Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Early Christmas Gift...

Also known as the "gift that keeps on giving" (or at least peeing, etc.) Our dog, Maxine is quite old and we're not sure how many years she has left. We know that the kids are going to insist on getting a new dog once this happens, so we decided to be proactive and get the kids a new puppy for Christmas. Rob went to scout out the puppies and noticed they were sleeping outdoors (in the rain and cold) so we chose to get our puppy earlier than we had originally planned to rescue it :) He is a ten week old beagle puppy, and very adorable. Now we just need to get him potty trained (and remind the kids not to leave hearing aids or implants lying around as puppies *will* chew them).

His name is Milo....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This week has been all about Martha....

Martha Stewart that is. The 7th graders were asked to complete a "suitcase" biography project, where they select an influential or notable person to focus their project on. After much thought (and realization that many of her first choices were already gone), Delaney chose Martha Stewart. The students had to create a poster board, dress like their person, and compile 15-20 artifacts (complete with artifact catalogues), and would get the opportunity to "become" their person for a night, to present their projects to the parents. Last night was the big night. The school library was packed with several Oprahs, a couple of Mia Hamms, a Stephen Hawking, a multitude of Elvis impersonators-both male and female, some Beyonce's, one Princess Diana, and many others.

Delaney's friends were dressed as Lance Armstrong (and she was very cute....), Dolly Parton (who chickened out at the last minute on wearing the wig and the *larger* balloons, and of course Delaney, wearing an apron and holding a platter of brownies to use as a bribe, I mean a prop ;) The project was a lot of work for child (and MOM), but the night was fun. Now I just need to remember to save all the artifacts and poster board so that Emily can be Martha also in a few years- save us some work ;)

Now I have to go be Martha-like and clean the house, and do some dinner prep work. Today Delaney had a late-start day, and the other kids have early release, which leave no time for me to get anything done...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It is Soccer Saturday (for at least two more weekends)...

and then Fall soccer is finished. We've made it through with only a few soggy Saturdays, which is great! Today is cold but not too wet, so we'll take it, and it's local (no 3 hour drive).

Jake is hugely improved but not going to soccer (no fever today :)

Here is a sneak preview of our morning

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pumpkin Patch w/ Trey's Class

Let's just recap the field trip by saying it was REALLY REALLY MUDDY! And wet....did I mention that it was wet? And muddy. And there were pumpkins- wet, muddy ones.

It was actually fun, just very cold!

Long lost pictures from our trip to California w/ Delaney's soccer team

Overdue Halloween Pictures

We had wonderful weather for Halloween this year. As usual- too much candy was collected by all (I'm still finding candy wrappers all over the house). Hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well!

You *Know* It's Been Too Long When You.....

have forgotten the password to your blog. Sad, sad, sad. New happenings: Jake no longer qualifies for an implant. What? What!, you say. Yes, his hearing has now fluctuated up again (not as good as it started, but good enough that he is hearing pretty darn well w/ his trusty hearing aids). Wackiness, but good wackiness.

I have finished my stint of studying English as a second language, and my final thoughts are "wow, are there a lot of similarities between ELLs (that would be English Language Learners ;), and my four children as they've learned to communicate." The struggles are similar in many ways.

What else is new. Well, I'm smack in the middle of 'helping' Delaney wrap up a huge English project on Martha Stewart. I'll have to let you know how "we" do.

Next post, a boat-load of pictures.

Oh yeah- Child #2 has the flu (meaning he's the second of the kids to get it, not that #2 has the flu, because that would be Emily, and so far she is holding out). Wish us luck, I'm so DONE w/ H1N1/Piggy flu.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Today we have a follow-up hearing test....

to determine how much improvement there has been. I think he's vastly improved since Friday (it's a night and day difference). That said, I might still keep the MRI appointment on Friday, so that we have that step done in case his hearing takes a turn in the future. Maybe.

I'll keep you all posted (and get some new pictures up).

The main side effect so far is bright red cheeks from the steroid (and being in hazy sun over the weekend). Not to bad!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jake is now telling me his hearing is *almost* as good as it was before NH day....

NH (No Hearing) day. I'm a terrible mom and I keep sneaking up behind him to 'check' his hearing. Checking his hearing entails me yelling his name behind his back, seeing if he'll turn around. Right around yell 15, Jake said, "Mom, I can hear you, I just don't want to listen to you yell anymore".....:)

So, I guess we'll know for sure on Tuesday if he is back to where he started. If so, I'd encourage anyone w/ sudden drops in hearing to give steroids a shot (unless they are a health risk for you or your child). For us, it was definitely worth a shot. And, so far, they seem to be working well.

So, maybe, *maybe* implant avoided (for the time-being.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Steroids might be working???

He is definitely better today, and his left ear (which had the drop last Spring) is significantly better- mainly due to earwax removal yesterday ;) So, he can now hear me when talking in a *very* loud voice, and looking at my face. Yesterday he could not hear me even when yelling at the top of my lungs. Definite improvement.

I guess we won't really know until we visit the ENT again on Tuesday, but cautiously optimistic.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I think I saw this coming last Spring....but still. (Jake's future CI's)

Jake (my almost 'normally hearing' child, woke up complaining that his hearing aids were broken. Not so much- really...just his ears. And, not broken, just in need of some extra sound. After many hours at the ENT/Audiologist, there is no fluid, no "Glue Ear", little negative pressure, but some significant hearing loss.

We're trying steroids....more to come.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So all four kids are now in college.....

o.k., it hasn't been *that* long, has it? We're here....just busy, as usual.
School is in full swing, and everyone is enjoying their teachers, etc. Soccer is also in full swing (but what else is new ;) We did have an interesting Saturday, w/ the highpoint being a visit from the Camas police department. We let the two older girls stay home while we went to Jake and Trey's game, and somehow Emily "accidently" dialed 911. Then, in a panic, the girls ran down the hill to a friends house (which meant they were not home to answer the return 911 call), which resulted in a personal visit. The police officer was quite nice about it, and Emily remained in tearful apology mode for the remainder of the day.

So see- nothing has really changed around here. Choas still reigns, I just need to be better about sharing. What I really wish is that I had had my camera available to capture the moment. Hopefully it will be Em's last upclose and personal encounter with a police officer!

Sneak preview of tomorrow's update: Jake's new true love (and his efforts to share his feelings through cookies :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Emily's Moment.....

Out of the two girls, Emily has always been the one who is totally accepting of her implant, her deafness, etc. Delaney has probably questioned more because she had more hearing, for a longer period, than Emily. Emily has never once tried to hide an implant, and has always been happy to explain "what that 'thing'" on her head is. Today, for the first time Emily broke down, and told me she wished she was normal. Now, let's be honest. Emily will never be 'normal', but this has nothing to do with her hearing ;). She is spunky and feisty and FULL of fight/exuberance (depending on the situation), which sets her apart from the norm, but I really think she was born that way- it has nothing to do with what she can or cannot hear.

She was at soccer practice, and it was pouring down rain. I came to pick her up and her team manager handed my her cochlear implant (she explained that the battery had died). Emily was fine until the manager left, and she told me how much she HATES that she can't hear like everyone else on the team....she was sobbing. By the time we got home, she was fine, and we sat down to watch "So you think you can dance". Yes...I make *someone* watch with me, and Em was the lucky winner tonight. As fate would have it, there was a Deaf dancer on the show, who was so amazing, and such a fantastic example of letting nothing stand in your way (and this is without the benefit of aids/implants, etc.). It really resonated with Emily. She is now back to being at peace with herself (until next time her implant dies ;) Funny sidenote= the battery didn't actually die. For the first time ever, the CI got so wet it would not function.

You'd think we would have encountered that before living where we live! It's now dry (ish) and working.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wow- Two posts in one day....not too shabby for an old woman

Here are the first day of school pictures (long overdue).

Back to School (FINALLY), and September 11th

I hope to return to my poor, ignored, lonely blog. It was a long summer, and yet it flew by. I accomplished little of what I had hoped to accomplish, but spent loads of time playing with the kids in the sun and the water. They all grew taller, thanks to the aforementioned sun and water (or at least that's what I'm crediting). I think I just grew wider....probably because of my lack of visits to the gym. Oh well. Time enough for that.

Today is September 11th, a day I think I will always remember. It also happens to be my birthday. Such a bizarre day to have a birthday on. It's a day to remember the horrific events of 2001, but at the same time, it's a day I'd like to enjoy. Sometimes it's difficult to do both, and not feel guilty. I gave my sister a hard time for trying to avoid giving birth to my new niece on my birthday, but I do totally get it. Instead beautiful Ainsley Elisabeth was born yesterday- a more neutral day on the calendar.

Please join me in welcoming the newest addition to the family, and my children's new cousin!

We had another new addition, compliments of my sister-in-law, earlier in the summer, but I have yet to post a picture. He's adorable as well!

Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm almost back....school starts WEDNESDAY!!!

I'm excited, although I have to be honest....the Summer flew by. It seemed like it was just June.

I just got back from Back to School night, and I found out that Jake's teacher has a Masters in Deaf ed. I think this is going to be a good thing! he's really looking forward to having Jake in her class, and she already gets the FM system- YAY!!!

Em's teacher is normally the "Pre-AP" or advanced scholar teacher, so not real sure how Em wound up there ;), but hopefully she'll inspire Emily to reach new academic pinnacles.

Now, off to Delaney's BTS (Back to School). 7th grade....give me strength to survive-LOL.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What we *could* be doing today....

if we didn't have four games left in this tournament.

We've been using Sunday afternoons for "Family Day" at the river....

But, we have four soccer games to go (starting in 30 minutes).....

And, it's only going to be 65 degrees....Where did Summer go??

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Summer to Everyone

I'm slowly emerging from *SUMMER*

It's been crazy, fun, hot, did I mention crazy??? I have lots of fun stories to share, but they will have to wait, due to soccer. Yes, tournament number 5 of the summer. Both girls playing in the same location at least. More to come, I promise. In the meantime, here are some glimpses of day two in California, courtesy of the pool at the Marriott ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer has gotten the best of me....

So, rather than feel guilty that I've been not posting, I think I'm going to take a two week official blogcation. I promise I'll be back, better than ever! Enjoy the sun :) We'll be back from California around August 13th, and I'll be back on w/ pictures and I'm sure tons of stories....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Emily and XXX, sitting in a tree-

K-I-F-F-I-N-G.....huh?? That is Jake's version of the old "sittin' in a tree" chant. Imagine his surprise when I told him it was KISSING, not Kiffing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pictures from Snohomish.....

Delaney taking one for the team....

Emily between games.....

Trey enjoying some strawberries (his third basket of the day)

We made it back from our latest soccer adventure. Emily's team traveled up north of Seattle to an awesome town called Snohomish. I truly love this area, and the weather was fabulous one day, and horrid the next. The final day was rainy, 58 degrees, thunder and lightning, etc. But the girls won (actually they won every game by quite a bit, so maybe not quite competitive enough, but we all had a lot of fun).

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kindergarten Graduation Pictures

The Day in Pictures.....

Jake, checking to make sure we are in attendance.

Telling a Class Story

Leaping into First Grade.

The Aftermath of the Leap

Jake and the Future Kindergartner, Trey

Thank You Mrs. S For a Great Year!

Now onto first grade. I hope the school survives :)

So Much to Write About, So Little of Importance....

I started this blog to talk about my children and the issues we experience together as a family due to their hearing loss, but lately we've been really pretty much issue free. Or it's that the things that used to seem like issues, are just an everyday part of *our* life, so they don't seem blog-worthy.

We still experience new things: Like, how to send Emily to the river with our new neighbor and safely protect her implant. Short-term solution- leave it in their car while they enjoy the water. But, is there a better solution? Sidenote- I'm sure they just loved that experience. Taking a little girl they don't know all that well to the river, and have her not be able to hear for most of the time...fortunately, the two girls had a great time.

And, how to keep an implant and hearing aid dry while at a water park, or on a head while upside down on a roller coaster???

Anyway- I'm sure the issues will crop up again, especially once school picks back up, but you'll have to wade through my normal everyday life stories in the meantime. It's really nice to be issue-free for awhile.

Friday, July 3, 2009

A sunburn to go over my sunburn....

I'm cheating and adding pictures w/ red white and blue in them to make my blog more festive.

Are you feeling the patriotism??? I'll try to *really* change the look later....
I finally started fading from the soccer tournament last weekend, and a quick trip to the pool killed me. I'm red on top of my red. But it was fun, and the kids all had a fantastic time! Now we're off to purchase some fireworks (there's nothing quite like our local fireworks anywhere else I've ever lived....it's crazy), and then we'll try to hold the kids off until tomorrow.

Happy Early 4th of July everyone!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello, hello, hello

Talk about MIA. School has only been out for a week, but it seems as though it's been a month.

Nothing new here....just lottsa socca' (yes, my pathetic attempt at rhyming....not so funny). Both girls played in their first tournaments of the season, and both came in 1st. Great weekend for everyone! (yes, missing a picture of Jake, but he was there also ;)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jake just Graduated from Kindergarten....

Pictures to come (I promise....). Plus we've been so busy with life, so I have lots of updates, but you'll have to bear with me for the next few days. And then we'll be back :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Help, I'm Drowning....

in a sea of end of school year activities, and final papers for my DARN classes. I literally feel like I'm in a race and I stand no chance of catching up. Anyway- I will be back, hopefully tomorrow....or the next day, or the next ;) No really. I'll be back. Trey's been home since last Tuesday, and I think he's talking SO WELL! It's about time :) And, more importantly we have lost no additional equipment....yet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Never Forget A Friend....

It was so fun to watch the girls reconnect w/ their very first best friends this past weekend. I do not yet have the pictures of Delaney with Bryce, but I have lots of Em with Ashton. They were shy for literally a minute, and then were best friends yet again.