Thursday, September 3, 2009

13 Cakes Later

The birthday gang chanting "GATO, GATO, GATO. GATO!!!" (cake, cake, cake cake!!!)

The Decorating Committee
Gabo(wanna be decorator), Melinda, Pat, me, Valdo, Cherub, Margaret.

(Nancy and Sandra had already escaped the birthday bash bedlam!)
Baked cakes all day Thursday, started decorating at 8a.m. Friday morning, finished 13 cakes by 4:00 p.m. just in time for a 5p.m. PART-A-A-A-A-A-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y!!!!

Jamesky 2: Nemo by Sandra

Lony 8: Lion by Margaret

RoseLissa 2:Bumblebee by Lori

Lineda 2: Ladybug by Cherub

Golson 3: Frog by Cherub

James 8: Train by Lori

Adam 1: Fish by Valdo

Kendy 1:Touring Car by Nancy Overholt
(It was very scary!!)

Julie 2:Dragonfly by Margaret

Kervens-1: Heart by Nancy

Ester-1:Heart by Nancy

Amanda-11:Heart by Melinda

The June/July/August Birthday Party gang, with a few extra newly one year olds who had birthdays earlier this year.

September catch up!

I know. You don't even have to say it. At least I am finally here.

I know that last time I blogged it was a catch up blog, and well, here we are again, catching up from the last catching up!

And you are VERY thankful ;)

So, what's been happening????

-we had 5 one year olds move downstairs.(thanks to the people who provided us with the funds to get 9 new cribs...they arrived and are full!) That has been interesting! I can never get over how much our dynamic has changed since I arrived 2 years ago(oh yeah, my 2 year anniversary in Haiti has come and gone, since August 9th). We have 41 kids and only 13 of them are over 3! I think that lets you know a little of how things can be around here!

-a new Steevenson arrived, sent to us from Lori and Licia up at Cazale, weighing all of 2lbs and a few ounces...his mom went into premature labour while away from home, ended up at Licia and Lori's and then came down here to make use of our incubator. We weren't sure for a while how he was going to do, but he's pretty stable now, though he still has trouble keeping a steady temperature. He's getting 18cc of formula by tube, and is hanging out in the incubator which we have jerry-rigged with a heating blanket as it's not running the best right now. Pat and Melinda are in the states for 2 weeks, so Valdo and I have been busy taking care of him....I should say Valdo as he has been amazingly attentive and is spending the 2 weeks while they are gone caring for him, really only asking me when he is unsure about something. And is doing a great job! I am so thankful for him as it is stressful running the house, without having to be ever watchful of a preemie 24/7!!

Valdo with two of the preemie triplets that came last July

-we have 2 super awesome wonderful stupendous gals here from Ontario. Cherub(who I met the first time I came here in 2006) and her sister Margarat are here for 7 weeks and they are the best thing since sliced bread! Seriously! They see something and just do it, and understand how to make things easier, and are not afraid to get their hands dirty. One things that helps me a lot too is they are comfortable re-directing bad behaviour, and lately our little gang of 5-7 year old boys has been quite naughty!

-RoseLissa started standing up straight right around her 2nd birthday, still holding on of course, but very awesome! She continues to get stronger and more able to do things, though her latest feat of climbing up on a bench on her belly and flipping over to her bum makes my heart jump every time! The combination of being 2 and suddenly being able to start doing what her friends do is a crazy combination....and she's jsut a little determined! Her two smallest toes have now gown normal flat toenails, and the nails on her other toes seem to be following suit. She still has 5 toes that have no nail growth at all

-Minnie is coming back on the 11th! I am so excited to have her back, and the kids are ecstatic to be starting school soon! Please pray that she does not have any more health problems and that her parents have a good visit here for 2 weeks.-Melinda is getting married towards the end of this year, and will be living off the compound with her new family. Please keep her in your prayers and she prepares to start this new chapter in her life, and for the changes that will take place here at HCH

-Melinda got to put a needle in me again. I had been feeling tired for about 2 weeks, and then one day I woke up with diarrhea that would not stop and by that evening I was short of breath and quite week. She took no time at all jumping on the oppotunity to stick me...apparently I was a little dehydrated as it took 3 litres of fluid before I even had to pee!

-I recently endeavored to re-endeavor so master doing black hair...i had started a while back, but didn't have too many girls with long enough hair, and Kettline jumps around so much that it's a workout, so I had let things go for a while. Since then, I have started again as the toddler girls have long enough hair now, and am happy to announce that I am getting pretty good! The best was when Haitian lady commented that she was sure it was a Haitian who had done RoseLissa's hair!Yeah for me! I am not as fast as the ladies here, that's for sure, but the kids are very paitient with me for the most part!

This is called "shou" which means "cabbage". The way it's done here is by taking a small section of hair and braiding it, the attaching that braid into the next so they stay flat against the head. You make as many rows as you want and then they all meet at the crown of the head. This is the 2nd time I have done this style and it turned out pretty alright!

-the other night we watched a movie and hippo's, elephants and monkeys. I had forgotten how funny it is to watch an animal movie with over 20 todddlers...i really heard nothing the movie had to say, due to the kids all shouting "Lori, gade!!"(which means "look") every time an animal moved! Hilarious way to pass an hour!

-I have decided that there is a silent alarm that goes out the minute Melinda and Pat go to the states....because every time , without fail, old families come asking about their kids who have been gone for 10 years and get mad that I don't know who they are talking about! Really sick kids show up, and I have to decide how best to help them with the knowledge I have learned since being here(it's scary sometimes having people depending on you like that, but when there is no other option for them, the least a person can do is try!) or like it happened the very minute they were leaving, a 13 year old boy showed up with a huge gash in his leg where he had fallen on a piece of iron while playing soccer. They had stopped at the clinic in town but found no-one there, so a girl that used to bring her baby brother here for milk, came and brought the boy down here. I managed to get it to finally stop bleeding and close it up as best I could. He's been very faithful about coming back for dressing changes every morning at 11 a.m. Walking about 30 minutes . Each way. Haitians are amazing.

Valdo and I taking care of a nasty scrape

-yesterday a young woman showed up with her six month old baby who I could tell instantly was suffering from the effects of kwashiorkor(protein deficiency malnutrition) as his cheeks had that "look" (puffy and kinda stretched) and as soon as I pulled the blanket off the state his hands and feet were in confirmed that diagnosis. Steeven(yes, this seems to be the name of the year) mother had recently found herself in a bad place as her own mother died and the people that they had been staying with kicked her out. She's seen her son going downhill for about 3 months as she is not producing enough milk, and recently realized she needed help. She was prepared to give him up, but after I talked with her and told her we could help her with milk she was alright with taking him home and coming back in two weeks to reasses things once Pat and Melinda are back. These situations never get any easier to see...and in this case, the mom needed as much help as her son. Please pray for her and her child as they face such difficult circumstances.

Swollen feet

Steevenson Jean Paul

-a bunch of the guys around here are involved in a community soccer league that is only about a month long, so we've gone to watch/play in a few games, which also makes a fun outing for the older kids. The weirdest thing happened the first day. I got introduced to the local witch doctor, who lives just a stones throw from here, and a few minutes later just about dropped my jaw when he told our team they needed to pray so that the the game could get started!! Such a contradiction!! We couldn't help but make a few jokes about who he would be praying to, and if we won, who it would be who gave us the victory?!?!? The sad reality here in Haiti is that there is such a cross between voudou and christianity, and it can be very difficult to recognize the differences as there is such an overlap. For the record, the game ended 0-0.