Rolling into November

Okay, so the joke is a bit weak. The tire belongs to the tractor that pulled Emily and her friends in a wagon for a farm-style birthday. Thanks to Uncle Harvey and Aunt Carol for hosting "my best party ever" according to Emily.

All we needed was a filthy tractor, a good wagon, a pile of dirt, some bulls to scare, and the Pot Christmas tree from 2009 to burn. That makes for an eventful birthday, to say the least.

Who needs Chuck E. Cheese?

Sophia's birthday was equally exciting, but not quite so muddy. We had a lot of fun with the 7 year olds: dress-up parade, musical pumpkins, and balloon decorating. It is always entertaining to listen in their conversations. Rachel and Janneke loved watching all the action!

Two of the masterpieces.

With all the birthday excitement for the two older girls, we were still able to locate a similar horse to the one Janneke uses in her physio sessions at the centre. Thanks to Jess, Janneke now is quite excited to go on her horse each day. She has learned to lean forward and push slightly into each rock. That shows promise for strengthening her bones and the potential for weight-bearing.

Rachel does get her turn on the horse, but in the meantime, still loves to stand in front of the piano.

The sleep study from last week went well, and the follow-up is scheduled for mid-December. I think her sleep issues are due more to gas and acid reflux, which has increased as of late. It is discouraging to see her deal with so much gas and saliva that prevents her from resting. I feel like I am guessing at what works. Thanks to a friend, I now have a sample of a unique gastric pressure bag that works alongside the feed. Maybe that will help.

I spent some time researching the meds that Rachel and Janneke are prescribed, and I learned I should spend more quality time with our pharmacist- and online medical libraries as well as local library reference sections are great places to read.

Aside from dealing with the gas and acid reflux, I am challenged by what makes both Rachel and Janneke motivated and occupied. They are the opposite of busy, and they don't interact with typical toys. Here's an attempt to stimulate the brain: I hung a 3D-style image of fish in Rachel's bed.

And, a little gift from Fabiola entertained Janneke for a bit. It is a music box from Holland with the characters Jip (Yip) and Janneke (Yanneke). She touched it a bit and then was distracted by her hands (again).

We also had a chance to visit with a man and wife who run For the Needy, not the Greedy in Niagara Falls. I'll write more about that visit in another post, but, needless to say, it is an amazing place and the two are a very compassionate couple.

This past week was a busy one, another visit to Mac, and other issues to deal with. There are more appointments to come before Christmas comes - two trips to SickKids and a few more to Mac. But, I am very thankful for the nursing care we receive (makes it possible to have the birthday parties!), for Ralph's availability to share the responsibility, and for my children who make me smile.

Actually, they make me laugh. The other day, Sophia insisted on wearing her winter hat to operate the blender while making birthday cupcakes. Apparently, the hat softens the whining sound of the beaters.

On the eve of another month, I can't help but be reminded that God is good. Even when the tough days come, and I am frustrated with the circumstance, God is there -and He does provided the strength to deal with the yuck. How thankful I am that He is in control, not me. That allows me the freedom to give Him my anger, my frustration, and my sorrow -as well as my joys. He can use all that emotion and He wants all that emotion - no false fronts or pasted smiles.

Tomorrow there is school. And lots of little friends, ready to push Rachel to circle time. One little man has become quite close to Rachel, insisting on pushing her and sitting by her. We cherish those little friendships, and we hope the little man is feeling better soon as he had been sick last week. Here, another little friend takes her turn.