Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Tova and I have recenetly returned from a 2 week therapy trip to Sydney. The therapy was located at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance
We stayed in a stunning apartment in Manly, which isn’t far from the CP Alliance. Tova, Nissim and I drove up to Syd with a quick stop in Canberra for a night to visit my brother and his family. Of course the second we pulled into the drive way, Nissim was out of the car and I didn’t see him till the next morning (cousins). Tova vanished with Auntie Veronica to the piano too. It was lovely
The second day of driving was fine. We drove through about 10 tunnels to get to Manly. I had no Idea Sydney was so beautiful. I’ve been there plenty of times for work in the past, but usually only to the city. This time I was exposed to more of Sydney and I’m blown away. The entire place is beaches, warm winters and forest. I just had no idea. It’s a spectacular place.
I think we arrived on a Saturday late afternoon. There were a few dramas with parking, we sorted them out and settled in.
Sunday evening one of Tova’s support workers arrived from Melbourne. She stayed with us for the first week and took Nissim home on Friday, back to Melbourne (school + commitments).
The first week was good for Tova. The therapy is all about play of course, as they all are. The therapists and helpers in the room with the kids were outstanding. Such lovely people. Tova was with Michelle for her time there and they created a lovely friendship bond. It was beautiful to see
The second week a support worker from Sydney met us every second day and hung out with Tova and Michelle. Why you ask.. why did Tova need a support worker, well.. Let me tell you. I work from ‘home’ which means I work from anywhere and everywhere I am. So I couldn’t spend my days with Tova in the therapy program, and the therapy program doesn't cater for kids that need toileting assistance, so yep, we hired someone to hang out at the centre in case she needed assistance with the bathroom. On the days that there was no support worker, I set up in an empty office at CPA and worked from there. It's a great building with lots of space to work from.
Since being back we've seen some improvement with Tova's balance and she learned how to colour in and build lego like never before!
We have also started music therapy and Phsyio once a week, which is so, so good for Tova, so good. Thank you NDIS. We are on the search for an OT, which she will start weekly too. It feels like Tova’s entire life is a fun intensive therapy program now, which is a game changer. It’s so good for her.
Tova has started grade 5. I've been feeling a bit sick about her being almost in grade 7 (I know, 2 years away, but time is going so fast and each year it goes faster). Most of the kids in her class are going to grade 7 next year. Her school doesn't actually work by grade, so many of the kids are older than her in her class. It's going to be strange for her next year when she's not with those kids, they've been in class together for years and years.
This evening Tova had a really hard time trying to fall asleep. She cried/whimpered for an hour. Yuval had checked her a few times and said that the noise of the crickets was really bothering her. I got her after an hour and she was so upset about the crickets, and then the bats started, and then the possums and Zev (our cat) has a really bad cough. omfg. I ended up running around the back yard, in the dark, telling all the wild-life to shut the f#ck up. Tova took the next few hours to fall asleep, in OUR BED. I understand that feeling, when you are trying to sleep but there is one annoying sound that is driving you nuts and you just can’t let it go.
Since returning from Adelaide we’ve noticed some really great things with Tova, such as her fine motor skills improving, her conversation/sentences getting longer and more complex (all in Auslan, mostly finger spelling) and I watched her throwing a ball to the dog the other day, it was amazing. I haven’t seen her throw a ball like that before. Oh and her telling us when she needs to go to the toilet has improved 100%, we are so impressed with her.
Tova is in this video a few times, pretty much anytime there is a piano/keyboard, that's Tova playing it. Also at about 0.57, I believe that's the back of her sitting with her buddies, probably talking about piano/playing piano. And 2.43ish on the trampolines
Last year (in October I think) Tova went on camp for 4 days. This was the longest I've ever spent away from Tova in her life. Three entire nights.
She had a ball!! No parents for 4 days. The lead up was a bit difficult for me. I was worried. About everything. To help me get over some of my worries, the two buddies that would be spending all their time with Tova at camp and the 2-3 team leaders came to our house various times in the weeks before camp, to learn all about Tova and her ways.
Let me tell you about these amazing buddies. HOLY CRAP, these kids have just completed grade 12 and fresh out of exams, they not only go away with a bunch of kids, they go away with a bunch of kids with additional needs. NOT what I was doing right out of grade 12. I wish I knew what they know. I wish I had done anything even remotely like this at that age. Their parents have so much to be proud of.
Tova participated in so many things I didn't think she would, and things she won't do with us, like go to the beach, stay in her bed and have fun at the pool! She did everything, and they said she loved all of it. I think having two 'servants' at her beck and call helped. I didn’t miss her, I felt confident and happy she was well looked after. Also the camp updated us each night with photos and a few words by text. Perfect.
A few months before that Nissim went on Camp SOCS which is the camp for Siblings Of Camp Sababa. This was the best thing for him. He got to meet lots of kids with brothers and sisters that have special needs and talk about it with people that ‘get it’.
We are here in Adelaide again for CE therapy! I feel bad that it's taken me a year to update the blog. I'm going to try and blog here once a month, wish me luck. < br /> Again, we are staying at the same place as each year and again, Tova and I did the big drive up here. Of course google lied and told us it would take 8.5 hours.. No, no, no, such lies. It took us 12 long hours. Next year I’m breaking it up and sleeping somewhere halfway. It’s too hard to do that drive in one day by myself.
We used to stop at Kaniva for the night, but Tova was like a little satan to spend the night with, not sleeping, climbing in and out of every bed, trying to get into the bathroom to stand in the toilet or what not. Such pleasures. But I think that I’ll just set her up with movies all night and put a bed over the bathroom door, or chair, or anything to block it and try and sleep myself. It doesn’t matter how tired she is the next day, it matters how tired I AM! The kids and I will fly home in a few days and Yuval will do the drive home. He can at least stop the car and have a sleep as he will be alone. I can’t do that with a Tova in the car. I M P O S S I B L E.
I think Tova is having fun at Future Footprints. She’s not so stressed about going there each day, she does ask to stay home lots and does ask to be on holidays, but she also kicks me out of the door when we get there.
The boys arrived about a week ago, so we’ve all been together. Lots of beach and Dolphin time, lot of relaxing and enjoying the Tropical Adelaide heat.
Adelaide again. I love Adelaide!
Tova is of course Amazing. However, this year she refuses to go to the beach at all. We've been here for a week and yesterday I had to bribe her with "Let's go see if Andre Rieu is at the beach", just to get her to even think about it. She knew I was tricking but reluctantly played along.
I got our annual feet in the water image and then she demanded we go back to the ‘Adelaide House’.
I still just can't get my head around why it takes me over 11 hours to drive from Melbs to Ads. I left at 6am and got here at 5 or 6ish. I don't get it. We didn't drive too slow and we didn't stop so many times.
The drive was ok, long, but ok. It's worth it to have my car with me and all my stuff, so much stuff. We bring everything, almost even the kitchen sink.
Watching the Greek Festival and Henley Beach.
Both kids in the house are 8 years old for the next few days.
Nissim got lots of Lego and a bunch of stuff from Lush
It's been ages between posts. I've thought about posting lots of times. But just can't find the time. I don't even have time now. Here is a little outline of what's been happening:
Tova and I have been going to Adelaide for the day each month so she can do 4 hours of CE Therapy.
No one has been especially sick nor been to hospital for Croup
Nissim and I went to Tassi for about 3 days a week or so ago. It was my first time in about 7 years to spend a night away from Tova. It was strage and I had nightmares on the first night; I'd lost her, left her, forgotten her, abandoned her and everything in between. In my waking moments, I was 100% fine.
Happy Birthday Nizzo
I just met you, and actually we have shared about 4 minutes of time together. You mention something about your children. I say I've got kids too. You mention the school your kids attend. I mention mine. I get a curious look about both the schools my kids attend, so I explain that one attends a tiny private school in the South East and the other attends a special needs school in the other direction. Immediately you tell me how amazing I am. I am offended even faster.
I get it, I want to change it!
According to the way our society conditions us, special needs / disabilities are bad.
What I hear when you tell me how amazing I am as a parent without knowing anything at all about me (I mean seriously, I could be the worst parent in the world, being a parent of a special needs child doesn’t qualify me to be a fantastic parent at all), I hear that you think my child couldn’t be loved. Or that YOU couldn’t love a child with any additional needs. HOLD ON! Have a think about what you just said. Why would you say this to me? You think my child is horrible and I’m incredible for loving her? It’s just a STUPID, such a stupid thing to say.
There are more things similar about us than there are different.
You love your children, I love mine
You love your children no matter what, I love my children no matter what. Both my kids are different to each other, both have different likes, wants, talents and personalities, I bet yours do too. See, we are the same.
We probably have some different challenges, but that’s ok. Everyone has something going on in their lives, we can’t change that. Would I tell Cerebral Palsy to fu*k off if I could, YES, I bloody would. But it wouldn’t change my parenting skills, it wouldn’t change my love for my children. It would just mean she didn't have CP.
Stop telling me I’m a fantastic parent because I have a child with special needs. It’s stupid and confusing. Not to mention RUDE.
You don’t know anything about my parenting skills. What if I am in actual fact a terrible mother? You can’t know anything about me in 4 minutes of conversation about the schools my kids go to. You are offending me.
I don’t need your approval. I don’t need you to tell me anything about my parenting skills, I’m not telling you anything about yours, how could I, we just met. I don’t know what you do behind closed doors, what if you beat your children or are abusive in other ways? How could I possibly know that about you in 4 minutes of conversation, how could you know anything about me?
I adore my kids, both of them. They fulfil me, don’t yours do that? Isn’t that just how it is for parents? how is that any different to you?
Please think before you speak. Special needs parents are JUST PARENTS
I spend most of my time being happy. Don't you?
I don't spend my entire day feeling down and unfortunate that I got some bad deal or something. OMFG. I feel fantastic. I really, really, really love my wonderful family. Don't you love yours the same?
My child with special needs is just as loveable as yours without and it's so completely disgraceful that you'd think otherwise.
Next time you meet a parent of a child with special needs, behave the same as you would meeting any parent of any child.
I know you aren't trying to offend me, but you do!
It's interesting. A few years ago, this happened to me too, an acquaintance said to me how wonderful a parent I am, and I kept wondering what they'd heard about me from other mutual friends, it was confusing, but I thought she must have some knowledge about me that was positive. It did make me feel uneasy though.
It took me months and months to figure it out. She was only saying that I was a great parent to me because she feels that she couldn't love a child with any additional needs, so I must be a hero. YEP, that’s me.. a hero for loving my child.. makes sense.
Last week, over 10 days ago, Nissim started complaining about how his legs were hurting. As he had been doing swimming with school every day that week, I just put it down to muscle aches. By the third day of swimming I was a bit more 'worried'.
He’d asked me to come to each day of swimming, so I did, so I was there when on the 3rd or 4th day he asked me if he could get out of the pool early. "of course" I said.
I took him to the showers to heat him up, he was shivering. They all shiver in there while all us spectators melt by the side of the pool. He heated up a little, got back into his uniform and asked to come home. He seemed sort of ok so I told him to go back to school on the bus and have something to eat, if he was still not feeling quite right, he should call me and me or my mum would come get him.
He didn't call. So he must have braved it out all day. Poor little guy.
The next day he was really not feeling well so he stayed home. I think by Friday/Saturday he was fevery and really tired. He stayed home, slept HEAPS and watched movies. But mostly he slept.
He started coughing.
He would spend the next week, yep entire week going from fever to fine while maintaining a magnificent cough.
Somewhere in these days Tova also started breathing funny. She stayed home from school on Monday so I could watch her. She seemed fine after Pred. Really fine. Tuesday, not so fine.
I took them to the salt rooms. They loved it. They were so peaceful in there. It was great. No idea if it helps. But it's something. There was one interesting thing that happened. After the first session of Salt rooms, that night Tova slept with really quiet breathing, and woke with terrible breathing. Usually she'll sleep with bad breathing. So perhaps the salt rooms helped her have a good night sleep?
The set up there is stunning & the staff are beautiful. The place has amazing positive energy.
Both kids were pretty bad a day later so I took them back to the salt rooms. And both to the Chiro. It was the first time Nissim had been to Dr Craig for himself. He really liked it.
That night Nissim had a fever again after having quite a good day. I was scared. I booked an appointment with the GP for the next morning (We'd already taken him 3 times that week, this was number 4).
The next day, Tova got the fever incredibly bad.
The GP was fantastic. She told me that I didn't need to be so worried. She was so confident and reassuring I almost cried.
Tova was completely floppy and a dead weight when we picked her up. She didn't move off the couch, she was so sick.
After a pretty scary night, because I didn't know what to expect and I've never seen invincible Nissim get so sick before, everyone woke up fair. Tova had a bath and slept for most of the day. Nissim relaxed and played lego.
I've had a pretty hard week +.
Both kids are still a bit off, but are on the mend. Nissim still has the really stupid cough. But, really, really stupid. It's so intense. He hasn't had a full night's sleep for over a week.
Well, yesterday Tova woke up much better, still not great. But she was so very upset with me that I don't have any tickets for her to go see a performance where the orchestra is playing in the pits. "I want to go to the city to see the theatre and watch the orchestra in the pits! TODAY! It will make me very happy", is what she signed.
She was serious. She put her hands in her head was on her knees on the kitchen floor and placed here head down to the floor on her hands in absolute disbelief that we weren't going to the city. She's amazing.
A few weeks ago Tova and I went to the Opera, I think I mentioned it, did I? If not.. here is a recap!
I've never thought about going to the opera, I thought I'd hate it. So when Tova had a subscription, I got everyone else to take her. There was one ticket left. So I took her a few weeks ago. I LOVED IT! I mean, I loved it so much that I got online that evening to buy more tickets only to find out the have completed their Melbourne season. I considered moving to Sydney! haha.
Tova spend the entire time watching the orchestra in the pits as we had front row seats. They were great to her. Talking to her and waving. I'm not sure if she watched the opera, and to be honest, I possibly sat watching Tova the entire time. She was delighted for the entire show. She was also very sad when it ended. The people sitting next to and around us were lovely too.
After this 'tantrum' I decided to buy tickets to see the orchestra for that evening (last night). So I dropped Nissim off at mums, gave Tova panadol and drove to the city for the 6.30pm show. We got front row seats.. Tova was delighted and it was worth it. This child LOVES music. Mostly violins. There were heaps of violins. Again the orchestra people spoke to us before everyone else entered the theatre.
Tova sees Dr Craig at least once a month. And when she's sick she has an extra visit. It always helps.
They are pretty funny to watch:
He's a Doctor, educated, the owner of the business, big and strong.
She is... well, tiny, 8 years old, low muscle tone and BOSSY.
She tells Dr. Craig what to do, and mostly he does what he's told. They have a good relationship. If he does what he is told, she allows him to do what he needs to do to help her get well and balanced.
Tova is over her lung infection now. Thank goodness. Back to the cute little happy girl she is between stupid sicknessess.
During the small hours of Saturday morning Tova woke us with crazy breathing. We gave her Pred and Panadol. We waited, and waited and waited some more.
The pred was taking longer than usual to kick in, but at about 32 minutes past giving her the drug, she started to breath a bit better. Thank goodness.
She thinks it’s hilarious to make her breathing sound worse than it is too, by laughing and making noises and breathing faster than she should.
Eventually she went to sleep, so did we
We watched her all Saturday, she was fair.
Saturday night/Sunday early morning she got a crazy hot fever that even Panadol wasn’t able to defeat.
Eventually she calmed down after lots of crying and twisting and turning, tossing and general unhappiness. I took her to the GP on Sunday and he said that she had a Lung Infection
He asked if I wanted to take her to Hospital, which of course I said a big “NO THANKS” to. He was more than happy to let me go home with a chemist worth of prescription drugs to boot.
I didn’t get all the medicine prescribed, but I did get the Antibiotics and an extra bottle of Nurofen (orange flavour as Tova keeps requesting Orange Juice).
Sunday was all about reducing that horrible fever. Poor Tova. She was so hot. She watched lots of Andre Rieu from her couch bed in the lounge room. Andre helped. Tova is quite possibly his biggest fan, even kissing him on the TV screen. CUTE
Sunday night I slept in Tova's bed, when I say 'sleep', I don't actually mean sleep.. More like.. being in the same bed as a febrile Octopus.
Tova had laboured breathing, which made her toss & turn all night. She woke at about 3am very upset and very hot. More neurofen administered.turned. She woke at about 3am very upset and very hot. More neurofen administered.
I gave her some more antibiotices too (yep at 3am ish). They are to be taken on an empty stomach, which is really hard to do with Tova, as she loves to eat, this fever didn't even stop her from eating.
She demanded that I come back to sleep with her in her bed. I did as I was told. It took us a while, but eventually we slept.
I was groggy at 6.30ish, but had to get up to get Nissim ready for school. My mum came and picked him up at 8am. Once they left I went back to Tova's bed and lay down, for a moment, just to listen to her breathing for a while....
I woke at 10am!
Tova woke after 12pm!
She is still a sickie. She stayed home from school today, obviously as there wasn't much of the day left after she woke at lunch time.
I took her to see Dr. Craig.
Tova spent lots of time reading books in bed today, which was adorable.
Her breathing isn't great, but she is getting better.
It's been scary.
Tova and I flew to Adelaide on Thursday.
Our morning flight was at 8.30am with Jetstar, it was delayed and left at 11.10. We were stuck on the tarmac from about 10am. If I'd known we were going to leave so late, I'd have called our insurance and asked about options. I probably would have rescheduled if they'd allowed me to
It was very frustrating and unfair to Tova. We were very late. We got to Future Footprints at about 12.30pm. We were due to be there at 10am.
I pretty much ‘dumped’ Tova with the OT and Speechy and ran off to get her Piedro shoes. Actually the speechy lent me her car, so I drove off to grab Tova’s shoes.
I had a cut out of her foot with me, and the shoe lady said Tova needs the next size up. So it’s being ordered. Hopefully to arrive in Melbourne between 6 to 8 weeks.
I got lunch, had a chat to the Future Footprints staff, grabbed Tova, got a lift back to the airport and went home.
I can’t recommend Virgin airlines enough. They were outstanding, even the captain of the plane came out at the end and unfolded Tova’s pram for me.
The seats are comfortable and bigger than usual, they have complimentary snacks and drinks, the staff are super friendly and everyone was compassionate. Most importantly they were on time!
Tova and I were going to have sushi in the airport for dinner, but we were in a different terminal, no sushi! So we drove home. There strangly was not much traffic. Yuval and dinner for us when we arrived.
Tova was asleep before her head hit the pillow that night.
This morning, Saturday, Tova woke with Croup!
It's been so long since the last time she had croup, I was worried the Pred would be out of date. But we had an unopend bottle that was in date. She happily took it and has been fine since. NO HOSPITAL!
Tova and I have been visiting Future Footprints each month this year. We hope to continue to do so for-like-ever.
Last month we flew to Adelaide in the morning, arrived at about 9am and started therapy at 10am. Tova did about 4 hours, CE, Speech and OT, then we flew home.
Our taxi didn't arrive actually, so one of the conductors had to drive us quickly down the road the the airport to make our 3pm flight (Therapy finished at 2pm), we made it with heaps of time to spare as the flight was delayed.
There was some cuffuffel at the airport too, so there were lots of police around my gate. They entertained Tova for a while, even giving her their hat to wear. It was funny.
We are off again tomorrow for the day. I'm also going to pick up some new Piedro shoes for Tova while I'm there as the shop here has taken over 6 weeks to even call me back about them not having the shoes.
I rang the Adelaide shop yesterday and they put some shoes aside for me to collect. Too easy. Pretty crazy that I have to go all the way to Adelaide to get shoes for Tova.
For anyone that doesn't know. Piedro shoes are about $320 a pair.
NAPA are in Melbourne at the moment. I've ummed and ahhed about taking Tova to their therapy for years and years. As soon as I find some more money, we will do NAPA too. I was talking to the mumma that founded NAPA, she's really lovely, I was very impressed.
They are here for a few weeks so I will take Yuval along one Friday to check them out too.
As usual Adelaide was fantastic. And this year the weather was absolutely perfect. Tova and I walked along the beach almost every morning for at least an hour before 'school'. We watched the dolphins catching fish near the shore and breathed the stunning fresh air.
When the boys arrived for the last week, I was even able to walk with no kids.. just me and my camera, the dolphins and the ocean. It was wonderful.
Future footprints was it's usual brilliant self. I can't understand why there isn't enough demand for this in Melbourne. It floors me. Maybe there is.. who knows.
We have been home now for about 5 days. I flew home with the kdis and Yuval drove for the day. It was really fantastic flying and being home so quickly. The kids were perfect as I handed them Ipads the second they sat down on the plane. And that flight is quick, maybe even quicker than to Hobart.
Tova started School today, grade 3. Nissim starts tomorrow, grade 2.
Yesterday (while Nissim was visiting a friend and Yuval was at work) Tova and I went to see Star Wars, in gold class.. so fancy. She loved it mostly and now wants to watch all the movies.
Watching Star Wars in Gold Class!
Flying Home from Adelaide to Melbs.
Morning Walks on West Beach, Adelaide
Here we are again, stunning, interesting, tropical Adelaide!
I know we are here for Therapy, and I'm spending my days working for the most part, it still feels lovely to be here.
We have been waking up each morning early and going for a walk along the beach for about an hour before Tova heads off to Future Footprints for the day.
I seem to need something from the shops most days (for example, today I needed milk -- Soy of course, none of that animal torturing dairy --). So I usually dash off to the shops after dropping Tova off, then head to the beach for a swim, shower, work.. such a nice life!
It's hot this year too. Every day has been in the low 30's, which is perfect.
Tova has been doing well in her therapy. They have said she is naughty, but her listening skills are improving since last year. Most of the time.
I think it was really good to go to Peto and then here very close together. It's so good for Tova.
Tova's school said something strange to me the other week, at parent teacher, they said that the physio and speechies HATE Conductive Ed.. That really threw me.. Especially as they were asking me to describe what it is just before they mentioned that. So either they were testing me, or they are hating something they know nothing about. I don't hate any therapy, I think if it works for your child it's great. And a mixture is great if that's what your child needs. I'm a bit frightened by their strong attitude. And also considering her school has in their mission that they are a school based on CE principles.. Deary me. Schools here in Adelaide have actual Conductors in the schools and I know that the school around this area has a full day of CE once a week. One of the families from Melbourne just moved here last week to start attending that school. I'm Jealous. There is no way we could move here, not now.. and I couldn't leave Nissim for a year or more if the boys stayed in Melb.. hmmm..
This is a shocking photo of us, but I love it! We were chatting about how we should lay down on the sand and Tova was covered in Sand, signing to me, getting sand all over us.. and it was just fun, and hot (30's) and about 7pm.
Tova and I left Melb on Sat morning at about 6.30am.
We arrived in beautiful Adelaide at something like 5.30pm.
My GPS lied when it told me the drive would be 8 hours.. that's impossible. But I wasn't in a hurry anyway. I just didn't want to stay with Tova in a bed sit for a night in the middle of nowhere getting zero sleep.
Tova had no issues with the drive. She had movies on the tablets with a speaker for loudness, it worked really well.
Nissim seemed a bit sad when we left. We'll see him soon. He's at home with Yuval. I did offer for him to come with me the entire time, but he said no. I have a feeling it's because he want's to play as much Wii as he possibly can, which he can't do with me, coz I say 'No, go play, with toys' lots.
When we arrived in Adelaide, we went right away to the beach to have a look. LOVE IT!
In about 40 minutes, Nissim will have completed grade 1. It's hard to comprehend. Of course he is just taking it in his stride. Like it's no big deal. He is excited about school holidays. Sleeping in! Wii! Lego! Adelaide!
The other night his school had speech night. It was ok. A bit boring, and very boring for a 7 year old.
Tova still has about 2 weeks left of school for the year.. Then school holidays, and off to Adelaide therapy again for 3 weeks followed by a bit more school holidays and back to school for 2016 - grade 3. omfg, why is time going too fast? Or how do I learn to get a grip on time?
And we are home. Hi Melbourne!
It was one of those long journeys. Tova was a perfect child. Last flight I hated being at the back of the plane. I think it's possibly more bumpy and also, it's really far to walk carrying a Tova, she is heavy now. And carrying a backpack full of heaps of stuff we won't even use.
I realised that I should have put the growth hormone in the luggage because it doesn't matter if the bags get lost on the way home, it only matters if that happens with growth hormone in another country. So I could have saved quite a bit of space in my carry on. I'll keep that in mind for next time.
We left Budapest at about 10am, we should have left earlier so that we weren't so rushed getting to the plane, but we made it in time and got on our plane (I grabbed a magnet for Nissim on the way through too). There was LOTS of security, there were security checks after security checks and then a security check.. So, it took a while. Tova and I always get fast tracked, and it still took ages.
It was a quick 5ish hour flight to Doha.
Doha is confusing to me, it's very religious but very relaxed about westerners clothing and Censorship on TV it would seem.
I might read something about their culture because they seem so much more relaxed than religious Jews, yet dress as 'formal' as each other.
In Doha Tova and I went to the business lounge to have a shower and something to eat. The shower was a nice enough experience in itslsef, but after telling the lady that we would take a while because firstly, there are two of us and secondly Tova can't stand unaided so it's tricky, and her saying 'no problem', she started banging on the door to tell us to get out. So we did, only to watch no one else have a shower for the entire time we were there, which was a few hours. Anyways..then this shower keeper, plumpish middle aged lady tells me "I hungry, you give me money".. UMMM... What the frig woman? Why don't you bring your food to work. You know I just pad $175 to have a shower right? omfg. I couldn't belive it. So I opened my wallet and showed her that I had absolutely zero money. She was surprised. For me $175 is actually HUGE, but I wanted to make Tova feel safe, fresh and happy, so I did it.
I also wanted to feel safe and fresh.. so I spent that money. I regret it, because it was a waste, it was hot in the shower, there was a stupid beggar lady in a friggen business lounge, it was too cold in the actual lounge and the ‘a la cart' menu had 2 items on it that were both inappropriate. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS LOUNGE TO ANYONE EVER!
Our next flight was at 1am Doha time. Tova and I hadn't slept since the night before and I was feeling it. She is tougher than me.
We got on the plane, right at the front.. row 10, the first row of economy. I thought I'd give it a go. The seat arms don't fold up, so there was no way Tova could lay down. BUT we figured it out. there was an unbelievable amount of leg room, and foot rests. After some time flying I stretched out, I got comfy, I watched Tova desperately trying to find a way to curl up on her chair, she couldn't, so she climbed onto me, on her back, pillow under the back of her head and passed out. I was her bed. The seat belt fit around us both even.
I was quite trapped for an amount of time, perhaps 5 - 8 hours, I've no idea. It was painful at times, I was awake at time, and asleep at other times. She stayed asleep mostly.. stirring a bit. It was divine. I remember Tova sleeping on me when she was a baby, she won't do that anymore. So, even though it was quite uncomfortable at times, it was well worth the lovely cuddles I got from being a Tova bed.
The rest of the flight was all about sitting, watching, eating, talking, sitting, sitting... Tova was great. The last two hours were the biggest challenge for her, but even that wasn't so hard. The guy next to me and the lady in the other row of seats in the middle, who we had been chatting to, also commented on how well Tova coped with the flight. I think I'd scared them at the start about flying next to a child. haha. But, she didn't bother them at all. Oh my goodness, she is so great. She is such a good girl.
Australia.. customs... easy enough... then... Aba.. I tried so, so, so hard to not cry. It's really hard after such a long flight to not feel all fragile. But I mostly managed to not cry.. "look up" I kept telling myself. It worked, mostly. Anyway, Yuval really only had eyes for Tova and SHE ONLY HAD EYES FOR HIM.
Tova and Yuval were beautiful to watch together. Perfection.
Yuval drove us home. I started to really relax for the first time in well over a month, just sitting next to him, letting him be in complete control and not having to worry about anything at all. It's so nice to have someone like him. blah. anyway.
We pulled in the drive way to a Bosun. He's so white and fluffy. I couldn't get out of the car fast enough to give him a cuddle. I noticed the front of the house looked quite different, in the dark of night even. The entire front decking has been re-tiled. It looks SO different.
We got inside and Tova and I looked at the sleeping Nissim.. beautiful boy. And then the house.. The entire inside of the house has been painted. It looks amazing. My husband has been busy while we were away.
We all got to bed about 1am. I slept until about 4am, Tova till about 5 or 6am. Tova managed to stay awake all day, but started falling asleep at 7ish while eating dinner. So, bath, bed.. sleep. She passed out.
I've had a more difficult day, sleeping bits, not sleeping other bits.. being completely jet lagged and feeling so happy to be home.
Nissim woke up this morning and found me in my bed. We spent ages chatting.
I wrote to his school and told them that we was too cute to go to school today, they agreed and he stayed home for the day. NICE.
So.. we are home safe and sound.
She did it. She did 20 days of Peto. She could do more, and possibly should do more.
Tova was VERY naughty today, she couldn't focus for the majority of the day. She's excited about going home this weekend. We will go home this weekend. Unless I change my mind last minute of course. And I can if I feel like it. But I think, this time, we will do the 20 days and next time possibly do more.
I officially feel totally gross from eating so much unusual food. Unusual for me, the food was great, but I don't usually eat this way. It was really fun at the time, but knowing I'm going home makes me quite aware.. hmm. The Conductors were saying that Tova has put on weight here. I think they are too polite to say it about me too. haha.
I was sad saying goodbye today. I don't do goodbye well. These people are amazing and always have a big impact on me. Tova was just happy to hear the words Melbourne, Aba and Nissim.
I'm going to miss this place. All of it. Budapest is beautiful, the people are great, the peto is good for Tova and I've really had a nice time working and being here. Most of the day the entire place smells like fabric softener, at peak hour it doesn't, it smells more like toilets with un breathable smog, but once that goes away the world seems to be all sweet smelling. And all the leaves falling from the trees covering the ground is really pretty. I'm not sure whey people rake it all up. But they do.
This evening I've spent my time cleaning the flat and packing. I love that I had food from the peto cafe and didn't have to cook. I even had hot chips today for me, and some strange cabbage stuff for Tova with Hungarian gnocchi.
So. We are pretty much ready for our weekend journey across the world. I miss our boys, Tova misses our boys too we are looking forward to seeing them so much, and the rest of the family of course.
I can't believe I havne't seen Nissim for a month. My perfect little boy!
Thursday... already. Tova had a good day again. Her walking has improved and her eating is completely different. We are getting closer to my dream of making a sandwich for school lunch. I actually had come to terms with that never happening. I shouldn't ever do that. Tova is always a big surprise.
My boys.. I miss our boys. Tova misses our boys. We were talking about Aba today and the piano and Tova was telling me that Nissim was at school. It's hard to explain to her that at home it's the middle of the night and Nissim is actually probably asleep while we are eating lunch.
Today at Budapest School, one of the conductors took down the spring/summer decorations and started putting up snow flakes and winter themed decorations. So funny to think of it being cold in December. Especially considering how hot it is in the building too. And even the weather here this November has been amazing. Blue skies, 18 degree days. Nice... I am ready for summer though, lovely Adelaide summer. I suppose I should probably stop eating cake now in preparation for summer. Not that body image is important, or maybe it is, perhaps being comfortable is important and the amount of cake and food I have been eating has made me feel quite warm and fuzzy, yet not comfortably cool and fresh for summer.
I'm going to be sad tomorrow. Gawd. Pass the waterproof mascara.
MAYBE Tova and I will go out after school and go check out the pretty lights and festive vibe of the city tomorrow early evening. Not sure.. I've still got to pack and clean the flat... hmm... Maybe we will save the pretty light at night time for next time, when we are here with the boys.
I had another look for things for Nissim today. REALLY, there is nothing.. well there are a few things, but they are plant based.. so I won't be able to bring them into the country. I guess I'll get something at the airport. I almost got him lego the other day. But we can get lego at home.
Tova is very excited about seeing Aba (Yuval) and Nissim. She is counting down the days. Each morning she tells me the day and then counts down to going home day. Very cute.
Tova was a good girl in class today. I didn't hear any complaining and the Conductors all mentioned how good she did today. It seems that she doesn't like Monday and by Wednesday she is in the zone. I watched her do a few summersaults today. She is very impressed with herself.
The Israeli family are back, but they weren't there today, Aaron (the little boy) is sick.
For the afternoon it was Tova and one other girl from Ukraine. The mum and daughter are lovely, and they like Vegemite, so I gave them what is left of what I had with me.
The Irish family were supposed to be back today, from their few days visit back home. But they weren't there. Perhaps tomorrow.
It's a nice community. It's a nice group of families. I love meeting people that I possibly otherwise never would. I'm not even sure where Ukraine is.. Close to Russia from my understanding of things. But I couldn't point to it on a map. I love meeting people and seeing how we are all the same. So, very, very the same.
I had a meeting with one of the conductors today about the program etc. She is love and it was nice to have a talk one on one. There was no guilt put upon me for not personally doing enough for Tova, which is put on me quite a bit at home, possibly by myself the most. It is what it is.
I worked in the class room again, not wanting to be alone. I love it. It's a great office. Very uncomfortable, but a good environment.
I got our take away dinner again. omg, it's fantastic. The food isn't anything I would usually eat at home but it's just wonderful to not cook, and Tova loves it. It is however VERY, very salty, even Tova asks for a drink of water half way through. We are enjoying it. It also means that next time we come here we could actually stay in a hotel room with no kitchen if we wanted to. That has potential to save lots of money. Today the food for the day cost me $5 for both of us. This is because meals are included in the fees that I paid for Peto (meals for Tova) and I just eat soup for lunch. Breakfast is oats and fruit.
Yuval would love this food.
I'm going to let Tova stay up till 8.30 tonight. Hopefully that will help with the crazy, and veyr hillarious door knocking, sheet hiding, naked making Tova. grr.
Tova was less 'sad' and 'grumpy' today. I sat in the room again, working (I can't actually see her from where I sit, but I can hear her).
At the end of the day I watched her for 20 mins. She's funny. It was good to see her get completely frustrated and finding an activity very hard. She didn't want to do it, because it was so hard. I love that. I love that she is being challenged. The activity was walking backwards. The conductor working with her was outstanding. He is softly spoken and gentle, with the patience of a 'something very patient'.
She really didn't want to walk backwards, it's hard for her. Once she finally made it to the next activity she was very happy. Side stepping in a ladder on the floor and then crawling along a bench seat like a doggie. She likes activities like that, obstacle courses.
The photos I took of her today were of her watching Mr Bean in her lunch break. But for some reason they haven't syncd to my cloud and I'm too lazy to do a manual file transfer. So.. no photos yet.
Most evenings here in Budapest Tova has been so annoying. It's unusual. At home she pretty much goes to be at bed time. Maybe a bit of fussing, but nothing we can't handle. But here. omfg. I want to slap her. She takes the sheets of the beds, she bangs on her door, kicks her door, shouts, takes her clothes off, hides her bedding and so on.
I usually go in and put things back in order, if I move the bed from the wall to tuck the sheets in, she goes down the side between the bed and wall with delight. If I shout at her, she laughs as though it's the best joke ever. If I beg her and fight back my tears, she thinks that's great too.
I make the bed, put her back and tell her to stay.
I leave and the process starts again.
Some nights I've just let her bang on her door for 20 mins (sorry neighbours), other nights I get up and put her back. Tonight after the 4th time I couldn't take it any more. I didn't make the bed again, much to her disappointment and told her I was going to smack her (She was nodding yes, she loves the idea of being smacked, maybe because she doesn't understand what it means to actually be smacked..)
She was so sad that I didn't make her bed again, she even showed me where she had hidden her sheets. I also told her she wasn't getting the ipad or tv tomorrow and I walked out... She fussed for a while, but it was about 10pm by then, so.. she fell asleep eventually
I hope this is just a Budapest thing. Yuval, she is all yours, every night for a good month if she's like that these days. I really can't take it.