Friday, August 29, 2008

The other night during a bath abacus was really active and kicking and splashing and having fun, but then she got a bit too excited and kind of started thrashing around and freaked herself out! I hope she's not scared of the bath now. But today we went to get her passport photo taken, she d fallen asleep in the stroller by the time we walked there and the photographer was skeptical of her being able to stay awake or be happy during it, he said maybe we should come back when she's woken up, but we were like let's just try and she was calm as, proving yet another person wrong! hehe. she had to have her eyes open and be facing the front ( while she lay on a mat on the floor ) and one photo was really cute but her heads a little off center which we'll try to submit, but we have a back up one where she facing the front but looks a little freaked out. hehe

Monday, August 25, 2008


Not a whole bunch to report. Abacus is just subtely growing more and more cognizant all the time. She woke up this morning because we had gotten up and I guess the noise roused her, and she was just happy and chill and pleased to see us and to see the world some more. She did a bit of tummy time with little fuss, we need to keep that up, she's made so much progress and is so strong we just have to keep her developing at the same rate. She slept a good 8 or so hours again last night - though that meant waking up at 430am still, but she's definately eating enough to maintain her through such long sleeps.

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


So Abacus started smiling now. It's so cute! She's also started chugging a whole bottle of milk. She's grown so much, she's 60cm long and no longer fits snuggly in our lap. She stares at us a lot now too, making eye contact even when we're quite far away from her. Yesterday she was eating and I got the push chair out because we were going on a walk and he got all excited when she saw it and started drinking really fast. hehe.

Friday, August 22, 2008

bloggity blog

yesterday we went to the downs society coffee morning. it was a good experience. There were only three mums there and three downs kids, who were all about 3 years old. The mum was there that danielle met earlier at the beach and her little boy Fletcher, the other boys were Jesse and Jack. Abacus slept through most of it when she woke up she looked around and had a feed and was pretty good with it all. They have developmental classes there, like speech therapy and music therapy they have a long waiting list. A lot of it is comparing, which we openly admit, it's good to have some sort of idea of what to expect at different ages, and we heard a lot of stories about their differences in progress.

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

rock a bye baby rockin out

yesterday was pretty chill, wait no it wasn't, we went to bed quite late and then abacus kept waking up and then we had to wake up to take evan to the airport, and i didn't go because i thought abacus should sleep, but then just after they left she woke up and stayed awake until danielle got home. hehe. and then we finally slept - till like 12 or something.

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

abacus ultra mega multi update (or the abacus omnibus)

so on friday abacus went to have her echo done,which is a heart test where two nurses who seem to have no heart between them prod deeply into her stomach up under her rib cage with a sonagram device to search for any holes there may be in her heart, while they talk banally about personal and social things amongst themselves, like what each other is going to do this weekend, completely negating our presence who might have liked to have known what they were actually doing and what any of it meant for us. I think Abacus acted way more grown up, she was very patient considering the test coincided with her feed and she was starving. We amused her with gadgets that played electronic nursery rhymes that sounded like videogame theme songs, and flashed bright lights, as the room was kept dark the whole time. I don't know when we'll get the results, apparently we were all just props in the procedure.
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

I'm pretty sure Abacus is getting way better at tracking objects, i've been doing the exercises with her flash cards. Yesterday she met her uncle who came over from Burlingame for a week.

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

no news is no news

Sorry to disappoint you all, but nothing news worthy happened today, except that danielle and I both went on marrathon efforts to finish our respective essays and lab assignments, abacus watched patiently from the wings. though i did continue her tracking exercises and she's definately getting better at that. but now i'm really tired, and still have essay left, but you don't care, you only care about how great abacus is. which is fair enough, because she's really great.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

don't try the formula

so we tried some of her formula, and it's nasty, i don't know how she drinks that stuff. I did some eye and head tracking exercises with her high contrast flash cards and she did really well, even holding her head centered for a while. You just have to catch her when she's all chillaxed, we also noticed that she seems to favour looking to one side when she's laying down, so I've tried a few things like orienting her play mat so that she practices looking other places.

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

moving madness

This morning the visiting neurodevelopmental therapist, well, visited. This time Abacus was awake so she could actually do some assessments. She did a lot of tracking exercises, where she had Abacus try to focus on something and move either her eyes or head as she moved it across her field of view. She was really impressed with Abacus' physical development and wants us to continue on and do a bit more with her concentrating and focusing. and have her practice holding her head centered. She's really nice with a laugh which sustained the awkwardness it filled just a little too long. Just now Abacus and I watched someone win a gold medal in judo for running away from her opponent hrm. Abacus had a bath tonight, after helping us in a dubious mission to return furniture which had me pressed between a huge pane of glass and an open car door as a held a couch on top of the car - we weren't going far, Abacus pateiently watched all the madness from her car-seat. She always loves her bath, i'm sure her first smile will come while taking one, she always looks so close when she's in there splashing about. Ok so now it's fencing on TV ? and people are actually cheering ? I think it's time for bed.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

a nice day

I was just a bit too tired last night tio live up to my daily 4am promise. Abacus had a really good day, it was a beautiful day for walking and so she went walking. Danielle took her to the beach in the morning where she saw a mother with a 3 year old son with down syndrome, so she bowled on up and introduced herself by saying "your son is beautiful, I have a daughter with downs syndrome!" it turns out the mother is in charge of the coffee mornings for the downs society. The little boy was an awesome little kid, with grazes all over his face, further proof of his awesomeness! Then Abacus started to getting a bit cryee, the pacifier I had bought to get her through the night, was just a bit to fat for her mouth and she couldn't hold it in, so we went in search of a replacement. We ended up buying 3, hoping one would work - and one did! So she was much happier after that. We went home, but with this rare perfect day slotted amongst the wintry rain lately, we decided to go back out. I took her in the front pack, which we'd not really used yet, she fell asleep almost as soon as I started walking and stayed asleep through our whole walk over the mountain and down to the beach for an iced coffee. Then her "god"mother came for dinner (Danielle made beef wellington - it was awesome!) she is going back to Vanuatu to complete her documentation and research of a language there, Abacus will be so different when she returns.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Poor little Abacus braved the icy antarctic winds today wrapped in blankets in her sling to get to the supermarket and home again. Without her dummy it's been hard to get her settled and so she spent a lot of the day unsettled and awake. At one point, I thought her crying may have been because of hunger and so I gave her a bottle, which she greedily downed, then when I stopped to burp her she projectile vomited all over me! It was the first time she had done that. So it was time to clean her up and put her in a caterpiller suit - a dress thing which ties up at the bottom - that danielle found after reorganising all of abacus' millions of clothes she's acquired, i think none of which we have bought! During the big clean out she came across a couple of things, like this little pink vest, which I couldn't believe she used to fit, if we thought she looks doll sized now, this thing looked like it dressed a dolls doll. I finally braved the icy rain which had barricaded us in all day to go in search of a new dummy, but of course while I was out getting it she had finally fallen asleep. She seems to like it now though.

Friday, August 8, 2008

the shutupmaker shriveled up

Oh no! Abacus' dummy/pacifier/shutupmaker thing, has somehow melted ? hehe. It's shriveled up and deflated, I'm not sure how, click here for photo. It has "Happy" written on it but everything about it says sad. She had a weirdo day today, demanding a lot of attention ALL the time and stayed awake from midday to about 8 or something ? She also almost doubled her feeds. She's so greedy now, hopefully she's going to start packing on the pounds. She still hasn't smiled yet, but we're pretty sure she's happy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


So the other day a nurse, when talking about Abacus, asked "how is he" um she, we correct her, "oh, you're trying to trick me with her blue sweater" "um no you tricked yourself with your narrow idiotic nonsensical ideas" we didn't really reply with that, but we both thought it, it's pretty amazing that the world still colour codes gender, and besides Abacus looks hella hot in blue.

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

i'm updating sheehs

ok so i apologise for my slack updating lately and have decided that I will update it every 4am feed (take that mahmoud ahmadinejad and your measly 15 minutes a week click here for reference), i've just been a bit overloaded with a billion things.

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.