Saturday, February 28, 2015

Playroom Update

One of the first rooms we needed to complete when we moved into the new house was the playroom. Ryan has no fear of danger so with construction and cleaning going on I needed a room that he would be safe in when we couldn't watch him. 

Here's a reminder of how the room looked when we moved in, complete with alter. The previous tenants for some reason were using this room as a prayer room. We removed the alter, kept the bench, and painted trim and walls white. I decided to go with white walls as I knew there would be alot of color added with Ryan's toys. 

I covered the bench with a cushion. At some point I will add doors to the seat on the bench so we can use the inside for storage. 
Floors were painted with grey floor paint and an Ikea rug was added. 

The Borgsjo bookcase from Ikea was the perfect fit for the corner space, and provides lots of storage, the most important thing in a playroom. 

A chalkboard was added with an Ikea Ribba picture ledge underneath to hold duster etc, this ledge is also sturdy enough for Ryan to pull up to stand on. Ikea Fintorp containers serve great to hold chalk and pens, out of reach from Ryan when alone as he has a habit of writing on the walls. 

On the other wall we have a sturdy Ikea console table. I hope to put some picture frames above this for Ryan's own paintings. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mid Term Break

This week Ryan has been off school for mid term break. Unfortunately we have all been quite sick with flu all week, but by Thursday things were perking up and we needed to get out of the house. We decided to take Ryan to see the movie Shaun the Sheep and he loved it! He belly laughed all the way through. Then Friday night I had a date with Mr Grey, some lovely ladies and a few Mojitos. I wont say too much about the movie but the company was great, and it was nice to get out in Belfast which has changed so much since Ive been away. Its now a truly cosmopolitan city with great restaurants, bars and clubs. Worth a visit for anyone coming to this side of the world. 

Saturday we headed to the Donkey Sanctuary with our friends Lauren and Billy. This is a great charity set outside Belfast that houses many many once abused or neglected donkeys and mules and provides them life long homes. They have a therapy assisted programme for kids with special needs. Kids with disabilites can come and ride the donkeys, ride in a cart or if they prefer simply just love on these adorable creatures. Ryan and Billy had alot of fun. They have a Thursday afternoon slot open for 1:1 therapy and Im thinking of signing Ryan up. Also hard to believe its all FREE, all supplied by kind donations from the public. Head on over to this website if you would like to support this very important charity that directly affects the lives of our children.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pediatrician appointment and some walking

Today we had Ryans 6 month follow up with the pediatrician here in Northern Ireland. Nothing much to report as thankfully he has been very healthy over the winter, seems the Irish weather agrees with him. We have appointments set or have already seen all the specialists she put us in touch with so all his health issues are being dealt with. Will follow up with her in 1 year. 

After the appointment I heading round to the PT room to sit in on one of his sessions. Heres a short video of how he is doing with his walking. AMAZING!!! His steps are so deliberate and purposeful. In the past he has looked like hes falling forward and gravity has been making the steps out of necessity but here he looks so upright. This child may walk after all. Its been a long road but he is the epitome of NEVER GIVE UP. 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer review

OK, I'm calling it, Summer is officially over in Northern Ireland. This is how we are dressing at the moment.

Murphy has 2 sheets on and I'm considering the medium weight blanket and its still only AUGUST!! But looking on the bright side it feels like Fall, I love Fall, or Autumn as they call it here. So what did we get up to this short summer

We found a great place to walk Brodie. Hes lost a little pudge and I think Ireland agrees with him. 

As you can see, Brodie had a bit of a shave, Ryan did too, which I always love as you can see his little halo again. I'm not 100% sure why he has this ring of lighter hair but I think it has to do with how high his cystic hygroma came up. Its a little reminder of what a miracle he really is. 

We had another visit from Claire, Greg and the lovely Eva again from Dublin. Had lunch in a little authentic Southern BBQ place in Belfast called Bubbacue, check it out if you are in the area. Loved it. 

We had some PT sessions at the local hospital, Ryan wasn't impressed, but his walking with the walker is getting much better. The district therapists also delivered a stander for the house. His hamstrings are getting tight again and hes staring to crouch when walking. Im hoping the stander helps with the tightness and we are not heading for surgery. We have an appointment with the local orthopedist in the next few months to discuss. This is Ryan's not pleased face while at the hospital.  

Ryan has had a few visits from Gerry from the charity Cedar who comes to do play therapy with him every week. Ryan seems to like the company, and I'm liking the few hours respite he provides. 

We have visited quite a few museums that i remember going to as a kid. Northern Ireland really does have some great touristy things to do that are so enjoyable and educational. 
We visited the Ulster Transport Museum with some friends. 

And the American Folk Museum wit Billy and Lauren

And the Ulster Folk Museum with Granny and Uncle Mickey and Natalie who were over from Huddersfield for a week. 

Granny with a story tellers mask, quite scary

Sampling the soda bread made on the griddle. 

Under the weeping willow
School is always fun!

Weavers cottage

We also checked out the Titanic exhibition. Its a huge draw in Belfast and really worth checking out. Titanic was built in Belfast which once housed the largest shipbuilders yard in the world. Harland and Wolfe's giant cranes Samson and Goliath and still one of the most recognisable parts of our city skyline. 

My sister Brid at the exhibition
 "Belfast is a different city. Once abandoned factories are rebuilt. Former industrial sites are reborn. Visitors come from all over. So to paraphrase Seamus Heaney, it is the manifestation of sheer, bloody genius. This island is now chic." Barack Obama

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hi .......................

No, I'm not back with a post of anything really interesting or informative. I have so much to write about, the move, the house, Ryan, everything really, but its all stuck in my head or on my camera, waiting to be set free, but things are just . too . busy .

Its been a crazy few months, getting the house livable, connecting with old friends, setting up Ryan's schooling and medical needs, if I see another form to fill out I think I'm going to scream, but all the details will have to wait. In the mean time, we are enjoying the glorious sunshine with is very uncharacteristic for Northern Ireland and trying to keep our heads above water .......... literally.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St Patricks Day

Please folks, this PSA from Dublin Airport says it best:

ht saint patricks day 2 sr 140317 16x9 608 Please Dont Call It St. Pattys Day

OK, now Ive got that off my chest ......... phew ........ hope you had a good one. 

I went to Ryan's school for a going away party for Ryan and the schools first St Patricks Day parade. So much fun to see the kids all dressed in green and the school playing diddly dee music in the corridors. Do you like his new hair cut? JB couldnt take the long hair anymore so he took his own clippers to it on a #8. I think he did a pretty awesome job and may have found a new calling. 

Packing is coming along, and we are nearly ready to go. Flights are FINALLY booked, talk about waiting until the last minute! But next Wednesday we will all be Northern Ireland bound, 2 parents, 1 child, a dog and a cat. The horse has to wait until April 1st in the hope I have a home for him to come too before he lands on Irish soil. If he survives the trip (please pray, this is only said half in jest) he is going to be the happiest little horsey in the world in Irish green fields the like of which he has never seen before. Hope the rough and tumble Irish horses treat my little pampered American horse well and don't beat up on him. 

Some news from back home, the floors are being stained at the moment. They are not quite as dark as we hoped so we are all on tender hooks to see if the floor guy can get them the correct shade. Nothing much is happening work wise in Ireland today so we will have to wait until at least tomorrow to hear if he has a solution. 

Too light, right? 

But as my mom the ever optimist says, all is not lost, the daffodils are blooming. Well, thank goodness for that. :)