"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Running a Sick Bay

This past Sunday Chad started getting sleepy, along with a hoarse voice. It's not like him to be sick, NOR to be so sleepy, so we wondered what was coming down the pike. Since Paul was out of town visiting his family down South, I for sure wanted everyone well!

Alas, it was not to be! By Monday evening it was clear Chad probably had croup. I honestly thought we might have to run him into the ER for a breathing treatment (something we have not had to do for years) until Charity reminded me that we had the cool mist diffuser and we could put some EO (essential oils) in it that might help. So we hurriedly set that up and had Chad start breathing the mist as deeply as he could, and sure enough, after about 10 minutes his tight, hard cough started to ease up and he became more relaxed. Since then, we have had to run the diffuser pretty well steady day and night close to him. but we avoided a trip to the ER! One day we had to use blankets and afghans even to make the modern day equivalent of a "croup tent" for him as he lay on the couch.

Chad did see the Dr on Wed afternoon because in addition to croup, he also developed a horribly painful ear. The Dr said it "could rupture any second" and expressed much sympathy for how miserable Chad was. Between the croup and the ear infection, the "Stuffing" was pretty much pummeled out of Chad AND Mom! Cause if Chad wasn't sleeping, neither was Mom! And Chad was not able to sleep much at all Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights.

Thankfully, the ear drum did NOT rupture, and by this morning Chad thought he was feeling well enough to go to our local support group meeting. However, in retrospect it seemed to have been a "little much" for him because by the time it was done, he was very pale. Eating lunch did not improve his color so we finally tucked him back on the couch for a long, long rest. After a few hours he looked a lot better, wanted to eat more food, AND finally got up and started being the most active he had been all week for a short period of time! It was good to start to see a tiny glimpse of our "old, healthy Chad" coming back again!

Katya enjoyed going back to the support group today.

So did Kristina.

Charity and her friend, D., played their violins for the kids which seemed to be a big hit again.

It was good to end this crazy, hectic, stressful week with time with friends. So thankful for our support group.

As to the rest of the family, it now appears Charity and I may be fighting what Chad had, or something else nasty. I hope we are done with running a sick bay, so hopefully we can fight whatever bug this is off before it fells us completely. Charity was so zapped she went to bed with her younger sisters, and that is totally unheard of for her!

We are trying to stay healthy--here's wishing it for all of my blog readers as well!

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Little Surprise

Katya finally got to go back to school on Wednesday (with a two hour delay)! She cried sadly when we first told her she would have school today, and kept signing, "NO! NO!" while big fat tears rolled down her cheeks. But after some cuddling and explanations from me, she was finally resigned, went off and had a good day.

We sure were thankful Katya was able to go back, because right soon after she was at school, the rest of us had to take off for Charity's violin lesson. Her previous teacher and wife were in the area visiting family. Since the previous teacher's father is now currently Charity's violin teacher, her former teacher and wife came along to the lesson to see all their old students again, so it was a happy reunion! Since we hung out together for several hours visiting, it would have been much harder (maybe impossible) to do that with Katya.

So today while cleaning up Katya's "scrapping corner" (a weekly job) we found the following papers! We sure were surprised because we did not know the school was even trying to teach Katya how to count by 10's, but when I picked Katya up, I showed her one-on-one aide the photo and she looked surprised but also very pleased and said yes, they are working on teaching her. "She's smart!" exclaimed the aide. Yes, I think so too. ;-)


Monday, January 6, 2014

Still on Break--And a Trip to the Science Center

Katya's last day of school was December 20th. Believe it or not, she is still on "break" as of today,  January 6th! And she will still be on break tomorrow, January 7th! She was supposed to start back to school on January 2, but one spat of bad weather after another has kept her home. Right now wind chill factors are so cold the school can not in good conscience have school, so there goes more days cancelled. We are currently at a temperature of -4 degrees. Add in the wind yet, and it's quite chilly.

We are having trouble keeping Katya warm enough in spite of many layers of clothing--her still very slender body just has a hard time holding the heat. Thankfully Katya does not get nearly as cold, nearly as soon, as she used to, or we would really be in a pickle.

I'm very thankful that we were able to get private OT/PT and Speech services lined up for Katya before the start of this long Christmas/bad weather break because that means Katya is continuing to have services in those areas even with school out. For that, we are really grateful! We are especially excited because Katya has shown a huge increase in what she seems to be able to mimic, as well as her self-motivated "babbling". We are really excited and hopeful about what this might mean for Katya's future!

During this very long break, we have been trying to find things to do to keep Katya busy. Last week Paul took the kiddos to the Science Center.

While Charity was trying to show Katya the photos she had taken of her, Paul captured this shot.


Chad and Katya both loved the special Curious George display! Curious George was the very first video that Katya showed any real interest in when she came home, so it was neat she go to go to the display.

Chad had quite a lot of fun in the space ship--Katya thought it was better to just enjoy watching Chad in it than to go in herself!

The most IMPRESSIVE THING about Katya at the Science Center was an event Charity told me about. I asked her to share it here. "Katya had come up behind a very little girl "talking" on a telephone. Katya stood behind her and waited, and eventually signed "my turn". When the little girl eventually handed the phone to her, Katya held it up to her ear for a moment, and then pressed it into a little boy's hand, while signing "your turn"."

This was EXCITING news because Katya did that totally unprompted! Taking turns and sharing was not anything she had any concept of before she was with us. I love seeing how the careful teaching and training that is being poured into her at school, at therapy, and at home is starting to take root. Yes, it's taking time, yes, it's taking patience, and Katya is a long way from consistently practicing things like this, but even seeing that she CAN is huge, and gives us much hope for our girlie!

Kristina enjoyed something she had long wished to do, and never been able to do before--ride the Unicycle! She was finally tall enough!

 And away she goes!

She was quite happy with her experience when it was done!

Chad was shyly pleased to dress up and play a doorman.

Of all the activities, it seemed Katya's most favorite was the water sprayers!

So was the trip out perfect?? No, but actually, it went pretty good clear up until Charity took Katya to the bathroom right before they left the Science Center. And then things went DOWN HILL rapidly. And Charity finally had to escort Katya out for Paul to take to the van to sit while the rest got a small treat to bring out to the van to enjoy for their exemplary behavior. Katya is a smart kiddo. Knowing how this has worked in the past, she will be much wiser about her choices in the future for a while. Then she will "test the boundaries" again to make sure they are the same as they were before.

Katya is making progress, and with love and patience she will continue to grow in all areas, I have no doubt. We are very thankful for the progress we do see, even though she still has many, many challenging behaviors at times. Love our girlie and are thankful she is with us.