It’s been a while since I’ve shared with you on my blog even though I’ve been active on my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so do feel free to follow me and share your stories! Here’s a very short snippet of the things that’s kept me so busy these past few months.
- Kai’s FM system broke, which meant that he had no use of it for the most part of the 3rd term. This reflected in his report – his literacy and language marks dropped. After claiming from insurance (sigh of relief) and having a new FM, I’m now challenged with the reality of him becoming self-conscious about the bulky thing (more the neckloop) since he’s not used it in class for two months! He’s also at that in-between age – I believe people refer to it as the tweens??
- The flat has not remained clean since Faith moved in. Things being out of place is a big challenge for me as you will read in my introduction on my About Page! Life is so unpredictable and hectic that I need my space to always be organised, I need to know where everything is – clutter at home, in my personal space, does not work for me!
- We are all struggling with the new family dynamics. The increase in noise levels (Faith is VERY loud), bickering and dealing with behaviour issues. I purposely leave Faith in Aftercare until just before 6pm, but still she arrives home, FULL OF ENERGY, while Kai is tired and in need of some quiet. They are complete opposites!
- Both kids in speech therapy once a week first thing in the morning. Faith thoroughly enjoys it, while I’m starting to think that after 4.5 years, Kai may need a bit of a break in the new year. But this will largely depend on his language assessment and school report. We may consider a break in the first term next year. Yes, I’m thinking ahead – this is what I do come the final term of school . . .
- I’ve not followed through on my OT plan, read more here. Instead, I changed my planned strategy and enrolled Kai for Fit Kids in the 2nd term and asked the school social worker to help him with developing emotional coping mechanisms for when he feels overwhelmed. The latter was the biggest area that I needed support in for Kai. Managing his SPD and self-regulation. The weekly sessions with the social worker on EQ helped him tremendously with self-calming, far more than the OT did, especially since this area became one of our biggest challenges in the 4th term last year. The overwhelming aggressive sensory overload meltdowns after school has decreased significantly! Having said this, he still needs support in the motor skills area, so OT is still an option to consider in the 2016.
- You may recall this story about a family member who was homeless for 13 years. You can read it here. It’s not been an easy transition, especially with our limited space. I’ve grown so much during these past 4 months on re-integration of homeless people and the challenges . . . I work with this on a daily basis . . . My uncle has since found alternative accommodation, since I could only assist him as an interim measure due to my lease contract. However, I honestly think that he may be back on the streets. Adapting to “responsibility for self” is an enormous challenge when living in a family environment and not on the streets.
- I’ve applied to continue with my studies at UNISA and am still waiting for a response, two months later! You can read my post about part-time studies here. I’ve also changed from a BA Psych Counselling to a General BA (major communications and psychology). I am anxiously awaiting confirmation so that I can register for my modules next year. I’m very excited about this!
- I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes advocacy work as part of Decibels of Love. I’ve been working on a constitution and have an amazing team of professionals on board and can’t wait to present our constitution and management team to our families and supporters in December when we have family camp-out. After almost 2 years of actively volunteering with families, we are now in an informed position to better understand the needs and areas that require focused advocacy work. One of our challenges has been financially supporting our work (I’ve been doing this out of pocket since inception), and we’ve implemented a paid membership strategy which will be renewable annually. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to support us and sign up as members.
- I’ve also received an invitation to represent South African families, as part of Decibels of Love, at the FCEI in 2016 – for this I need to raise funds!! I’ve never travelled abroad. Have no clue where to start, and will appreciate any guidance and welcome donations towards this! You can read the letter at this link, I’ve applied for a parent subsidy, but if approved, it won’t cover all expenses. This will allow us to network on an international platform, and meet with various role players who have offered some significant guidance and support since inception of Decibels.
- I’ve also signed up for NaNoWrimo, and currently my word count is sitting at 10 021! It’s been a lovely way to unwind after an intensely busy day. My goal is to finish my novel even if it is less than 50 000 words.
- My learner’s license has expired, and I’ve not pushed this since I’ve managed to do what I need to do without a car or license. Not to mention the absurd costs of driving lessons!! So, again I will have to start all over . . .
And then of course I work full-time. The environment is extremely stressful, relentless complaints and unrealistic expectations are the order of the day in the sector that I work in.
So gratitude to my family, my precious children, my beautiful friends, my fellow volunteers, and you – my readers. Sometimes all I have is my words and I write and publish these stories with the knowledge that somewhere out there someone is engaging with me through reading my blog. An opportunity to connect with the world when things become crazy and actual interaction with people is limited to my job and my family . . .