of the month do include a few memorable Matilda quotes (where would we be without them?)

Quote #1:
Matilda: Mummy, I hope you're not planning to hoover the stairs, because playing with all that dust is very entertaining to me." (Errr... We aim to please!)

Quote #2:
Matilda: "When I grow up I'm going to be a police woman. And Philip can be my police brother. That's like a police dog, but a brother."




Aaaaand ACTION!

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