stepping to music

After tomorrow, we will be half-way through September. Crazy.

Earlier this month, I took Rachel to Mac for a visit with paediatric neurology. They deduced she is complex but wonderfully pleasant. (!) The team encouraged us to be patient yet persistent with the weight-bearing, so we are moving forward with obtaining a Rachel-sized walker.

Last week, both Rachel and Janneke developed colds, and I was very discouraged. It was a difficult cold/flu season last year, so I was not excited about starting the business of suctioning, staying awake through the night, and traveling back and forth to the doctor. Yet, both girls braved the colds, and they are recovering without any intervention other than some good ole' Benadryl. I have yet to dust off the suctioning machines!

Instead of watching them lose the battle to sneezes, coughs, and tears, we are excited to see progress with both of them moving in the walker. It has been absolutely wonderful to watch Rachel kick a ball with her feet and move herself in front of the piano. It has been equally amazing to watch Janneke side-step her way through the living room, as if she is dancing to some Holy music. Very cool.

We love having something to celebrate.

There are many times when we are discouraged or overwhelmed - by the awkwardness good people seem to have around our younger girls, by the visits to the doc or the children's centre, and by the daily care and routine here at home. There are too many nights where a good sleep is hard to find.

But, these successes overshadow those moments. Holy gifts that outweigh our discouragement.

In the last few days, Janneke is showing signs of affection by putting her face right next to mine or laying her nose on my shoulder. This hugs my heart.

Janneke at a play therapy appointment.

Rachel's assessment with her preschool team have been so encouraging. She has been excited to play along with their games, and I am optimistic for next week's new step for her.

Today, three of the four had to visit the dentist. Thanks to the loving care of Marlene and big sisters Em and Soph, Rachel was able to have her teeth cleaned - without tears.

Em and Soph continue to enjoy their time at school, but they also jump right into play here at home. Recently, we "harvested" our garden, and we realized that we are not very good gardeners.

Yet, the muffins we made from our carrots tasted pretty good -it always helps to add chocolate chips. We are reading through the Canadian Girl series (chapter books); the girls have been learning about immigration, Chinese head tax (1880s), the Halifax explosion, and the underground railroad. Speaking of history, check out what I saw going through the Welland Canal the other day!

This year, Ralph is less than full-time at work, so he is able to help me manage the home front. We hope this year will not be as difficult as last year, but we do feel more prepared for the potential stress and hospitalizations. Sometimes, the difficulties are kept away from the blog, to protect our privacy, but we can say that last year's trials have taught us a few lessons for the future. Ultimately, we say it is by God's grace that we live each day. We are so thankful to Him for the strength and wisdom He provides.

This week, the dietician comes again to discuss the girls' growth and caloric intake, and on Monday, Rachel starts her preschool. We look forward to more surprises and steps to celebrate.