Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Jake, Trey and I are off to Trey's school Fall Festival (w/ costumes). We will be leaving there to drive Jake back here for his school's Fall Carnival (without costume), and then later tonight we will all (well, probably not Rob and I ) be donning costumes for a neighborhood Halloween get-together. Trey has on costume 1 of the day- I'll be keeping a running tally of how many costume changes we make. He's currently Spiderman, which was not his purchased costume, but whatever ;)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ready to dive back in.....

maybe. I'm contemplating 'going back to school' in an online kind of way, to get a Masters in Education (specifically Special Education, or Deaf education). What started as a passing thought has kind of grown, to the point where I am days away from starting the application process. Just to make this prospect more interesting, I've also been contacted about a potential part-time job opportunity working with other parents of HOH/Deaf children. Of course I'm sure there are many parents who are interested, so we'll see if it works out, but isn't it funny how when you start opening yourself to new possibilities, opportunities began appearing.

I'm also still working on Trey's school situation, which if we end up in the due process court, I may not be welcomed with open arms to our home school district as a Special Ed. (or any other type) teacher. But, it is what it is.....gotta do the right thing for Trey.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

12 year old daughter= no peace

If I survive this it will be amazing.....she goes from sweet as pie (maybe a 'slight' embellishment) to a spiteful little brat (putting it mildly)- hormones???? I don't know. I only know she doesn't do it do her dad- sigh. I love you mom (from the spiteful brat that I'm sure I was)

Just checking in ...

We had "Teacher Swap 2" yesterday, and I joined them for the first hour. It was fairly interesting to hear the views from the private school team. I was also asked to construct a timeline of events (regarding Trey and the school district's response). It was pretty interesting. This whole 'journey' started a year ago August (well, actually June, if you counting when they were definitely aware that Trey was of school age). That translates to over 30 email chains (and I'm missing email messages from August '07 until March '08 due to a hard drive crash), and many, many phone calls. And we've only had one IEP that has never been revised.

Anyway - I'm going to try to shower this morning so I better get off the computer :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Favorite Day of the Week: FRIDAY!

Why, you ask? (although I suspect many of you out there are also Friday lovers) I love waking up on Friday morning, to the realization that it is the last day you have to wake up at 6:00 am in order to prod your sleeping daughter awake before school. Of couse, that thought is quickly tempered by, "Shoot, I have to get up tomorrow even *earlier* in order to drive the same daughter (and whoever else chooses to tag along) up to Seattle for her darn soccer game, grumble, grumble, grumble". But, that's o.k., because I truly love watching my children play soccer....just preferably here at home.

Then as I'm quickly packing lunches into backpacks, and waking the other three kids, I'm so thankful that it's the last time I have to go through the process for the week. I have nothing but the calm (HA!), relaxing (double HA!) weekend to look forward to. I drive Delaney up to her bus stop (halfway up our hill), hoping the other three will behave for five minutes, drive back down, and then quickly feed them, brush hair and teeth, dress them, *try* (and fail) to get Trey's hair to lay flat, before loading them in a loving manner (a.k.a. throwing the kids and their backpacks into car), driving back up the hill to drop Emily at the same bus stop (although usually missing the bus, so driving to second, or third stop to catch bus), and then heading into the big city to get Trey to school. By this point, all I really want to do is crawl back into bed for another hour or two of sleep, but instead we drop Trey off, and usually head back home and go to the gym (babysitting- it's a good thing).

I typically have an hour to get Jake home, hair re-brushed, lunch made and laid out for the big Kindergarten boy, and then another trip to the bus stop, where I watch Jake walk onto the bus, and breathe a sigh of relief. Four kids, off to school- CHECK. I get a whole hour to get everything done that is on my to do list before trekking back into town to get Trey.

Friday- the anticipation of NOT having to do all of the above for two whole days makes for such a wonderful day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From the oldest to the youngest- gross habit. NOT TAUGHT...

This afternoon, Trey came downstairs in his bathing suit. He was missing a few key components, like his hearing aid and cochlear implant. So, I asked him (MADE him), put them back on. And, what do I observe as he proudly shows off his hearing aid and CI. He took his hearing aid from me, put his two fingers in his mouth, and 'wet' his ear mold so it would go easily into his ear. Gross!!! But, Delaney did the same thing up until a year or so ago.....

Adaptation at its best....or worst.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Delaney's IEP

We had Delaney's IEP meeting last Friday. It was her speech therapist, and Delaney and I. Kind of seems a bit half-hearted, doesn't it? But, I really LOVE her SLP. She was full of helpful hints, and made sure she used verbiage that we could use in the future should we need to ask for more help for Delaney. I also learned some great things- She is one of the top students in her class in both Language Arts, and Math. This is amazing, as last year she was not so great at Math (putting it mildly). She is also doing quite well in all her other subjects, and passed all of the statewide testing last year, which she had not passed the math section the year before. So, all in all it's looking to be a good year for her.

Of course, I will always remember that at the start of the school year they had NO idea Delaney was coming and needed an FM system, and/or soundfield system in her classrooms. Thank goondess I called to doublecheck on things. They also had no intention of doing her evaluations until I called, and I had two days notice on her IEP meeting (and missed the first meeting because no one informed me of the date). But, I guess you take the good with the bad....It pays to be a pain sometimes :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random facts about cochlear implants.....

(as borrowed from the Dallas Otoloaryngology Cochlear Implant Program's web page).

*Research has shown cochlear implants to be one of the most cost-effective medical treatments of our day, far greater than coronary bypass surgery or kidney dialysis.

*Children with at least two years of cochlear implant experience are placed in mainstream normal hearing classrooms at twice the rate of hearing impaired children without implants. This saves the education system up to $200,000 in cost from first through twelfth grade. (Melissa's note- maybe I should just send the school district a bill for the copay on the four implants......)

*It costs $40,000 dollars to implant one child during infancy to the age of three years. Project Hope has calculated that for every dollar spent on cochlear implants, society saves $25.00 in specialized services. This calculates to one million dollars in savings per child implanted. (Another lame Melissa note: Maybe a tax rebate to cover out of pocket costs, like batteries??? I know....just wishing out loud)

*Cochlear implant centers are recouping only twenty-five percent to seventy-five percent of their actual costs from insurance and government programs, losing up to $30,000 per child implanted, and many are facing shutdown. (Ouch.....thats a bad stat)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tomorrow is Delaney's Birthday Party (that's not really a party)....

We decided (well really 'I' decided) to celebrate Delaney's birthday this year, by inviting her entire soccer team to volunteer at the CARRA costume ball ( This wonderful event is to raise money for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (and other autoimmune diseases), which my niece Addison happens to have. The girls have a soccer game in Seattle tomorrow- so after driving there and back, the girls will be meeting at our house, to quickly consume mass quantities of pizza and birthday cake, before donning costumes and heading to our local high school for the 'ball'. They will be in charge of selling donuts, and other tasks, but most importantly making sure all the little kiddos are having a fantastic time. Yes, it's work, but it sounds like fun work, doesn't it? Plus, I truly do believe that sometimes it is better to give than to receive- hopefully Delaney will agree, seeing as I've asked that the girls 'presence be their present'.

I'm hoping it is a birthday they will all remember....maybe even more memorable than the Survivor party of two years ago (involving tents that refused to set up, tribes w/ matching bandanas and an afternoon filled with fun survivor competition), and the Halloween fright night of last year. Maybe......

**The picture is of sweet little Charlotte, another friend who has JRA. Picture taken by Lara Blair to promote the ball. There is another one of my niece Addison, Charlotte and one other little girl that I couldn't find to 'borrow', but this one of Charlotte is just too cute- Any of you local folks, please check out the link above- it should be a fantastic time for all :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch......notice the sun (YAY)

Waiting for the pumpkin train to arrive

Feeding the animals at the farm

Riding on the train to reach the hay/pumpkin pyramid

Climbing the pyramid

And, picking the pumpkin.....not nearly as fun as climbing the hay pyramid

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Delaney's 12th Birthday!

My firstborn is now a 12 year's unbelievable to me. I will try to write something sweet and caring, but I'm smack in the middle of birthday prep. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to wrap presents. I am also in the process of baking her a chocolate cake from scratch (she is a huge chocoholic, like her mom and gram). That said, this batter is TERRIBLE. I'm hoping that is not a precursor to a horrible cake. If so, I'll have to make a quick run to the store for the tried and true Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines cake mix. The recipe does not call for eggs, which seems quite odd to me. Reviews to come :)

Anyway- 12 years have certainly flown by. My daughter is about 5'4" these days, and has the same size foot as myself. She claims to have superior taste in clothing, although I wouldn't necessarily agree. She is 12 going on 16, but I'm going to force her to stay 12 for the next few years- I'm so not ready for a teenager in the house. She's a wonderful daughter (most days), a great big sister, and a true friend to many (as is clear from the amount of phone calls she receives.....).

Happy Birthday Delaney!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A moment to reflect...

The last two weeks (plus, at this point), have been such a complete whirlwind. Picture that you get the worst message you would EVER want to receive, only to be shortly followed up by one 'still cautious' but much more optimistic, and then have every possible scenario go the right direction. And, I'm talking in a 24 hour period.

Then, watch your loved one continue to do well, but be in extreme pain, not necessarily 'all there' (for lack of a better way to state it), and know that they were out of danger, but be wondering what exactly the future held (and I'm reminded of this daily- a story for another time but truly a reminder of how fortunate we are). This is now Day 3.

Then picture your loved one doing SO well, meeting every best case scenario, but have minor, SO minor setbacks (like fever, etc), and deal w/ how much it throws your world off. I like to think of it as delayed reaction...otherwise I'm just crazy :)

Now, we sit at over two weeks later, and the sheer exhaustion has just set in. We have great days, we have tired days, we have 'wow, did that really happen days', and yet, I realize how wonderfully blessed, lucky, etc. we are. We still have my husband's dad here (thank you 'mom'), my parents here (thank you mom and dad), so many friends and families making us dinner, carpooling etc, and I realize that sometimes out of those 'worst moments', you truly realized how blessed you are- and it's overwhelming.

That's where I sit right now. Good days, bad days, and all. Thank you blogworld for continuing to check-in, despite the poor posting record :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stolen moments.....

so needed, but so hard to come by. I'm sitting here 'stealing' a few, listening to the sounds of the boys destroying my bathroom. Trey was taking a quick bath, and by the sounds, I can tell Jake has joined him, and I'm envisioning the mass of water all over the bathroom right now. Loud giggles, shrieks, and oh, the splashing.....

Delaney is sitting next to me, reading my blog, listening to the music that is really in need of some updating. Rob is napping downstairs, watching a baseball game w/ his dad, and my parents have Emily at the grocery store. I've learned to appreciate these small moments- even if the cost is a lot (like mopping up a sopping wet bathroom).

Lots of soccer tomorow- stories and pictures to come, as well as pictures from the non-muddy Pumpkin Patch- a huge improvement over last year :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When given the choice of sleep or blog posts, sleep is winning.....

And my hours in the middle of the day are hard to come by lately. Between doctor's appointments and just our normal schedule there's not a lot of time at home. Trey has more nastiness in his ear (yes, the implanted ear that developed the mastoid infection), so the CI surgeon fit us in yesterday. This time it's just a tube infection/middle ear infection. Nothing some antibiotics won't knock out. Fortunately he's our child that LOVES medicine.....ear drops, oral medication, you name it, he likes it. Weird!

Trey also has school pictures today- too bad he cut a chunk of his hair, right in the middle of his forehead. Not sure how to hide that one, but I'm sure going to try.

The kids are very glad their dad is home (as am I)!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Monday

We're all home- sorry about the lack of posting. I was so tired I just couldn't bring myself to sit in front of the computer. Still waiting for news from the school district (meaning the actual report showing how they are a superior option for Trey), and hoping Rob mends quickly. Even with extra 'hands' in the house, I miss having a partner to tuck kids in, carry them when they're tired and be there to play endless rounds of "Madagascar" on the Playstation 2.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

D Day (A.K.A. Defibrillator Day)

The last step before Rob can come home- the defibrillator. The procedure is going to be done this afternoon, with a likely release from the hospital by tomorrow. I'll be so ecstatic when we're all home again. Emily started crying last night and said, " I just want things to be normal again-- I want my mom home and my dad home". Hopefully we can get that done for her by tomorrow.

To switch gears, I received a call from the school district and I guess I'll be receiving a full report from the visit, but boy did the teacher swap idea backfire. They now think they can do not only *just* as good as a job, they think they can offer superior instruction (w/ no teacher of the deaf, and no audiologist, as of now). I'll be curious to see the report, but certainly not the news I was hoping to hear. Don't get me wrong- if I really felt confidant they could get it done, I'd switch in a heartbeat. It would save me two hours of driving a day, and with gas being what it is that would be HUGE. But, I just don't see it.

Better run- I need to get dressed, get the kids off and head over to the hospital.