Monday, December 29, 2008

We're goin' to the Zoo

We had a family trip to the zoo. Sheena was only in the double-pram for 15 minutes, and the rest of the time she marched around herself. We had a great view of the bears who went for a swim and a had a good play for us. The Lions slept, but we tried to wake them up like you do Jeff, The Wiggle, "1,2,3 WAKE UP LIONS", and I think she enjoyed that almost as much.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sheena loves Santa

Sheena had a happy and healthy Christmas. She is much more into her presents this year. Last year she was still flinging most toys about, but this year she was wheeling her new cars across the floor, she was playing Roy's bongo drums, using her etch a sketch, and throwing a new ball about the place. I think by next year she'll be able to unwrap her presents by herself. Here is a video clip of her trying to say "Ho, Ho, Ho" with Roy.

She is rather infatuated with Santa, and is constantly requesting the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meeting and Greeting The Wiggles

The Day arrived. The video says it all!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dissappointing Day

Here Sheena is hamming it up with her rapidly growing 'little' brother.

Very disappointing news from the ENT specialist today. We were all geared up for Sheena to have her tonsils and adenoids out next week, but its been put off until January or February next year. While Sheena's been sick for the past few days she's been having nurophen quite regularly, but you can't have it for 2 weeks before the surgery because it can cause bleeding. Hubby had organised days off work, I'd organised Nan to look after Roy on surgery day, and basically cleared the calendar for the following week (despite it being Christmas time). Anyway, there are worse things in the world of course, but we are disappointed.

She is still sick, but the ENT Doc said its not her ears or throat, so I don't know what is up. Barely drinking, and only eating a few crackers a day. Her color is terrible too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tired Times

Sheena has had a shocking few days with probably a sore throat and ears. Waking up crying overnight, and looking awfully sick. Not eating or drinking and generally being very disagreeable, mixed up with being more needy/cuddly than usual. We have to see the ENT Specialist tomorrow, so I am wondering if he'll put her on antibiotics and postpone the surgery which is meant to be next week. Poor poppet.

Luckily her baby brother is sleeping through even though his bedroom is right next to Sheena's who wouldn't fall asleep until 10pm, then was awake at 1am, and from 5.30 onwards. Not her usual form at all.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tonsils & Adenoids Out, Grommets In

Sheena's sleep study results were positive for sleep apnea, so the plan is for tonsils and adenoids out, and they'll do grommets at the same time.

Surgery will be mid-December, which I am happy about, given her EI playgroups and creche will be closed over Christmas time anyway when she'll need her recovery.

Obstructive sleep apnea ties a lot of things together. Her pulmonary hypertension, blue episodes, and the very long daytime naps. I am so glad her cardiologist was onto it, and made the referral to the Respiratory and Sleep Specialist. Four specialists were involved in this diagnosis: the Peadiatrition, then the Cardiologist, then the Respiratory and Sleep Specialist, and finally the ENT. That won't be the end of it, as they'll all want to see Sheena again to make sure it has resolved the problem. I haven't added up the cost of all these appointments and tests. Medicare doesn't cover it 100% (far from it). I don't think I want to know.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Limo Driver

Sheena has a bit of a virus, so I'm keeping her home from creche. Pre-schoolers are

meant to bounce-back from any bug, but not Sheena. She liked leading the way in the tandem pram that stays at Nan and Pop's house.

She turns 3 in early January, so I am starting to prepare for her party. She had a family one last year, but this year she's going to have a small get together with some of her friends. Its quite fun actually.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Summer soon.

Sheena has been enjoying our new lawn. I have too! Its been on the want list for a couple of years. Sheena only started toddling last summer, but this year it will definitely have a lot of use.

Sheena now makes an attempt at saying people's names. When I say we are going to see "Mel", she'll say it back. Same with "Barb" and "Roz". Names like Robyn are harder, but she does have a couple 2 syllable words like "cooking" (oddly enough), but its her toy cooking set that got that going.

Her other little accomplishment is getting onto her toy riders by climbing on in the right way. Before she would bum backwards, then get her stability, then fling her let over. She's obviously got enough stability now to stand and fling a leg over without having to sit first. I am always very impressed regardless of how she works out how to manage things based on how her body works.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ticking the Boxes

It started in January 2008 when Sheena turned 2 - photos to prove it. We decided that we'd accept the mess and encourage Sheena to self feed. Her fine motor skills have always been particularly delayed, so it was a skill that Hubby and I have really wanted Sheena to accomplish - especially knowing that we'd have a new baby to look after in June. A few times I'd asked the OT, does she actually have the ability to do it, and I'd need convincing that we were not wasting our time.

Today, in November 2008, Sheena managed breakfast and dinner all on her own with a spoon and fork (lunch has always been the easy meal with a sandwich). It has been a frustrating, messy, time-consuming, and sometimes a battle-of-wills effort. Next comes the toilet training...

Fantastic to have this box ticked off though. I feel like celebrating.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Computers 101

Sheena will now drag a dining chair in front of the computer, climb up and start typing or playing with the mouse. It makes a little girl feel very mature.

We've discovered Dora games and sesame street games etc. However, photos of herself are still preferred.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Not surprisingly Sheena has another cold. Temper tantrums aplenty, which is not her usual style. She had a long-long-long sleep today, and needed panadol after dinner - but at least she had dinner.

Here she is on a happier day. I was taking photos of Roy, so she put forward her best smiles to get me to take pics of her. This is her new booster chair now that Roy needs the high chair.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Surprise Sleep Study

Sheena had a sleep study Friday night. It was very last minute, as she had been on a cancellation list. We were called at 3pm, and asked if we could be in there by 7.30pm. We decided we could manage it. It was quite an ordeal to say the least - mainly for Sheena, but parental anxiety levels were pretty high too.

We got there at 7.30pm. Her bed time is 7pm, so she was tired before it started (and she'd had a big day because we were not preparing for it). Getting all of the probes and monitors on takes 2 hours - the most intense bit being the first hour where the child has to be awake and upright, In Sheena's case she was also upset because she is sensitive around her head, particularly behind the ears. Hubby and I were both there for this part, because we knew it would be tough, and Nan looked after Roy at home. We read Sheena books and did action songs and got through it better than I expected, but I had built it up. The technician's name was Dora, and she was fantastic. She was studying medicine, and from a bedside manner perspective, I think she'll make a great peadiatric oncologist which is what she wants to specialise in eventually.

Hubby stayed in with Sheena, and he said she had a very disturbed night. Tossing and turning, sitting up looking at the light on the end of her finger like ET. They then woke her up at 5.30 to start taking everything off which was very distressing for Sheena.

The following day, she had a 2 hour nap in the morning, and a 4 hour nap in the afternoon, then back to bed at 7pm. We did squeeze in a trip to a local park for a ride on a Train. Sheena even looks tired in the photos.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Too much

Now that Sheena is going to her developmental school 2 days a week, we are dropping her creche days back to 1 day a week.

Its a tough balance. We want her to be around typically developing children as well as getting all the extra attention and stimulation that her special developmental school can offer.

The little darling had a full day of creche today and she was exhausted. She went to bed at 6.30pm. She denied wanting to go to bed saying "no, no", but signed "book" which is her wind-down ritual anyway. 5 pages later she was off to bed.

From a health perspective, her at home oximetry test came back inconclusive which means we have to have a full sleep-study overnight at the hospital. There is a long waiting list, so we'll be lucky if it is before Christmas.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Directing Sheena

Sheena seems to be enjoying her developmental school, and she is now going there 2 days a week. They are moving 5 minutes in our favor in the next couple of months.

Her communication is improving a lot and she particularly likes directing people around the house while she is playing. Here she is making sure Roy and I have a lie down with her on the mat.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I've been really confused this past week. Hubby and I still don't think Sheena is healthy. Her peadiatrition thinks its "nothing sinister", but her cardiologist said that the results from her echo were "important". He rang me yesterday with good news that her 24 hour holter monitor test came back normal, but wants us to see him again after her sleep study this week.

She is certainly in good form, is playful and enthusiastic, but she's not eating much at all, her complexion is off, and she's still needing a lot of sleep. When she was at a play centre yesterday, she still looked a good size in comparison to the other children, so she might not be eating much because her activity levels are relatively low.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sheena the shadow

Pretty impressive splits! Sheena likes to play a game at the moment where she makes a shocked expression, then does a really cheesy smile. She wants someone to do it with her in sync, and it is rather amusing. She has an amazing sense of fun and enthusiasm.

She currently bellows "BAAHDAAH" to get our attention. "Mummy" or "Dadda" would be more civilised, but "BAAHDAAH" has the desired effect, so we'll have to start encouraging her to call for us by name, because its a bit much.

Sheena is still having her mammoth naps in the afternoon, as well as a full sleep overnight. It curtails the daily activities a lot, but we're accommodating it as she obviously needs it at the moment. She has her sleep study this week to see if she has sleep apnea.

Her big cousin Mark is down for a visit, and Sheena is his shadow. She is rather smitten. They rough-house, make big obstical courses for her dollys and soft toys, laugh at her dollys flying around the clothes line. If never heard Sheena giggle so much. Today I'm taking them to an indoor play center. Mark is too old for it, but he'll help Sheena on the equipment while Aunty Christy and I have a coffee.

Saturday, September 27, 2008



This is the messy job the cardiology technician did for Sheena's 24 hour Holter monitor test. Hard to get good help these days it seems. She did not have a blue episode during the test (as is the way these things go).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Holter Hazards

Sheena has her Holter Monitor on today. She has it descreetly hidden underneath these clothes, and I am not drawing any attention to it for now, so no photos of it directly. The technician fitting it annoyed me because:

1) He kept on calling Sheena a boy
2) He offered no advice on how to keep the thing on a 2 year old

He handed me a strap to sling over my shoulder to hold the device. As much as I love Sheena, I have no intention to staying within 1 meter of her for 24 hours. I said what about a belt, and he then presented a few adult size belts. We ended up wrapping an adult size belt around her twice. The cords are all messy, and I know they can done much neater, and even put in a box to keep them all together. This is why we usually go to The Children's rather than Monash, but her Cardiologist is based at Monash so its a bit tricky to negotiate.

Anyway we are managing well with the holter monitor, and Sheena still had one of her mammoth naps even though all she did today was walk in and out of the hospital. Of all days, when I want to minimize all clothes changes while Sheena has all the bits attached to her, she did the poo-wee sign to show she needed to do a poo. Not the day for a rushed trip to the potty. Definitely time to start potty training I think.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We're off to meet THE Wiggles

Sheena has been invited to meet The Wiggles. I am very excited, and know that Sheena won't be able to contain herself. Sarah from the Wiggles office called me today to confirm that Sheena (and us) can meet the guys before the show. We'll meet them in December, and we'll be sure to get lots of photos.

Parker has provided us some information on Pulmonary Hypertension. I like action, so waiting until Friday for Sheena to have a Holter Monitor test, then next Monday for her to meet the Respiratory and Sleep Specialist is very hard. I've got a small sty in my eye for the first time ever, no doubt due to stress from not knowing what we are in for.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Now that's a helmet

Hubby has a new motor bike, and of course Sheena has to get in on the fun.

Unfortunately, from a health perspective, Sheena has been rather complex for the past month. She's had a number of blue episodes, and they are now coming once or twice a day. She is also now sleeping 12-13 hours over night, as well as having a 3.5 - 4hr nap during the day. On top of this, her appetite is significantly reduced.

We purchased an oximeter from ebay, and her oxygen levels and HR are dropping significantly during these blue events. We visited her Paediatrician, and he ran some tests - including Thyroid, allergies and FBE, and they all came back normal. He also referred us to he cardiologist who we went to on Thursday. The echo showed she has Pulmonary Hypertension, which can be very serious if its primary, so we're hoping its secondary and due to some airway obstruction or sleep apnea. I'd rather it be nothing of course, because none of them are straight forward like taking a pill in the morning. She's now booked to have a 24 hours Holter monitor test next Friday which will check her heart beat overnight, and then due to see a respiratory and sleep specialist the following Monday. Ughhhhh - stress!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Howdy Partner

She now loves Dora the Explorer as much as The Wiggles. She's going to see the Wiggles live in December. I don't think she'll be able to contain herself.

She's still rather wary of Roy. I think she is scared of hurting him. We taught her to be gentle, but I don't think we overdid it. Three months down the track, she usually keeps a wide berth from him. We have to encourage her to give him a cuddle or hold his hand. Never mind, plenty of time for that.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bonding with Baby

Sheena has been doing the actions to lots of songs to amuse Roy. He is suitably amused and smiles or chuckles along. Today it was the Little Green Frog, and Sheena makes the funniest Galoomp noise (you have to know the song for that to make any sense).

Sheena has been really sick for the past few days. Conjunctivitis started Saturday - eye cream from the GP. She had a blue episode on Sunday during breakfast, and had a swollen lip which the GP thinks may have been a severe reaction to the eye cream. Another visit to the GP and now on full-on antibiotics and eye-drops instead of the cream. We're anxious she'll pass it on to Roy, so I am washing away the day. No more blue-episodes, but it was very odd and scary. Here she is looking rather under the weather, but still keen to give Roy a laugh.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Body slamming

Sheena is the queen of rough-housing at the moment. She even tugs at her 70 year young Nan's hand to pull her down to go rough-housing all over the lounge room. Its the most exercise Nan has in a week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

School Days

Sheena has started a new developmental school. She is

2.8 years old, so now qualifies to enter the school system rather than just the early intervention centres. Its still basically an early intervention program, but its funded by the Education Department rather than the Department of Human Services, so it gets A LOT more Government funding, and can extend to 3 days a week, rather than 2 hours a week. We don't think Sheena needs 3 days a week, so for this year she is starting off with 1 day. The facilities are significantly better, with a gymnasium, a shaded outdoor playground with a good surface, and the children get regular 1-1 therapy as well as class activities. Its 1-7 children ratio, with 2 additional support staff in the room. We're quite excited about it, and Sheena did very well on her first day. She picked Banana's in Pyjamas for song time (not one we ever do at home), and the teacher described her as a 'mover'. Yes, we know...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Double up

Sheena is not 100% happy with the double pram. It isn't as comfy as the single buggy, but it serves the purpose for walks in the park, and hopefully for runs once I am completely recovered from the C-section - and once Roy gets a bit bigger.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Always eager to make the next step forward, it is easy to overlook the huge progress Sheena has made this year. Here is a picture of Sheena showing off something she perfected since March this year - climbing and sitting on a chair (with mum and dad confident that she won't fall off!), and able to get back down again independently.

I am still weary of Sheena managing heights. Her lax joints means that she might want direct her leg 20cm, but her leg might accidentally fling 30cm, and over she would go.

Speaking of independence, Sheena will now insist on trying to read a book herself. Occasionally I am allowed to read it first, but then she'll want to take control. She is very determined to learn how to flick through all the pages herself without us helping by opening each page a little bit. Sheena is rather eager to develop the fine motor skills to manage this task.

The other thing Sheena is very keen to pick up is walking up and down stairs without using her hands to crawl up and down. She usually doesn't get frustrated with lack of success, and she'll just do something repeatedly before she perfects it, but if she has to sit down along the way trying this, it is definitely tears.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Spot the real baby

On her own accord Sheena has started to play with her dolly in a lovely creative way. She takes dolly to the change mat for nappy change, she puts dolly on the activity mat just like mum does with Roy, and she puts dolly in the swing, the seasaw, the toy pram, and as you can see likes to give dolly a dummy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

In the short term

Its the first week of the school term, which means planning sessions to discuss goals with Sheena's EI teachers for the next 6 months.

As we're in the terrible two stage, some of the goals are behavioural, typical stuff like holding hands when walking down the street, and not standing on the couch, and not sitting on the coffee table. Developmentally, our major goal is still with the spoon feeding. Unfortunately Sheena did not make much progress with that skill over the past six months. Also, at the moment, Sheena has a very short attention span to attend to an activity, so we're going to try to encourage her to have one more go, before she moves onto the next thing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sheena's secreterial skills

Let me quickly type this important memo

I need to use the mouse for this bit.

I think I'll stand up to finish this draft.

Time to review on the couch

Just a minor change, and I am happy to send off.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Getting to know baby Bro

Sheena is rather nervous around her baby brother at the moment. She tries to avoid cuddling him, but at the same time is curious at a distance. This photo took some effort, as Sheena would jump off the couch rather than sit and pose next to Roy. At the same time, Sheena can say Roy very well, "Roy oy oy", which she says whenever he cries, or sees him - or even his bassinet.
Roy is already addicted to his dummy thanks to his time in hospital. Pretty much every baby on the ward had one. He now has a blog of his own - He is doing better - thanks to everyone for your best wishes. He has avoided surgery so far with lots of drugs on the go to maintain him. We see the cardiologist next week to see how he's progressing.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Our Walk

Sheena's walking is considerably less stiff and she is getting more adventurous with her travels. Sheena started toddling 6 months ago when she turned 2, and now the toddle has gone. She still needs more practice with going up and down hills, but she manages rough terrain if the surface is fairly flat. Yesterday she went to investigate a barking dog at a neighbours house, and then got rather interesting in a pile of fire wood.