Rory Gardiner's Webpage

26, Dec, 2009

Sunday 26th December 2009


Happy Birthday Grandad Gardiner for Christmas day! 

Happy Birthday Korie Morrison who turned 8 on Monday!

We had a neat Christmas day in Taranaki.  It was warm and clear and Mt Taranaki was resplendent in his summer cloak.  The boys rose at a respectable 6am and opened their presents from Santa with Nana and Poppa Honnor, Sean and I.  The big hits were a Star Wars lightsaber for Rory, a Playstation2 with some games, and water pistols.  The boys played with their presents until a breakfast which included marshmallow ropes, chocolate santas and peppermint candy canes.  Afterwards Rory completed his therapy.  Now he no longer has the Hickman line he is able to complete a commando crawling activity but he gets breathless and tired quickly, and struggles to use his legs for momentum.  We encourage him to dig in with his toes for traction but his left foot quite floppy and weak.  After therapy Uncle Guy and cousins Sacha and Corbyn arrived to exchange family presents, then the kids headed out into the back yard with Guy and Sean to play cricket, set up the tepee and use their water pistols.  At midday Auntie Bev and Uncle Dud, Auntie Janet, Uncle Aaron, Uncle Jason, Auntie Wendy, and cousins Logan and Michaela arrived for lunch.  The women had spent part of the morning working in their kitchens and there was roast turkey and lamb, roast spuds, pumpkin and kumara, and greens.  There was also plenty of dessert; pavolva, cheesecake, Christmas pudding, fruit salad, jelly, custard and icecream.  We were full to bursting when we left the table after the leisurely meal, although I noticed we are all more modest in the amount we eat.  The kids were still full of energy and after a rest playing the Playstation they headed outside for a Nerf gun war in the backyard.  There were 100 bullets flying in all directions.  I even managed to scale the 4ft fence to retrieve some bullets from the neighbours, in a skirt no less.  It seems I still have some of my girlhood talents!  Our extended whanau left around 4pm so being the exercise army sergeant I rounded up Sean and the boys, Nana and Poppa, Sacha and Corby for a walk on the coastal walkway along the New Plymouth foreshore.  Rory walked a little but then rode in the buggy, Sam and Sacha were on scooters, and Corbyn was on a bike.  Nana and Poppa and the cousins made it to the wind wand then turned around, but Sean and I pushed on to the port.  It was getting late by the time we returned to the car having covered 8kms.  It was a great way to wind down the day. 

On Thursday we had the opportunity to meet someone special.  Sandy from Hell's Pizza in New Plymouth has been selling Kia kaha Rory wrist bands and collecting donations for Rory.  We had never met Sandy and she came forward to help spontaneously a few months ago.  The boys were very impressed by the smells and decor at Hell's Pizza and I had to promise we would return to eat while we are in the Naki (thank you Sandy).  I spent a couple of hours with my good friend Mandy who designed Rory's website .  She waded through the myriad of problems I've been having with my laptop computer even though it was Christmas Eve and she was under the weather (thanks Mands, you're a gem).  Before bed Rory organised the snack for Santa and the reindeer; a glass of warm milk, 2 biscuits and a carrot.

Sean, Sam and I started today with a run/ride.  Now he is not working in the field Sean is keen for a run and pushing me further and faster every day.  It is fantastic to cover a portion of New Plymouth and a myriad of environments in 75 minutes, but today I arrived home shattered.  I've told Sean I'm going to go off every second day and ramble on my own to recover.  We braved one of the Boxing Day sales to get the boys wetsuits for the beach.  Rory will not be able to cope with the coldness of the ocean as he is thin and very sensitive.  We decided to get one for Sam because he is a fish who tends to stay in the water for a long time.  Nana had her famous hot cheese scones waiting for us at home for lunch, the whole batch were eaten.  This afternoon we went to East End beach with Uncle Guy, Sacha, Corbyn and Nana.  Sam hit the water with his cousins and swam and caught waves with the boogie board.  Rory hung around on the beach with me, digging in the sand, burying his feet, and using sea water to fill his hole and make sloppy sand.  When he went down to the water with Sean to fill his bucket the sand was too hot for his feet.  He started to move his feet up and down and tried to run to his towel but lost his co-ordination and ended up stumbling and was crying by the time he got onto the towel.  He has a very thin shell and it doesn't take much to crack.  He seems to be super sensitive to things in his environment.  He finds the bumpy concrete at Nana and Poppa's hard on his feet, and he was bothered by the fine black sand all through his clothes and shoes at the beach.  He still cannot get up off the floor on his own, or manage stairs, particularly down.  He can't keep up with his peers physical activity, and when he can he often tends to hang back, almost as if he is separated from them by something.  We are encouraging him to take part, and to try and do things before he asks us for help, or decides not to continue, as he is often capable.