I'm pretty sure Tova had a good day today at Peto (Budapest School). I have lots of work on so I didn't go up for the first break, but I went up for lunch and at the end of her day. Both times she was busy doing walking things with hoops and rings. When she sees me it's pretty much all over concentration wise. But I get a glimps. The conductors continue to impress me. They have so much energy even when they are tired.
After school today we went out for dinner. It was probably about 4.30pm when we got to the restaurant (just down the street, half way between peto and our flat).
They were happy enough to seat and serve us. There was a menu in English, so we read that. There was a couple of types of Chalent even, since we can have that anytime at home from the Jewish Grandamas, we decided to have salmon and chicken. Both dishes were yum. Tova ate so much as usual. I even had a glass of wine with my dinner, it was a very small glass, but went straight to my head. I'm not very alcohol tolerant.
We walked home at about 5.30pm, it was pitch black dark.. as if it was the middle of the night.
We got home and Tova had a bath. We are both sitting here in my bed now, her on the tablet watching the military tattoo and me writing this.
I didn't have my soup today. AND we didn't even buy cake today either. THANK GOODNESS.
Tova was sad this morning. I think she's home sick. She took ages to go to sleep last night and slept in. At least she slept in.
It's Monday night now, about 8pm. She's been fussing in her room for the past 20 - 30 mins. But I'm not interested. I know she's tired. She gets tired at Peto from working hard. But for some reason she can't relax in her room. It's warm in there, it's cozy in there and there is sleepy time music. I don't know.... It's stressful.
I was working in the computer lab as usual for the day. Apparently Tova was a good girl for most of her day in her 'class'. She showed me a few tricks at the end of the day when I went to get her. We got cake on the way to school this morning and ate most of it this afternoon at home. I'm actually almost over it. I'm feeling a bit gross.
I was in the shops today and asked someone if they could tell me what 'that says', pointing at a word on a packet of food. The lady replied in an Australian accent 'hmmmmm. not sure'. Of course I ask the only other Australian I've seen in 2 weeks... clever.. she'd just got off the plane and is only here for a few days. Competing in a bodybuilding contest. Even though she is the tiniest person I've ever seen.
Tova is being an arse hole. I'm going to see what she wants. She's banging on the door.
She had her arm stuck in her shirt.. fixed.. put back to bed and ignored.
I'm pretty sure my soup was tomato soup today, with alphabet noodles... funny.
My house in Budapest
My hidden treasure chest
Golden grand piano
My beautiful Castillo
I've had this in my head all day, why should I be the only one? Enjoy!
We didn't do really anything much today. We stayed in the flat for most of the day. I took Tova to the park at one stage. I realised it was an amazing day when I opened all the windows and felt a warm breeze.. wtf.. It was like a summers day. At leat it was for the afternoon.
We also had a chat to our neighbour (the owner of the flat's mum), she had made some cake and gave some to Tova and I. I accidentally dropped half of it on the floor, in front of her..... well done me! The rest we ate.. YUM! For real apple cake, no sugar.. so delicious! The apples she has been collecting in the stair well. Her friend has apple trees.
Ooh, I'd leave it all........ (you're welcome!)
I was feeling a bit home sick today. It's a stupid feeling.
Last night Tova wouldn't go to sleep. She has also discovered the light switch in her room and is having fun turning it on at bed time. I gave up putting her back to bed after the 100th time and left her door open. She ended up in my bed watching vampire diaries etc until about 11.30pm, when FINALY she fell the fu#k to sleep. Ffs.
It's Sunday night at about 8.30pm now. She's been in her room for about 40 mins. I thought she'd be so tired after not sleeping much last night. But oh no... I can still hear her fussing. Perhaps she has an issue now about sleeping in a room with the light on.. well.. if she knows how to turn it on, she can bloody turn it off too.. She usually sleeps so well at home. Here she's been having trouble. I wonder why. And she gets tired at Budapest school. I might have a chat to them about it. I guess she could be a bit home sick too.. but.. hmmm
After taking it easy in the morning Tova and I had breakfast and relaxed a bit. Then I did some housework, in Budapest... odd.. it felt odd.
After being all domestic we went out and about. We didn't go far. Just down the road a bit to the train that goes up the hill.
We stood in line for quite a while and then got on the trainy thingy that goes up the hill. Tova liked it lots, which was nice to see. The second we got to the top and walked out the doors there were two buskers.. one playing the violin and one the guitar. I said out loud "my work here is done!". This would have made Tova's day complete. We actually didn't need to do anything else. And every time I suggested we go look around the magic fairy tale land we had just landed in, she said 'NO'.
They took a break which allowed me to move on.. We didn't get far, because there was what I assume is the changing of the guard outside some official building (wow, I'm so ignorant about this place). The solders were playing drums and marching.. One of Tova's favourite things to watch is the Military tattoo... so.. that went down well.
It was as though it was all planned.. just for Tova. We walked around on the cobbled streets which was funny for Tova in the pram. Bumpity bump... We walked past things like turrets. And found ourselves in the Museum. I'm not sure why, but they let us in for free. Maybe it's free.. Maybe not.. who knows.. but it was great. We left the pram downstairs and Tova walked up the stairs holding my hand. A few other tourists were admiring how clever Tova is. Nice. and true...
We looked at a few things, Tova loved the touch screen Tv's and found a room about the orchestra, much to her delight.
Tova wanted to go find the violin and guitar players again. So we walked off. First we went exploring a little and ended up at a stunning church. The people at the door said it wasn't open for the public (they said that to the person in front of me). I asked if they ever had any orchestra or performances in there. She said that currently at that very moment, there was a choir practice about to start. I asked if we could go in and watch. She said "Yes". Lucky. So we went in and sat next to some older ladies in a pew. We waited and then watched the singing for a while. Tova asked to leave after about 20 - 30 mins, she was confused why no one was clapping. Maybe people don't clap in church. She was also disappointed that there was no piano.
The inside of the building was stunning. Everything is so detailed.
Outside had started to rain a tiny, tiny bit. But it made me worry that we'd get all wet. If it hadn't started to rain I imagine we'd have wandered around for ages more, we passed a market even. It looked cool.. But we went back down the trainy thingy on the hill and got the busses home.
Getting a bus in Budapest with a pram/wheelchair is a challenge. I've been caught in the closing doors twice. Once I didn't even make it out, they slammed in my face. The other time I got squashed but pushed my way out. You have to be FAAASTTT.. Which is tricky with a Tova. Oh well.. I also find it a big challenge to get a ticket. It's impossible to find anywhere that sells tickets, but you can get them from the driver, if the bus isn't full, which it always is. And if it isn't, it's so hard because they drive off so fast.. and I have a Tova.. So. it's a bit overwhelming.
It was a good day, thanks to the music. It made a Tova happy.
Tova is happy it's the weekend, mostly because it means she can go see an orchestra - I'd better find one.
Tova had another good day at Peto. I really, really like the Conductors. They are all lovely! And they are amazing with kids. There is something very special about these people.
I also love the European way - the strength of character! They are inspiring. It's also interesting how they make things Tova can do, harder so she is challenged. In Australia, much of the time, things are made easier, so that she is able to do more, but with more assistance. I'm not really into that. It has it's place, but I do like Tova moving forward and improving in all aspects of herself. It's hard to explain. I guess Australia like equipment and I like Tova to use her body.
I went and got my soup for lunch and took it up to the room to eat with Tova upstairs. That was nice. She had a MASSIVE bowl of rice with fish fingers cut up fine.
The Deaf people that work at Peto visited me today. I opened the Hungarian Sign Dictionary on my computer, that was fun. It helped me explain why I was sitting in the computer room with 2 laptops and an ipad.
Tova went to the big kids/adults room for the afternoon. She likes it in there. She met with a new conductor, a male and she wouldn't let anyone else hang out with her apparently. Then when I turned up to pick her up, she told me to go away because she was busy with the conductor playing. SO CUTE! So fantastic. I'm going to try and convince him to move to Australia.
Ok so the cake update. We went to the shops after Budapest school and got some snacks including a strange local thingy. I'm not sure what it's called. I'll look at the name next time I'm up there. But see the pic. It tastes pretty much exctly how I expeted it to taste.
I also got a beer (It costs about 90cents for a beer here).. we are going to party it up tonight Tova and I.
The doggy and family are going home this weekend, back to Ireland. They showed me the doggy passport. For real passport. So cool. Such a beautiful dog.
I'm pretty sure that Budpaest is one of my most favorite places in the world. I don't usually feel like this about places I visit. But here. well.. .. . I could stay! And be happy.
We wandered up to Peto this morning, I haven't timed the walk, but it's probably about 10-15 mins.
We stood around for about 10-15mins until everyone was ready.. Then I went downstairs to work. At snack time I went back up and sat with Tova for a while. It's fun watching her eat.
I went up again for lunch. The conductors had a meeting at 1ish, so Tova and I hung out together for a while. I took her to the cafeteria, she watched me eat soup. The people that work there were trying to give me a bowl of food for Tova, I had to try and explain that she had already eaten upstairs. Then I fell all self conscious that people were watching me eat and not letting my poor starving child eat. I would have shared it with her, but she wasn't interested. She enjoys watching people eat.
Tova went back to her class after that and that was pretty much our day.
We got cake and some fruit on the way home. I'm actually so full from helping Tova eat her lunch and snacks, and having my own lunch and dinner, I can't eat all my cake today. Anyway, it's not as good as yesterday. The cakes yesterday were amazing.
This cake thing is possibly a mistake. But we are doing it anyway. We are up to day 2.. It's yummy so far. for about $3 we got two cakes and a coffee this morning and ate the cake this evening after dinner. I was only going to have a little bit of my half. So I divided it and put the rest of mine in the fridge, opened the fridge and ate it all. Tova ate her half too. The coffee is revolting.. but.. coffee..
We decided to arrive at Peto at 9am.. Instead of 8.30am. We were told it starts at 8.30am, but every time I get there at 8.30am I stand around for about 40mins doing nothing, with no one giving me any direction and a frustrated Tova not knowing what to do. I did ask the other day, but wasn't told anything. I was more shrugged off. So.. I give up and will just arrive at 9ish, it seems as though they have it together at 9ish. So. that's good.
On the way to 'Budapest School' we pass road works. But road works in Budapest is quite different to Australia. There is no barrier. We can touch the heavy machinery if we wanted to. We could get hit by flying rocks etc.. it's interesting. Tova hates the loud noise and cries while covering her ears. Cute.
Tova is doing well with food and drinking. And she has developed some good new fine motor skills. I wonder if we should stay for a couple more weeks.. hmmmmmmm
Maybe a conductor want's to come and live in Australia with us for a year or two.. hmmmmmm
Our days are filled with Therapy, work and food. We are enjoying ourselves.
Here is a story
It was about 9pm.. Someone was ringning on the door bell phone thingy. I ignored it. Then after the second time I said 'helllo?', they didn't speak English. So I spoke English and they spoke Hungarian.
I messaged my landlord (Marcelle - lovely guy who lives accross the road), he said he isn't home and his parents aren't home.. (they live in the flat next to me)...
So then it was quiet..
Then the people that were ringing the bell were wandering around the stair well, so somehow they got in. This was a bit noisy. Tova started fussing (She had been trying to fall asleep).
There was a knock on my door. I said "who is it".... No answer.. There is pretty much no way in the world I'm going to open the door to someone that isn't answering me.
I went and grabbed Tova from her room.
I thought, if it's the fire people there would be a firetruck out the front.
or a police car. Tova and I looked out the front from the balcony. Nothing.
The person at the door wasn't talking.
I rang Marcelle. He said he was 2 mins away.
When he turned up I opened my door (I knew it was him coz when I rang him I could hear his phone ring in the stairwell.)
He said it was the police that had been trying to get in the building. Because the lady downstairs had called the police as someone broke into her flat - through the kitchen window. Aparently she is hard of hearing so she didn't hear to door bell, the neighbours aren't home, which meant that the police were bugging me to let them in. I guess eventually the lady let them in and they came up to my flat to see why I didn't let them in.. lol..
So the lady downstairs was scared waiting for the police.. I was scared because there was so much noise.. and blah
Stupid robbers making problems
I'm on a soup quest. Yesterday kohlrabi soup, today.. I'm not exactly sure.. perhaps vegetable soup.. Awesome soups. Oh.. and I've been introduce to cake. Dear lord. Tova and I may need an extra seat each on the way back home. Cake costs next to nothing here and it's divine. I've decided that our new mission should be a piece of cake a day keeps the doctor away. I'll give it a go at least for a few days. Today is day 1.. success. yum. It's possible that I've eaten two pieces of cake today, but forgot to photograph the first one. The second one Tova selected and she did well. Some sort of orange, chocolate, nut thingy..
Tova and I walked to the Peto in the morning. There was frosty, crispy, frozen leaves on the ground. It reminded me of growing up in Hobart and walking to school on cold mornings.
I'm pretty sure Tova is working hard at Peto. She is still happy to go there. She still is kicking me out of the room and tells me to go downstairs to work. She's very, very, very, very cute.
I missed Nissim lots today. There was a grandson of one of the conductors in the room today, he is about 4 with no special needs. He made me think of Nissim, which made me miss Nizo.. my cute little man.
Tova and I have had dinner and are now sitting on my bed, she is watching Barenboim and I'm doing this. I think she must be his biggest fan.
Oh I went up and had lunch with Tova. She is getting a bit annoyed about all this chewing work she has to do.. my poor little baby.. but.. Sorry Tova, people chew. She took about 100 years to eat her massive bowl of chicken and rice. I went downstairs after that and worked.
After 'budapest' school, Tova and I went to the shops to get Soy Yogurt and cake. It's pretty cold out there. The inside of buildings in Europe is a billion degree, so when you go outside it's unexpected.
I like this place. I like the atmosphere.. Maybe it's because I can't read nor understand anything. It's kinda fun
The weekend went so fast. It's hard to believe it's Monday. Tova and I walked up the hill to Peto. She went to class and I went to the computer lab to work.
Last week was school holidays so there weren't many people around. Today I had to share 'my office'. People were talking to me and I didn't even notice.. I turned around at one stage and everyone was staring at me.. haha. I got a fright.. They were looking at me as if to say 'why aren't you answering us?'.. lol.. 'oooh', I said, 'um.. gosh. I don't understand you lot, not even if you say hello to me'. they laughed...
I went up to have lunch and snacks with Tova. She is so cute. They are trying so hard to get her to chew. She is trying so hard to chew.. She was eating some fancy Croissant thingy this morning. Rice for lunch.
I was brave too and went to the cafeteria and got some soup. Kolrahbi soup.. It was ok.. It had cream it in.. oh well.. I was starving and my only other option is that food machine that has no coin slot.. it's only got very junk food. Or yes, I could bring my own food.. but that's not going to happen.
There are only 3 kids including Tova in her group at the moment. So that's nice.
We miss Nissim. He has sports day today. GO NISSIM!
We slept in, and took it easy for the morning.
We hand lunch and then went to the river as I wanted to do something special for Tova.. the boat cruise with the musicians.. Hmm. So we got to the ticket booking office and they said that the cruise in the day time didn't have music, it had lunch. The night cruise has the musicians. Tova told me she would like to go on the boat anyway.. so I got tickets. It's just a one and a half hour cruise, so I figured Tova could handle that with out getting too bored.
We got on the boat and were given sparkling wine and orange juice. I had the wine obviously.. Tova even let me sit down for a few moments to have a couple of sips. But anyway, I was too trigger happy with my camera to really care much about the drink.
Tova did well. Especially each time we went under a bridge. And actually for the first 50 mins or so, she was great, watching the buildings go past etc.. but she did end up getting bored and wanting to climb walls. Thank goodness for youtube and hoopla doopla. She watched an episode and then was ok again for the last bit.
We walked towards the white bridge, where I know my bus leaves from and made it just as the bus was pulling up again.. we seem to have a knack for that.. We got on and someone said "OH HI SHOSHANA".. haha. It didn't even seem strange. But thinking about it now, it really is. So it was Eszter, the lady that lives in the flat next to where Tova and I are staying, and actually she owns our flat. She was in the city checking up on one of her other flats that she rents out to tourists via AirBNB.
We sat with her and chatted. It was nice to not worry about where to get off the bus (even though I've got it figured out now'). We walked back together and that was that. So nice.
It's our second weekend here, but first without jet lag.
It's so nice here! I do love Europe, and Budapest, you are amazing! Do I really have to go home?
Yuval, come move here!
Today I did some work in the morning and then realised that .. omfg it's the weekend and most people don't work on weekends, I don't even remember the last time I didn't work on a weekend (other than flying here, which so doesn't count).. So.. I put the laptops away and took Tova out for the rest of the day. We went to the city.
Tova was absolutely delighted to be going on a bus. She was excited at the thought of seeing buskers.
We got the number 5 all the way to the city. We got off at some random stop and wandered around. Because I got a sim card the other day, I have GPS. This is fantastic.. But first we wandered along the river and Google Hangouts video chatted with Yuval, so he walked along the Danube.. I'm pretty sure this river goes all the way through Austria too.. Tova has seen this river in her symphony orchestra videos.
So we wandered along for a while with Aba, then let him go to bed because I think it was 100 oclock in Melbourne. Then my gps got us lost for a while. I found our way and we made our way to the Grand Synagogue. Yep, it's grand! It's huge. It was so fantastic to be in the Jewish area. I felt comfortable.
Tova demanded food.. so we stopped at a restaurant near the shull and she had salad and potatoes.. omfg.. I've never seen Tova eat lettuce before. And cucumber. My eyes and brain can't believe what I'm seeing. I have to cut things up small, but not puree nor mash. craaaaazy.
Tova enjoyed walking around and was delighted that we had to go down and up stairs to cross a road. I wasn't so delighted as we had the pram. But people helped us. People are good here.. People are generally good everywhere.. but it's nice to know they are good here too.
I think it would be much more fun with our boys. Next year I hope they will come. We'll be coming back that's for sure.
We noticed a massive ferris wheel. Maybe we will do that tomorrow for the morning or arvo.. or next weekend.. I did see that there are tickets to go on a 1.5 hour cruise with a concert (classical music) along the river.. hmm.... I guess we should do something like that. It would thrill Tova.
Perhaps I was a touch lost when we decided to start walking back to the bus.. (Thankfully I had taken photos of the bus stop when we got off, and the surrounding area)... I managed to somehow stumble across a mall - The main mall - which had a tourist info box in it.. I showed them my photos and they pointed me in the right direction. It was amazing walking through the malls. There is food everywhere, people everywhere too. It's stunning, alive and interesting. So, we wandered off and managed to pretty much just walk straight onto our bus, which was about to leave. I felt very impressed with myself.
Tova and I got to Peto in the morning and she pretty much kicked me out of the room right away. I stayed for 15 mins or so and then set up downstairs in the computer room to work for the day.
I went upstairs for her snack and lunch break. I watched them make Tova a slice of bread with butter and a slice of cheese and some cut up capsicum. Of course I thought they were a little bit crazy doing that since Tova can't actually chew. OR CAN SHE!? The conductor helped Tova to cut it up very small and then Tova fed it to herself. Pretty clever. It's going to be life changing if I don't have to cook and puree everything Tova eats. Again at lunch, Tova had rice, corn and chicken. The chicken cut up small. It's hard work for her to move her mouth so much in the 'chewing motion'. I don't think she managed to eat her normal amount, and it takes her a long time. I think it's making her tired all this 'chewing'. But, it's the beginning and it's amazing.
After lunch Tova went to the teenagers/adults room and joined them for a Halloween party. When I went and picked her up at 3.30, she was so happy, laughing and playing with one of the male conductors. It was nice to see her having fun.
Tova walked most of the way home from Peto. She really isn't into the pram these days, she's been refusing for a few months and actually we are thinking about Wheel chairs which are more age appropriate and give her independence on longer walks.
Apartments Budapest style
Sour Cherry drink with a yearly dose of sugar.. hmm
We left the apartment at about 8.15 for the 8.30am start at Peto. It's a great walk. By the time we get up the hills and over all the bumps and cracks and crazy old footpaths, I feel like I've been to the gym for an hour. And Europeans keep the inside of buildings at a billion degree, so I usually melt by the time we get there.
Tova has been happy to go each day so far, that's a great sign.
I'm pretty sure we should move here.
I worked from the computer room again today.. Well I tried. I had to go buy internet to make that happen today. I was even brave enough to jump on the tram on the way back for the second time. I was actually too tired to walk by then. It took my half the day to get my own net. I'll make up the time in the evenings and weekend I guess. Shame.. Oh well..
Interestingly.. While I was stressing out about all the work I have to do and not being able to do it, I went and sat down for a few moments with the Irish mum (she's been here for 1.5 years, visiting home a few times here and there as it's only 2.5 hours away by plane). She helped me calm down about my client needing my time and me having an epic fail of an internet day. I wandered off to go get ready to make the walk down and up to the shopping centre to fix the sim card that wasn't working. I noticed some people signing.. COOL! So.. I asked them in Auslan if they were deaf..It's the same signs for Deaf and Hearing in Auslan and Hungarian sign. We SASSED and signed, and understood each other. They lip read, but in Hungarian.. so I grabbed a Hungarian and asked them to say a couple of words. I learned how to sing the word 'Hungary' and we discovered there are a few signs that are the same and have the same meaning. I felt so happy to have the 'conversation' with them. I'm amazed that we could communicated at all. That cheered me up. They work at the Peto institute, apparently all the maintenance staff are Deaf. I love seeing signing everywhere. They wanted to see Tova so I took them over to the window to spy, but she was in a different room. I was trying to tell them that Tova is 8 years old, but they thought I was saying I had 8 kids.. I laughed and said noooooooo.. lol. I'm not sure how to say 'age' in Hungarian sign.. but we ended up understanding each other. Fun.
Also when I arrived this morning some of the conductors said "Kristina says hi".. haha. this is the conductor from Canada.. they've been talking about me and Tova.. it's nice.
The conductors looking after Tova today were outstanding. Tova is going to get so much out of this program. She has already started to learn how to CHEW.. ffs.. amazing. I mean seriously amazing. And drinking from a cup properly.. it's just astounding. TOmorrow I'll take my lunch breaks with Tova and be more involved than today. Today was all about going back and forth to the shops to get a stupid sim card working.. It's not stupid anymore because it works now.
I like Budapest. I like Autumn. It's nice walking around in so many pretty leaves.
This morning Tova and I bumped into the Israeli lady when we got to Peto. We talked to her for a while. She is lovely. She was friendly and kind and I really liked talking to her. Her story is something like this. She is here for just this week with her little son, I think he is 3yrs old (I just made that up, I can't remember how old he is). She has a husband and 2 or 3 other kids back in Israel. Next year (or later this year, I also can't remember the finer details), she will move with her kids to Budapest (to the Jewish area) for an entire year. Her eldest will start school here, at the Jewish school and the little one will go to Peto.. for a year.. I'm jealous. That's very cool. I'd love that for Tova. There are actually many families like that here. Some are here for most of the year, and others have been coming twice a year for 10 or more years for a month at a time.. type thing. I'm one of the newbies. I'm most certainly not made to feel like a newbie or anything different. The other parents are very lovely. It's interesting to meet them.
So we got to the institute this morning and told that Tova was to join the other group, with the little kids.. Good. that's a bit more appropriate than being with teenagers and 20 year olds. Not that it mattered as they were all lovely and what not. BUT... I was asked to stay.. omfg. I've no idea why the office people didn't actually go and talk to the staff that run the classes.. It's so strange and so unprofessional. why didn't they just forward my email to the head of the international department. I just can't comprehend the stupidity.
I've currently got a massive client with a very, very small time frame to get her project up and running. I've been spending every last moment of my world working on this project. I must get it done, this client is relying on me. There is no way I can spend my days sitting bored to death in a room pretending to be interested in therapy with Tova. I pay people on purpose, I'm not interested. I told them as much. And that I had triple, triple checked before I left Australia many times, in advance, that I would NOT be required to be in the room with Tova. I can't think of many things I'd like to do less.
We compromised. I went back to the apartment (jogging, which was fun) grabbed my computers and went back to the institute to work there for the day. There is a library downstairs from Tova which I didn't use because they wouldn't let me keep my bag with me.. My bag that had all my computers.. ffs.. So I went to the room next door, a computer room and set up there. It's great actually. I'm going there again tomorrow for the day. No one else came in and no one came to get me about Tova.
But tomorrow I'll go upstairs for 2 breaks.. One to see her eat her morning snack and also for lunch, because they are teaching her to chew. They just talk about it as though it's something normal.. yeh.. she'll chew..Amazing.
So yes, there are a few shit things, but nothing shit about the therapy. I'm very impressed so far. The conductors (Therapists) are freeeeking lovely! Even dealing with a stressed out me. Impressive.
We got up at a more tolerable time this morning. 6ish I think. Tova was still in bed when I got up so I went and snuggled with her for a while. This sounds much better than it is. Tova Is actually horrible to sleep with and impossible to rest with. But I tried. It’s still nice to see her smile first thing in the morning.
It’s night now, after a long day and I have just put Tova to bed. I can hear her mucking around in her room. Which is fine, but dangerous and scary. She has no fear and is really nuts. She does dangerous things like try and climb walls standing on her bed etc.. and I just heard a bang, crash, laugh.. it’s freaking me out that it will be a bang, crash, cry. I went in when I heard the first bang, crash, laugh to investigate. I found a laughing Tova on the floor with her doona. She then fingerspelt to me ‘Slide’. Good one Tova.. So.. I’m a little on edge worrying about what she is going to break on her body. I also know if I go in each time it will make her do it more. But if I leave her alone she is going to get bored.
Tova had her first day today at Peto.
Firstly. Before I came here I wrote about 40 emails with the Peto people. They were very, very, very unhelpful. If I wasn’t me, I would never have come. They are so unprofessional in the office. I may go find them to see why. But anyway. So they were terrible at communicating. But I did manage to get a few clear answers to some questions before I came here. Answers that helped me make the decision to come here rather than go back to Ability Camp in Canada.
1: 100% confirmation that there is a 4 week 8 year old group/session starting 26th October, with the opportunity to extend or shorten the visit if we like/dislike.
2: Peto have never, ever put little kids with teenagers or older, that offended them when I asked if they had ever done that (because I’d heard they had). They were appalled that I would ask such a stupid question.
3: I would not have to stay in the room with her to help or be part of the therapy as I have to work each day.
Right.. so I’m here. The staff know nothing about any 8 year old group. And thought it was strange that I asked about it
Tova is with not only in a group with teenagers but also the group has people in their early 20’s.
They were surprised when I started to leave for the day.
Tova is in a group of about 4. One man in his early 20's from America. Another man in his early 20's from Yemen. A young girl (teenager) from Ukraine. There are a few others that come and go. I think her group get's split up in the day, the others that come and go are 2 teenagers, one from Asia and one from England, and a girl (teenager) from Ireland. All these people are LOVELY. I don't have a problem yet, with Tova being with these people, I do however wonder and am baffled about why they felt like they had to make stuff up/lie to me about it. I mean, I was going to find out the day I got here right. So what's the point. Aren't they going to be embarrassed about how stupid they look now? I don't get it. Some people are Twits.
I've seen a few religious Jewish women floating about. I said hi to one today, she seemed shocked that I asked her if she was Jewish. Not sure why.. I asked if she spoke English, she said 'Ivrit'. Hmm I can say Shafan and that's about it really.. so then she said "yes and English". She is here from Israel. I don't know any more as I was walking into class with Tova. Anyway. Maybe we'll talk more over the time I'm here. The irish mums that are wandering about seem great. I had a chat with two of them. One has her dog with her. He flies with them. Amazballs.. what a dog dude. He even gets a seat because he is a working dog. LOVE IT!
When I picked Tova up I didn't get told any info. I was asking everyone. No one had anything to tell me. So I'm sure I'll find out in the morning. It was different staff this arvo than when I dropped her off in the morning. I stuck around for a little while, but have a few projects on for work, so I had to go. I liked what I was seeing and felt brave enough to leave. Tova told me to go and then cried when I left.
Tova woke me up at about 4.30am. Thanks for that. I did some work for a while, and pottered around until it was time to leave for Tova's first day at PETO.
I actually can't keep my eyes open. I'll write this tomorrow..
Ok. It's tomorrow today.
I passed out last night quite early, maybe 8.30pm.. gosh. Probably because Tova woke us up ta 4.30am that morning. Anyways. So... we went up the hill to the Peto Institute. It's about a 10 min walk from our apartment. We spent about 2 hours talking with someone about Tova’s history and our goals etc.. Then we were told to come back tomorrow. They think Tova will only last half a day. I laughed. I said.. “you’ll see”.. She’d stay till midnight if she could.
Tova and I went back to the apartment. I worked all day and she watched orchestra people playing Straus. My work was being frustrating so we went for a walk to the shopping centre in the afternoon. We found, much to Tova’s delight, SUSHI. But it’s not normal sushi like Melbourne style. They cut it into bits and, too hard to explain.. See the image. We got HEAPS. I asked for two rolls, and we got….. see photo. We ate it all of course. Tova refused to leave any. I wasn’t very hungry but ate some so that she wouldn’t eat it all and pop. Crazy eater Tova.
There are dogs. There are dogs in shops here. People don’t leave dogs tied up out the front of shops, they take them into shops. There are even Vets in shopping malls. It’s how it should be!
We left at midnight on Thursday night, flew for a billion hours (maybe 26 travel hours) and arrived Friday morning Budapest time. Independence Day too I've been told.
We had one very, very quick stop (1 hour) in Doha, then onto Budapest. I asked Tova on that second flight "Do you want to go on another plane?" Boy did she shake her head in one big definite "NO, no thanks, no way, nope, nooooo". So funny, so cute. I also was very over it by then.
Tova does flying well. She sleeps a bit, watches lots, looks out the window a tiny bit and mostly behaves very well. She like everyone else gets bored and uncomfortable. But she's a good girl. We had a little boy in the seat behind us that, for the time he was awake, would not stop opening and closing and banging and crashing with the back of the seat tray, the mum just didn't care. She let him do it, over and over and over. Mostly on Tova's chair. I moved her a few times, but she wanted to be where she wanted to be and didn't seem terribly bothered by it.. so I let it go. This kid also flicked the lights on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off. I was too scared to put the eye mask on because I wanted to keep an eye on the non sleeping Tova. So.. meh.. whatever. It was annoying but out of my hands. He did sleep for bloody ages, so it wasn't so bad. Just strange that the mum didn't do anything, maybe she was sleeping?
Doha airport looks small from the sky, but trust me, it's not small at all, in fact it's humongous. We had to get a a buggy to drive us for about 5 mins to an elevator to go down a floor and walk for a few mins to then get a bus to our plane. We made it just in the nick of time.
On the flight from Melbourne, Tova and I were wandering the isles and Tova found a lady sleeping on 3 seats, Tova thought it was fantastic and wanted to join her.. lol.. I said no. The lady laughed. When we got off in Doha we met that lady, who just happens to live in Hobart near my Dad's house. She helped me with bags for a while and I got her fast tracked as my bag helper so she didn't have to line up for ages. Then she walked with me to my gate until we found the sign that said "10 - 15 min walk to gate blah", that's when we parted ways and I got a buggy ride.
We were met at the airport by a reasonably handsome Taxi guy, who carried both my suit cases, not wheeling them, but carrying them. Odd no? I told him there was nothing wrong with the wheels. I think he just wanted to look tough, which he sure did.. eye candy. So far there have been lots of very nice to look at people in Hungary. How do they do that?
We arrived in our posh suburb to a lovely little apartment, our home for the next month. We were met by the apartment owners, they are outstanding. They have gone out of their way to make sure we know where everything is. The husband walked around with us in the local area for about an hour, showing us where shops and busses are.
Tova and I went shopping on Saturday because everything is closed on Sundays. It's really hard to buy healthy, non dairy, free range, gluten free products, partly because I can't understand anything on the labels and partly because there isn't anything fresh. There are lots of rotting fruit and veg. Oh well. I noticed a fruit and veg stall the other day, so I'll go back there on Monday and see if it's less horrible than the vegies in "Spar".
Yesterday Tova and I went on the bus in the afternoon to the mall (a chaddy equivalent). We were looking for a few specific things. But wow, that shopping mall is confusing. There are levels such as 0, -1 and -2.. BUT not all elevators go to all floors. You have to go up or down a floor, walk around a bit looking for tiny passageways that have very hidden elevators at the end of them, take that one up or down a level or two. Get out walk to the end of the mall and find another.. omg. My legs fell off. Eventually we gave up and tried to find the bus home, that was an epic fail, so we got a taxi.
Sunday today, we've done not much. I've worked the entire day, except when we went for a walk around the block for some fresh air. We were actually looking for a cafe, for cake. Tova was excited. But NOTHING is open. Tova cried. Oh the for the love of cake. Tomorrow little Tova. We'll get cake in a cafe tomorrow.
3.30am. Tova woke me up with stupid breathing. I wen't and got her from her room and took her to our bed. She was delighted. Ventolin + Panadol because yet again Yuval and I were in denial that we would need the Pred.
Tova did fall back to sleep between us, in the morning we gave her pred. She has now spent the morning watching and playing on the Ipad. More delight.
She is switching between a 'learn piano ap' an 'abc for kids'.
My opinion on what caused this stupid breathing is this. Yesterday we went to a party, where there was a bbq being lit, so it was smokey as could be. We sat in the direct path of the smoke. I remember thinking that it was possibly a really stupid place to sit. Part of me was curious to see if she would get stupid breathing. Confirmed. I’m an idiot.
So our day yesterday was quite busy. First we went to see Dr Craig, I took some new pics of her session. It’s a trick, she looks like she is very well behaved, but really she is quite all over the place during her sessions. Dr Craig is great with her and puts up with lots, including dribble everywhere. SORRY! He’s so good about it.
Tova and I went out for Sushi for lunch, the boys were at Tennis and fruit shopping. We got home and left again to the party at our neighbours. Then we chilled at home for a while before going to a Bar Mitzvah. Tova was fantastic at Shull. She would have stayed hours longer. Shull was long, about 3 hours, and she was perfect. Nissim fell apart for the last hour. He had seen the mountain of food in the other room and it was killing him that he had to wait (he'd eaten before we left even). Tova fell apart once she saw the food too, so we left. It was all a bit tricky. It's always a bit tricky with food. That's a blog for another day.
Tova still hasn't been to hospital. I really have no idea how long it's been, It could even be coming up to two years for all I know. That's pretty outstanding.
She has been sick a few times, with croup and needed pred, but stayed home.
It's school holidays at the moment. Both kids hanging out at home lots. I love not having to wake up early to get everyone ready, and not having to make lunches.. ahh.. so nice.
Tova has a subscription to the Australian Ballet and Opera Australia, (that reminds me, I need to renew them). I managed to offload a few sessions to my mum and even Yuval took her to one ballet.
Today Tova and I went to see 'Sleeping Beauty'. I find the Ballet quite boring. However the one we went to a few weeks ago was ok. I can't remember what it was called, perhaps 20:21 or something.
Anyways. So today we went to Sleeping Beauty. It was very shinny and sparkly. (Costumes and sets by my brother’s ex wife Gabriella, she is outstanding at what she does, obviously), Australia you can thank my bro for bringing such a talented lady to Australia.
I did get bored towards the end. I think the thing that kept me vaguely entertained was the incredible set and glittery ballerina clothing. But the rest of it, I really just don’t get it, they don’t do any fancy acrobatic moves, they just do the same few dance moves (that are incredible once or twice, but maybe not 100 times).
Tova didn’t get bored.
We were sitting next to Artistic Director David McAllister, he was watching it like he'd never seen it before, enthralled, entranced and completely entertained, he totally gets it. Tova totally get's it.. I completely don't get it.
I think I'll get Tova an Orchestra Australia subscription for next year. That I can handle. And that she is completely and utterly obsessed with. Her favourite thing to watch ever, in the world (after Mr Bean) is anything Barenboim
How can this still happen? Doesn't the world know how exhausting, terrifying and horrible this is for a little girl? Can't Croup just go away, like, forever?
Tova is happy enough, she usually is, even when she has ended up in ICU from croup. But it’s so scary to watch. And knowing that sleep isn’t going to happen much tonight is also miserable.
We pretended to ourselves that we could get away with out using Pred. So we went and got a new Ventolin from the chemist, gave Tova that and Panadol, and some Braur cold and flu medicine and then. omfg, I looked at what we (Yuval and I) were doing and remembered how we do this every time, denial.. And gave her Pred. Which thank god we have in the fridge. I just filled a script the other day, for no reason other than I could. So, that’s lucky.
By the grace of everything good, Tova seems to be asleep right now. I guess once the Pred kicks in she will wake and climb the walls for a few hours during the middle of the night. How delightful.
Yuval and I (and Tova, before she felt unwell) went to Nissim’s school for parent teacher interview. They pretty much said he is a pleasure to have and thank you for letting him come to this school, he is a delight. So, that’s that. We already know that. lol. But yes, it was pretty lovely to hear (again). ahh, my perfect children. Little angels
Tova had her first haircut today. Less than a week till her 8th birthday. We were both brave.
I was expecting it to be quite traumatic and or difficult. However the hardest part was when a little boy in the waiting room was told by his mum it was "time to go" and he cried saying "BUT I NEED TO COOK!" (there is a toy kitchen there - kids salon). Tova was so sad that he was so sad, she cried.. real tears..
While we were waiting I brushed some of the knots/dreads out of Tova's hair with a brush and product the hairdresser handed me.. it was fantastic. I'm going to buy a brush like that, and product like that!
Then it was Tova's turn. She wasn't reluctant. She was willing to go and sit down on the stool and quite pleased about being handed an Ipad. We youtubed violin players and she watched some great violin playing, even laughing while the hairdresser brushed and cut Tova's hair. It was unbelievable to watch.
I thought it would be more about crying than cutting. Tova would have happily sat there for hours. So now Tova has all neatly cut and much shorter hair. I hope it makes the dreads go away.
She looks beautiful.
We went to Little Hollywood - exclusive kid’s salon. I decided to go here because I have been quite scared about taking her to the hairdressers, and thought that a salon for kids was the safest option.. And they were outstanding! It's also the same place Nissim had his Upsherin (first haircut when he turned 3 years old).
Nissim had a party in our 'shed' this weekend (our shed is more of a Granny Flat, but the council won't let us have people live in it, so we just call it the shed). It was very cute and old school.. Pass the parcel, musical statues, pin the nose on the clown face, lollies, lollie bags, prizes and running around.
And to anyone not invited. I'm sorry, there was no bad intention. I didn't have any say in the invite list, it was the decision of a 6 year old who was in a rush to go do other things like, play...
Tova didn't mind it too much, but at times found it a bit overwhelming. It was hard for her not having a parent to help her join in, because we were too busy running the party. Next year we will make sure that someone is there dedicated to ensuring she is also having fun. She did have fun, but she could have had more fun!
Nissim had a great time. He has such lovely friends.
After his party two of his closest best mates stayed for the day until it was time for Nissim to go to his Krav Maga class. He started a few weeks ago and it's really good. He likes it lots. The venue is very friendly and welcoming, which helps. It's great that he is doing self defence. His mate Ruby goes too, so it's nice they have each other. They have been friends since they were about 2 years old, friends from my gym creche.
This post is important so I don't forget the time line.
A couple of weeks ago Tova took a couple of very small steps 100% unaided. I tried to get her to do it again so I could video it, but it's too hard keeping an eye on her and holding the phone at the same time.
So the other day I got her to do it again "4 steps and I'll clap Tova".. so she did. I took a very bad sideways video but it shows Tova walking for one of the first times in her life aged seven (7) years.
We went to Tassi for a holiday. NO THERAPY, just a holiday.
We all hated MONA - besides the fact that it is boring and weird (not in a good way), it was scary and stupid for kids, we lasted about 15 mins then left.
But wow, ZOODOO is amazing. It's by far the best animal park we have ever been to. Also, Bonorong was outstanding. Tova spent much of her time cleaning the grass and dust off the dirty Kangaroos, and feeding them.
It was really lovely to see both kids so interested in everything. I was surprised about Tova being so happy about it all. Nissim is very into science and animals, so that wasn't so surprising. But Tova, who doesn't like animals at all was impressed with everything (of course cleaning the roos was the funniest). She isn't scared of animals, she just doesn't care for them and usually prefers the cats to not be on her bed etc (unlike me, who has a cat sleeping on my pillow most nights).
Tova also spent quite some time playing the piano at my dad's house.
oh, and we went out for dinner to a friend's place, a house with the best view of hobart ever! And this photo below shows my kids appreciating the view.