Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

Tag Archives: birthday

Silent Sunday

Celebrating the end of a great weekend getaway, which finished for us at the Nowra Dragon Boat Races.


M is for Motivation

My cycling is now back on track, because I’ve done it so many times in a row – once!

What that means is, I need to come up with something to turn a concept into a repeated event, into a routine. Because our life might be made interesting by one-off events, but it is shaped by our routines, and I am aiming to be fitter on my 40th birthday than I was on my 39th (ooh, scary).

How will I achieve this?

A common means of effecting human behavior can be summarised with the word “bribery.”

How can I bribe myself? At this stage I’ve made one choice: when I commute to and from work by bike 30 times, I will get myself a new pair of boots.

This seems like it will be a reasonable thing, because it will let me leave one pair of boots at the office so I can have nice shoes at work when I ride my bike to get there. It will also mean by the time I spend the money to do this, riding my bike will become if not a habit, at least a routine. It will also take me at least ten weeks to achieve this goal.

Success is all in the definition.

So far, I’ve succeeded in going from “one day” to “day one“.

Two Birthdays

Last night, we actually attended the dinner I wrote about.

BTB Fan with Westie

Princess P – P for Pocahontas

It was a roaring success, with all our guests attending, the younger ones having a blast, and the parents of those guests of honour getting along fabulously. One great thing is that one of those guests we hadn’t seen for a littel while, because she has moved house recently.

A couple of great photos from the night: My daughter, caught by accident appearing to have American Indian headdress, and my son with me.

Time with friends


The end of another week in Canberra.

Went out with an Aunty, bought a salad, and couldn’t even finish it!

It was a pretty good week, though, seeing an aunty I hadn’t seen since before I’d become a father and having a great night out on the eating tools with her.

And tonight, I’m back in my own home, with my kids chortling away at one screen or another – tv, tablet, or PC monitor.

Tomorrow will be a full day, starting with kids football, with some room for some domesticity, before heading out for an evening with friends to celebrate the birthday of both my daughter Princess P and my youngest son, BTB Fan. This will include some of the first friends that we were introduced to by our son, through his pre-school, when he came home one day with an invitation to a birthday party. For a girl we didn’t know, who our son had never mentioned – because at that stage he wasn’t saying any names at all.

And as well as the twin girls, there will be a friend from football, who BTB Fan is now happy to greet by name.

Food, children, and autism – out in public.

At this stage, our fingers are crossed.

Seven Little Westies

Such an eventful weekend.

After my previous entry regarding my daughters birthday,Ā  we had given up for the day that our dog Lizzie would be having her puppies before I left for work for the week. Bec went out into the cold night air to do one last check of where Lizzie was holed up in the litter box we had prepared for her (which I might add would double quite readily for a bed for any one of my children… as long as we moved it inside šŸ˜‰ ).

Of course, Lizzie had given birth to several puppies by then, so off we went to grab my daughter and show her the little bundles of joy. We’re fingers crossed that Lizzie continues to be a great mum.

Lizzie and Princess P with litter number two


As of today, there are seven puppies in the litter, and all eight dogs are doing great.

Now she is TEN

Today was a big day.

It was a big day for me, it was a big day for my wife, it was a big day for our dog Lizzie, and it was a big day for my daughter, Princess P.

Princess P on her birthday in Penrith

Today, my little girl became “officially” a tween – a teenager in waiting.

To mark the day I took her shopping for one thing she had asked for – a really great pair of boots. Anyone who has ever gone shoe shopping with a girl “of any age” knows that is a job that takes quite a while…

We followed up a great day of shopping with a great family celebration.

Princess P doing the candle thing

Congrats on turning 10 Princess P. Please continue to be kind to your father…

Ten years. Oh, my!

There are moments in life that seem to have been designed to make people stop, and think.

To me, birthdays with a 0 in them seem to have been purposely invented just to make people stop, and think. Tomorrow, my Princess P turns 10.

Things have changed. Almost all of them are “qualitative” changes. Clearly, as she is my eldest child, so we have gone from “childless” to “parents” – parents times three, including one diagnosed with Autism.

We have gone from renters, to homeowners.

We have said goodbye to our longtime pet dog, Mollie, who has gone “to the farm” where all good dogs end up.

Ten years ago, I had a mobile phone – my wife, who worked in the same place every day, did not because “why would she need one?

I was leaving to work from home every day. Right now, I leave on Monday and come home on Friday.

We had dial-up internet, and connected to sites like MySpace, and used download services like Napster.

All my photos from then, were taken on film.

I had to think about what I could do on the weekend. Now I have to think about what I can not do on any given weekend.

I had been in the Army Reserve for about 11 years, but between children and their changes in training requirements that is no more.


To my Princess P, I say thank you for changing my life, along with your brothers, you have bought boundless happiness. I hope your birthday tomorrow is great and we have as much fun getting you from 10 to 20 as we had getting you from 0 to 10.

Another great excuse for shin-ding!

Most my regulars already know about the fantastic web group that Nicole English kicked off over at the Autism United Ning community. Over the long weekend we celebrated not just Queen Elizabeth’s birthday, but also a certain Bogan PrincessĀ  (complete with sash presentation). Happy Big For OH!

For the second time, a whole bunch of people who usually only meet each other on-line met at Club B, bringing along a whole bunch of citizens of the spectrum. This time, the weather kept everyone indoors… which did bring about a few concerns but they were pretty minor really! Far fewer trains than last time, but they still made an appearance. It was also nice to see another bloke, not just Westie & Brian. Maybe next time at Club B there’ll be another one… or two… no pressure!

It was a fantastic evening, and a fantastic opportunity to catch up with everyone shortly after the first confirmed “in the wild” sighting of Valerie Foley’s The Autism Experience in an actual book-shop. Budding author that she is, quite a few signed copies were presented, and there was a lot of discussion of how well travelled, dog-eared, and tabbed for future continuing reference each persons copy had already become.

Oh and to the management of Club B, it seems you’re definitely in the sweet spot for the Sydney chapter of Autism United (we need t-shirts, or bag patches or something). On behalf of all the Westies, I hope you open the club to us again and again…

Mind the Giants!

GWS Giants Logo

In case you missed it, the Westies live in the Land of the Giants. No I don’t mean Brobdingnag, I mean we live near Blacktown Olympic Park, or Rooty Hill. Which has now taken on a new life as the home territory of a national sports team so new, it hasn’t actually had it’s maiden match yet.

We are also fully into our junior Australian Rules Football.

This week we have been told that as our club is wonderful, we will get to play at the Giant’s home training ground – both the under 8’s which Magpie plays in, and the under 10’s which Princess P plays in. This will be followed by a bit of a fan-session with the players. Hopefully this will include Israel Folau but only time will tell.

I say that because he has probably had a fair bit to do with quite a few of our teams players having any interest at all in Aussie Rules instead of Rugby League or Rugby Union.

As luck would have it, the same day we also have a birthday party to attend. It’s at exactly the kind of place spectrummy parents love to loathe… an indoor cafe play-centre. At least everything is padded, but it’s also contained noise. Contained excitement. All one room.

But, the birthday boy loves Magpie, and Princess P, and his brother loves BTB Fan to bits. So it should be a good day.

Old Man Westie turns 70!

I seem to recall someone in the bible tells us we are supposed to be here for “3 score plus ten more” years. Which must mean Old Man Westie – born & raised in Humula on a Soldier Settlement block, shearer, woolclasser, farmer and now retired Old Bastard – has managed to outdo his bloodline and make the quota. Still with “All original” parts in mostly working order (unlike his brother & sisters)!

To mark this event there was a gathering in his home block (he’s been in town for a few years now) about 6 hours even further west of Westie Central here in Blacktown. Rebecca opted out which left me heading off with 2 kids to sleep on the hillside at my brothers’ farm, which Princess P and Guitar Hero Addict have been looking forward to for some time (after 12 hours in the car in the last 3 days they are both going to have a really “interesting” first day back to Term 4 tomorrow).

Princess P, Guitar Hero Addict & Westy – sitting on the fence with cousins

It was great to have something other than a funeral bring family together who I haven’t seen much in the last 20 years.

However I managed to do all this without a camera. I understand my auntie has snagged some pix of my two chasing sheep in a pen, with their 2nd cousines, which should be fabulous viewing once she works out Picassa… (As you can see, she’s sent me some now)

Three city-slickers and a country bloke. All Westies though! – two cousins, me and a brother (far right).

Happy Birthday to my traditional Old Bastard bushy of a father. Apparently, a great Uncle, mate and Grandfather.

Reproduced from the now-closed autism united ning website
appologies in advance for broken links

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