Updates on Victoria Lily Joy van den Broek, born 120705.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Having knitted a bonnet for Victoria, Joanna wanted one too - so she has one - and hasn't taken it off since I handed it over - except at bedtime!

Here are a couple of the hundreds of amusing faces Victoria can pull. On Sunday evening, she was being particularly entertaining and Thomas could think of no higher praise than 'I want a baby JUST like Victoria' when I grow up! I think parents who have a pre-natal diagnosis ought to know such things!

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I did it, I plucked up the courage to weigh Victoria - she has gained a little - she is now 7.20kgs. The boys are sure that she is getting really heavy and the portage lady said she looked like she had grown!
When Tina arrived today at 1pm Victoria had just been experiencing a couple of prawn crackers then she had some milk. The prawn crackers didn't really agree with Victoria and kept putting in an appearance, bit by bit, throughout the portage session. I should have taken a picture of it but will instead try and describe one item which Tina brought this afternoon. It was a plastic frame on the bottom and sides with an aluminium section over the top into which were slid the tops of lenths of that bobbly-type chain which often has a plug at the end. At the back of this was another strip of metal which, when the chains were rattled, completed a circuit and played a bit of electronic 'music'. Victoria enjoyed feeling the chains but sometimes she just left them swing and leant over to stare at them intently. We are thinking of knocking up some such thing - surely between us we have the technology. I think one can buy this chain stuff at at DIY store.... tina said if we figure out how to make them we have a market! It is sure to cost less than £125 to make. I think that the manufacturers of 'special needs' equipment are going to have a lot to answer for at the judgement - the prices charged for such items is out of all proportion to their cost, I am sure.
this evening Victoria worked her way through a quarter of a jar of baby food (so she had about 20gr!!!) and seemed to enjoy it.
She doesn't yet make any signs but will hold up the palm of her hand when I say 'kiss' - because I kiss each palm and then her nose. One time I kissed each palm and then she screwed up her face and hid it behind her hands!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Victoria is luxuriating in having David back again after two weeks and James is also very happy - here's a picture to prove it...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Today's hydro session was the best yet - Victoria set straight away to splashing and much of the time Thomas had her lying on her front in which position she flapped her legs and arm vigorously whilst trying to catch balls which were floating on the water. She continues in good health, for which I am thankful.

Monday, May 22, 2006


the insight into music therapy I had on Saturday afternoon was depressing. The talk by a rabid lawyer about how parents can squeeze maximum funding out of the LEA for their statemented children was almost equally depressing. Thanks for the link, Sue, others might also be inspired to go to and find that there are parents out there who are dedicated enough to their children to adopt Biblically principled methods towards their dis-advantaged offspring and who are also prepared to invest the necessary TIME required. How one can believe a 1-y-old is 'talking' when you can't understand a word she says, however, remains to be resolved in my mind, but for now, I am going to take Victoria out of the kitchen where she has been assiting Richard in the large-scale production of flapjacks, to the piano.....

Thursday, May 18, 2006


and this one shows Jane congratulating Victoria on her progress!

advancing from strength to strength

Here's Victoria this morning - on all fours - having been put there she stayed for about 5 seconds and, most significantly, she didn't complain about it. The boys were all watching how it was done so they will be giving her lots of practice in the coming days!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


On the last day of the canoe-building, while Philip was putting the final touches to his, Victoria was enjoying being pushed around in her pushchair. Being outside for a few days and having a dog, two goats, a few hens and three sheep (beside the usual children)to focus on, Victoria seems to be a bit better at looking at things more than 6 feet away. This picture is just at the end of a smile - it was a very nice one, as you can imagine from the shadow of it.
Our weekend of canoe-building (I half-screwed in 2 screws and sanded off some excess glue, but otherwise it was all the children's work) went VERY well. The family who offered us this special experience were nothing short of wonderful - human, but so wonderfully demonstrating the love and grace of Christ in their family and to others that I would have felt myself enriched even if we hadn't got to build two canoes!. The bulk of the work fell to Philip and after building most of the first one he decided he would like to build one for himself. Apparantly it has been a cause of excited discussion over the weekend because there are those who think that what Philip (with help from Samuel, Thomas and Richard) achieved was not possible in a weekend!
We enjoyed having Lucy's company for the weekend (she returned to her lodgings on Sunday evening). We enjoyed the fellowship and worship at East Leake E.C. on Sunday mng where we received a very warm welcome and comments like 'are you visiting the Sherwoods?' (so, did we LOOK like we were visiting the Sherwoods?!!) and had a lovely walk with the Sherwoods in the afternoon.
Victoria coped better with being away from her own bed and routine than I had hoped, so that was good. She also is learning to get the carrot and sweetcorn baby food to go the right way (in rather than out) and has managed about 4 teaspoons at a time.
While we were away I had a leisurely wander around Wilkinsons and bought a pumice stone and a rough bath-scrubbing thing which offered new textures for Victoria's fingers and mouth - she spent ages exploring them.
So now we are back to the routine of home life and have (nearly) got all the washing from the recent trip through the washing machine. The next task is to get Timothy's Birthday-book filled in (yes, he has put teenage-hood behind him today).

More information on the canoes can be found at (I think!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Victoria is now about 10 months old and weighs 7.10kgs. An astute reader will note that she was this very same weight 6 weeks ago. What with the cold and the slight drop in milk production, she is obviously struggling a bit. I have tried her, today, with some carrot and sweetcorn from a jar - it was slow going and very messy, but I believe she swallowed most of what I gave her - about 4 teaspoons in total!
She had a lovely time meeting her Nanna in Stockport on Monday and also re-aquainting herself with grandad and aunty Olive. Tommorow we will be leaving for the canoe-building weekend which will be a challenge for Victoria because she doesn't sleep too well when away from home and we will be gone for 5 nights.

Friday, May 05, 2006

progress report

Now Victoria is getting over her cold - she just has a bit of a cough left - but it doesn't bother her greatly. When I went to pick her up out of her cot a couple of mornings ago, I pulled the sheet from over her and saw that she (briefly!) had pushed herself up onto 'all-fours' - quite an exciting development. She's pretty good now at sitting, reaching out right in front of her to pick up a toy, and then getting all the way back to sitting . Most of the time she is using her legs and tummy rather than putting her hands down to push up on. I have revived the pram canopy (it has be disintegrating over the years) and Victoria is sitting out in the garden watching Joanna play with the water - she also loves to watch the leaves bobbing about on the trees. I still haven't heard from the consultant so I guess I will have to try and make contact. Victoria continues to thrive on milk and isn't terribly impressed with baby rice though I haven't dared weigh her this week after her illness last week. Next Tuesday she will be 10 months - so I plan to weigh her then.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bank holiday

Victoria is getting over her cold and her breathing is much better. She is even a bit more hungry.
Haven't yet heard from the hospital about the balloon dilation so will prob. contact the secretary to the cardiologist this week.
Lucy goes back to Leics. today and on Saturday she finished the quilt she has been making for Victoria so I am posting a picture of it.
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -