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

Friday, September 22, 2006


On Tuesday Jane (physio) came round and I followed her to Vicky's. From there I took Vicky and her little girl to White Lodge (where we do hydro). There is a kind of 'mother and toddler' group there each week. I have never been keen on such collections of mother and infants finding the lack of intelligent conversation which is routine, very off-putting. However, I sat there, chatting to Vicky, until mention of her headache in connection with the up-coming 'singing' session caused us to agree that leaving would be in order, so we did. Vicky came back here with her little girl and the two little girls 'played' together (actually they had a corresponding fascination with one another's hair so we had to watch them carefully!).
Last night Thomas and I went to the first of the Makaton classes and learnt the first lot of vocabulary - including chair, table, eat, shower, wash and others. This mornign I set about trying to educate the rest of the children in these signs but think I shall have to buy a video with them on if I am to hope they will learn them. It is interesting to see how difficult James finds selecting the right hand - and even more the right FINGER - for the signs and I wonder how much MORE difficult it must be for those younger than him, especially those with difficulties like Victoria. however, we shall persevere. The last time the portage lady (tina) came she mentioned an educational group at West Clandon and one of the ladies I spoke to at the Makaton class told me HER daughter had been to that, so I wait with interest to see what possibilities there are for Victoria, at the same time aware that for all other parents this is the first step on the path to school.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I have a book which very helpfully offers learning and play suggestions for children like Victoria. As a consequence I took an ice cream tub and cut a hole in the lid. Victoria has learnt to drop the ball into the hole. This uses her new skill LETTING GO of things (!!) and develops another one of aiming the ball in the right place before opening her hand. She also has been developing that very instructive habit common to babies in prams - dropping the toys over the edge and seeing what they look like down on the ground. She doesn't make a fuss and demand their return but is always glad to have another go.
A lady I spoke to at sailing on Wednesday said that everytime she saw the pram at Cefn Lea (most of the time the boys wheeled her about) it was surrounded by admirers! Yesterday in the supermarket Victoria attracted comments from two ladies while she was being wheeled around in the trolley - she continues to have this power over people causing them to turn their heads and smile! What a joy. It made me think what an excellent thing it was for her to be called Victoria Lily JOY - so appropriate.
The portage lady said that there is a group which used to meet in Guildford (and she hopes it still does) where the research done at Downs Ed in Portsmouth is implimented. This is about signing, speech and language and reading. I hope we will be able to go along to that - it will be on Mondays and will mean I will have to rea-arrange the week so that we have monday off rather than Wednesday, but that could be done. It won't be appropriate for Victoria until she is 18 months in any case.
The first of the Makaton classes was to have been last night but was cancelled due to the lady who was to teach it being ill - hopefully next week will go ahead as planned.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

at last

The computer problem looks like it might be sorted (but then you never CAN tell with computers....). So here I am to put up the best picture ever of the loveliest baby in the world.
This one was taken in Tywyn (Cardigan bay, north of Aberystwyth) back in June. I've made loads of copies of this and even took one along to show the cardiologist - it made HIM laugh like it made (almost) everyone else I showed it to laugh.
Loads has been happening but here are the highlights
1) a TOOTH has happened - it is very slow making a full appearance but has been evident for a couple of weeks - in the RIGHT place too.
2) getting from lying on the tummy to sitting is becoming old-hat. Getting from sitting to lying and then up on elbows which, combined with canny use of the feet, means that all those tempting little 'bits' on the carpet have to be spotted and removed by the rest of the family before Victoria reaches them - and she's FAST!
3) just in the last week Victoria has been experimenting with shaking her head - what a hoot to watch!!
4) very many of those who have been praying for Victoria over the past 14 months were at a homeschooling holiday we were able to get along to - she enjoyed meeting loads of them.
5) sitting in the sand on the edge of the water at Lyme Regis and extruding the sand between her fingers was a great joy, as was lying on her tummy on the dry sand wearing only her nappy, exploring the dry sand. It was while at Lyme Regis that Victoria made a lot of progress with movement.
6) a small ice-cream tub with a hole cut in it is providing the most recent learning experience - lining up a small ball with the hole and then releasing her grasp of the ball - in the right place - is quite a challenge but Victoria is doing really well.
7) yesterday we were back to hydro which she enjoyed (as always) - portage begins again on Thursday and also on Thursday we begin a makaton course at White Lodge (where we go for hydro). I shall take one or other of the twins so that it doesn't depend only on ME remembering the signs!

seven is a good number of news items for now - hope you enjoy the pic!
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -