November 27, 2010

a hint of normality ...

ah, the weekend. the time of family. (and sports, and morning teas, and going out and forgetting yourself for a while)

NORMAL families do some or all of these things. NORMAL families are able to do some or all of these things. we are not a NORMAL family.

but we are on our way. after a little more than a year, we have taken our first decent family outing. with Harlow not being able to go ... anywhere really, on saturday we made it to lindale in paraparamumu and enjoyed ice creams in the sun. all six of us. after that we headed up the coast to levin and the adventure park.

for those of you who haven't been to either place, you should. there is something to be said for kapiti ice cream. they have flavours like lemon cheesecake and gingernut, very very good. and the adventure park? its a great place to let off steam, although they have taken down the flying fox...

so anyway, we made it there, we made it back again and it was great. a family outing, to somewhere other than the mall. (and we've only been to the mall a couple of times all together).

Harlow even managed to drink a bottle while sitting in a cafe in otaki!

one day, we may just end up being a NORMAL family...

November 21, 2010

the bash...

photo by Lisa Wong
the birthday bash. i really shouldn't call it a 'bash', it was too big to be called a 'bash'. you could call it an 'event', or a 'small national gathering' or something of that ilk.

just shows how many friends he has already. in for a life of "social butterfly"-ish-ness is our boy.

it was great really, there was over 120 attendees. just about everyone who has helped us with the wee snotmonster over the last 18 months was there, eating and drinking and making merry. we even had a bouncy castle so the children would leave the adults to their adult-type pursuits while learning how to launch themselves out the hall window to (hopefully) land in the bushes.

the party itself was great, everyone had enough to eat(!) and drink, there was talking all over the place .... and then there was the speech.

me. talking. in front of over 120 people. lucky i had the "pre speech beer(s)" handy. very lucky...

then it was all over.

now ... Harlow. he was great. he missed his afternoon sleep so as he could attend his party, and he handled it like the gentleman he will someday become. it also helped that he was passed around his many unofficial aunties etc who obligingly coo'd over him and kept his smiling and laughing until everyone had left. he burbled, he dribbled, he laughed during the awkward moments thus relieving those moments of their awkwardness. it was all good `:) champion...

everyone did leave eventually, loaded down with food. did i mention that we over catered? by about double? there was more than one family of 4 or more that went home with no need to cook that night... in the end we couldn't even give it away.

ah well ... it was worth it `:)

November 19, 2010

dawn of a new age...

a new age has arrived, an age where the squawking is louder, the teeth are bigger, the nappies ... well, we wont go there but i will say this, the nappies are nastier.

Harlow turned one this morning, at precisely 4.05am. was there a fuss? a fanfare? NO!! we were sleeping. but when we woke up ...

i have yet to make my mind up about the last year. was it the best year? or was it a year from hell? there is no easy answer here, but the one i'm going to posit is that it was both. he arrived amid fire and brimstone, eager to be off but finding he was not up to task. through the year he has worn both wings and horns; an angel one day, a demon in child skin the next; we never knew what he was going to be from moment to moment, or what would make him change.

to say he has irrevocably altered the lives of those around him is, simply put, an understatement. he has a non-verbal hand in everything we do, every decision we make. he has had a profound effect on both middle management and the workers. its a wonder that they haven't quit and moved elsewhere.

i don't know really how to describe it. in terms even i can understand, we have been through hell. the life of a prem baby is a hard one. on everyone. there is so much pain, fear and misery that at times it nearly overwhelms you. what used to be simple and easy is now like trying to balance an anvil on a the tip of a needle.

it's not all been this way. there are also moments of joy, of happiness, of love. these moments are the reasons you do this, the reasons you wade through all the crap. there doesn't need to be anything special about these moments, they just are. they create the balance.

Harlow my friend, happy birthday. for a year you have kept us on our toes. it doesn't matter what we have wanted, what happened is what you wanted, what you needed. but you know what? thats okay. for you, i would do it all again in a heartbeat. you have changed our lives, the way we live, the way we think, the way we are. you have made us better. so to you i say ... ... ... i have no idea what to say. there are many things i could, so many things i should, but i don't think i can. i don't know how.

so, this is where i'm going to leave it.

November 7, 2010

get your teeth into it...

its a nasty nasty business growing teeth. they sit in your gums all sharp and pointy, going up "here i am!" then down "haha, tricked you", then up again "for realz this time!" and down "you are so gullible..." before coming up and breaking through "so ... how YOU doin'?". i'm pretty glad i don't remember doing it myself.

Harlow has been cultivating the two middle lower teeth for some time now. he's been grumpy, moody, swearing a lot and is halfway through painting his room black. seriously, those teeth have been up and down more times than an old man on viagra and he has not liked it one bit.

finally however, those teeth have broken through. cut their way through. (anyone notice any similarities between birthing teeth or birthing an alien? both have to cut their way out... can't be good for you)

Harlow now has two teeth in his bottom jaw. they are no more than a smudge at the moment, but they are there.

only another 20 or so to go...

oh, and the peace has been shattered. he speaks!!! he has a diverse vocabulary of two words, "boo" and "da". i'm wondering which end of the vocal spectrum he will fall on, whether he will suffer from some kind of verbal diarrhea or whether he will be a mostly-mute. either way, he will have to fight Caiden and Cohen to get a word in. good luck there fella...

November 2, 2010

a deadly sin...

nom nom
gluttony is a sin. a deadly one. but not in this house, not when its Harlow doing the glutting.

we thought he would be tube fed for years! and what does he do? he starts eating. and not by the mouthful, by the jar!

two weeks ago yesterday he pulled out his NGT. with the eczema on his face, we could not put the tube back in, so we left it. for three days we left it. for three days he basically starved... and then there was a change. he started to eat, he started to hold his own. two weeks so far and still counting... both Justine and i are hoping that this will continue well into the night, so to speak.

he is like an old chevy v8. it takes a while to start, backfires a bit but eventually runs smoothly. same with his feeding. you have to convince him that he wants it and when you do, he hits high gear and wolfs it down. *kaboom* ... gone. well, sometimes. sometimes the chevy just doesn't start or get higher than first gear, but it is definitely getting better and better.

[ don't go anywhere ... feeding the cat ]

that is most triumphant.

have to hope it lasts. he will grow and get big, stomp on his brothers, earn a nobel peace prize... and it all started with a mouthful of pear and banana.

ok, so it is not that easy... but he is eating tho. and funnily enough, he seems to be drinking his milk better as well. whats up with that?