Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Very yummy Canada cupcakes -part of a fundraiser for our friend Makayla, thanks to Sweet Art by Elizabeth.

Happy Canada Day to you! We enjoyed the beautiful weather by picking strawberries in the morning (thanks, Tigchelaars) and visiting with Uncle Harvey, Aunt Carol, and Katelyn in the afternoon. It was a great day to be outside, and I took Rachel along. She can sit for a bit without falling back, so we laid a towel in the straw row, and she held all the berries. If anything, it was another unique sensory experience for someone prefers to watch and not touch. (I didn't have to worry about her eating the berries!)


Later in the day, we picked up our Makayla cupcakes and visited with family. Harv and Carol will be hosting a pork roast in the end of August as part of our van fundraising, so it was a practice run for taking the whole family over. We enjoyed our day: Rachel and Janneke took in all the sights and sounds while Em and Soph played soccer with Ralph, steered the pickup through the field, checked on the chickens, and swam in the pool. At dusk, all four girls had a chance to see or dance with sparklers - a great ending to a great day.



Earlier this week, Rachel and Janneke visited with Dr. Wiggins, our low-vision specialist. He is often accompanied by several students or visiting doctors, but he never fails to give us his full attention and very kind care to the girls. When he approached Rachel to say hi, she immediately put her hand on his and rubbed her palm back and forth - as if to show her trust.

The girls are showing signs of double vision. Rachel's eyes do not follow together, but she alternates between the two. You are not always certain which is her dominant eye. Janneke's eyes have lately changed; her eyes used to work together, but they are now following the same path as Rachel's. He did not prescribe any intervention for the girls, but he encouraged us to work on visual stimulation, following lights, patterns, toys... etc. To be brief: Keep playing with the girls. We can follow that advice!

Tuesday night, Rachel and Janneke ran the PeachBud race in Grimsby. It was a windy 10K! I was excited to share this race with some new friends from NPCC. Dana and Bernice ran the 5K - their first! Fraser ran along with me in the 10K, and it was great to have their encouragement. Races, in general, are quite festive, and there is a contagious sense of excitement as everyone lines up to go.

Yet, not everyone caught that excitement. I failed to read the fine print in a race memo that said no strollers allowed. I figured that out pretty quickly when, after the start gun sounded, a group of experienced runners passed me and called me a number of (less-than) descriptive names, the kindest being moron.

It was a bit unsettling to start the race with the words f-ing moron echoing through my head, but I chose to keep running. From what I determined later when I scanned the fine print, strollers are now deemed safety hazards. I am disappointed that somehow strollers are now prohibited. My girls in their stroller are the reason I run. To enable the unable.

To avoid any more verbal trash at the end of the race, Katelyn and Alanna (who were there to help me with the girls and the tube-feeds) exercised a successful hand-off just before the race finished, at 9.5K. The stroller rolled safely off the track, and I crossed the finish line without the extra wheels.



It was still great to share the race with friends, and Rachel and Janneke kicked their legs the whole way. Fraser helped me push through the tough spots, and everyone went home with some exciting to talk about. Em and Soph loved all the people-watching, and they told me about the races they hope to do in the near future.

Today, we are working around the house. I can hear Ralph working outside, Em and Soph debating something behind me, nurse Bridget giving Janneke chest-physio, and Rachel spitting and making her buzzing lip sounds. In the busyness and in the mundane, we are thankful for family, for our community, and for your prayers. Each day is a gift from Him.

Hope you get a chance to savour a fresh strawberry.

Peace for your week.
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