Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
So the internet has been a ee bit temperamental the last couple of days. We moved to our new guest house because a wedding had booked out our last one, an Irish girl is marrying someone in a refugee camp, but its worked out better for us, cheaper rent and bicycles, and the internet - while a bit temperamental isn't down for days on end.
On our second night here we had a mosquito net put up, but apparently there was a mosquito inside it, I could hear it whining passed my ears in the night and then in the morning could see its handy work, and poor abacus - just as her bites were clearing up, now has one on her cheek and one on her chin.
In the morning Abacus was rolling over onto her stomach on her mat, but then she seemed determined to get over onto her back again and she did it! So now she can roll over completely, the circle is complete.
There are goats that roam around the neighbourhood, there's a field opposite the guest house but they also venture across the bridge, maybe to scavenge for rubbish in the town, though there's plenty of rubbish dumped in the field too.
Danielle went to see her friends for a while, they're on holiday at the moment for another week.
There's not a lot happeneing really. The website I was hoping to make has stagnated - i think I'm going to pursue it on my own and just give them the template, I'll make it really easy to update, it'll be a good project for myself and one that should be quite applicable to other causes. The idea is pretty much like a blog, but with a front page template that is like a newspaper - or news website that can be updated using external word files. There are also playground building projects which have been put on hold for a couple of weeks, so my experiences are a little vicariously imbibed through danielle, it's hard to get involved hile caring for abacus - but there is no shortage of interactions and learning to be found in the town itself.
Nights are cold and I think of those detained around the corner from us. The detention center is completely exposed, I can't imagine what it's like for them, though I know they have suffered worse. They huddle on the floor watching the TV over the guards shoulder while babies and children cry in the background.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
There are locals working for NGO's who are being taught english so that they may converse more effectively with their western counterparts. On the surface it would seem more respectful to teach the foreigners the local language, however the transitional nature of the western volunteers and the permenancy of the locals, makes the equation the best fitting. When asked if they enjoy having a job that helps people, they uninhibitedly reply that it is "just a job" and in fact they view the migrants as untrustworthy, or thieves, with fragile states of sanity which they don't want in their country. They charged the NGO's founder as being "too nice" and that, as he lives in europe, is to far removed from the reality of the situation to know what is really going on. And in a sense, the charge is true. He has failed to appreciate the lack of understanding among the very people he has employed, of the very issues they are employed to help overcome. His failure to educate on the facets of the situation could only cause friction at the very point of contact, requiring the greatest freedom of movement.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
This morning, like many other mornings, abacus was awake and talking loudly, the way a fire alarm talks, at 6am. So we decided, instead of our usual ritual of trying in vain to shut her up, we that we would take her for another motorcycle ride, to a giant buddha 3kms out of town, as there's no where we can go to keep her penetrating screams from the other guests. The early morning is freezing so we had her bundled up and wedged once more between us as we rode along the dawn highway. The road was quiet with only trucks transporting workers to where ever they were going. Just out of town, one of the lanes disappeared into gravel, which no one drove on, creating a single lane highway, but so commonplace are such things, that it was approached with the banality of routine, and no sense of risk at all. Abacus began crying again part way along, though we were the ones bearing the brunt of the chilled morning air. The wat complex was huge, with ornate buildings everywhere and some workers chopped at a tree which lost large parts of its body with resounding cracks. As we walked through the quiet morning attendence, we were looking for a giant reclining Buddah and then suddenly you see it, a giant face between a couple of the buildings, which danielle likened to seeing Tane Mahuta for the first time, the giant amongst giants, its presence startling your expectations. Buddhas face looks with that feminine serenity of south east asian design, laying in contentment before the tiny people and their offerings. Across the way were about 20 identical buddha, all lined up behind a cage, with the look of a carnival sideshow, where someone might try to aim ping pong balls into their mouths. On our way back to our scooter we saw a little monk boy with a friend who had a bb gun shaped like an AK-47 shooting birds, I tried to get a photo but the boy with the gun didn't want to be photographed, I would have thought the buddhist monk would have shied away from being photographed with someone killing creatures more than the guy with the gun. We rode back screaming once more through the early morning chill, our rent had run out on the bike, much to Abacus' relief, she had a much more enjoyable time in the pram on the way to get Pancakes and bacon and a crap huge coffee at Daves Canadian and then a real coffee on the way home, she fell asleep along the way.
There's some tragic looking westerners in thailand, a guy with a hawaiin shirt, unbuttoned to show his chest, tucked into his jeans, with his greying hair slicked back just walked passed.
All I'll say is that NGO's will not help their causes by starting conflicts among themselves, especially with those who volunteer and pay to help.
Danielle feels much better today, illness wise.
Abacus has been a bit difficult the last couple of days and it's not helping that to respect the silence of other guests we cannot parent how we normally would, meaning she's getting quite spoilt. Especially being able to sleep in the bed with us. She's taking a lot longer to get to sleep at times and waking up a lot more in the night and talking loudly.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
In the early hours of the morning you can hear the buddhist monks chanting in the distance, so faint and organic does it sound it is like an auditory hallucination, the mind forming shapes from the wind. About half an hour later the loud speakers around town broadcast the morning muslim prayer, crackling in the cool dry air, splitting the sky open, as light begins to flow into the predawn and birds begin their voyage through the prayer filled sky. Then Abacus cracks all the ceremony with her loud mouth talking as she wants nothing but to be awake.
I bought a new pair of jeans before I left New Zealand and since my illness, they are too big for me, when I weighed myself in Singapore I was over 70, probably the heaviest I've been in years, who knows what I am now. I should start eating more of the delicious looking cakes around town, they are like 25c each. The other day we had Burmese tea cakes and saved some to take home, wrapped in a napkin. But the next day when I unwrapped the tissue, the cakes were covered in tiny dust sized ants, yet there was no sign of ants anywhere else in the room. It's as though they materialised from within the cakes themselves, as though they were some kind of Trojan Burmese tea cakes. Later that night when I went to microwave a burger, I saw the same type of ants all through the inside of the microwave,I heated the burger expecting all the ants would perish, but when I opened the door they were running around as though nothing had happened. So obviously they must be some form of alien ants, from some sort of alien ant farm perhaps ? What would have been worse is if I'd opened the microwave to find super giant radioactive ants.
So today I had the simple task of buying some new nappies. But there are no quick easy errands in Thailand, at least not as we would know it, not without extreme patience. I can't emphasise enough how much of an obstacle course it is pushing a pram though the town, it's difficult enough on foot, it's hard to know when the footpath is going to just disappear into a shop or a hole or turn into road, or step up to a higher footpath for which there is no ramp. None of the stores have ramps but their doorways are always one or two steps off the ground. And food takes forever, in an empty restaurant it took someone forty minutes to make me a sandwich, it just takes a shift in expectations,to know you can't "just pop out" for a "quick" something.
Some other new zealanders are staying at the guest house. I don't even know why they came to Mae Sot of all places, they just do things like buy fireworks and let them off at night, and walk around in open robes with little else on, offending the female staff. They're just dicks. I was thinking of making up some elaborate plot that they're involved in and telling some informers and having them disappeared.
Danielle is a bit fluey now. One of us is always sick! We got some spicey soup for dinner to help clear her head and a brownie. hehe. After dinner some carollers came around. They were all dressed in santa hats, the girls had fake white braids coming out of theirs. There was a lot of english for them to know to sing the songs. It was so cute.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
This weekend, seems our car is about to expire we decided to take it on one last road trip up to Mahia, or Morere more specifically, just south of Gisborne. Abacus woke us up nice and early on sunday morning and we were on the road by 6. She travelled really well, sleeping a lot of the way. We got to Waipukerau in time for coffee, for which Danielle had two vouchers for free coffee that were slipped into her wallet when it was sent back to us after we forgot it at the same cafe a year ago. We made it by mid afternoon, we were given this cute as one bedroom cabin situated on some farm land with sheep running around. The owners were really friendly farmer types and they had a cute wee dog named socks. Did I mention it rained the whole way ? It was a really gloomy rainy day, but monday was meant to be good. We all took a quick nap before heading over to the thermal pools, which boasted "fosilized water", as the water takes thousands of years of travelling through the earth before resurfacing again, all toasty warm at these little pools, it's supposed to have therautic qualities from in it's mineal richness. It was a realy nice little bush walk to get to them. I was a bit skeptical of Abacus enjoying herself in the pools but she was really calm and loved it heaps, for way longer than I had expected, but then she was suddenly hella tired and began screaming! So we had to dash back to the cabin and try and get her to sleep, if she msses her sleep window she can be really pissed, and she was, but after maybe 10 minutes or so she was all of a sudden happy and cute before finally drifting off to sleep. The bed was so comfortable that we just crashed out, and being in the country, the darkness was impenetrable and the heavy rain on the thin roof made our little warm cabin all the more cosy.
The next morning was as blue and perfect as the weather mystics had predicted, they must have slaughtered the right amount of chickens. And we drove off to explore the beaches around mahia. It was a beautiful area of the country, we had not been there before, the coast line was long and sraight and lay at the bottom of where the green hills ended at a neatly hewn precipice. There were also perfectly still estuaries that were perfect mirror pools of the sky and hills. We drove to Napier for lunch, to see if a cafe where we'd had lunch 4 years before was till there (sadly it wasn't - but its a mongolian barbarque now - oddly a couple of years ago danielle and i became obsessed with mongolia so it wasn't so sad after all (however, it should be noted that mongolian barbarque is not really a native mongolian practice, it's actually only found outside of mongolia)) Anyway, on the way to Napier the car began to overheat, so we had to drive with the heater on, and it was already a realy hot day, so it was tough going. It continued to overheat leaving napier (a town that seemed just a little too kid friendly - and really, who cares about art deco? If it was that good wouldn't they still be designing in that style ? It should be renamed the kitsch capital of the world) and so we were really really hot, I stopped to check the water again - which had already filled up and the bonnet (hood) wouldn't close properly, so I had to pound it shut with my fist in the forecourt of the petrol station but it got us back to Wellington.
Just as we got to the hutt however we hit a massive traffic jam, and crawled along for a good 15 minutes and found the cause of the hold up was some hunting day, there were all these possum and deer carcasses strung up, hahaha, only in the hutt.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Then on saturday Abacus had her sleep over which had been deferred from last week. She had a really good time, and slept really well. She spent all morning there too, hanging out with Zen and Reiden and Kaysey, while we slept, waking up once in the middle of the night with a minor hit of disorientation, before realising I could just go back to sleep. It was really good to see her again the next day and we had both missed her.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
abacus had a pretty huge sunday, we both needed to get some assignments done so she went and hung out with her babysitters, apparently she ate one and a half bottles when she woke up and then went straight back to sleep! then we went to my cousins house so they could meet her, she stayed awake the whole time and seemed really excited and interested in everyone, especially alexa (sorry if my spelling is wrong) their youngest daughter, who seemed equally as excited and interested in abacus.
then, because abacus was sleeping through the night a week ago and now she wakes up at 3 again, "someone" told us that they started their baby on solids when that happened and the baby went back to sleeping through the night, DON'T TELL PLUNKET! but tell as many doctors as you like because they're chillaxed as about it. So, we got her some rice cereal just a real small amount to start with. She was so cute eating it, she kind of sucked at the spoon like it was a bottle, then after she ate all that, she had her bottle and went to sleep for . . . 8 hours!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
last night, i'm talking about crying a lot here for some reason, but last night she cried like a real cry, not just an automatic response cry, but an actual emotional sounding cry.
there was one other thing i was going to write - i forget now, i ll tell you when i remember.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
She visited a neighbour yesterday and danielle set up her bank account, she get's a disability allowance - which i guess is supposed to help us with looking after her, but we'd rather she had it for later on, danielle had even joked about adopting a child using abacus' money, so that abacus could hold that over them, "You better be nice to me because I paid for you!" hehe.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
It's funny, danielle was asked a lot of questions by a curious neighbour, well meaning and nice, asking about abacus' future, her development etc. It's strange how a child with a disability focuses your attention so far ahead, where as children without any innate inabilities are kind of left to be kids. But anyone at any time could have limited potential, not necessarily an accident, they could just make dumb choices, they could become addicts, drunkards, make poor relationship choices - anything, why are kids without disabilities exempt from that worry? Or more diplomatically, why can't children with disabilities take it day by day like other kids, enjoy being a child and leave adulthood until we get to it. I'm not going to map out her future anymore than any other child, people seem to freak out a lot more than us about her disability, we're completely at ease with it, we've long since made our peace with existence, Abacus made it easy.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
THEN, the day was pretty chill. We just put abacus in her sleeper-hold front pack and did the groceries. Then when we got back the neighbours invited us to go sit in their garden, which danielle and abacus did while I got in some outstanding recording time, they had a fun time, so did i. Later in the evening we went to my friends birthday, there were these loud kind of latinish drummers there, a drumming duo, and I was thinking that Abacus was going to hate it and cry but . . . she fell asleep ! maybe we should get a drum kit and just play really loudly when she won't sleep?
she only woke once in the night, after about 6.5 hours sleep ? that was good.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Later that day Abacus came to work drinks with us and had a royally fun time, chugging her milk along with us. Then after returning home for a quick change she came out with us to a japanese restaurant where she slept in my arms while i ate, and realised how awesome an invention chopsticks actually are, you can eat with one hand!! i'd never even considered that before. Not much happened on saturday, except that she loves to sleep in the front pack, it's instant, something to do with the position of being stuck amongst the straps?
Sunday she went on her biggest drive ever, as we escaped on our first trip away since having her, to wanganui. And we quickly realised what it's like packing for a baby, and how small our car suddenly seemed. She slept pretty much the whole way, through the sun and through the driving rain, through the incident on the bridge where a gigantic truck was coming towards us spraying a wall of water about 10 feet high whose inevitable impact we had to brace ourselves for and just continue driving blindly through, slept through all the rain and wind in the horowhenua, which looks as though it has been cast under the spell of some permanent storm for months, where giant trees, pulled out by the roots, lay in the fields like plucked weeds. And slept through evans "Orsum" burger, which he bought in turakina, when he asked, what's the difference between the orsum burger and the works burger, he got the reply, they're exactly the same, except the works burger doesn't have steak. hahahaha. this thing had steak, bacon, a meat patty, an egg, beetroot, pineapple . . . after devouring it, he was able to wash his hands in the rain passing by at 100km/h outside the car window. Abacus was a bit unsettled after arriving in Wanganui, we took her for a walk and fed her and changed her, in the end we just lay her down on the floor and realised she just wanted to be left alone - easy fix. She slept well through our merriment and rabble, Danielle and Evan were supposed to go skiing on monday, but the roads had been closed up there due to 3 days of heavy snow, but they were supposed to be open again in the afternoon. Mum text and said she wouldn't mind coming to wanganui to see abacus and I was like, well if you're coming here, maybe you could take her with you and I'll go skiing too. And so that what happened. Abacus went away to hang out at mums creche and with her cousins and aunty and great grandmother, and we hit the paraparas, a little jaded but not too bad, we saw baby goats on the side of the road aparently by themselves, but when we stopped, they ran back behind the fence to where their mother was waiting. We listened to a cooking show on the radio which made us starving but we were soon in ohakune and eating a burger and fries and corn fritters and coffees . Then we went to venture up the mountain, but an electronic sign said - road closed everything on hold, and we're like um? let's just keep going. There was snow down lower than I've ever seen it before, all over the trees, it made them look like some alien Dr. Seuss world, and then there was a sign that said chains required which was bad, but then there was a sign that said chains for hire, and that was good! So we asked if there was anything open and they said it just opened!!!!! there was so few people up there and three days of untouched fresh snow, which was still powder come 4pm. The weather cleared up with a bit of snow in between, but it was an awesome day. When we picked up Abacus in Palmerston North a few hours later she was at her great grandmothers kicking around on the floor, she had had a great day too. We left in the rain and once more she fell asleep quickly, slept right through the insane hail storm that turned the road white with black tyre marks cutting paths through it, it continued for miles turning the small towns white like the mountain we'd left behind us. We listened to some moron on national radio with no idea of history trying to interview someone about china and soon we were home again.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
We're thinking of discontinuing the Plunket service. The plunket (nurse?) visited yesterday and cemented all the stereotypes of the service, even our pediatrician had stated that Plunket had dumbed down its service to the point of irrelavancy. I thought Danielle should have dismissed her by saying I have to go turn in the assignment I just wrote on the over medicalisation of societies - which she had just written, an interesting account of colonisation and the Pima Indians. It's like Plunket just expects women to be home all day so they can come and talk to you in accusing tones, as though we are merely minding a child owned by society, surrogate parents to a cog in the machine - sorry this is starting to sound like my other blog. She came to visit me at work which is always nice, then we had to beat the rain home and outrun the wind which blew icy gusts in her face. We had an early night watching the lightning explode in sharp light like burning magnesium outside. She slept 6 hours her first stint.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
That's about all that happened. Her hair's getting a we bit darker and she looks cuter and cuter with her face getting round and plump.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
We're really hoping she will be smiling soon, it should be happening around now, she's always done goofy burp smiles but never a real smile.
Also, she sleeps with her arms stretched through the bars of her crib or sometimes holding on to them which is pretty cute.
We're going back to bed now. See you tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
So first of all we've found it amazing how you can't wash coffee stains and stuff out of clothes, but with the exact same washing powder can wash actual shit out of cloth nappies(diapers) which are pretty much just towels and they came out pristine white, without a trace of their dirty secret.
Next, Abacus' neck control has gotten freakishly awesome, not only can she hold her head up for ages, but she can also gently lower it down without headbutting your chest which, coupled with her bald head, had earned her the nickname zinedine zidane (click here for reference) and just to further distance herself from that association, she's started growing hair! Though I like her bald head because it's such a good shape, she now has a slight, but definite soft coating of hair, and her eye brows are darkening too. She's drinking more and doing good 5-6 her sleeping stints at night which is easing up our day time exhaustion. Her grip is getting better too and she occasionally drags objects to her mouth. She is much more aware now making eye contact as she checks everyone out.
She hung out with me in the office the other day which was fun and she cried a lot less than some of my coworkers. But for now we are going to go back to bed, the olympics will be starting soon which will take away bbc world as my midnight companion, it was gone this morning replaced by beijing tests, boring.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
On Tuesday Abacus went to visit a new baby at the maternity ward, where she'd previously only been in utero where we knew her only as a heart beat, he was a few hours old and already bigger than her!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
He loved Abacus and remembered her from the ward, he loves her name. He's really impressed with her progress saying that her feeding and muscle tone are good indicators of her intelligence, and that she is doing better than most babies of her age and prematurity, so she should have a bright future ahead of her. She was really patient as he checked her heart and he thinks she has a really positive and happy personality. He said not to listen to what people say, which we probably already know, he was just the perfect sort of personality for our situation, the type of maverick doctor role required for any story of this type.
We are sooooooo happy for this news. We are in such a good mood and are so excited for Abacus, I wanted to throw her a party but all she could have is milk, and she'd have that anyway. She has another appointment in October after her heart test, I can't wait to meet him.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Abacus has become steeped in intellectualism, yesterday she attended a lecture on native American sign language stowed discretely in Danielle's sling, from where the occasional squeek escaped as she slept. Later she hung out in the linguistics department for an hour or so, much to everyones delight, assisting her godmother in writing her phd, while Danielle attended a seminar.
That night she went to meet her second cousins, lets just say cousins for ease. It was pouring icy rain in a howling gale as we weaved our way through peak hour traffic to their house, at one point taking evasive action to avoid a crazy big rig that pulled out in front of us. Her cousins loved her so much, they petted her as she fed. Then we raided their old baby stuff and got some awesome helpful things (thanks Susan and Sean!), while we did that Hazel and Iris played with Abacus in a dolls bed, she actually fit in it! They had so much fun playing with their real life doll, and Abacus liked it too, she stayed awake through the whole visit, which must have worn her out because then she slept for about 5 hours ! I'm not used sleeping so long!
Monday, July 21, 2008
We drove everywhere to avoid the driving rain and every time we stopped at the lights she started crying and as soon as we moved again she chillaxed. She loved going through the Hataitai tunnel, the intermittent bands of bright light punctuating the darkness made her eyes bulge with interest and she turned her head from side to side to not miss any of the action. She was on her best behaviour while visiting, keeping her little cries to a minimum and mainly just feeding and sleeping, she gets on really well with new people, I hope that sustains through development.
She's grown into some of her really cool clothes now and almost right back out of them again! I'm not surprised as she's also taken to waking every 2 hours to eat !!! So our sleep has been reduced to the sum of naps collected between her feeds. But as I write this, weary after a night of such disturbed sleep, she's sleeping beside me and has been for the last 4 hours !!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Abacus is so lucky! You're such a young mother, yet you're so wise and you've made a fantastic start.First: you WON'T be devoting every moment to your 'disabled' child. That was definitely a fear I had and at 27 had no desire to devote the rest of my life to self sacrifice in that manner. Thank heaven that's not at all how it turned out. I think among the most important realisations that came to me (probably encouraged by some sensible well-wisher) was to take each day as it came and not to dwell on the future. I found that absolutely liberating.
Obviously, people like you and me DO think about the future. We wouldn't have managed to plod through degrees etc without that future orientation. But there's a difference between constructive preparation and being weighed down by anxiety.
Another vital piece of information for me came from a psychologist I met a grand total of once. He was the one who set me on the path of helping Jamie develop much better than would otherwise have been the case. What I remember so clearly from him were two pieces of advice. One was that Jamie would be likely to be placid and be happy to lie hour upon hour in his cot. I should resist the temptation to let him do that, but should ensure that he received good levels of stimulation. I took that advice to heart and I'm so glad I did.
The second piece of information was that I shouldn't settle for unnecessarily low levels of achievement. He said that (remember this was 35 years ago) researchers would go into institutions, put a book in front of someone with DS, find they couldn't read it and conclude that people with DS weren't capable of reading. He said, "Nobody had ever tried to teach them!" So I bore that in mind.
Three years later, when Jamie's speech therapist suggested to me that if I taught him to read, it might help his spoken language, I privately thought she was crazy, but set about doing it. I devised a really effective and simple and fun system, which I'll be delighted to share with you if and when you're interested, later.Jamie became a really, really good reader and that opened up every door, subsequently. So I'm hugely grateful for that one encounter with one uniquely encouraging individual.
I really identify with what you say about the kind of people you mix with – bookish, word-minded, interested in the world. We too. The wonderful thing, as it's turned out, is that Jamie has 'imbibed' from his environment a comfort with that sort of milieu. He has developed his own particular interests that have greatly surprised us. He was a pioneer in DS terms at Auckland Grammar School and just loved learning history. He actually won a prize for achievement in history. The things that most fascinated him were the build up to the Second World War and everything to do with President Kennedy, Cuba, assassination etc. So he's our family expert on those things.
For me, the most amazing time was when his younger brother, David, who is known by us to be the brightest person in our family (now a lawyer in New York, gggrr!!) had left till the last minute a project he had to do for 5th form history. It was due in the next day. I was tired and wanted to go to bed, but couldn't leave David to struggle alone. Then I remembered Jamie, who was lying on his stomach in the family room watching TV. David had to complete a time-line about the time preceding WW2. I remember yelling out to Jamie, "Jamie, when was the Reichstag fire?". The answer came back immediately. "Jamie, when was the Anschluss into Austria?" The answer came back immediately. "Jamie, when was...." And the answers, accurate, came back immediately. The time-line was completed fast!
Jamie is our resident expert on elections in New Zealand and the United States. If we're home late-ish and there's been a poll result, he'll give it, with the greatest accuracy. He has worked out possible Cabinet places in the event of a National or a Labour Government. He goes on to the websites and ensures he's up to date.
I remember my mother and her sister, both in their 80s, having a dispute about the dates of the Boer War. Mum phoned Jamie to settle it!!
It's not all heavy. He's up to date with 'Shortland Street', too, and just loves a number of 'soaps'.
Our other children went to Hebrew School – the Sunday morning session to learn Hebrew and some religious knowledge. We wanted Jamie to go too, for integration purposes. We didn't have any expectations. It turned out that he picked up Hebrew reading very fast and is still faster than I am at it. He also picked up grammatical structures, so that he could ensure agreement in gender and number. That amazed me. He's probably lost that latter capacity for lack of practice. But at Grammar School, he was one of the better ones in his class at French. He's probably lost that, too, now.
So – no lack of talents and no difficulty in fitting in with a group of people of the kind you describe. If we're playing Scrabble, we'll usually pair Jamie with someone. Same with Trivial Pursuit, but somehow there's no problem. And his grasp of the world plus his natural social graces mean that he can mix very widely. If and when the conversation is puzzling to him he simply sits quietly, but never offers comments that are out of place.
Anyway, I must return to duller things, but I wanted to respond to you as soon as I felt well enough to sit in front of the computer for a while.
Do please keep in touch, Danielle. Warmest regards to you, to your partner and to the lucky little Abacus!
we'd joked about a blog that was just "awake and feed her and sleep three hours, awake and feed her and sleep three hours . . ." written about 200 times and all the photos would be of those words written all over the walls of our flat. So how it goes is, after a night of the above we awake and Danielle leaves for university at about 8:30 and I go to the lounge to work from home which is juggled with feeding Abacus some more and myself and comforting her and changing her and myself as I prepare for the change over at 10:30 when danielle arrives home and I leave to get to uni by 11 for an hour lecture before arriving at the office at just after 12 to work until my lab at 3 which is back at uni for 2 hours and then back to the office and then leave for home by about 630 And meanwhile danielle is juggling study and Abacus and meetings with plunket.(lack of punctuation is intentional - there is no punctuation in our routine) . Have we taken on a bit too much? Today it feels like it and I just wanted to exorcise the exhaustion from my system somehow. But everything balances out eventually.
Monday, July 14, 2008
One was for an appointment with the pediatrician who was assigned to Abacus during her month long stay in hospital - with whom we never met during that time. There are clearly massive flaws within the system. And we are honestly a little skeptical about the appointment, the anticipation of meeting with someone who knows Abacus only through notes submitted as a composite opinion of various nurses, coupled with our previous experience of such medical professionals making judgements based soley on her condition and not her as an individual, we feel it is going to be yet another meeting where we are told everything we already know, adhered with generalisations. And honestly does she need this? Does she need to spend her formative years surrounded by doctors assessing her and comparing her and enforcing the idea of her condition as a sickness? Obviously we want her to have all the help she can get, but also only the help she needs, and where do you make that distinction? We have many questions. But lets see what he says. And no cars this time, (they sent us another "parking permit") we're going by foot.
The second letter was very good news.
It was from Learning Media, and was addressed to Abacus "the cuteness" Catan and contained four $25 Just Kids gift vouchers "for some new digs" as payment for her participation in the photoshoot for their brochure, along with a note thanking her for helping them. It was signed "Liz (that wierdo lady)" We don't think you're wierd Liz!!! And thanks so much to you and Jodi.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I finally put her mobile up but it still need some serious work. I need to add some high contrast to it to get her center surround receptive fields firing. It's way too light at the moment for her low spatial frequencies.
She's been playing a few practical jokes on people too. Well at least assisted us in playing some but she's a real good sport in them. Danielle and her were hiding from my niece Amelia the other day and then we heard Abacus' little noises give them away, then the next thing you just see Abacus head peak out from around the corner at adult eye level, it was pretty hilarious.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Her neck control is getting so good. We give her a lot of "tummy time" and she is lifting her head and holding it for ages looking all around. The neurodevelopmental therapist also sent us some laminated black and white flash cards and she enjoys staring at them, especially the one of the cat.
Also last night she met her cousins for the first time and seemed to have a good time. She stayed up for ages with them.