Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Doll Wars"

Mr. Phillips posted a wonderful article studying the variety of messages sent by the different dolls of today.

One of the most iconic symbols of childhood play is the doll. Dolls have always served an important role in culture, primarily in preparing daughters to be mothers. At the heart of doll play are two important concepts: identification and imagination. For example, the baby doll in the hands of a girl is a tool that helps her to identify with motherhood. The dress-up doll at her bedroom tea party allows her to imagine her own future role building a culture of hospitality for her family. With the historical doll a young lady both imagines and identifies with the adventures of girlhood past. The point is this: dolls have traditionally played an important role in the social and intellectual development of young ladies.

Humanists, including feminists of various stripes, recognize the power of play in shaping cultural identity and gender norms.

It's a long article, but well worth the read. It made me excited to help my husband-to-be establish a Christ-centered home where even the toys our children play with have meaning and purpose!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Much To Be Thankful For

Katelyn Grace was seizure-free today for the first time in well over a month!

To give you an idea of what an improvement this is, her worse day was last Wednesday, the 5th. She had seizures at 2:20am, 4:20am, 6:20am, 8:20am, and then randomly throughout the rest of the day, making a total of about seven or eight.

The Improvement

We saw an osteopath in Atlanta later that day, and things have gotten better since then. At that time, we also started a few other remedies, so it is hard to pinpoint exactly what single thing or combination helped the seizures. We just want to get rid of them! For the next week, she had two seizures a day: one soon after waking in the morning, and another around 6:00pm. Then, she started missing either her morning or evening seizure. Today, she didn't have one single seizure! We don't know what will happen tomorrow; she could have more, she may not have any at all.

The Seizures

Each seizure - or set of seizures - lasts about three or four minutes and consists of between ten and thirty individual absence and salaam seizures. She gets a glassy look in her eyes and doesn't respond to her name or to visual stimulation (absence seizure). Then her head goes back and there is an involuntary sudden contraction of her arms, legs, and head towards her middle (salaam seizure). She'll go back to normal and fuss for a few seconds, then she'll get that glassy look in her eyes and her head will go back again.... The first few are rather mild, but they grow more violent towards the middle and then slack off towards the end.

The Medical Opinions

The doctors say that these seizures are not enough to cause permanent brain damage at this time, but while she is having seizures, and while her brain is "spiking" abnormally in between, every two to three seconds, that area of her brain (which is quite small) cannot do what it needs to be doing. Also, it is not good for her to develop a pattern of seizures.

Thank the Lord!

We are so thankful that she is developing well in spite of everything. Many special needs children are unable to move at all for the first years of their lives. Others spend days, months, even years in the hospital. Yes, we have much to be thankful for!

Her Development

When she turned six months (she is now seven-and-a-half months!), we took her to the Down syndrome clinic at MUSC to check her development. They asked Mom countless questions about how she responds to this and that, tested Katelyn Grace's tracking abilities, and had her grab various objects. In so many areas, she was ahead of even "normal" babies! Her muscle tone was at 4-1/2 months, which is still ahead of most Down syndrome six-month-olds.

We believe that the hours and hours we are putting into her therapies are paying off!

Katelyn Grace is such a happy, contented baby, and is only fussy after her seizures or when her allergies (which we're still trying to figure out) are bothering her. She recently discovered that she has an extremely loud voice, and has been putting every ounce of her strength into ear-splitting yells and shouts. She loves "talking" to us! One of her favorite things is for one of us to take her into a quiet room, lie on the floor beside her, and just talk quietly to her as we play with her hands and tickle her feet. She watches and listens to us intently.

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your prayers for Katelyn Grace. It is such an encouragement to Mom, especially, to know that people all over the country - all over the world! - are praying for our precious little baby.

Please continue to pray daily that she would continue to progress and for wisdom for Mom and Dad. Thank you all!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request for Katelyn Grace

For those of you who don't know, Katelyn Grace is my precious 7-month-old baby sister who has Down syndrome. This post was originally posted on my family's blog, The Name Fitz.

I wish I had time to go into both the long and short of everything now, but the short of it all will have to do for the present.

After having an EEG (electroencephalogram) a couple of weeks ago, Katelyn Grace was diagnosed with partial seizure disorder, and is having seizures several times a day.

We have several very specific prayer requests:

1. That the Lord would completely take away Katelyn Grace's seizures, either miraculously or through the doctors we're working with.

2. That the Lord would give Mom and Dad wisdom as they're making major decisions about Katelyn Grace's medical treatments.

3. That the Lord would strengthen Mom, especially, as she's struggling with having to watch Katelyn Grace suffer through these seizures.

4. That the Lord would lead us to the right doctors.

5. That the Lord would work through the unsaved doctors we're seeing.

6. That the Lord would grant special wisdom to the Christian doctors who are helping Katleyn Grace.

Please copy this post and post it on your own blog, or just publish a link to this post. Please share this prayer request with your family, friends, and church. We are trying to get as many people praying for Katelyn Grace as possible.

Please, please commit to pray for Katelyn Grace every day. If you can do this, please let us know by leaving a comment. Mom would be greatly encouraged to know how many people are praying for Katelyn Grace.

Thank you so much everyone!

Lauren for the whole family

Matthew 18:19 - Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

John 14:13 - And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.