Sunday, November 23, 2014

NDNorth: Stephanie

Meet Stephanie! Stephanie is a beautiful young lady with a smile that will make you giggle. She's full of such contagious joy that just spills out whenever someone interacts with her. 

Stephanie's orphanage estimates that she is about seven years old. She has a neurological disorder that makes her muscles very tight and she is currently unable to walk. She does not speak, but can make sounds and always manages to get her point across. 

For instance, the picture below. She's telling us that she's very, very happy that Wendy is about to let her play with the baby doll. Stephanie loves baby dolls.

Her sense of humor is hilarious - she loves slap-stick, no kidding! But she also has a caring soul and can cradle the baby doll gently and knows that it needs love and attention. 

Oh? Are you pointing to the baby's mouth, Stephanie? Is it hungry?

Aha, it is! Here, use this toy to feed the little one. Is it saying, "aaaah!"?

Watch the video below - it's sweet and funny. Stephanie is busy feeding the baby doll an orange toy, and then starts to pretend to feed the toy to herself. Wendy (who is shooting the video) teases her about it and Stephanie laughs. Near the end of the video Wendy asks Stephanie if her doll would like another kind of "food" and offers her a block. Stephanie works really hard and successfully releases the toy that she is holding and grips onto the new one. Yay, Stephanie! And the baby doll love the new "food."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NDSouth: Preschool Buddies

A little while ago we speculated about 'young love' between Ada and Hayden. Of course, since Noelle has joined our class, we've found that there's two new buddies in preschool now - Noelle and Chris!

We first noticed it when we pulled out some kitchen toys the other week. 

They might have started out sitting separately, but before we knew it, Noelle began to intently watch what Chris was up to as she slowly scooted her seat closer to his.

Chris, however, was more than willing to show Noelle what he was up to.

"First, you take this carrot, Noelle..."

"...and then you separate it like this." 

"See, that's all there is to it!"

Next came puzzle time, and much like the previous activity, it wasn't too long before they were using the same puzzle. Regrettably, we didn't manage to snap a picture of this. You'll just have to take our word for it! 

Finally came music time...

...and just like the previous two activities, it was only a matter of time before Noelle scooted closer to her preschool buddy.

And as for the next day in preschool? You can rest assured that similar things happened...

...though at some points we're pretty sure Chris gave us the same look that Hayden did about Ada's advances. 

But don't worry, much like with Hayden and Ada's friendship, we're pretty sure Chris enjoys having a new buddy in preschool too.

Friday, November 21, 2014

When Jack Met Tigger

At first I thought it was just a normal day.  We put our jackets on, but instead of going to play in the backyard we went into the dining hall...

Someone gave me some ears.  What on earth was going on?

Then I saw these two guys!  They were pretty big, but they seemed friendly so I went over to say hi...

Tigger is such a nice guy.  I told him that I was a big fan, and he said that he was glad to meet me.

I even got to perform with them, playing my tambourine.

Then guess what happened?  There were bubbles!

I wasn't sure about them at first, but I had a little encouragement and I soon realized that bubbles are AWESOME.

It's not easy to catch them though...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NDSouth: Crawling Chloe

It's no secret that Chloe has completely transformed before our very eyes since her arrival...

...yet even since last month when we took the time to marvel at her transformation - as she dazzled us with her ability to sit on her own - she's crossed another milestone off the list.

And what milestone is that? Take a look for yourself!

That's right, she's crawling now!

She crawls to get her own toys...or to investigate what toys her big sis Anna has.

Though we're not sure if Anna is as completely pleased by this as we are, but it's ok Anna, sharing isn't so bad.

Oh yes Chloe, we are completely proud of you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Therapy Tuesday: Bouncing Together

Austyn and Nelson have their therapy sessions at the same time and Nelson decided that Austyn's activity looked interesting.

There was plenty of room for two on the 'bouncy bean', so Zoey let Nelson join in the fun.

Did Austyn mind sharing?  Not a bit, he thought it was very amusing.

Look, no hands!  It's an excellent activity for improving muscle tone and balance, which is just what both boys need.

Yvonne turned Austyn around so that he was facing the other way, but he still wanted to look at Nelson...

Therapy is more fun with a buddy, don't you agree Austyn?

How about you, Nelson?  Are you glad that you gate-crashed Austyn's bouncing therapy?

That's a big 'yes' from both boys, I think.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Eli's Amazing Story

Eli came to us at the end of May, 2014.  He was two months old, and he was tiny, weighing just 2.8 kg (6 lbs).  His skin had the grey-blue tinge of severe heart disease, but he needed to grow bigger and stronger before he would be able to have surgery.

In October his situation took a dramatic turn.  Eli had been battling a fever for a while, but one night he developed breathing difficulties and was crying inconsolably.  Amy (the foster home manager) and his nanny rushed him to the hospital.  His oxygen levels had dropped very low, showing readings of 22, and his nanny was very worried.  They administered oxygen in the car and got his levels up to 40/50, which is still low but a lot better.

When they got to the hospital there were no beds available.  Eli was very blue and he vomited.  The hospital staff were seriously concerned and said his situation was very dangerous.  They wanted Eli to be transferred to another hospital because they felt they were not able to help him.

When they reached the bigger hospital, Eli and his nanny had to stay in emergency room overnight.  The doctors had wanted to put him on a breathing tube, but Amy questioned this, raising the concern that it would be hard to get him off it again.  They called the head doctor and he agreed, so Eli was set up with an oxygen tent instead.

The next day he was able to be transferred to the heart hospital, the beginning of a long stay.  He kept running a fever and getting diarrhea, so he was not a candidate for the surgery that he badly needed.  Thankfully the hospital did not just discharge him and send him home to get well, and Eli was eventually able to have surgery on November 4.

The surgery took just under three hours and the doctors said that it went well.  Eli remained in the ICU for 10 days before he was stable enough to move to the regular ward.  How we rejoiced when we heard the news that, just two weeks after his surgery, Eli was being released from the hospital!  Our tiny treasure has not had an easy start, but he has been safely held in strong hands and he’s survived.  We are so glad to have Eli back with us, and we are full of hope for his future.