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

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Trip overview

While we were away we variously missed a cardiologist appt (two days after we left - the only problem was that it was a secret which they kept to themselves....) physio visit (well, I didn't take the red book, I wasn't to know I would be away so long....) and portage visit. Also there was the long-awaited eye appointment which having changed once had to be changed again.....
So we have the cardiologist appt at Brompton on the 12th - which is Victoria's birthday. We have the eye appointment next week, portage next week and physio the week after. Then we have visitors for the weekend and the next weekend we will be heading for the hills (Wales) because Ron feels in need of a holiday after his recent illness. Once back from there we have a week at home (or maybe it would be better to stay in Taunton!!) before two weeks at the seaside in Lyme Regis. After that we have a young lady from Switzerland coming to stay. I'm counting on her being here when I have to take Victoria for surgery (not that I know the date yet....) and also on her helping to put some order into my books...
Victoria is coming along nicely. She complains if someone tries to take something from her (rather than being indifferent) and she is getting better at lifting her tummy off the ground though she doesnt' have her knees close enough together for her to be exactly on 'all fours'. She has just started using her right hand finger and thumb to get hold of things (this is VERY exciting). Yesterday she was sitting at the table at dinner time and I handed her a bit of lettuce which she took from me very nicely - she dint' eat it mind! She enjoys her jars of babyfood and can almost eat a whole mashed banana. I haven't weighed her yet, though she looks very like she has grown. Over the three weeks we were away she met a load of new people and didn't cry at many of them. She went to the zoo but I am not sure she saw very many of the animals. If I tried to point to them (you know, the 'finger on the end of the nose and then extend your arm out to point at the object' trick?) she seemed rather to have her focus on the end of my finger. Well, the rest of us enjoyed the treat anyway. ON some of the cages there were notices indicating the sign for the animals, so we learnt what lion was - the only other one I saw was for dog, and I knew that already. I bet I could guess what the sign for monkey is....
The signing class I wanted to get on has just finished but I find I can at least buy some books to show the basic words, from the Downs Ed. trust - so will do that. I have put myself down for an evening class for signing (and taking along one of the twins - I couldn't possibly remember it all myself!) which starts in September.

home again

Finally home after our period of restless wandering. Here's a picture of Victoria with her great-aunty Edna and Grandad.

Monday, June 12, 2006

not raining in Manchester

Victoria is enjoying the good weather here in manchester and continues to turn heads of complete strangers, drawing out affectionate smiles. due to 'circumstances beyond our control' I haven't had the time (can you believe that?) to update the blog - I've been very busy having thoughts of my own and Victoria has been diligently adapting to a total absence of routine. More on the 'circumstances' at

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Lucy's home- that's not the sad bit. I had to take David for a riding lesson (that's not the sad bit either). I was part-way through feeding Victoria - she was enjoying it very much. I looked for someone to complete the process, Lucy was chosen. Victoria continued for a few seconds, whilst critically appraising Lucy - THEN there was sadness. Sadness, demonstrated in a turning-of-the-face-to-the-window (on Victoria's part) and sadness of the 'dejection, no-body-loves-me-every-body-hates-me' type for Lucy. I remember what it was like to have the joy of getting to hold a baby (someone else's) and watching it's little face crumple up and begin leaking. I sympathise.
The solution would be that Lucy would be home more often, or that Victoria could manage to extend her limited memory.
Victoria finished her milk sitting on Samuel's lap, happily.
When the portage lady came last time she asked me 'is she vocalising for attention' - 'no, I don't THINK so'. Well, on the way back from sailing she was VERY noisy until someone interacted with her. Ah, so THIS is what 'vocalising for attention' is, I told myself. Today, we were sitting in the coffee shop at Tesco (Lucy and Simon had just had their 'chart'-earned cooked breakfast) and there was Victoria chirping up (shouting actually) - Lucy looked perturbed and I said 'don't worry, she's just vocalising for attention!'. Richard introduced his face into her line of vision and she stopped shouting. Lucy was impressed (that I KNEW something, I suppose). 'you were RIGHT', she said (incredulously). One lives, and one learns.

Friday, June 02, 2006

weak knees..

we're trying to get Victoria to take her weight on her knees while she is in her crate and has one edge of the crate to lean the top half of her against. She doesn't much appreciate this new position at the moment but we need to work on getting her to take weight on her knees if she is ever to crawl. On Sunday we leave for Manchester for a week and Victoria will get more practice kneeling in her crate but also lots of travelling about in her pushchair seeing things at various distances - all good exercise for her eyes.
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -