Monday, March 31, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 31 - Emma's Birthday!

Can you believe this little baby turns 10 today???

Emma has had a lovely day in spite of the fact that she had to go to school.  She was impressed with her presents - the stuffed Pokemon toy she wanted (thank you Ebay), loom bands (thankfully she can do them without my help) and a few craft projects from the $2 shop.  She got to choose what we ate for dinner (bacon and eggs - too easy) and we had cake and ice cream and 'that song' to celebrate.

Today I am thanking God for:

284.  This first born child of mine with her bright, friendly nature;

285.  Ten years of motherhood;

286.  Family birthday celebrations.

Hebrews 12:28 
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 30 Happy Kidney-Versary Ashlea!

Yesterday was Ashlea's 2 year kidney-versary.  We didn't make a huge fuss about it as it was also Emma's party but we definitely acknowledged the occasion and stopped to reflect on how well Ashlea is doing now that she has her new kidney.  The only word I can use to describe her is thriving.  She is absolutely thriving in all areas of her life.  Ashlea did try to convince me that if it was the kidney's birthday then maybe the kidney needed a present...  Good try but not gonna happen!

For the last two years I have taken photos of the girls to commemorate the occasion so I tortured them once again by making them sit for another set of photos.  I want to do this for as long as they'll let me as a way of documenting how far we've come.

28th March 2012

28th march 2013

29th March 2014
Older and wiser... How long do we have to sit here Mum?

I don't generally spend a lot of time reflecting on the actual day of Ashlea's transplant even though every day I give thanks for how well she is doing as a result of it.  The only bits that catch in my throat when I think about them now are when I remember her being called down for surgery - anyone whose child has had major life altering surgery will be able to relate to that - and then again when I remember the surgeon coming out and telling me the words I had waited 5 years to hear - the kidney is in and it's making wee.  I'm still disappointed that I didn't get to enjoy that moment for awhile longer and that now I can't celebrate Ashlea's transplant without being reminded of Murray's brain injury (that anniversary is tomorrow).  Today though we shall celebrate the kidney and the life and vitality it has brought to Ashlea.

3 Gorgeous Girls

Today I am thanking God for:

279.  Ashlea's successful kidney transplant;

280.   The medical team who were involved and still are involved in keeping her as healthy as possible;

281.  The life and vitality that is hers as a result;

282.  Murray's willingness to give her one of his kidneys;

283.  And seeing as life goes on regardless of anniversaries I am also thankful that my Sunday jobs are taken care of - groceries done, lunches made, laundry put away, hedges trimmed by the neighbour; cupcakes made for Emma to take to school tomorrow and birthday presents wrapped.

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 29

Today I am thanking God for:

Ice Skating Fun!

276.  A successful birthday party for Emma - we took a small group of her friends ice skating.  I have never done an 'organised party' before but let me tell you it was worth every cent!  I didn't have to do a thing;

277.  That Emma is much more settled at school and with her friends at the moment and was able to thoroughly enjoy her party without anxiety;

278.  Generous friends.  Someone did a drive-by gift bombing and left us a generous gift today.  Whoever you are THANK YOU.  It's driving me crazy trying to work out who it might be!

She actually let go of the wall for a few seconds...

Faster Mummy!

The daredevil

Some of you may be aware that today is also Kidney-versary day.  I will have a kidney related post tomorrow but thought I'd leave today's post just about Emma's birthday - it's bad enough that her actual birthday falls on brain injury anniversary day.  I had been wanting to sing Happy Birthday to the Kidney at the party this afternoon but Ashlea's reaction to 'that song' when it was sung for Emma meant that there was NO WAY we were going to risk singing it again!

The birthday song... yes I videoed her meltdown.  Ashlea told me I could put it on Facebook to show Mrs W (her teacher):

That song.

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 28

Today I am thanking God for:


272.  Some dead ants;

273.  A clean(er) fridge;

274.  A cup of tea with a friend;

275.  Hot chips for lunch.

Today's shower song...this is what happens when you've seen the movie Frozen a few too many times...

Ashlea Rap Version of For The First Time In Forever

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 27

Today I am thanking God for:

Party Invites Sorted

269.  A Talking Tom Birthday Cake commissioned for Ashlea's birthday party next month;

270.  A couple of Talking Tom themed party games thought of (Pin the Tail on Tom and Pass the Purr-cel) - please feel free to leave more ideas - I need Tom themed games or ideas for children with a wide range of abilities;

271.  Little Duck's excitement about her upcoming party.  She is already talking about it non stop. It could be a long few weeks.

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 26

Today I am thanking God for:

Traditional Korean chopsticks - look how skinny and slippery they are..
I'd starve for sure!

265.  Aunty Carolin's safe arrival back in the country;

266.  A catch up with a lovely friend from our old church.  This person was my bible study leader around the time the twins were born and was very much responsible for any shreds of sanity I had left at the time;

267.  The first stage of Emma's 'Australian Heroes' project completed without me tearing ALL my hair out;

268.  The pearls of wisdom that come home from school with Ashlea each day.  Apparently Ashlea is not the only one in her class that comes out with classic one-liners - today Ashlea let rip with a MASSIVE FART in class and one of her class mates turned to her and said that it sounded like she had dynamite in her pants!  He wasn't wrong...

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 25

Today I am thanking God:

It's that time again...

262.  That Ashlea doesn't understand the benefits of auto-fill when typing her spelling lists - that temptation would be too much for Emma;

263.  For a fun after school birthday party for Audrey to attend today;

264.  For Ashlea-isms - over the last few days we've had the following statements:

Oh look - my favourite word - M E N.
I promise not to poop in the bath. 
I am happy without pants.

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 24

Today I am thanking God for:


258.  A baked dinner on a cool rainy day;

259.  That the kids actually ate their dinner;

260.  Leftovers for tomorrow;

261.  The wheelchair collapse mystery solved - there are pins that are meant to stay in place to secure the frame - but ours keep falling out.  Hopefully they will be easy to replace.  In the meantime I know to double check that they are in place!!!

Col 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 23 - Compulsory Outdoor FAIL edition

Today I am thanking God for:

Even the photo was a fail...

255.  Helpful staff at Rouse Hill who came to our rescue during our Peppa Pig FAIL;

256.  No injuries resulting from the fail;

257.  My couch and a strong cup of tea to come home too!

OK so the fail went like this...

As many of you know the girls and I have been making the effort each weekend to go out and do something.  Today Peppa Pig was appearing at Rouse Hill so we thought we would go up after church.

We went.  It was hot.  The line was long.

I decided to try something I rarely do - I asked if we could jump the queue as Ashlea can't tolerate the heat (which is true).  They let us.  WIN I thought.  So we waited in the shade and then just when Peppa came out we were able to go to the head of the queue to meet her.  Sounds good right?

The problem was that there was a curb between us and Peppa so I put the wheelchair tippers up and decided to pull the wheelchair up the curb the way you would with a pram.  This is where the fail occurred.  The entire wheelchair FELL APART.  I was left holding the back rest and handle while Ashlea fell backwards - remember that the tippers weren't down - so the whole chair flipped backwards and she landed ON HER HEAD ON THE CONCRETE IN FRONT OF A HUGE CROWD OF ONLOOKERS.  She started howling.  Emma and Audrey burst into tears.  I tried to grab Ashlea quickly but she was strapped in and her leg was somehow stuck so it took multiple people to help grab her and the chair.  It was HORRIFYING.  HORRIFYING I TELL YOU.

Ashlea was OK - mainly just shaken up.  She got to meet Peppa but wasn't really in the right frame of mind for it by then!!  We cheered her up by buying her some light up rubber duckies for the bath.

Sadly that wasn't our only fail for the day.  After we had seen Peppa (whom I may have head butted during the chaos) the girls needed to use the bathroom so we went to the nearest accessible bathroom and marched in.  There was someone in there - and the toilet door opened directly off a large open area filled with people.  Of course the door wouldn't then close either and the poor lady was left there in all her glory.  Technically though that was her fail for not locking the door - we just helped her out a bit :)

At that point we decided a hasty retreat from the shops might be a good idea - although before we got away we managed to knock over some boxes and nearly run over a child (she walked in front of the wheelchair so technically that was her fail too).  We were all very relieved to get home and back to the safety of our screens!!!!!!!!!!

PS Yes I am going to send this post to our OT to advise about the chair - this is the second time it has fallen apart when trying to lift it.  The first time I thought I mustn't have assembled it correctly but this time I KNOW it was correctly assembled.  The handle and back support should NOT come off!

Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 22

Hungry Tom???

Today I am thanking God for:

252.  Chicken and chips for Saturday night dinner;

253.  Friends who get it.  I know my goal for the year was to find 1000 original things to be thankful for but I just can't overstate how much it means to have friends who get it, who are willing to stand with me in difficult times and who pray for me even when I can't pray for myself;

254.  A new friend for Emma - a girl from church who she has MUCH in common with - from anxiety to Minecraft to a Dad with a brain injury.  We so need to be friends with these people - hopefully it will mean new friends for all of us not just Emma!!

Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 21

Today I am thanking God for:


249.  Ashlea scoring 10/10 for her spelling test today.  The last few weeks she has had 5 spelling words and they have all rhymed (e.g. pan, man, fan etc).  This week she had a test that covered a mixture of words (e.g. pan, men, sit, we - with no pattern to follow) and she still got them all right - so exciting to see her learning;

250.  The wisdom of Audrey.  I showed her one of the things I got Emma for her birthday as I know she can keep a secret.  The first thing she said to me was 'But don't tell Emma what you got me because she won't be able to keep it in and she'll tell me'.  So true;

251.  The wise little voice in my own head that made me question Ashlea before biting into this biscuit.  I LOVE arrowroots with icing and Ashlea bought this tasty creation home from school. Before biting into it I stopped to wonder whether other children in her class may have IEP goals that mirror Ashlea's (i.e. no hands in mouths, noses or nappies).  That was enough to give me pause for thought.  Then I asked Ashlea if she made the biscuit and she told me that not only did she make it but that she had been licking it and it was delicious.  Glad I checked.
Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 20

Today I am thanking God for:

245. Long Autumn afternoons - sadly daylight saving will be over all too soon;

246.  School disco fun - and friends to share the drop off / pick up frenzy with;

247.  Other children who play WITH Ashlea.  She loves it.  I love it.  It warms my heart;

248.  A lizard evicted.  I don't know if it was the one that moved in a month ago or if it is another of his friends?

Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 19

Today I am thanking God for:

The corruption is complete...Ashlea wanted to try Minecraft

242.  Left overs for dinner;

243.  The unexpected spelling benefits that come from too much Minecraft.  My kids don't have headsets to chat with other players - they have to type their chat.  It has done wonders for Emma's spelling;

244.  Hospital pharmacy business done without a hitch or a hassle (always noteworthy!).

Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 18

Today I am thanking God for:

238.  A feeding bag WIN - Ashlea will now be allocated 360 feeding bags per year (up from 270 - and when extras cost $8 a pop that is a significant saving);

239.  A letter advising me that Audrey has been chosen to audition for a special something (I don't really know what) at choir;

240.  The opportunity to see Ashlea get her swimming carnival ribbons in assembly today;

241.  The fact that my little chickies were both WAY up the back of the assembly hall far away from the child who chose the school song as the perfect time to have a power spew.  Seriously I don't know how my teacher friends do it.

Participation in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke
and the noodle race.  Didn't seem to matter that
all strokes looked the same :)

Psalm 9:1 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 17 - Redeeming St Patrick's Day

For those who have read this blog for awhile you will know that I am not a huge fan of St Patrick's Day.  You can read last year's St Patrick's day post if you want all the details, but the short story is that St Patrick's day marks the beginning of anniversary season for us.  On St Patrick's Day 8 years ago I was diagnosed with TTTS, then March 29 is the transplant anniversary, March 31 is brain injury anniversary and then 21st April is the twins birthday.

As usual though the star of the show has helped redeem St Patrick's day.  In school today Ashlea's class had to come up with something or someone who is worth more to them than a pot of gold. Ashlea's answer was Emma - because she's my sister and she plays the sock game with me.

Behold - the sock game - in which Ashlea squeals with laughter while Emma
throws socks at her.
Best played in the dark with disco music playing...

So today I am thanking God for:

233.  My 3 girls and the fun that they have together - particularly when they play the sock game;

234.  Ashlea choosing one of her sisters (rather than Talking Tom or a Furby ha ha) as her 'worth more than a pot of gold' item;

235.  The doctor who diagnosed my TTTS all those years ago.  As much as I look back on TTTS as the beginning of 'everything' if I hadn't been diagnosed when I was most likely my waters would have broken and I would have had the girls prior to 24 weeks;

236.  The gut instinct that made me insist of having that extra scan when I did.  My original OB was a bit blasé about everything and didn't have my next scheduled scan until 28 weeks - which would have been w a y too late;

237.  For the thriving, healthy, happy, delightfully fun little people those two tiny babies are growing into.

Not exactly 8 years ago - probably 8 years and
4 weeks ago - 18 week u/s.
Don't ask me who is who!!!


Psalm 9:1I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 16

Today I am thanking God for:

5 Veggie Curries for the kids to turn their noses up at

230.  A half a dozen lovely people who are going to take turns hanging out with Ashlea after church on Sundays so I can have a cup of tea and a chat with the grown ups;

231.  My Thermomix / Tupperware combo.  While cooking dinner tonight I was also able to whip up a veggie curry in Thermie and freeze it in my Heat 'N Eats.  The joke is on me though - even though I feel virtuous for using all those veggies to make a curry there is no way my kids will actually eat it;

232.  A little Sunday arvo snooze on the couch while it rained outside.

Psalm 69:30 
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thankfulness Mar 15

Today I am thanking God for:

In honour of multiple birth awareness week...

227.  An encouraging afternoon with women from church getting to hear how God has been working in people's lives;

228.  No lightning strikes in my street in today's storm (that made the news anyway);

229.  Blood donors.  A few of my Facebook friends have recently posted about being donors.  THANK YOU.  In the photo below Ashlea is mid-transfusion - she had at least 3 or 4 transfusions in the nursery and one during her transplant last year.  Audrey also had 1 or 2 in the nursery.

August 2006 - 4 months actual / 1 month corrected

Psalm 69:30 
I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.