First a couple notable things from the past several days: Celine is in Iasi, where she was being fitted for leg braces and getting ten days of physical therapy. Cristi is in Barlad, where he is getting a certificate of being handicapped—something he needs to be reevaluated for every year, despite the fact that one doesn’t grow out of Down syndrome. Raul left on Thursday to see a dermatologist in Barlad. On Wednesday (or maybe Tuesday) I watched Raul get his bandages changed. It is something I never want to see again, as I’ve never seen anyone in that much pain before, but I’m glad I saw it; it makes me more aware of the parts of his body I should avoid when picking him up, so as not to cause him pain, and it also makes me understand his condition better.
Now onto the “real” update. I had the “team journal” today, so I’ll just copy down what I wrote in it tonight. Expect an update on my weekend trip to Sighisoara later this week.
It all started when someone dropped a baby—-or so I thought. I had been asleep at 5am, dreaming a dream that involved a baby, when all of a sudden, I heard a loud noise and, in my state of unconsciousness, I thought, “Oh my God, someone dropped the baby!” I then woke up and realized that the noise had only been from Kristen (my awesome roommate) banging her head on the bedside table. Thankfully, the events of the day went uphill from there, with many exciting and notable incidents occurring.
The award for the Cutest Personality of the Day goes to Mihaela. She was the most adorable little mama today as she kissed and petted socks, leaves, and sometimes even the other children. From saying “bye, Petre” to “holding” her sister and saying “Gabi” to putting butterfly wings on her baby doll, Mihaela showed that beneath her often-rambunctious exterior, she also has a very loving and sensitive side. She also made me realize that I should keep my camera ready whenever she’s around, after I missed the most adorable shot of her running to hug her buddy Andreea.
The biggest event of the day was Maria-Cleopatra’s second birthday party. We gathered the kids and aides in the mobile playroom in the afternoon to sing to her, and some of the kids had cupcakes to help celebrate. This was a huge milestone for Maria; last summer, it seemed like every day I would secretly wonder, “is today the day?” Now it seems that in some ways, she’s not even the same little girl. Gone are the days when volunteers would shut up just to hear her laugh—a rare occurrence back then, it now happens every day. While her condition hasn’t improved, she has come very far. Now she is a recognized presence in the room—not because of her disability, but because of her personality.
This is my second team this summer, and it is a great one, as evidenced by the wonderful progress of many of the kids in the past week. Alexandra has been working on eating with a spoon, something she did two years ago, and today she ate her lunch all by herself! Roxie has been practicing standing and has really opened up in the past week; she is more interactive and expressive. It seems like Daria will bypass crawling and go straight to walking, and Marius takes more and more independent steps every day. Gabi, now out of isolation, is standing more, and Alina eats yogurt! The mobile kids have been practicing with spoons, and Roxie, Daria, and Alina want to get in on the spoon action, too. Nicoletta weight in at 9.5 pounds this morning, and she ate her entire noon bottle for me!
Paula ate some yogurt today, and she has improved in the past week, as well. She is more calm and willing to spend time outside of the usual happy confines of her crib and the jumper. She’ll play the piano on the floor, search the toy hamper for her keys, walk down the hall with someone, help Whitney push the stroller, and even venture outside!
A few of the mobile kids worked on potty training today, which I found out after I wondered why I heard Andreea screaming all the way down the hall. When she, Mihaela, and Ion were finished, Andreea came in, pouting, and sat with Jane before we realized she was still diaper-free!
I always struggle with how to end journal entries like this… If I try to be too profound, it ends up sounding cheesy and totally unlike me, but if I end it abruptly, I feel like I’m leaving something unfinished. So I’ll just say that tomorrow, we look forward to Lea-Celine’s return, as well as many more smiles, giggles, hugs and kisses, precious moments, and…well, you get the idea. ;-)
I'll post a lot of pictures tomorrow to make up for what I'm not posting now, as it is my bedtime. Good night!