Monthly Archives: January 2011

We’ve Come A Long Way

I was just reading an email from a friend whose daughter is now 15. Her little girl was born with the same medical issues as Ally, but more severe.

While reading her email, I thought back to the time when Ally was born and she was just diagnosed. Turns out the cleft palate was the least of our worries. She soon adapted to not having one and even ate solids better than Max who is not cleft affected.

Ally could not and did not know how to blow a candle till she turned 2. We tried teaching her early on, blowing tissue paper across a table so she could watch. She started speech therapy at 6 months to help develop her weak muscles. Without her palate it was impossible and even after surgery, the concept was just beyond her.  On her second birthday, she blew out her own birthday candles unassisted and it brought tears to my eyes. We celebrated that huge milestone with family and friends who meant the world to us which just made it extra special.


That special moment which I'll never forget

At age 2, she could barely make a 3 word sentence. Now she has an extensive vocabulary and would chat your ears off given a chance. I always find it ironic that the one child in her class who is attending speech therapy is the child who cannot seem to stop talking.

In her 3 years, she has gone through 2 surgeries and amazed us each time with her determination and mental strength.

pH probe at 2 months, horrible experience for Matt and myself but it had to be done

It could be her innocence but she took everything in her stride and bounced back from both surgeries very quickly.

Day after palate repair, running a fever and generally feeling very uncomfortable. Arms were splinted to prevent her from touching the surgical site

We took her arm splints off on the 2nd day and she never once touched the wound. By day 3 her appetite was back to normal and her wound healed beautifully. A lot of credit has to go to her amazing surgeon and nurses.

I truly believe that all her experiences have shaped her to be who she is today. She’s emotionally very mature, very compassionate, extremely determined and a real fighter. I say all this not to boast, but as a reflection of how far she has come. From the tiny baby that stopped breathing every so often, she is so full of life and spirit.

We feel so blessed to have her in our lives and I’ve no doubt she’ll continue to amaze us as she grows up.


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Day 2 at Pre -K

Matt and I were prepared for a tougher second day, now that Ally knew school was a daily affair and I would be leaving her everyday. To our surprise, she cried for less than a minute when I had to leave. She whipped out her security penguin, gave him a good cuddle and then stopped crying. Max and I waved goodbye to her and walked out.

As it turned out, Max was the one who really missed her. Once we left the school, he kept calling out for Ally and signing “where?” to me. Each time he saw a little girl, he would shout “Ally!” I felt really sorry for him.

Needless to say she was all smiles when we went to pick her up, Max was so happy to have his playmate back home as well. He kept hanging around her the whole day till she got a bit annoyed.



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Another Milestone

Ally started school today. When I woke her up she was excited about going to school. I was happy that she was keen to go but I knew there would be tears later on.


All ready to go

Traffic was smooth so we reached pretty early, the kids hung out in the playground and Ally went off on her own to play.  She made a few friends and seemed very happy and confident. All that changed when the teacher rang the bell to signal to the parents that it was time to leave. I had already told Ally about the bell so the minute she heard it, she burst into tears. She screamed and begged me not to go but I just said good bye to her cheerfully and walked out. It was hard leaving her but I knew it would be in her best interest.

Happily playing..... for now


Her teachers were great, they picked her up and hugged her when I left and later, the head teacher rang me to let me know that she was alright. I think we made the right choice putting her in this school.

When I went to pick her up, I could see that she was still teary but at least she was joining in with the sing along. The minute she saw me she burst into tears again but quickly calmed down. I didn’t want to make a big deal of the whole situation so I just told her to pick up her bag and we left. Once we walked out of school I asked her how her day was, she said to me ” I cried, more children cried and my favourite was snack time”

Let’s see what the rest of the week will bring, I’m sure the 2nd day is going to be harder now that she knows and expects what’s going to happen.

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How Do You Keep A Wave Upon The Sand?

The title for today’s post is taken from one of my favourite musicals of all time, The Sound Of Music. For those of you who have seen the show, remember in the beginning the nuns are singing about how hard it is to keep Maria in line? How she doesn’t comply with rules or regulations? Well, Max is now the new Maria.

When he does something wrong, scolding him doesn’t seem to get through to him, punishing him doesn’t help either. I’ve always used the naughty corner with Ally when she was younger and it worked wonders. With Max, he sits in the corner but then tries to make Ally laugh! He’ll pretend to lie down and sleep, or play peek a boo which makes her laugh and then he thinks punishment is over. Most of the time he just gets into things that he’s not suppose to, which I guess its normal for his age. But still, he needs to know there are boundaries and limits. I’m at my wits end, how do you teach a child that doesn’t seem to realise or understand the seriousness of the issue??



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Icy Treat

We took the kids out for an ice cream treat the other day. It was Max’s first ever ice cream cone and he enjoyed every single bit of it.

The cone was as big as his face

Ally was so happy with her treat

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