Saturday, 31 January 2015

Embracing Change

Let’s face it, change is hard. From starting a new job or moving house to simply making changes to our routine, it can take a while to get used to anything outside the norm.
Click here to read the full story.
I am so pleased to have my article about Embracing Change published on Henpicked. Henpicked believe in the wisdom of women. Sharing it, discussing new ideas, and learning from the experiences of others.

Monday, 26 January 2015

The trial of the power wheel chair

I never thought a wheel chair would be something that would excite me and I would long to purchase one for Faith. For a long time I tried to ignore the reality that she would need one. The physiotherapist talked to me about it but Faith seemed too little until the day I saw her try freedom. I guess it is akin to when a baby learns to crawl for the first time. There is that expectation in the baby's eyes, an eagerness to explore the boundaries and become more independent. A chance to make decisions even if small. 

I jumped in as I do to get things done and arranged for a home trial. We had Faith settled in her trial power wheel chair and she had instruction on how it worked and she took off to the lounge room. Over the newly placed ramp and straight for the television collecting some of lounge on her way through. We had had a battle all morning that TV was for 'later' and she had made her first choice, that television was for 'now'.  The look on her face was magical, it was an expression I had not seen before but it was mixed with happiness, joy, apprehension but a firm desire to just go and explore, be free. At that moment I realised my baby was no longer a baby but a little girl and wanted desperately to spread her wings. For so long I had carried her from place to place, trying to give her options of where to go but really making the decisions for her. It was time I let her go a bit. She was ready for making choices and seeing the world more on her terms than on mine and that's ok.

It has been several weeks since her taste of freedom and many times during the day I find her watching the movie of herself taking off towards the television and then she cheers ' hooray'. Looking at me expectantly. If only I could fulfil her wish.

Monday, 19 January 2015

My stories shared

I'm very excited to have had quite a few stories recently published. If you would like to have a read, I'd love to know what you think.
"At first, I didn’t want to see anyone. I just wanted to be left alone. I needed to get my head around what we were facing. Friends and family prayed and some visited but for a while we just stayed away. It was easier this way, for now anyway. Minutes, turned into hours, hours into days and slowly my joy in my pregnancy and life started to return." Read more

"For a long time I didn’t want to have kids. I felt I was too selfish.

My husband and I loved exploring together. We lived for ourselves, best friends taking on the world. Then we thought it was “time” to have a baby." Read more

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Ipad is amazing and terrible

An iPad is a source of enjoyment, learning and entertainment. For my daughter it has brought many opportunities. Her learning has soared and she has hours of delight playing games and playing learning games. 

The iPad gave us the ability to learn more about our her. As she is unable to hold toys except for her left hand and limited play on her own, the iPad showed us she can problem solve, learn very quickly, communicate and have enormous fun.

The iPad can be terrible some days, creating a cranky and loud girl. The first thing in the morning she'll say "I" and sound out "pad". If she doesn't get her way the bottom lip emerges and the biggest tears fall down her cheeks. The screaming begins. Be strong I tell myself she doesn't need it all the time. I give her some books and she pushes them to the floor. I try another toy and she turns her head away. Tears flow but I am usually strong in my resolve. Eventually she will point to the books and examine the pictures, chatting to herself. 

The iPad is wonderful in teaching Faith so many more skills and gives her more opportunity to interact. But, beware it can cause some tantrums. So we find a balance. The joy of being able to lock the iPad in a application is a lifesaver.  Faith then can only access her communication app so it's only used for talking not playing. 

Then there are days when faith doesn't want the iPad and I like those days as we do much more. 

Faith's Top Games

Play School Play Time - a free app in the app store

Toca Boca Hair Salon 2 With Faith as the hair dresser you can come out with blue hair or shaved off completely

Toca Boca Kitchen - Beware when Faith is around you might end with a fish smoothie

We are always on the look out for education apps, so if you have a favorite please share.

Friday, 9 January 2015

I've Been Published!

I am so pleased to share with you that Henpicked have published some of stories and I'd love to share them with you! Enjoy!
"I have an overactive brain. It travels at a million miles an hour and at times I struggle to keep it under control. Life becomes fuzzy, my head feels full and I find it hard to keep functioning.

So I cling on to the mantra ‘everything is going to be okay’." Read more

"There are times in life when most of us just feel we can’t cope. We want to crawl under the bedcovers and hide, hoping that whatever is troubling us will simply disappear." Read more

"You’ve probably seen the words ‘free from preservatives and artificial flavours’ written on all kinds of food packaging, but what does this really mean?" Read more

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Gift of Time

The Gift of Time
Life is crazy busy and with the new year starting, the diary is filling up. It is easy to keep moving with the busyness. At late, I have found I am missing things, the small things. I’m too wrapped up in what’s next and what needs to be achieved. I forget to slow down and enjoy the simple things. Life with two small children is crazy but I love it.  I race around wanting to do the best for them but in the process I can sometimes miss out on some of the fun and age they are at. Life is precious and it all goes so fast. I don’t want to miss it. I want to embrace more of it. I’m trying to slow the pace. I am finding more enjoyment in life and more importantly my family. I make sure at least one day a week we have an ‘at home’ day.

On a day I didn’t have much on and deciding to stop and focus on Miss four and Mr six months I embraced their world of fun. I stopped focusing on what needed to be done and decided today is for the kids and me to have some fun. Forget the housework and my lists. As we walked and rolled (the pram) beside the river and fields we talked of what we saw. Birds, trees, colours and what we wanted to do or play for the remainder of the day. On the car trip home Miss four told me about all different things from her trip. As she struggles with her speech greatly, it was a wonderful delight to listen as she tried words and sounds. She had so much to say. She even started singing and this is something she hasn’t done before. She sang and then went hooray at the end. I wanted to say how wonderful it was but I waited until she finished. Delighting in every minute. Any small step is an achievement. By letting her chat, sing and Mr six months interject with his babbling it was a great trip.  Later that day we all sat on the floor and played. It was refreshing embracing my inner child hanging out on the floor building towers with Mr six months and coloring with Miss four. Just for now forgetting all responsibilities.

I love hanging out with my kids and I love to hear what they have to say. It is only by making time to play with them, listen to them I’m going to know who they really are.  I am making a deliberate action to slow down and notice what my kids like doing most and show them new things. The butterflies, the bees, the garden, observe what’s going on. The disabled man who walks by our house every morning on his way to work. The older lady walking her dogs every morning. The simple pleasure of eating produce from our garden. I want to give my kids the gift of my time and attention as much as I can.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Exploring the boundaries in education!

I love to read the magazine, Dumbo Feather. I find inspiration and encouragement in the range of interviews published. I'm taken out of my mind's place to think about others, learn and the variety of lives others live. In a recent interview with Brendan Murray, principal at Parkview College, my mind has taken flight again in his views on teaching. The interview is truly inspirational on educating youths in Victoria's Justice Centre for 10-18 year olds. 

Murray discusses 'how bad behaviour must be met with help rather than exclusion'.  I was particularly interested in his discussion on inclusion in the education. Murray lists examples of how inclusion functions. If someone doesn't fit in the norm they tend to be excluded and he used an example of children with special needs. He says, "we exclude kids with disabilities: 'You go to a special school, it's better for you' Why is it better? Because they have more resources there, they're specially trained'. Why can't all teachers be like that. Unless the child can live in that little bubble, with those kids, how is that better?" Murray continues on about how he'll continue to offer extra help and support to the kids in his school, believing everyone has a right to education. 

It got my little grey cells working as Hercule Poirot says. My darling daughter is not far off being of school age and I found myself examining school systems and the way Faith learns. I've been asked so many times if Faith will go to a special school. I can understand the many varying views on this topic and I only give my opinion in relation to my darling daughter and how she learns. In answer to their question I have said no she won't be going to a special school. 

When you become acquainted with Faith you soon realise her potential, courageous spirit and the desire to learn. She thrives on watching other kids play. She will more likely try new activities if another child is doing it. Her body might not be willing yet, but her mind is trying hard. We see miracles in this every day. 

Faith is kind and gentle. She will use her little finger to gently stroke my eyelashes. Her blue eyes and long long eyelashes gazing intently at you. It is her way of saying I love you. She is afraid of frogs, butterflies and birds but thinks polar bears and dolphins are wonderful. 

If I placed her in a school where I am uncomfortable why would I send my daughter there. Some families have choices and mine is to believe inclusion in a main stream school would help her grow, develop and change. Somewhere and somehow there is a system that will give Faith the maximum capacity for learning in a way that works for her. There is a so many wonderful opportunities awaiting her and I'll do all I can to help her achieve whatever her maximum learning is. 

For further information or to read Brendan Murray's full interview head to

And some interesting research on inclusive learning on children with special needs.