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

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Victoria is doing fine. Her skin is showing signs of not being 100% healthy though - I think her hands got cold when she went out one day last week (though she didn't go out at all when it was VERY cold) and they look a bit chapped on the back of her fingers. She continues to explore the different noises she can make with her mouth and loves to clap when I pause in the song 'if you're happy and you know it'. Milk she still gets from me - 4 or 5 times a day.. She was persuaded, today, to drink some water from her special cup - we need to work on her getting more and more that way. She likes the oatcakes which I made, she loves to eat bananas, baked beans and is always willing to try anything which she sees going over her head into David's mouth. The whole eating thing is a bit a challenge for someone who is only scantily bestowed with teeth - still only two - but she does admirably well in the circumstances.
Quick update on the rest: Timothy and Philip are looking at buying a building plot down in Taunton - Philip will build two houses on it if it is suitable and becomes theirs (guess who's doing the finance part?). David just spent a shockingly large amount of money on most of the tools he will ever need as a farrier/blacksmith. He was successful in an ebay bid. ON Monday he will go up to Cumbria and have a couple of days' tuition with the man who is selling it (a retired blacksmith) and Ron will drive up in the lorry on Wednesday so they can load it all on before returning on Thursday. Thomas and Lucy are going on their long-awaited adventure to Inverness - for a day (they travel up overnight on Monday and back overnight on Tuesday!!). The rest of life here is pretty hum-drum at the moment but what I just LOVE about life is that it is full of surprises!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

here's a little clutch of pics taken this morning You see Victoria with her lovely curls (one picture was not enough to show them off adequately). You see Victoria having a little chat whilst looking adoringly into Timothy's face before he headed off to work. After all that she has had to go for a sleep. Speaking of which, last night, at about 3am, she woke up doing her usual growling (kind of like humming in the back of her throat?) and I picked her up and fastened her into the previously-prepared pram in the bookroom next door. The advantage to me was that I didn't have to remain on high-alert to keep her from waking Ron and I could still hear that she was alright. Very satisfactory. The sooner she grows out of growling, the better, however!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

japanese water-torture

Growing up under the care of parents who spent the first few years of their lives during the 2nd-world war and a father who, as a young adult, was always keen on finding out more and therefore choosing war films for family viewing, one heard the term 'japanese water torture' mentioned from time to time. The details were not gone into but it is, I believe, to do with being kept awake and always in suspense not knowing when the next drip of cold water will descend from above and land one one.
Thoughts of this nasty invention came to mind last night after the second night of being woken, or dragged back from the brink of sleep, by Victoria's 'growling' noises. The only remedy seems to be to take her in bed with me but then I can't sleep at all - her hair tickles or she thrashes about. One night of it is enough, two nights is more than enough. I think that I shall put the travel cot in the newly-cleared space in the bookroom tonight. At half past five the growling started up again (the last time I had looked at the clock was something less than an hour earlier) I grabbed my pillow, pulled my shawl tightly round my shoulders and headed off to the lounge where I cleared one end of the sofa, curled my legs up, and slept until Philip (unknowing that I was there) switched the light on and woke me. Then I headed back towards my bed passing Ron in the hall, relieved to see that he had the offending baby in hand!
She's sleeping rather a lot these days - I have a feelign she is having a growth-spurt. There is hardly enough time in the day for her to consume all the meals and do all the exercise and 'learning' which the portage lady has set!! This mornign she has been having a spin round the garden in her pram - she loves to be outside.
I borrowed some 'baby einstein' DVD's but the music was appalling (calling itself BAch or Beethoven it was no more than an electronic representation of 'tunes' from these composers) and I thought I could probably do better. Last week I made a DVD using still pics of toys and family members - it even has music on it. She enjoys watching it. Yesterday I started on a revised edition which has words to tell what the pictures are of - though I think I will add more pictures so I can put more words on. I have read that children with down syndrome have the ability to read before they can talk. Victoria still doesn't use any makaton though she's pretty good and making clear what she wants (and more vocal about the things she DOESN'T want!).

Readers who are home educators will chuckle to hear what happened yesterday. Whilst reading the second day of 'Quo Vadis' Thomas had an urge to go and shoot a squirrel. I paused the story while he went out and did the deed. The next thing was I had to call him back from the garden where he walking along holding the animal by its tail, reminding him that we were WAITING for him. The unhappy creature changed hands and David took charge of it. Back 'into' the exciting events of the story and I was dimly aware of David returning. Next I had to stop the story again because great excitement had broken out around Simon's microscope (his birthday was last week) where, on the screen, could be seen, STILL MOVING, a couple of fleas which David had picked off the squirrel (though an older brother questioned him closely about exactly WHERE he got them from...). One glance of the waving creatures on the screen caused me to avert my gaze and also to express some concern about the likelyhood of their escape from the slide. Whereupon additional pressure was applied to the slide-cover and the story continued, with further interuptions describing the death-throes and oozing of the said fleas. This has prompted David to make steps to obtain a good microscope. After all, if this is what you can see at a magnification of 80 - imagine what you might see at 800 or 100ox magnification - you could probably see the dirt under their fingernails!. Despite the disgusting nature of the event, it does cause one to praise the Lord who made even fleas, with hearts and legs - and gave and sustains their lives (up to a point!). Such attention to detail!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

happy christmas

here's a picture of Victoria on Christmas day. She didn't really want to be sitting up but one of the children insisted that she should open a present - she had to have a lot of help because her cold was suppressing her naturally inquisitive nature. Thankfully, after a worrying three days when I had to struggle with her to get her to drink ANY milk - and that with very limited success - she is back on the road to recover, a mere occassional cough is all that remains. This WAS a longer post but (again) the computer decided it was time to close and the blog wasn't saved....
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -