Saturday, June 28, 2008

No middle ground. Deaf culture/ raising a deaf/HOH child is just too political

I have to say. We've sunk to an all time low. When we're chastizing people over their decision to place "deaf child" signs in the neighborhood, don't you think we've placed our own political agendas before one others viewpoints??? If there was something available that MIGHT help keep someones children safe, why would someone be against that? I'm just at a loss here. I've tried to play nice, but come on people. We should all be in this together. My children are deaf. Three have implants. I'm typically afraid to admit that to quite a few in the deaf culture, yet I yearn for my chilren to also have that perspective. I am not alone. There is a middle ground here. I am sure of it.

Daughter played soccer w/ NO hearing.......

and she did o.k. It was an inevitable experiment. We had a situation where batteries didn't get charged (don't was the unthinkable "hair dryer" incident, where the charger did not get charged). And Emily had two soccer games and 12 hours of play time w/ out either implant. She threw a fit (which I would FULLY expect), and then we decided to go w/ it. Not what we would choose, but we all survived. She did not play better soccer (which I wondered, as she wouldn't be holding her implant on her head), but she played well with her friends 'implant-less'. She is a spectacular lip-reader :)

Needless to say we will not try the experiment again. I will NEVER blow-dry my hair again! She played much better soccer with her implant- she was better able to adust on the field and she was just much more confident.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Black Wednesday (also known as "Report Card Day"

And.....both girls did well ! Yay! Delaney improved each and every grade she had, and got a wonderful goodbye note from teacher and principal. So, I don't have to cancel her week long soccer camp in California (thank goodness, since it has been paid for at this point). Emily did well also (in terms of 'grades'), but she did poorly at turning homework in. We'll work on that!

I don't like to share....

Now that the kids are home full-time, we're sharing the one computer we have that's working. IT'S NOT WORKING! I'm finding that I don't like to share :) I have such a small window to pop onto the computer, and when I have to fight my girls (and boy) for it's use, I just give up.

So- I have one solution. I get a new one - LOL. I'll keep you all posted on how this goes. In the meantime I promise to kick my kids off at least once a day so I can say 'hello'.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Party Pics (and more)

Jake and Connor at Addison's party

Birthday Girl Addison- Two Years Old

The Girl Cousins- Delaney, Addison, and Emily

Trey on the green machine

Emily's New Hair- just in time for her soccer tournament this weekend in the 98 degree weather. She's down an implant due to a severe battery shortage- AGAIN. Hopefully they'll arrive tomorrow so she can be bilateral again :)

This is the laziest of posts, but I wanted to share some pictures of the kids from the last few days. Somehow I missed one of Jake, so I'll have to add that in as well.

Monday, June 23, 2008

School- what a beautiful thing

Trey started summer school today. It might have been hard getting all of us out of bed and to school on time, but SO worth it. Trey was so excited to be back at school- he raced out of the car and into the classroom, while the rest of us were still locking doors, etc. He wasn't fazed by the new classroom, new teacher, and new students, one little bit.

We'll see if tomorrow goes as well. The only little 'issue' we had was Trey insisted that a lunchbox was his, yet I hadn't packed him a lunch. He was so mad that I wouldn't let him grab the lunchbox and bring it home. A few minutes later his new teacher told me "you know, Trey was right- that lunchbox is his. He left it on the last day of school".....dumb mom!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Stats

Number of sleepovers had or gone to: 5 (in 5 nights)
Number of nights we've grilled/bbq'd: 3 (we ran out of propane in mid-bbq, or would be higher)
Number of days we've had the sprinklers on: 3
Number of days I've thought fondly of school: 5 (HA!)
New additions to house and/or family: New furniture coming today, 3 baby birds living in our backyard (somehow the kids found a nest and discovered the birds.....I'm not sure if the mom will come back at this point, so we're worm hunting for them)
Number of playdates: ENDLESS STREAM

Number of days I haven't posted on this blog: 3....sorry everyone, see above list for explanation
Summer school starts tomorrow so we'll have *some* semblance of a routine back

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Delaney's "new" implant is in (and programmed) ....

on Friday. For those who remember- her Audiologist snapped the prongs off in April, at which point we realized it was past the warranty by 2 days (FIGURES). After reviewing our insurance, and analyzing our child, we decided to extend the warranty, so now we just had to wait to get all that done. It's done (thank goodness....)!

I attempted to pop on and post earlier, but Trey had other ideas. He grabbed the gallon of milk in the refrigerator and dumped it all over our front porch. It *MAY* be a long summer. That said, the first week is always rough and every summer manages to fly by (of course I come to that conclusion on the first day of school, in September).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bye bye baby...

Delaney w/ her "Walk to Read"' teacher

Delaney w/ her much beloved 5th Grade teacher

And yes, the baby has been gone for awhile, but am I ready for a TWEEN/TEEN? No! Happy 5th Grade Graduation Delaney :) Scary- we rush everything these days. I remember 'back in the day' when elementary school lasted until 6th grade!


Tried to post earlier, but Blogger won't let me- that's o.k., it wasn't that exciting. I've been crazed trying to survive end of the year activities- I think I made it :) Today was the last day of school for the girls, Jake got out yesterday, and Trey, last week. I promise I'll be better about posting. I have lots of pictures and stories to share from the last week, just not a lot of time to get it done. Check back later, and hopefully I will have gotten it done!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Wonderful Husband....

scores point when he's not even trying. I was sitting here, catching up on my blog reading, when my eye strayed to the Evidence of Insurability (some addition/change form for our insurance) sitting to my right. My wonderful husband of 13+ years gave me an inch, and took off about 10 pounds.....he definitely knows the way to my heart-LOL. Hopefully that's really how he views me and not just a ruse to get some (brownies, that mom reads this blog).

Summer is here (at least temporarily) and we've been outside....

enjoying the weather (hence my prolonged absence). I've found that you have to take advantage of these warm sunny days while they're here! Trey seems to think that if the sun is peeking through the clouds, it's 'water' time- despite the 52 degree temperature. So, that's exactly what we've been doing- he has drug out the hose and filled every container in the garage (after dumping the contents all over the floor), and then dumps it on his feet.

Yesterday he had his school district IEP. I think it went well- I was actually pleasantly surprised with some of the things they were offering to do (check his hearing in his aided ear every 3 months through the school district, provide the FM system w/ really no prompting from me, etc.). That said, I really think we'll be keeping him at his current school, and hope that either the school district will 'agree' that it is the right place for him, or we continue to receive some grants to enable Trey to stay at the school. It is fairly expensive, and w/ gas being so HORRIBLY high, it's nice to get some help.

What else have we been up to? Wednesday we had Jake's last t-ball game (SO excited) and tonight is his pizza party. Thursday we had Delaney's scoliosis follow-up appointment (I don't think I mentioned it, but she did not pass her school scoliosis screening- just what I wanted to cram in during the last week of school). It lasted all of about 5 minutes- she does have a very mild curve in her lower spine, but her left leg is slightly shorter than her right (causing the curve). The doctor basically said she's fine, but she'll glance at it at her next check-up. She also mentioned that it is more abnormal to *not* have a slight curve.

Today I helped at Emily's (and Delaney's) school for Field Day. Emily was very excited to have me as her line leader, so it was really fun getting to help out. That's about it- thrilling, isn't it. I think that's the other reason I haven't written anything. Life is just a bit routine right now. Not that that's a bad thing, in fact I think it's great in many ways :)

Well, I better go finish doing some cleaning.....all that time outside is starting to take a toll on the house!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

End Of School BBQ

Today is Trey's last day of school (until summer school starts in two weeks). It's been a good year overall. Has he progressed as much as we would have liked? No. But, I know the whole team (us, his teachers, SLP, audiologist, and school director) are all going to work even harder this next year to make that we are doing everything we need to do for Trey's development. I think we all maybe followed Trey's lead, and were too passive. He's such a fun-loving, sweet natured child, who never seems bothered by his lack of ability to interact with his peers. He makes it easy to not worry. But, I think he would be even happier if he had the words to use with his friends and siblings. So, now we need to give him the 'words'.

He has a BBQ today (that I'll be heading to shortly), to kick-off summer. The weather is definitely not cooperating, but that happens here in June. We've been to many of these BBQs (from when Emily attended the school), and I think we've had more rainy days than sunny ones :) The kids do not care, and the sno-cones will be eaten in massive quantities- maybe it's better that it is raining. The rain can wash away the stickiness.

CARRA Race Pictures (as promised!)

Delaney and friends, running w/ Addision (who is not real sure she wants the girls holding her :)

Delaney and my nephew Connor (the super-fantastic runner)

Addison- I'll run for her anytime:)

It was an incredible event- families and friends all running together for a common goal. Finding a cure for JRA and other autoimmune diseases so that kids everywhere can move around pain-free. Delaney and I (as well as the other soccer girls) had such a great time.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Today we were hit on by the deaf.....

O.K., so not really. Although I "was" given a home phone number :) Trey and I were shopping at Trader Joe's today (and if you are not familiar with the store, that's a whole 'nother blog post), and we were in the checkout line, when a woman came up and stood right next to me. So close in fact, that I felt really uncomfortable. I finally looked to the side of me, and she looked right at Trey and asked- "Does that work for him?".

It was very clear that this was also a HOH/deaf woman. My immediate thought was, " Am I going to get a lecture about implanting my child", because she was definitely older, and to TOTALLY generalize, I assumed she would be disapproving. But no- she is bilaterally implanted and truly LOVES her implants. Conversation was somewhat tough, because she was a bit hard to understand, and the store was *really* busy (loud), so she had a hard time hearing me. I used a combination of voice and my preschool level signs and we had a great conversation. She was the first adult to be implanted simultaneously at our local hospital. She was very proud, and so wanting to chat. I was sad to see that we were already through checkout. I will say she was also VERY quick to hand me her business card(w/ home #) and asked if I drank tap water- She was selling water filters, but I prefer to think she just wanted to connect-LOL.

We also attracted the attention of an elderly couple in the line next to us. The man/husband asked if Trey had a phone on his ear (um, no...he's only four), but his wife quickly corrected him saying "it's a cochlear implant". He told me he had retired from a university that had been researching the technology, way back when. He and his wife just kept marveling at Trey's implant. They were truly in awe that they were watching a deaf child communicate somewhat seamlessly (that said, it *was* Trey who did not do so hot at his last IEP- I was wishing they were seeing Emily. But that said, even Trey's 'still delayed' performance blew them away).

It's funny how that happens- we have days where I spend tons of time explaining to, bonding with, feeling proud of EVERYTHING, and so many others where my kids are just one of the many kids around, nothing different *at all* . I LOVE that!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I lied (about the pictures), and a HUGE callout to my nephew-

Connor. Today was the 5K run for CARRA (that I've mentioned in previous posts- an outstanding organization raising money for autoimmune illnesses, which my neice happens to suffer from). I was SO fired up for today- I'd been working on my 'pace' for months (o.k., not really, but that *was* my original plan). Instead, I've had the cold that will not quit, and I was dying- DYING. The soccer contingency I brought out (my daughter and friends), left me in the dust, so I ran w/ my sister, friend, brother-in-law (pushing heavy stroller), and an assortment of young children. Am I pathetic and sad that the young children left me in the dust at times???? Not to mention the 70 year old woman, suffering from arthritis w/ a CANE (huge props to her!!! She even managed a huge shout out to us to steer clear of the dog poop in our path- which I'm sure we all would have trod right through). That said, my nephew, and the other little ones running with us did such a fantastic job of running, jogging, walking, and rarely 'strollering**' through the race, it was amazing.

I did take pictures, I'm just too tired to post them right now. I had a pizza party for the soccer girls last night, followed by a sleepover followed by 6:30 am 'snack time' to get them ready to run, followed by the 5K, followed by a 4-5 course breakfast (prepared by me...who was already barely breathing from running 3 miles w/ a mild form of the plague), followed by sprinkler fun (in the 58 degree weather) followed by buying snacks for Pioneer day (for the 5th grader), and Camp days (for the 2nd grader)....I know, I really don't need to go on, but I'm impressing myself (HA!).

A good time was had by all, and I definitely have pictures that I will some point in time :)


**Strollering: Defined by my nephew- 'mom, I need a stroller NOW', or ' Dad, I MUST insist I stand behind my lil' sisters stroller and let you jog me around because you'll get major brownie points, that will surely buy you something'.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hello Machurino....

I spent the entire morning at a soccer fundraiser (working at a softball tournament- yes, don't ask, it's complicated :) But, (on the same note) the job wasn't all that complicated. We worked the snack bar- you know, the basics: nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers, and THE MACHURINO. I'll come back to that ;) There was a snack bar manager who decided that we must all have the intellect of a......rock. Yes, a rock pretty much sums it up. He treated all of us (all parents, who have raised children to be *at least* 11, not to mention those of us who have had 'jobs'), as if we lacked the ability to think on our own. It was quite insulting, yet at the same time highly amusing.

We were given very specific instructions on how to make a hot dog (take a bun, pull it open and place a hot dog inside- WOW!), and best of all, the MACHURINO. Basically a layer of corn chips, followed by chili, followed by cheese (and your choice of any of the following: onions, jalapenos, and olives), then repeat. With the topper: a dollop of sour cream- no more, no less. "Make it pretty folks- people need to see these and WANT them.....they should be eye candy". Now I've worked snack bars and concessions with the best of them, and I have never encountered anyone like this concessions manager. If he would not have been so entertaining, I might have actually gotten mad.

Tomorrow morning- the arthritus to come!

Friday, June 6, 2008

I got nothin'.....

I've spent the morning cleaning out the closet (the BIG closet), which is a hopeless mess. If that wasn't enough to suck any ounce of creativity out of my head, I also feel like I'm up to my eyeballs in snot (sorry......not a pretty visual, but a very apt description of how my head feels). The little cough I've had for two weeks has migrated to my sinuses. And, it's dreary.....very very dreary. That would be the weather/sky, not my sinuses. So dreary in fact I'm beginning to wonder if Summer is just going to bypass us this year. Yes, I'm just full of warm fuzzies today. So, in the interest of not being a total bummer I'm going to sign off- Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Message to Rachel

Late to the party, but here goes nothing! I have to admit, I've steered clear of much of the controversy over CI/nonCI, etc. I am simply a parent who made multiple decisions for multiple kids, and I did not feel like getting blasted for those decisions. However, I truly hope that my children grow up to feel as strongly as Rachel does : .

If they don't, I can live with that as well. Let's be honest. I needed to make decisions at a time when my children were too young to weigh in. That said, they are all very verbal and they all do quite well with their voices. So well in fact, that I was compelled to name this blog the "loudest house on the block". Thank goodness Rachel and her blog are around, as a strong role model (and positive reinforcement), for the decisions we make for our young children. That is not to say that it is the 'only' decision. But for our family, and our kids, it has worked.

Thank you Rachel for being a positive voice. I think it is unfortunate that you have been removed from deaf read, but trust me- you will be read anyway.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stonefish (and other assorted creatures)

Jake continues to amaze me with the information he picks up without even trying. We've really never had this experience with the other kids- we had to really work to build their vocabulary and expose them to many different topics and discuss everything at length. Jake came home from school the other day talking about Sea 'Anemies', which I figured out must be Sea Anemones....yes, hard for even an adult to say. He was able to recite all kinds of facts about various sea creatures, and when I spoke with his teacher, she said they had just read a book- one time. Amazing.

Today he was watching a special on "Animal Planet" and came upstairs to invite me down to watch with him. He told me it was all about Stonefish, which 'are so poisonous, mom' and to tell me about Box Jellyfish (and 'the lifeguards wear these long socks, only they're not really socks, they protect their legs'). He's like a sponge, and learns so effortlessly it just blows us away.

My little sponge :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back from the pediatrician

I feel lucky- we haven't actually been in awhile, and I was wavering on whether we really even needed to go. Thank goodness I decided enough was enough. We have all had the 'creeping crud' (for lack of a better word)- cough, fever, cough, and more cough. It's not fun and it seems to hang on. That said, Jake was the first to succumb and is still hacking away. Today, while killing a few moments in my car, he was sitting next to me and I heard some odd crackling, vibrating noises as he was very faint, but still there. I called and got him in. For the next two hours he proceeded to run around like a lunatic and act like he's never felt better- I almost called to cancel, but I didn't.

Good thing. He has bronchitis bordering on pneumonia. Mother's intuition- it has never steered me wrong (that and really good ears :) He is on strong antibiotics, and hopefully will be able to enjoy his last week of school (next week).

Have I whined yet about the summer that refuses to appear? It has been the rainiest, bleakest spring since I've lived here (with the exception of the week of heat when we all complained- I know, we're a fickle lot here in the NW). Please sun, give us a peek, pretty please!!!

O.K. enough whining- Trey has his second IEP next Monday (w/ our local school district). I'll be interested to see what their recommendations are. The bummer is, it's on the same day as field day- that said, if the weather doesn't improve we'll only be missing outdoor activities in the rain, and sno-cones in the wind and cold. See- a silver lining!

We have four new additions to our house.....

Yes- I caved on the whole "we need another pet" thing, and got all children a fish. It was a huge moment of weakness (or moments of weakness), brought about by Emily winning a fish at the school carnival. Instantly everyone was fighting over "Molly" or "Nugget" or "Daisy" (or WHATEVER she finally decided on). The other three children were not able to *go* to the carnival due to other sport committments, and they all claim they definitely would have won a fish also. Rob was sick all weekend, and I just couldn't listen to the cries of despair any longer.

Yes- I totally gave in. And, now we have four fish.....Shoot me now!

Monday, June 2, 2008