Well, it has been another busy year in our household! We can’t possibly summarise our year in 2 pages….but here is a little snippet about us….
Alison & Murray's News
We don’t have anywhere near as much news as the children, but here goes.
Murray is still working for the Police. He is still playing sqaush regularly, and occasionally has a “game” of tennis with Alison. He got a table tennis table for his birthday but the 100 or so screws it came with scared us off, so it remains in pieces in the garage. Murray is having a few weeks off work after Christmas, so we’d love to catch up with some of you that we haven’t seen for ages.
Alison is busy looking after the children and chauffeuring them to preschool and therapy appointments. She is still way too fond of chocolate and tv but has started to play the odd game of tennis (trust me if you saw it you would agree it was odd).
We are still attending church at Christchurch Gladesville, and are very appreciative of all the support we have received throughout the year – including being offered a second hand mini-van so we can more easily cart our brood and their accessories around.
One big change this year is that we have moved house! We bought a house with Al’s sister that has “in-law” accommodation - Carolin lives in the ‘in-law’ bit. We also have a bigger backyard which is fantastic – and includes a compact tennis court – so feel free to drop around anytime for a game. We still have the same phone number.
We did have another small brush with celebrity this year, when Ashlea and Audrey turned one, and we were filmed for RPA Where Are They Now? It was lovely to get a copy of their Thanksgiving Service to keep , although I think our 15 minutes of fame are well and truly up!
Emma turned 3 at the end of March and started preschool which she has absolutely loved. Two of her highlights were going on an excursion to the bus depot, and having the firefighters (and their truck) come and visit preschool. She got great pleasure in telling the firemen that “Mummy burnt the bbq down” – and while I admit there was a small incident or two involving fire and the bbq, it didn’t actually get burnt down. Emma loves being a big sister and enjoys playing with Ashlea and Audrey. She is very considerate of Ashlea and will often get toys or books for her to play with. She and Audrey are great mates and play together well…..mostly. She particularly likes playing on the “slip-n-slide” in the backyard. She also had her first motorbike ride (got to love all those special needs Christmas parties).
Audrey has had a big year. She has put on 4kg and is now 10.7 kg and 82cm long. Early in the year she learnt to crawl, and has been on the move ever since. She also likes to climb and just in the last month has started to take steps independently. She loves playing with her big sister Emma - especially when they drive their toy car around in the backyard. She also says quite a few words including mummy, daddy, baby, teddy, cuggle, diego (Emma’s favourite show) and makes a variety of animal noises. She is not receiving any ongoing therapy as she is doing so well.
Well, as you can imagine Ashlea has had a very busy year. She has put on nearly 6kg this year (is now 10.1 kg) but is still very short at 72cm (a little Michelin baby!).
· kidney news – her kidney function has been stable throughout the year. Her creatinine is 115 & urea 10.2 - this is pretty much the same as this time last year – and seeing as she has doubled in size during that time we are very happy. They are now saying it will be closer to 10 years before she needs a transplant
· eye news – Ashlea has been diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (underdeveloped optic nerves). Her left eye is completely blind and her right has very limited vision (6/60 – legally blind ). She continues to receive therapy through the RIDBC. The Optic Nerve problem she has can also be related to pituitary problems – this will be followed up in the New Year.
· development – Ashlea receives regular physiotherapy, OT and speech therapy through the spastic centre. She is making slow but steady progress. In November she learnt to roll over which is a very big milestone. She had been making some progress with eating solids, but now appears to have gone on strike again and takes nothing orally. She is very happy and laughs and babbles a lot saying mum-mum, dad-dad and bub-bub as well as a variety of other sounds. She can almost sit up – if you prop her up on her chubby tummy!
· Reflux – hallelujah we have had this problem surgically corrected. In August Ashlea had a fundoplication to prevent her from vomiting and also had a gastrostomy (feeding tube directly into the tummy). She is so much happier since having this done – and we are happy too that we are not getting spewed on everyday and not having to change that awful NG tube.
All our girls continue to amaze and delight us.
Once again we would like to thank everyone who has continued to pray for us and our children. A special thank you also to those who have helped with cleaning, babysitting and folding washing (you know who you are) – we really appreciate it.