Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Merry you a Wishy Christmas

What a great week we have just had. We went away for a week on holidays with the kids to a caravan park. I definitely had some stress and concern about how we would all cope, especially how Jono would do... or is that how we would do with Jono? Anyways, I spent the day before we left packing and cleaning and organizing pets and food so that they would survive while we were gone (many thanks mum who came and fed them for us), and on the day it still took around 3 hours of 'final' packing before we were ready to leave. When we finally got going it ended up being quite a short trip to get there, only 2 hours. I'm fairly sure we went for a swim pretty much straight away and ended up swimming every day.

The first real joy - Jono can swim! All by himself, he can co-ordinate his arms and legs together enough in a dog paddle-type thing to propel himself across the pool, even in deep water. I was free to have a swim by myself without a child holding on to me and without me being on 'guard' in case floaties fell off or someone got caught in a circumstance they weren't sure of. Wooooo!!!

We had the kids all in the one room on a 3 bunk bed. Jono claimed the middle bunk and managed to sleep in it for 3 nights, then started drawing in bed and ended up on the floor with his drawings, his pillow and doona for 2 nights, then back in the bunk. Last holidays we were on years ago we changed the kids beds each night, but this time we didn't bother and Jono wanted the middle bunk the whole time when we offered to change, which was fine as far as we were concerned.

He loves ocean swimming too, I had to be right near him when we went to the bay for a swim as there was a decent undercurrent. It was so great to see how much he enjoyed himself in it no fear, runs out to a wave, gets smashed by it and falls apart giggling, then heads out to the next wave.

On another day we went to a shopping centre (that was packed to the rafters with people) and it had a lot of outdoor fun things for kids to do, little rides, digging machines, a playground, a 'train' which we rode on but Jono was quite uncomfortable about, so Daddy stayed with him, and grandma, myself and the other two took off. When we got back Daddy had him jumping on a car track, and the other two got on with him. The cars on this track where ones that you sat 'on' the roof, and put your legs into the front seat area for the pedals, and the steering wheel was up at roof level with you. We were 'really' unsure how Jono would go, if he would even understand that you needed to put your foot down to make it go, let alone be able to steer. Luckily the track was circular, so it was easy to navigate, and also luckily the cars all had bumpers on them, coz Jono caused a traffic jam at one stage (giggling as the cars crashed into his) but he did really really well! He could steer, he figured out the pedals, and the assistant only had to help him once. Rob spent about an hour after wards saying he was hoping Jono would understand and was thrilled by how well he did.

And once last thing on understanding, Jono now understands money. He understands you need to use money to buy things and this just gives us such hope and joy for his future. The caravan park we stayed in had all the road as shared zones for cars, walkers and bikes. We took down with us a few scooters to be able to zip around, and all the kids enjoyed using these. They got the know their way around the park pretty quick and were comfortable with the surrounds - including Jono. One morning we were fixing up the training wheels on Sarah's Christmas present while her and Daniel were in the Kids Club (Jono didn't want to go in, so he stayed with us), we got quite involved with what we were doing and didn't quite notice where he was for a minute or two. After realizing he wasn't in the cabin I said to Rob I'd better go look for him and headed out the door.

I walked along the road our cabin was on and headed towards the front office and found Jono, on a scooter trying to ride it one handed, with something tucked into his shirt that he was holding with his other hand. I opened up his shirt and there was a can of drink. He had... all by himself... decided he was thirsty, found some money, gotten some transport, headed to the drink machine at the front office, put the money in, chose his drink, and headed back to us.

It's been a very Merry Christmas time this year... some perhaps more merry than others with the sugar laden drinks their parents let them have because they can use money :P

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore

Well... river bed at least.

Yesterday was Rob's work Christmas Party and it was held at a boat ramp with a kids park nearby and bbq facilities, they hired a marquee, and chairs and brought 'tonnnnnes' of food. Great day!

There were quite a few highlights, one for me was waterski-ing down the river (well laying down on a boogie board and holding the rope being dragged behind a boat) Rob went first and found it a little tricky, I saw what he did and tried a few other things, we both have really sore arms today but it was unbelievable fun!

For Jono, he found his fun within the first 4 minutes and 30 seconds. The river was so high from the recent summer storms that it actually came over the top of the embankment and into the kids playground area. 'Just' after we turned up a boat came past and the wash came up even higher... Jono 'somehow' noticed this and went towards it... the next thing we know the kids are saying Jono get out, and he's up to his neck in the river.

We brought swimmers, but no spare clothes, so he spends the rest of the day dropping into and out of the river at random, soaking wet and drying off by playing in the playground until Rob and I go on the boat for the waterski-ing... then we thought we may as well put him in his swimmers.
Daniel and Sarah came on the boat with us, and completely loved the crashing over the tops of the waves, Jono stayed in the river with one of the co-workers nearby and when we came back he was swimming a out into the river chasing ducks, yelling 'look' and pointing at them

So.. what's the deal with the Sea Shells?
For the lunch there was a great range of lovely salads, steaks, rissoles, chicken wings and sausages.. and of course prawns! After a while Jono noticed the prawns and picked one up.. I though he was going to eat it, he took and wandered off towards the river.. I still thought he was going to eat it.. next thing he throws it into the river. We thought he was seting them free... or something like that, he definatelty knew where they belonged. After a while I asked him what they where and he kept on saying Sea Shells.. I think the fish ended up with around 8 friends joining them yesterday.

Lucky Sea Shells :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

School's out... for... EVER!! Untill next year at least.

It's the end of school, and this week has had some very slow starts, Jono still had his late night escapades and wakes late in the mornings. He's decided he doesn't really want breakfast most days, and as he usually gets up somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes before we have to leave I've decided not to force the issue.

The big exciting news is that next year he gets the same teacher, which I am so completely thrilled about, with her he has grown soooo much, and it also means school will be familiar when he goes back. He is however getting a new classroom, I mean like a 'new' classrooom, they are building it over the school holidays! His teacher has been chatting with him about when he comes back he will go to a new room and it will be 'there', and she points to a grassy area, he seems to get it.

Looking back on the year (as we often do when things come to an 'end'), he has just grown so unbeilably much. We started the year on the school bus and without a school unform... somehow they always seemed to end up over the fence in the neighbours yard, to go through to not coping with the bus at all, to riding in the car with Mummy and wearing the uniform, to taking the uniform in a bag and changing at school.

He's learned to write this year, and he actually wrote Merry Christmas all by himself on the little end of year take home bag that he made for his parents. His counting is outstandingly better, his interest in words has grown again, and he can read small books, and his comprehension of his family and friends is much better. If something happens that he thinks his siblings will want to know about, he will actually call their name and walk around the house looking for them.

He has started being socially friendly as well, he will regularly call out 'hello' to random people on the street (good and bad), and on the last day of school we walked in past his classmates and he waved at them... like he recognizes them for people he knows, and realises he should do something in welcome to them... amazing!

So we have 6 weeks of holidays, we have some time away, in a caravan park with Grandma, we have Christmas, we have parties, we have day care on the days where Mummy and Daddy still have to work (oh summer as a kid, they just don't know how good it is), we have renovations to move on with, and who knows... we may just find some time to wash the alien off the wall in the toilet... we may even get someone to help with that one :)

School Holidays.. Woo!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Does this site exist? Highly doubtful, but I am sure we all know what it means. Advertising is so powerful, even a child with limited vocabulary and social interaction is not only aware of it but also capable of writing it... In permanent pen, on the kitchen clock. So the clock has a new look and we went to mcds for dinner the other night .com.au