Where do they get these things from?!!

It never ceases to amaze me what little sponges my children are, and what comes out of their beautiful little mouths sometimes.
Today at lunch time the girls were sitting at the table waiting for me to bring the food out from the kitchen. I'd spilled something and it was taking me a minute to get everything in the right bowl/plate/cup, etc. Aware that they were waiting, I said "I'm just fixing up the plates, it will be ready very soon."
My kind, sweet, happy go lucky, three year old Miss F replied,

"Yeah right. I'll just be sitting here not kidding myself."

So kewl!

I love street theatre. I enjoy watching it but mainly I get a kick out of performing - and I especially love an unsuspecting audience.

I saw this video recently and just had to share it.

How bizarre would that be as a commuter, and how awesome would it be as a performer?!

Before I had children I did a lot of these 'pranks'. Sometimes alone, but usually in a group. There were about 15 of us 'regulars' and we used to spend our weekends tormenting the general public. We took great delight in planning our acts. Some of them were meant to make a statement - others were purely for the fun of it. There's something disturbingly satisfying about freaking people out.
Often our performances weren't meant to be loud or in your face. In fact most of the time we found subtlety held the greatest power. Like "Attack of the Clones", which took place at McDonald's on a busy Saturday afternoon.

We entered gradually and inconspicuously in groups of 2 and 3. We each ordered a small coke and fries, sat down - spacing ourselves out amongst the other customers - and took a newspaper out of our bag. Once we were all seated, we began doing everything in perfect unison.

Turn the page
Sip of coke
Take a fry


Eat the fry

Turn the page

Sip of coke
Take a fry


Eat the fry


Over and over, everyone moving in sync although seemingly unconnected. Very occasionally someone would ask us what we were doing. We would simply answer, "Enjoying the weekend", whilst still repeating pattern...

Turn the page
Sip of coke

Take a fry
Eat the fry


Then, one by one...

Check the time
"Oh my gosh!"

Close the paper


These days, the closest I get to street theatre is watching one (or all) of the kewl girls throw a massive wobbly in the middle of the footpath.

Strangely enough, this gets much the same audience reaction.

The Six Word Memoir Meme

I've been "roped in" for a meme.
This one means I am to:
1. Write a six word memoir and post it on your blog.
2. Add a picture if you wish.
3. Link to the person who tagged you.
4. Tag 4 or 5 others, with links, to keep it going.
5. Leave a comment for the ones you tag with an invitation to play.
6. And link to the original post about the Six Word Memoir meme.

Thanks Jeanie in Paradise - For the Meme and for making it easy for me.
You said in your comment "Just the thing to fill your mind with when it is being filled with the logic of a toddler or three."
I thought about that for a while and you're exactly right, my mind is filled with toddler everything... The joy, the creativity, the passion, the excitement, the wonder, the discovery, the amazement, the poo... Everything.
And I love it.

"Kewl girl's make life a party!"

Now I'm going to tag:
Paula at Olive Juice,
Kathie at The Thomases and
Carole at the Healthy Living Lounge - Because I am new to these blogs and would love to see what you lovely ladies come up with - and
Megan from Imaginif - Because she is another kewl girl and I am in awe of her Meme's.

Beezie's big day out

Beezie is our mini foxy. She is so mini, they built a special "Small Dog" area for her and her friends at the dog park.

We like the Small Dog's area very much.

Especially the fence.

New Strength Card

I was flicking through the strength cards with J when she asked me, "Why don't they have one for poo's?" I asked her if she thought there should be one for going to the toilet and she said, "Yeah! I do good poo's!"

Can't argue with that.

Was that a big dream?

Well, we're back and we're recovering!
We had a fabulous time visiting family in Victoria. The girls LOVED the plane trip and had a great time telling everyone "We're from Queensland, you know". I enjoyed catching up with my cousins and their children and the girls were in their element running around with lots of other kids. We all coped pretty well with the change from our home with lots of open space, to the house where we stayed in the middle of the suburbs...

Still.. By the time the sun went down on our last night there, we were definitely ready to move on.

Our next stop was with friends in NSW for the Blues and Roots Festival. There were 3 other families also staying with them for the festival and they each had children between 2 and 10 years. We all got along so well it seemed silly not to do the festival together, too, and so the kids all sang and danced and ran and jumped and wandered as one. By the start of the 3rd day our mob of (almost) hippie children were strutting around like they ran the show.

It was also on the third day that my girls had me lulled into a false sense of security. They had coped so well with the festival routine thus far, I was convinced that a late night in honor of the Cat Empire performing would have no effect on their tantrum threshold, what so ever. This late night was easily the best time we had during the entire festival. Our whole family already love The Cat Empire and their live shows are spectacular. We danced for almost 2 hours under the full moon and at the end Miss F looked at me blissfully and asked, "Is this what daddy does all the time now, mum?"

The next day's tantrum threshold was dangerously low. So low, in fact, I looked at J for too long and she blew up in my face.
I decided not to risk a night of loud music and exhausted children, so we headed home 12 hours early.

The girls slept in the car all the way back, barely blinked when I transfered them from car to bed and even slept in the next morning. I think V must have been a bit disorientated after going to sleep at the festival and finding herself at home the next day. When she woke up she asked me, "Was that a big dream, mum?"

We're all still catching up on sleep. This afternoon Miss J insisted she wasn't tired, only to fall asleep with hear head in her lunch plate and bits of banana stuck to her face.

It was a great adventure and I must admit, it is really nice to be back at home.

I spy...

We're away on another adventure at the moment. We left a week ago to visit family in Melbourne and now we are with friends, getting ready for the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Fest!
Those stories will have to wait until we are home and settled again, but this one just has to be told now..

"I spy" is a fantastic game. You can't lose it or choke on the pieces and it's great for familiarizing the girls with new surroundings while we're traveling.
It it also one of those games that all three girls never get tired of - and I have to admit, I actually quite enjoy it too. Anything that enables me to catch a glimpse of the world through their eyes is a winner, as far as I'm concerned. Well, most of the time.

F: I spy with my little eye, something yellow and wonky and yucky and dirty and smelly!
Me: Nelly's chewed up tennis ball?
F: No!
V: A f.ck!
F: No!
Me: No V, a Duck. D. Duck.
F: I said NO, mum.
Me: Oh right. Sorry. Yellow and smelly?
F: Yes. And silly.
Me: OK. The old straw hat over there?
F: No!
Me: Can I have a clue please?
F: They are old and boring.
Me: Uhhmm... Rotten flowers?
F: NO! But good try mum.
Me: Thanks F. Can you tell me more about the colour?
F: Yucky yellow. Like when Nelly vomits.
Me: IS it Nelly vomit?
F: No!
Me: Nelly's teeth?
F: No!
Me: Wow, this is a good one. Can I have another clue please?
F: Well mum, they are SOOO last season.
Me: Last season? Like veggies from last season?
F: NOOO! Finished guessing yet?!!
Me: Yep. I've run out of ideas.



Little Green Tree Snake, Likes to Sun Bake

As Miss V has previously informed me, tree snakes come from trees.

Apparently, they also like to sun bake on bridges.

This little guy (or girl) has become a regular fixture on the bridge over our pond.

When he first appeared in our lounge room I got too much of a fright to truly appreciate him, but now that I know where to expect him I think he's actually quite cute!

As far as snakes go, anyway.

Do they have their own language?

People often ask this about F and J.
Before they started speaking my language ("More chocoalte?"), they did what all babies do - they babbled. They weren't particularly advanced or different in this aspect of their vocbulary, but they did understand each other. Watching them communicate it did look a lot like they had their own language. They had many, many conversations and would quite regularly crack each other up. I tried long and hard to understand their babble but was never successful.

As their language skills developed and they started speaking English they gradually stopped having these coded conversations. They still have a far greater understanding of each other than many other people, but as they are siblings of the same age, at roughly the same stage developmentally, who have similar experiences and spend a lot of time together, I don't find this unusual.

As well as verbal language, all three girls know Makaton (a form of sign language). I've always used basic signs with them and as they got older they showed an interest in signing, so I did more with them. Knowing sign is great, but it is pretty useless if no one else understands you! Thankfully we know a few people outside of our family who also sign, including 8 year old S.

J and F are great friends with S. Their friendship is based on plenty of things other than Makaton, but their ability to communicate in this way certainly strengthens their bond.
S is quite a bit more advanced than the girls with Makaton. Sometimes this gets frustrating for them but most of the time S enjoys teaching J and F new signs.
This used to give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. Shared learning at it's best, right?

Yeah, right.

This morning we took Nelly to dog training. Everyone was happy doing their thing for almost an hour. Then F came up to me in her 'ready to go' mood.
I asked her to go and tell her sister it was time to leave.
I watched her walk over to J, who was talking with a group of mums and kids.
Being twins, they attract a fair bit of attention when they're together, and this time was no exception.
The whole group stopped and stared as F approached her sister.
I heard F speaking and saw her sign "Finished. Leaving." Aww... Warm and fuzzy!

Then I saw J sign, "Bullshit! Get stuffed!"

Thankfully, knowing sign is useless when no one else understands you.

Wordless Wednesday of a different kind

I have recently had the pleasure of working with an amazing young man named Joey, who has kindly given permission for me to share this story.

Some background...

I met Joey two years ago at a horse riding center. I was new, but he had been riding for over 10 years! The first thing that struck me were his fabulously good looks - He is the very essence of tall, dark and handsome. He has one of those infectious grins, that has everyone around him smiling, too.
He has an impeccable memory and often he laughs at me forgetting people's names. If anything goes missing, Joey will know where to find it. He keeps the tack room absolutely immaculate - Helmets and boots lined up in order of size, saddles and bridles neatly arranged in the same formation that the horses are tied up in outside and everything else in it's rightful place.

He also happens to have a disability. Please, do not get the "disability" confused with the person. Joey is Joey. He is 18, his favourite food is Mexican, his favourite band is Jet and he has a hat fetish. His disability is just one layer.

The words...

The nature of Joey's disability means that he is unable to communicate verbally, or by writing or signing. That doesn't leave much. Essentially, Joey has been wordless not just on Wednesday's, but everyday, for all of his life thus far.

Unfortunately, being silent has made Joey a spectator in his own life. His choices are usually made for him, his likes and dislikes decided by which ever support person is working on the day, and although many assume that Joey doesn't really understand much, or think about anything in particular, this couldn't be further from the truth. Joey has a lot to say.

Two weeks ago I talked to Joey about Facilitated Communication, and last week he spoke via a communication board for the very first time. Since then we have had many conversations, but this was the very first - and boy, did it knock me off my feet.

After 18 years of silence and 12 years of horse riding, the first words he communicated were,

"I hate horses!"

When asked if he wanted to add anything else, he said,

"Nothing personal."

Miss V Moment

Constantly ringing phones drive me nuts. Not because I don't want to talk to people (although sometimes that's true, too), but because the shrill ringing interrupts wherever I'm up to in my day. It interrupts my 'being in the moment'.

The phone has been ringing almost non stop today. After the fifth call I hung up and muttered, "What's with the phone today?"

Miss V looked at me oddly and said "It's ringing..."
I agreed that it was indeed ringing. A lot.
She took on that oh so patronising expression and, speaking very s-l-o-w-l-y and clearly, she said "Phones a'sposed to ring, mum."

My 2 year old thinks she's smarter than me.

The Power of Suggestion

I took great delight in packing the girls' lunch today, and even greater delight in handing it over to New Daycare Person...

(Vegetarian Boogie Rolls)

Thanks Megan!