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

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

popping up

This morning I went into my room and saw that Victoria had, again, fallen asleep sitting up - she looked so sweet that I went to get my camera. While I was looking through the view-finder and had pressed the button she popped up like a jack-in-a-box and grinned one of her cheeky grins at me! So she wasn't asleep after all!
Since the big pump went back the playtex pump has facilitated the production of 9-10 oz of milk a day. Victoria is still not very keen on drinking ANYTHING other than milk. I tried her with goat milk, and a spot of tea (!), in a bottle yesterday and Thomas, showing tenacity, managed to get her to drink most of it - she's not impressed though.
Her new shoes are on her feet each morning - it does make it difficult for her to move around on the floor and get to standing (which is why I leave them off in the afternoon!) but once she is up she is decidedly more stable and has been seen (though not by me) to walk along the front of the sofa.
I've been using the time with her early in the morning to work on matching items -she's getting really good at it. I aim next to work on getting her to match pictures and objects - then picture and pictures. She's always very interesting in everything and investigates with great diligence. Yesterday she got herself to standing (in her shoes) at the dinner table - on the bench. Everyone was looking at her (and she KNEW it!!) and she did all the funny things she could to make people laugh - she loves to make people happy!
This morning I had Simon knocking on the door, he came in, followed, one at a time, by lots of others. Samuel went off holding Victoria and her clothes, ready to dress her for the day, followed by the whole crowd - Timothy at the rear talking to Victoria as she was being conveyed down the hall to the lounge! She's still quite the celebrity in this household and a constant and continuing cause for joy and rejoicing.
The dry skin on the back of her hands has cleared up. I have been deliberately NOT giving her yoghourt - now I shall give her yoghourt again this week and see if it comes back.
Simon was back in hospital last night having his leg x-rayed after, all of a sudden, not being able to bear weight on it because of the pain. Nothing untoward appeared on the x-ray and he says it is a bit less painful today. I have to take him back to the fracture clinic on Thursday (about an hour before the physio and then the portage lady are due to be here for Victoria !!!_.
Off to Mercedes Benz world next with our Swiss visitors.

Monday, February 19, 2007

monday 19th

We've had the pleasure of having Lucy 'home' for the weekend - well she was in the kitchen on Friday (preparing food for the southern houseparty) and slept here Friday and Sunday nights. The people who went (Philip was a day-visitor) seem to have enjoyed themselves.
After a few nights of NOT growling, Victoria was in full 'voice' last night. There was one night last week when, after going to sleep, I didn't get out of bed until 6pm - that is prob. a first in over 19 months. The next thing I am looking forward to is not being WOKEN between bedtime and 6am.
We don't KNOW, but we SUSPECT that Victoria says 'book' - though we will be thinking of creative ways to test this theory! She certianly loves books! She also enjoys matching toys with pictures and looking through her book of photos of her toys. When she gets a dolly she presses it to her shoulder and rocks from side to side.
At the moment she is in bed, when she gets up she will go in her bouncer, with her shoes on, to work on her balance and generally have fun, while we do our schoolwork.
Timothy passed his December exams - though he is being cagey about the scores....
Philip and Timothy have decided not to bid on that piece of building land - there seem to be insurmountable legal issues. Philip has fixed up his car (which he bought for £200 from a client) and after horrendous insurance quotes via the internet and the company which insures his van, has a sensible quote which will enable him to use that, instead of his van, for non-work-related driving.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I have noticed that Victoria's eyes are heaps better than they were. She used to be in her cot and looking in my direction (at the cot bars and the bars at the end of my bed) and not able to see beyond them to me, though she could hear my voice. Recently I have seen her little face light up beyond all these bars as she has been able to focus beyond the distraction of all the bars which separated us. Also, even when tired, her eyes stay pretty much together (the left one used to go off and do its own thing).
Yesterday Victoria was playing with duplo bricks and, as usual, pulling them apart. THEN she put two together - she's been trying this for a while, it was great to see her succeed.
This afternoon she gets to go to hydro - I mentioned it to her this morning and a little light came on her eyes to indicate that she understood the idea.
This mornign I get to go with Philip to Guildford where he has his trailer test. Because it says on my licence that I can tow a trailer, I have to accomany him (who is infinitely more competent with trailers of all sizes) because the law says so.
This evening I get to go out to dinner (again!), this time with Kathy (see you later, Kathy!). Another opportunity to encourage and be encouraged.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A momentous day approaches

After many hours spent in my little corner in company with the pump so kindly supplied by Julie, we face its imminent departure. On tuesday I have arranged to take it to Kathy who will convey it southwards for its return. The milk supply is now down to about 10oz per day so I shall resort to the portable playtex pump which I relied on while we were in Switzerland. I anticipate that over the next couple of weeks the supply will stop - but I am astonished, and full of Praise to God, that Victoria has been able to have such 1st-class nourishment for 19 months.
As I have sat in my corner I have read many excellent and stimulating books, completed over 100 sudoku puzzles (!!) and listened to hundreds of hours of excellent MP3's of lectures and sermons on my most treasured possession - my Sony Cd/mp3 player. I shall miss the special times I have spent there but am already benefitting from the extra time I have to spend with the children and doing necessary (and long-neglected) sorting out of stuff, finishing of handicraft projects etc. So, we move into a new era.
the snow was very pretty - one of the boys brought a bowl full of snow in for Victoria to look at - she wasn't impressed with the temperature of the stuff and couldn't be enticed to investigate it.
Other things Victoria is learning to do is from the bear-walking position to push up with a hand and extend the angle between her body and legs. She has a kind of 'I wonder what will happen if I do this' look on her face when she does it. The other skill she is perfecting is with her right knee bent in a sitting position, bouncing up - like she might stand if she went a bit higher! She pulls herself up to standing quite nicely in her cot but still doesn't stay there long.
After my concerns that she has reduced fluid intake with the diminishing milk supply, one of the children managed to get her to drink from her little cup with soft lid on it. So progress is being made - it's quite exciting. when she has had food or milk and I say 'did you have some nice 'x' ' she makes a satisfying 'mmmmm' noise. It is always very exciting when children start to talk but if they can communicate their pleasure (or otherwise) about what goes on, that is also a little glimpse of who these small folks are, and a cause for rejoicing.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Victoria has been developing the 'bear-walking' position - never going more than a couple of limb-movements forward. She elegantly waves about a leg sometimes too! Today this went one step further (forgive the pun!) when, in the playpen she was in the corner, put her bottom against the side and straightened the top half of her into standing. All well and good until the various forces meant that the quilt (which is laid in the bottom of the playpen) slid away from the corner and she gracefully subsided! She's very much 'into' standing up generally - though just the process of getting up and down, more than staying upright when she gets there. We're very proud of her! And we're thanking the Lord for each bit of progress.
Now if you just come here to read of Victoria, finish now - the rest is just for the majority of readers who, without Victoria's blog, wouldnt' have a clue about what is going on with the VDB family at all, and are interested.

Yesterday we had a bit of a problem in schoolwork - we have previously worked 4 days a week, having wednesdays off. However, we have had a few days where we haven't worked as hard as we should, or not done anything at all (like when we went sledging - that wasn't a wednesday!!). Instantly everyone was looking miserable. I disciplined two of them for complaining and when Thomas came in he wondered at the selection of miserable faces. I changed their perspective on it - "so we HAVE to do schoolwork on Wednesdays, grump grump etc" - by telling them that from now on we would be doing a 5-day week and they shouldn't expect me to take them to Newlands Corner if it should snow!! Contrary to my expectations we had quite a good day after all. In the afternoon I had planned to meet a lady at Claremont lake (her son has d.s. and she is intersted in h.s, though not a Chrisitan) and when I went to leave, the van wouldn't start - I had Thomas tow me up the track but it still wouldnt' start. So we couldnt' go to Newlands corner anyway, in spite of the 3" snow-fall overnight. Funny how UNcomplainign they are about it! I read a quote 'things don't change, we just change the way we look at things' - I think that is very wise and valuable lessons are being learnt here!.
Re the van, I am just learning to 'hang loose' regarding any plans for going out that I might have. Of course after sitting out for more than 24 hours, in the snow and all, as soon as Ron got in the van to try and start it up, it complied with his wishes. It is a comfort to me to know (though it SEEMS otherwise) that I am not at the mercy of the VAN but in the hands of a Loving Father who still has lots to teach me. I Praise Him that He hasn't given up and pray (as I always have!) that I would be a quick learner - if we don't 'get it' first time He is faithful and untiring and will serve up the lesson over and over again until we DO!!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

bear walking

One of Victoria's latest endearing tricks is to put her legs straight up under her while she has her hands on the floor - then she tilts herself backwards until her bottom bumps onto the ground. She finds it amusing and is strengthening her legs. This morning, early, Samuel took Victoria away to his bed. All was quiet in the house until I heard a deep coughing sound, a short interval ensued before there was an attempted imitation of this sound by Victoria. Another interval and another deep voice attempted to echo her and she, in turn echoed him. James was in bed with me at the time and we both had a chuckle as we listened to this strange conversation! Today Victoria travelled to church in her 'new' car-seat. Until now she has been in one of those car-seats with a handle, but she was getting a bit heavy (and her legs were growing a bit too long) for this seat. I recovered the carseat which I bought new before Joanna was born. Thomas urged me to put 'plenty of padding' in it so that it would be comfortable for Victoria! This week Victoria had her feet measured and in this coming week she should get her new shoes. She has been doing lots of 'pulling to standing' and enjoys having balls rolled to her for her to 'catch' and roll back.
+ Raising Down Syndrome Awareness -