Friday, March 20, 2009

The trip of a lifetime

Well I have been a little slack about keeping the blog updated - been a bit busy of late - conference in my home town - more on that later - and of course getting everything organised for my trip of a lifetime!!!

Next Wednesday I am off, leaving on a jet plane to head to California to attend the Cochlear Americas Celebration. But perhaps most exciting of all, I am getting to meet Dee.

It is a long and complicated story, often times people think we are all just a little strange when we tell it. In fact someone asked just recently who Dee was on my facebook page and she replied it was kind of complicated we were part of a gang but a really nice friendly gang hahahaha

Back in 1998 Karen B & I started CI Circle. We started it so that parents could get information about cochlear implants for their children but without being judged by others for considering this option. When it started we had 8 people, now we have over 1700 members!

When CI Circle got too big we missed the "chats" the original 8 had so we set up a group on our respective computer email programs and nicknamed ourselves "the gang". Over the last 11 years we have been corresponding with each other sharing stories, good days, bad days and everything in between.

In fact in April of 1998 we put together a little book with a page about our families and photos and one child of the families designed a cover for us and everything, then we had it printed and bound, so we could all "meet" from our different parts of the world.

In August of 2002, Mike, Dee's son was in Australia for a study tour, so we flew him to SA and he attended a Parents of the Hearing Impaired of SA (PHISA) camp with us. It was brilliant meeting Mike and having him come on camp with us and then stay a few days with us. A was pretty stoked to have Mike in the house so there were two people with implants staying at our place.

Up until now Mike's mum, Dee, and I have never met. Then early this year this amazing lady made me the most generous offer. She was using her frequent flyer points to fly me to the conference so that I could stay with her and then do some sightseeing with her in her hometown as well! I am still pinching myself at the generosity she has shown me and I am just about busting with excitement that we are going to meet in a matter of days now!

Then I get an invitation for a garden tea party, and read on to find out I am the guest of honour, yep I am serious! Her workmates are experts at planning these things so they have taken it on so Dee and I can just sit and enjoy ourselves in her garden and she can introduce me to the family and friends that are special to her. I have never been the guest of honour at a garden tea party before - it is quite overwhelming.

So on Wednesday I hit the skies for my flight to the otherside of the world (14 & 1/2 hours for one of the flights!!) I haven't left yet and already it is the trip of a lifetime. I can't wait to see what awaits when I get there. To meet Dee and her family/friends, to meet some of the CI Circle families whose emails I read quite regularly on the circle, to see Rachel again - it seems so long ago since she was here with us in December last year. It is going to be a jam packed week over there and I am so excited I am like the child waiting for Christmas....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The sublime moments

Just a quick note of one of those sublime moments that caught me today.

A was complaining of a sore back so I made him an appointment with the physiotherapist. It is one of those clinics that unless you have ongoing care issues, or a burning desire to see the same person every time, you can just get an appointment with whoever. Since A wanted an appointment today we took the latter option.

So there he is, all 6'4" of him stretched out on the bed, with his face shoved down inside one of those donut type pillows they use. The physiotherapist was a lovely young Indian girl who still had an accent in her speech. She started asking A questions about where it hurt and what it felt like when she did this or that. I sat there having a moment to really ponder just how far we have come. There is A face down, answering all these questions, with her accented speech. No other cues for him but auditory listening to her speaking. What a wonderful gift the cochlear implant has been for him, and how different might his life been if this technology was not available to him?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fine Cusine reigns supreme

Well hot on the heels of the beautiful cream puffs came tea cake with an apple & cinnamon topping - oh and get this, Master B baked it last 2 lessons on Friday, so we headed home with warm tea cake to have with our after school drinks! Ah yeah, doesn't get much better than that.

This week I believe it is cup cakes and some fun decorating them. I'm not sure who is more suprised us or Master B at his cullinary efforts. He has become quite the chef and what is so exciting is seeing his self-confidence soar and having that sense of satisfaction of a job well done when he looks at the products he has baked each week - truly awesome.

Interestingly Mr "I hate art" found a book we got him years ago about how to draw Manga figures. He found it on the weekend and decided to have a go - granted he should have been doing his science practical write up, but hey at least he found a creative way to avoid doing it.

And not a bad first attempt either I might add!!