Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Little Laugh For Everyone!

Hello Friends, It's Catherine! This story begins with my memory of one of my super awesome youth ministers during middle school and high school in Amarillo, who everyone should meet. Besides Greg's unique ability to ask questions at awkward moments, the fact he doesn’t wear socks with his loafers, his obsession with sardines, or his ability to make every moment interesting; he also has a keen fashion sense of wearing socks with his sandals (not his loafers, but his sandals). Since it is winter here, that is also a common fashion with the Zambians and I will admit to submitting to this unnatural yet satisfying feeling my feet have when they are covered yet free to wiggle! Hat’s off to Greg! Among other fashion trends here that I have welcomed with open arms is never having to match! I feel like I am a little girl again getting to finally dress myself or having Dad dress me and just wearing what I want to wear and NONE of it matches. I really do get dressed in the dark and take the first piece of clothing I come to. The other day I wore a bright tie dye shirt with a red, black and yellow chitenge. It’s almost like Zac and his never matching socks (one black, one white, one no show, one ankle)…I’ve always enjoyed this about him though and in about a year I won’t have to worry about matching his socks when I do the laundry… Whoopee!!! Another thing I have enjoyed is not wearing any makeup and never blow drying or straightening my hair. I don’t do these things just a whole lot anyways, but it’s nice not to have the pressure of society telling us that we need to do more to ourselves to be pretty.
Today was the end of week 2 of therapy and the kids are doing great. Yesterday we had a scare from one of the little twins at Haven 3, Sidney. She had this horrible cough and wouldn’t stop and as I was doing her swallowing exercises I felt her lungs and they were full of liquid. Once Caroline felt, Dr. Weaver did too and she was taken to the clinic immediately. She is doing fine today, but they found out that she had pneumonia and was having an asthma attack at the same time. We are all glad that she is doing better. It's actually been a blessing to work with medically fragile babies, because in the States most of the children would be in the ICU or incubators and we probably wouldn't be handling them like we do here. It's amazing at how resilient babies really are. Today we were able to feed Choolwe rice cereal and he kept it all in, we are so proud of him. Bennett’s skin is looking better and all of the babies are starting to feed better. We also learned how to tie babies to us with a chitenge and we all agreed that we will not use car seats to carry our babies around when we have them, because they are too bulky and all you need is a piece of cloth to tie a baby to you! Don't worry we will teach everyone once we get back and before you know it we'll be having therapy with babies tied to us!! Caroline has done a great job of documenting the progression of each baby we are working with the Feeding and Swallowing group. Here are the results from the 2nd week...check out her blog for more details.

GROSS MOTOR SKILLS: Day 1/After week 1/End Week 2
Head steady at shoulder 69%/ 100%/ 100%
Sitting with support 54%/ 100%/ 100%
In prone, head up 31%/ 92%/ 92%*prone is on the belly, aka tummy time
In prone, head up to chest 31%/ 53%/ 61%
In prone, head up to forearms 31%/ 53%/ 69%
Rolling front to back 15%/ 23%/ 39%
Rolling back to front 15%/ 23% / 39%
Sitting independently 15%/ 23% / 53%
Creeping on tummy 0%/ 0% / 7%
Search Speakers face 92% / 100%/ 100%
Social Smile 92% /92% / 92% Tracks 77% / 92% / 92%
Turns to voice, noise 69% / 92% / 92%
Reaches for objects/bats 54% / 85% / 92%
Cooing 15% / 85% / 92%
Object to Mouth 31% / 61% / 77%
Laugh 0% / 46% / 77%
Oral motor play 0% / 31% / 46%
Babbling 0% / 15% / 39%
Cononcated Babble 0% / 7% / 15%
No Non Nutritive Suck 69% / 25% / 7%


  1. Hilarious! I love hearing about the culture down there, it sounds like everyone is adapting to the all natural look! Thank goodness Sidney is doing better, keep us posted on her recovery! So do you like working with American kids in therapy or Zambian better? Who is better behaved? Thanks for showing us their progress very interesting! I'm loving the idea of tying a baby to you, you definitely need to teach us all up here how to do that! Miss yall! Keep up the good work!

  2. Sounds like you are embracing the culture very well. I like the way you wrote the entry Catherine!!! Well keep up the good work and keep enjoying yourselves!!!

  3. Great Blog!! Thanks for showing the progress! Continue having a blast! Poor baby Sidney, I pray she continues to improve.

  4. Can we take some of their fashion rules? I'd love to not have to match! I wonder if some of their language goals have improved because they have gotten used to you all?

  5. Wow! That is some impressive data! I'm happy to see that you learned how to tie babies to you. I am anxious to learn this. I went to a Christening yesterday and all the babies were carried outside in their carseats and it looked like such a hastle to have 3 bags and a baby in a bulky carseats! Can't wait to learn this way of carrying babies!

  6. So happy to see the actual improvements these kids are making. You guys have helped them so much. I hope they continue to improve. Also happy that the babies are all doing better. It is crazy to think that these kids are unable to benefit from the medical technology we have in the states. But it seems they continue to get better without it, which is amazing! So ready to learn about the baby carrying as well!