Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DECEMBER 2015

Hello my darling Em,

Your last day at school was fun and sad for you.  You received a 'Shining Star" Certificate for "being such a friendly and cheerful little girl and always trying hard to do your best."  A well deserved certificate my darling.



You had a farewell party with your swimming friends and one of the mothers in your Grade surprised you with a Disco party in your honour.



On Saturday you had Dad's company Christmas Tree party where you saw Santa.
 

 You also went to the Sneddon Theatre to watch Puss in Boots.


 
You visited your new school where you met the Grade 2 teacher, principal, and had a tour of the school.  Now you have a nice long holiday with no extra work to do and lots of time for holiday play.

On Monday morning Gumpie and I came back from our long weekend in Cape Town.  You and Tammy were there to meet us with a welcome home sign you coloured in for us.
 
The first thing we did when we got home was to visit the vegetable garden.  You love messing about in there but we found that after the heavy rains, all our fat strawberries were rotting and the lettuce leaves were soggy.  They will recover.  There are now 8 granadillas hanging from the vine and new peppers, tomatoes and brinjals on the plants.


 

Christmas is coming and we will have another happy Christmas day at our house.  Jeff, Gail and Craig will be staying over at our place and I'm sure you will also want to have a sleep-over during the holidays.

Have a wonderful holiday Em - you deserve it after all the extra hard work during this year.

I love you!



Monday, November 30, 2015

Hello my darling Em,

This has been a difficult month for your Mom and Dad and for you.  In your best interest they have decided to take you out of Fatima school and place you in La Lucia Primary.  The decision wasn't made lightly and they knew that you would be upset but sometimes parents have to do things for the best even though their children don't see it at the time.

Although you are a bright, intelligent little girl with an exceptional memory, you struggled to keep up with the other children for the first few months at Fatima, especially in writing and other activities that required fine motor skills.  Children with Osteogenesis Imperfecta generally have normal to above normal intelligence but they might struggle with lax muscles that affect motor skills.  This means that they might need more time to complete tasks like writing or activities.  Fatima doesn't cater for children who need extra time or special care.


Children with OI sometimes have difficulties with math.  A lack of typical childhood play and exploration which involves problem solving; climbing up a rope ladder to reach a platform, crawling through a tunnel to get to the other side, clambering over obstacles, also affects conceptual ability which is necessary in math.
 
You have been going to physiotherapy for a number of years and earlier this year Mom and Dad found an excellent occupational therapist to help you with holding a pencil properly, with writing skills and understanding the concepts of math as it is related to physical movement.  They also started sending you to a remedial teacher who has helped you tremendously with reading and understanding the concepts that are taught in Grade One. (Both of these teachers are based at La Lucia primary.)

From around May to October all your hard work started to pay off.  You practically caught up with  the whole of Grade One curriculum in six months.  When you were assessed by the remedial teacher last month, your writing age was 7 years and 1 month and your reading, 7 years and 5 months.  The school agreed that you had made great progress and because of this you would be promoted to Grade Two. But, they suggested that you might need to continue with your therapy and remedial in Grade Two.
All the extra lessons and therapies, done after school hours, has taken its toll on you and your Mom.  Every teacher and therapist gave you homework to do and you often had to work until dinner time to get everything done.  The extra activity you enjoy the most is swimming, but it meant that you had extra classes to go to nearly every day and no time to play or relax.
Both the remedial teacher and the occupational therapist work at La Lucia Primary.  You have made friends with the Grade Two class teacher and you always visit her on the days you go to OT.  It made sense to move you there for the next two years.  It wasn't easy to get you into the school so close to the end of the year, but you have been accepted into Grade Two and will start at your new school in January.
When Mom and Dad told you, you were very upset because you like Fatima and have friends there.  You told Mom that La Lucia had a steep bank and you wouldn't be allowed to walk onto the field.  Mom said that you could use the stairs.  "But they don't have a PTA so you won't come to the school often," you said.  Mom assured you that she would volunteer often at the school. 
When you came to visit us and told me, quite sadly, that you have to change schools, I told you that it was wonderful news!  We knew Mom and Dad had applied but weren't sure that there would be space for you. 

But you looked sad so I offered to be sad with you for a little while, counting to 10, but then I would have to be happy again.   I hugged you close, made a sad face, and we counted: "One - sad, Two - sad, Three - sad....." and then after reaching 10 - sad, we both shouted, " 11 - happy!!"

You have been to buy your new uniform, which you say is much more comfortable than your Fatima School dress. Gumpie asked if he could have your hat because he's been looking for one just like that.

You are a strong little girl, Em.  We know that this disappointment will pass and that you will make new friends at La Lucia Primary next year.  We will all be here to support you and comfort you.  Big hugs my darling girl ♥ 


Saturday, October 31, 2015

2008 - 2015 First Seven Years

Hello my darling Em,

When I started this blog in May 2008 I wasn't sure whether I would keep it going but it has been over 7 years and 130 posts.  I have decided to turn the blog into a book so that you have a printed version of the blog.  

If I keep it going for another 7 years, I'll have another book printed for you in 2022 when you are 14 years old and I am 75 years old!  Won't that be great!

This will be the last post in this book. so I have chosen a few random photos, some that we did just for fun.








7th BIRTHDAY

Hello darling Em,

We celebrated your 7th Birthday on the 16th October.  You were so excited when Gumpy and I phoned you at home in the morning before school that I thought you were hyperventilating!

You had a 'Frozen' theme (your new favourite movie). 
"When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff  and his reindeer sidekick to find Anna's sister, Snow Queen Elsa and break her icy spell." 


I must say that you looked exactly like the singing princess doll that we gave you for your birthday.
 
Your main party was at 'Mr Funtubbles' at Gateway.  Gumpy and I stayed for about an hour and then went home to get ready for the adults party at our house.

Tammy made you a lovely 'Frozen' birthday cake and all the other goodies were in the same theme.



When your 'Funtubbles' party ended, you all came to our house where you were finally able to open your presents, have more snacks and blow out the candles on one of the layers of your birthday cake.


 
Last weekend you came for a sleepover on Friday night.  We went to Greg and Sharon's for sun-downers.  You'd had a 'science party' in the afternoon and when we got home at about 8:30pm you were tired.  You had a bubble bath, watched some television and then we went to bed.
 
In the morning we took you to the Farmer's Market at Shongweni where we had breakfast.  You loved all the stalls, patting the dogs and puppies, bought a metal tractor, a bikini and a new outfit for Lucy.  I bought seedlings and plants for my vegetable garden.  You had fun with the giant bubbles.

 
On Saturday the 31st you went to a Halloween street  party with your aunty Candice.


 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

August - September 2015

It was my birthday on the 6th August and you came to visit  me after school and then you all came to visit me on the Friday night.   When you are 68 years old, there isn't much that you need anymore so people always find it difficult to buy presents.  Having your family share your birthday with you is the greatest gift!

You wanted to colour in a special picture for me so we found one that you liked on the internet and printed it out so that you could colour it in for me.  Thank you my darling - I love my birthday picture!
 
On the 16th August our friend, Little John arrived back from his walk in Spain and visit to England.  We met him at the airport and you made him a lovely Welcome Home poster.


I left on the 2nd September to walk in Spain and serve at a pilgrim shelter in an albergue inside a ruined monastery called San Anton.  I always carry your little elephant with me when I travel and you can see her here, tied to my backpack.  This is her 6th walk with me.


While I was away, you were part of your school musical - called a Seusical as it was the work of Dr Seuss.  Your Mom sent me these lovely photographs of you with make-up on!  You looked quite grown up!


In the musical, you were THING 1
 

This is you with your facilitator who is a Fatima Old Girl
 
 
You also had other fun days while I was away (photos from the school Facebook Page)
 
When I got back we had a reunion party with all the toys, the singing dolls, Pink Panther, Barnie, Kanga, Thandi and One Eyed Jackie.

 
  You decided that it was also One Eyed Jackie's 3rd birthday
so we had a cake with three candles for her
 

 
It was wonderful to be back home and have a party with you my darling.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

YOUR FIRST CROSS COUNTRY RUN

video

Your Junior school had their cross country run in Durban North last month.  You were allowed to run the last 100m with your facilitator, Sarah, and PT teacher holding your hands.  Mark and Tammy said that it was very emotional watching you running onto the field with about 600 people cheering you on!  Its a miracle Emily and we are overjoyed to witness this miracle.  However, I am pleased that I wasn't actually there because I am always saying, 'Don't run, Emily - don't run!"

Friday, July 24, 2015

JUNE- JULY 2015

May was a busy month for anniversaries and birthdays.  It is Greg and Sharon's anniversary on 2nd May, your dad's birthday on 15th, your mom's birthday on 24th,  Greg's birthday on 26th May, and your Mom and Dad's anniversary on 30th May.  We celebrated all the birthdays at Greg and Sharon's place one Friday night.

We went to our first Theatre show with you to see SHREK at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.  We had a drink before the show and we took photos at the Shrek cut-outs.






















You love going to rugby with your Mom and Dad - especially when you meet Sharkie!
 
We were invited to the Junior School, Mother and Father's day morning where all the children from Grade R to Grade 3 sang songs for their parents and Grand-parents.  During the performance, one little girl started crying because she thought her mother couldn't see her.  You moved up to make a space for her to sit next to you on the bottom row where you held her hand, stroking it and talking to her.  Everyone was so touched and the mother of the little girl called you an angel - which we already knew, but it was very kind of you Em to comfort that little girl, no older than you.
 
 
 
You had to have your treatment in July and Mom said that you didn't shed one tear when they put the port into your hand for the drip.
 


The day after you had your treatment, Gumpy had to stay in Umhlanga Hospital to have his Polygam infusion - so just like you, he also had a port in his hand.
 
 
After hospital, you and Mom spent the rest of the day with us. 
We went for a walk around the block, something you love to do. 
We sing songs, and even have a half-way concert on somebody's verge in Heather Road.
 
We also went to the Kloof SPCA before going to Rita and Dennis for her birthday braai. 
You loved the playground, especially the swings.


It was cold at Kloof but warm in the sun so Rita put down a blanket and you and Mom warmed yourselves in the sun while the men were cooking.
 
My two friends, Theresa and Zuretha, carried a drawing you sent to them all the way to Santiago in Spain.  They sent you this photo taken outside the cathedral.  You sent one back to them.