Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Family Time

These last two weeks have been filled with fun as we have been catching up with Lloyd's family. His brother Lance aka Uncle Neeb was visiting from the UK, and Lloyd's parents visiting from Pietermaritzberg (the otherside of South Africa).

Lance has a beautiful house in Simonstown - and so this became the gathering place for the Tooke clan.
The house is stunning but not very toddler friendly, so it was a full time job keeping an eye on inquisitive Matt to make sure he didn't fall off the balcony, down the stairs or into the pool!

Here is rare moment - Matt resting.

Matt putting his hands to his mouth - his sign for food or drink.

Matt's favourite mode of transport.

This restaurant serves the best sushi we've had in Cape Town

(and that Lance has had in the UK!) Matt didn't eat Sushi, but enjoyed Granny's chips.

Another favourite mode of transport.

We weren't quite sure if Matt was loving or hating the wind here!

Exhausted after the outing!

Jumping with Grandpa in time to music (played by the purple caterpillar)

Reading with Granny

Touching noses with Grandpa

When there was a break in the rain we went for a short walk to find some penguins. Again Matt made use of his favourite mode of transport.

Here is Gaynor and Len who joined us for lunch on Saturday. Gaynor has been such a blessing to me as she babysits regularly. She and Matt have a special bond.

Here is a lovely family picture...Matt with his parents, and both sets of grandparents. My parents are to the left and Lloyd's to the right.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Its fun when dad is on holiday

Lloyd has been on leave so he has had a lot more time with Matt. Here are some fun pics of the two of them building a big tower with Matt's used formula tins. By the time I managed to grab my camera the building process was well underway...

Celebrating the big tower with a clap of joy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Easter in Betty's Bay

Over the Easter weekend we were in Bettys Bay (a holiday town about 1 hour from Cape Town) with our friends Ruth and Jono and family. We had such a good time that we forgot to take photos. We did however manage to catch a photo Matt's first bite of a marshmellow chocolate egg!

He really liked it!!
This Easter our celebration was rather different from usual. We joined other holidaying families in someone's holiday home for an informal but meaningful service. Ruth and I left the service half way through as our toddlers weren't keen to sit still. As it was a sunny and calm day we headed for the lake. I was very conscious of God in this setting - the lake is surrounded by lush vegetation and has a beautiful mountain as a backdrop.
We also got chatting to a young mother and her daughter who were also enjoying the cool water. This young girl has cerebral palsy and at the age of 6 is unable to walk or talk. Once this mother heard that Matt had a rare genetic syndrome we connected immediately. Before I had Matt I would have been shy or uncertain as how I should interact with her and her daughter. I probably would have stayed away. But Matt has taught me that he has such depth to his personality despite his medical label. So as I looked into this young girls eyes I saw beauty and I saw a little of the person who was in there. It was a short but precious encounter.
Later that evening Ruth's mother, Eleanor led us in communion after serving us a tasty supper. She is to be ordained as a minister next month, and her reflection on Jesus' death and resurrection was meaningful and deeply encouraging. After a time of sharing and praying for each other, we spent the rest of the evening in fits of laughter playing the board game "Taboo". We returned from home rested and joyful.

Saying Goodbye

My brother, Kennet, and his wife, Nantia, are moving to Canada this week. They will be there for at least 3 years - maybe longer. We will miss them and we are SO sad to see them go, but we wish them lots of joy in their adventure! Here are some pics of Matt having one last visit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A milestone not found in a paediatric textbook

Matt’s ability to handle textures, as well as to co-ordinate chewing has really improved over the last month. He is trying new foods all the time and managing to eat them without gagging. On Friday we were loving our visit with my brother and sister in law – so much so that we lost track of time. Before we knew it, it was Matt’s supper time and we didn’t have any food for him. We decided to stop in at Steers and get Matt some "slap chips" (French fries) and a milkshake. We were rather nervous as we first let him bite into the chips – and to our joy he ate them with such skill and confidence you would have thought he had been eating them his whole life!! Next he happily drank the milkshake – from a cup!! Also a first!

I was so thrilled and overjoyed at Matt’s achievement.

How strange it must seem that I am so excited at my son eating “junk food”. Certainly not a milestone that one would find in a paediatric handbook. I was reflecting on why it was such a big thing. I think it is because it represents freedom and spontaneity. For so long we have had to be so careful to plan exactly how long we are going out for, and if it overlaps with a meal time we have to bring along the carefully pureed meals. Often social arrangements are cut short to get home on time. And whenever we feed Matt in public or at friend’s houses there is that ever-present fear of the “vomit monster”. We would always have to ensure that we had a vomit bowl handy before embarking on a meal – his vomits were that frequent to require this action.

Now all of that can change. We will still do our best to ensure Matt eats healthily (not always using the junk food option :) , but if we choose to be a bit spontaneous and things don’t go according to plan we now know we can find something for him to eat. And what joy to know that Matt has defeated that vomit monster – I hope we have seen the last of him.

So I celebrate the “slap chips” and milkshakes and look forward to more spontaneous, fun outings that are free from the vomit-monster fear.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Matt's physio reminded me that it has been a while since I had posted photos of Matt on our blog, let alone photos of Matt at physio. A good point. So here are some highlights from Matt's most recent physio session:

This is my physiotherapist Pam, in case you haven't met her yet.

Spinning the wheels of the car is fun - especially with two hands at the same time.

I like looking at what the other physiotherapists are doing with the other children.
In fact I enjoy my session a lot more if there is company around.

This is one of my favourite parts of our session - in the sink!!

Waterpolo training?

Hhhmm what are these foam things? What is this white stuff?

OK let me tell you - that white stuff doesn't taste that good!!!?!!

Peek a boo through the window of the tower that Pam and I built

Hhhmmm what is she doing with my hand??

Let me try this on my hand...rubbing back and forth...feels good!