Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Thoughts On Being 30

I've been in my thirties for a year now. Tomorrow is my birthday. I know so many women in their thirties that make it look so easy, so appealing, but I don't feel like I am one of those women. I feel very youthful and energetic, but I feel like I am aging. I know 30 is not middle aged, but my theory is when you are a child and a teenager your body is maturing and developing to it's fullest potential! Then you coast along through your twenties. Then you turn thirty and your body begins to slowly decay. You find your first wrinkle or grey hair and your mortality becomes a reality, even though it's been there all along. 

Okay, I am sounding really dramatic. Let me explain. I don't feel senile by any means. In fact I think I am more comfortable in my skin than I have ever been. I am just saying that I am aware that I have come into a new season of life and it's a little weird. 

It's weird that I can remember what my mom was like at my age. 

And to know that I am almost older than Jesus ever was (on earth). Scary.

It's strange that in 5 years I will have been married half my life! 

I also realized the other day that I've been a mother longer than I was in High School. High School felt really long and the past five years have just flown by. 

I'll say it again, I don't mind being in my thirties. I look forward to the days ahead. I don't feel like I have to try and fit into any mold other than my own. It's liberating. I will leave you with this quote, which to me says it all...
Here's to 30!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Summer School Is Paying Off

Not to sound like such a martyer, but summer school is a sacrifice for all of us. We wake up early, we spend a lot of time in the car commuting. We go to the bed when it is still SO STINKIN' BRIGHT outside. The tuition we raised was costly, gas is costly, and wah wah wah you get the idea. However, everyone is working together and thank God we are seeing results!

SJ's hearing age is now 7 months and she knows almost 20 words. Some of them she can pronounce better than others, but she understands quite a bit and is rapidly broadening her vocabulary. Her teacher always has encouraging and funny stories to share about what SJ is up to in class. One of my favorite stories was during vocabulary practice she is given a set of items and she has to grab the word that she hears. Here is an example

One day the objects were shoes, tree, and juice. The teacher said "JUICE" and she put one hand on the shoes and one hand on the juice and just shrugged her shoulders implying she knew it was one or the other. Those words sound a lot a like and she's a clever cookie for trying to choose multiple answers. Here is another therapy video of her with the same teacher.

It's exciting to watch her make such great strides. I remember the first few months after she got her implants I was always calling her name as a practice to see if she would respond and when she did I would sign and say "good listening". Now I call her name in the same way I would with any child, just expecting that she can hear me and sometimes she is far away, or outside, or in another room and she can hear me! That doesn't mean that I can always get her attention or that she is always wearing her implants, but she is doing well and I am so grateful.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Apartment Courtship

If you haven't read about our search for an apartment you can check it out here

I wanted apartment #1. It was attractive and inviting. I really thought we had made a connection, but in the end it wasn’t meant to be. It felt like a failed courtship. The truth is after submitting an application along with multiple phone calls and emails we were rarely able to get through to anybody. It felt like J and I were doing more on our end than they were. It was the "it's not you it's me" treatment. I got all the lines like "sorry this just happened to be really poor timing. Can you call me back at lunch" (and then getting his voicemail at lunch). And after a week of not getting a straight answer we decided it was time to move on. So we went with our second choice. In going with my boyfriend break up analogy think of apartment #1 as the popular guy and apartment # 2 as the reliable friend. 

Basically like all good chick flicks it boiled down to the one that was there for us and actually returned our phone calls. So this week we signed for apartment #2 and we get the keys on Monday. So we are moving to Milford Ohio. The apartment is on the third floor and it will be 5 of us in what is barely a 3 bedroom 1 bath. It's going to be a lot of stairs and a tight squeeze. Go ahead, you can pity us, but on the bright side we are going to be so close to both of the kid's schools and it's a really nice area. Every single staff member from the apartment and the schools have made a deposit into my I Love Milford Account. 

Of course J and I want to be home owners again (more than anything), but for the next year we will at least have a home of our own, and that's a good start.  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

When Your Child Is Rejected

A couple months ago my friend posted this status update on Facebook

*Madison didn't get invited to a classmates sleep over tonight. The ones who did all left after school so it was a big deal. She's in tears. Trying to explain to her that it has nothing to do with her.
I felt for Madison and I really felt for her mother because I imagined myself in that position. Droves of comments came in with concerns about Madison and theories about how to handle it. Everything from pay back (throwing a party and not inviting the perpetrator), to bowling, to buying a pony was suggested. In the end Madison got to take a trip to the city to spend the night with her really cool aunt and all was well again. 

I think it's often harder on the mother than it is for the child. Z is only 5 years old, but the reality of my child facing rejection in life is starting to present itself. Z is all about relationship. 

When SJ is at school I take the boys to a park or play place to pass the time. Because this happens weekday mornings there aren't always a lot of playmates available. 

Z doesn't even want to play if no one else is there to play with him. He is energized by company and when he's alone he feels depleted. Then there are occasions when there are kids, but they are shy, or have their own group they are with, or some are just flat out annoyed by the eagerness of my son.

When this happens my protective instincts going into overdrive and I have to resist the urge to step in and take over. I want to referee! I want to tell him he doesn't need them. I want to give him a play by play on how to approach friendship and be cool about it. I want to tell off mean 8 year olds. One time I did follow through with that last one, and I use pregnancy hormones as my excuse. We were at a Chic Fil A. One minute Z was running around pretending to be Buzz Lightyear and the next minute I found him sitting on the floor like a kite with no wind. I went over to check on him and a little girl came over (a bit defensive) explaining to me that she didn't want to play with him because he was acting ridiculous. I had already assessed the situation, and a bit defensive myself, I calmly replied "Oh Really?" She spoke as though she was trying to sound like a teenager "Yeah, and I bet if he were in school no one there would want to play with him either". I asked her how old she was and she said 8. I cut back at her inappropriately mocking her tone of voice "Well, I bet at 8 years old you must not remember what it's like to be 4, or to have any kind imagination." She caught on and looked at the floor with remorse. Then I fairly corrected Z, telling him that he didn't need to pout and that if she didn't want to play he just needed to play by himself. 

OH the heartbreak! For the record Z plays so well with all the kids at church and SJ's school.

This isn't an ongoing problem, but when occurs it hurts. The other day it happened with some brothers at the playground. They were a tad bit older and looked pretty tough. I thought "God, why did you give me such an outgoing child? I can't handle it. If he keeps putting his heart on the line he's going to get crushed.

He's such a little guy. He likes to button his top button, and he's got glasses. He doesn't stand a chance.


Why can't he be quiet and just keep to himself? Oh if only he were shy I could watch him play alone and be content. If only he wasn't so bossy, he could let the other children lead and balance would reside!" As soon as the silent prayer popped into my heart I felt gentle loving conviction. I thanked God for Z's outgoing personality and leadership qualities. IF ONLY I could see what a crucial role these attributes would play in the successful, passionate, man of God that he is going to become!

 I repented for my own fear of rejection which I pray never gets projected on to him. Sure, Z has a lot to learn about taking turns and giving people space, but we are working on it. And I'll admit that at 30 years old I still have a lot to learn about play time too. 

*I should mention that Madison is not her real name*

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Switched Is Back

I never in my life thought an ABC Family teen drama would have such an impact on my life. I don't even want to admit it, but the show has been truly instrumental in my ability to sign. Sometimes I dismiss the role sign language has in my life because SJ is in such a grey area when it comes to language, but the fact is even though we aren't fluent we sign out of necessity every single day. It's been interesting to watch her learn to talk. She understands and can identify all the parts of her face now. She says (or tries to say) up, down, where, open, outside, no, shoes, I want, and today for the first time I got to hear say bye-bye as she waved to her teacher! She has said it before, but this time was on her own. She initiated the goodbyes!

The other cool thing is that because the concept of vocabulary is starting to click more than ever, she is  starting to use ASL more too. It's not what I expected, but She has started having a new sign explosion. She has signed sit, swing, swim, wrong, yes, asleep, bed, trash and a few others without any encouragement. It's strange to see her doing a sign for the first time that we haven't used since last year. Like I said, my theory is that as she learns orally all the pieces are starting to come together and make more sense, plus she is maturing in other ways of course. I am glad to have Switched at Birth back on so that I can  brush up on the signs that have gotten rusty.

Another area of my life that Switched at Birth has shed some light on is my ear problem. I couldn't believe when I read a comment on my blog post about Meniere's disease that the lead character Daphne has it too! I knew she had some kind of mild fluctuating hearing loss, but I had no idea we had the same thing. And in case you've seen the show, her deaf accent is acting, she doesn't sound anything like that in real life.  When I first read about this condition I knew there was somewhere I had heard of this before, and it turns out they implemented it on the show. The character Noah is supposed to have Meniere's. They talk about it in this clip, but they make it sound more severe than what is typical with this disease.

The Switched at Birth season premiere came at just right time for me. I usually only keep up with one show (if that) and Call the Midwife just had their season finale. My entertainment choices say a lot about my interest; home birth and hearing loss. Okay maybe they just say a lot about how weird I am, or unique. Let's call it unique.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Apartment Hunters (Guess Which One We Pick)

If I am somewhere with cable I usually find my way to HGTV. That has to be one of my favorite channels. I have always had a love hate relationship with House Hunters. For those unfamiliar with the reality show, each episode has a prospective buyer and their realtor looking at 3 different homes. They talk about what they do and don't like and at the end of each episode they announce which house they are buying.  I enjoy getting a peak inside the homes for sale and J and I like to compete to see who can guess the chosen homes with the most accuracy. 

Last week J and I went looking for apartments and I felt like I could have had an HGTV camera crew following me around because it was so similar to House Hunters, well except ours would be the poor man's edition. 

The first place we looked at is minutes away from Sedona's school and is nestled in a quiet neighborhood full of scenic trails and wooded tranquility. The apartments are newly renovated with all stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and hardwood floors. The down side is that it is only a two bedroom and would be a really tight squeeze. 

We looked at another complex that has had excellent costumer service every time I have spoken with them and this neighborhood also seemed pretty peaceful, and not too far from the school. The downside is that entire apartment was carpet including the dinning area and it was all pretty outdated, and had a very "used" feel. 

The last place we looked at was really far away, but you got so much more bang for your buck as far as square footage. However, it didn't feel like a safe or family friendly environment, which has been the case every time we have looked at income based housing. 

When I told some of the ladies that work at SJ's school about the places we had toured they told me I had a sparkle in my eye when I talked about the first place. It's true, I can't help it. Apartment one is our first pick and after compiling lists of pros an cons for each place it took the cake with all the benefits. We turned in our application and are just on the edge of our seats to hear if we are accepted. The only reason we wouldn't be is because of our fluctuating income. If we can't get in at that place we will probably go with apartment #2. The 3rd one is not an option at all. We'll see what happens. We are already behind schedule when it comes to moving before school starts so we'll know something for sure this week and the final verdict can't come soon enough. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Pacifier Addiction

Ezie has never really taken to the pacifier. With each of our kids we have always waited a few weeks to make sure they have the hang of nursing before introducing the pacifier, but on that day it is a welcome relief for me, and for the ears of those around my children. However, there are plenty of drawbacks. It cost money to keep pacifiers in stock and they are always getting lost and dirty. Then there is the dreaded day that you have to take the pacifier away and for some (ahem, SJ) this is like an all out 3 day drug rehab. So you would think that I would have stopped trying to push the paci onto my third born after weeks of him showing no interest.


But as it turns out I am the one that has a hard time parting with the plug, and in all fairness J has too. It's just the way we've always done it. We tried giving Ezie different brands and shapes with no success. He is extremely content, but we just couldn't part with the idea of having it for emergencies. Where we go the binky goes, and we feel lost when we don't have one in the diaper bag. Yes, all this after 8 MONTHS of him NOT taking a pacifier. I Recently have become more comfortable with the whole idea and I genuinely like having a paci free lifestyle. The other day I had one on hand and I just gave it to him to chew on because he's teething. When I got him out of the car he was like this...

I can just hear his little baby brain 'you know I never really understood what the big deal with this thing is, but I think I get it now.' 

A couple other random notes about my 8 month old. We still wear him a lot, but now that he is bigger we're reaching for the Ergo more frequently and he loves to ride piggy back! 

His first summer may be a mild one. So far we have lucked out with some unseasonable cool weather. This picture of him in his sweatshirt was taken in June. We've still been having 60 degree weather around here. 

He's feet are dangling over the edge of his carseat and he's getting too big for the baby bath, but we make it work. "Yes, I do enjoying relaxing in my pink bathtub and I am completely confident in my masculinity." That was the imaginary baby voice again. I should have warned you.

He is really starting to show his personality.This guy loves to be loved, and we love loving him.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Moving Right Along

Hello to June. Hello to Monday. Hello to more tr-tr-tran-traaaansition.

That last word (transition, in case you couldn't see through my stutter) is a word that almost makes me wince these days, even though I should have become quite accustomed to it by now.  I am tightening my life jacket as I board the ship of change because this could be one of the biggest transitional voyages we've faced so far.

To put it bluntly we are preparing to move. Again. I knew when we moved to Northern Kentucky that it was only a stepping stone to get to Ohio, but it hasn't been easy to set sail. For those that don't know, we found out a year ago that our daughter is deaf. We learned that there is a deaf school in Ohio that benefit her greatly. So we moved in with my brother who is an hour away from the school and we've made it work for the past 4 months. The biggest problem is that cost of tuition is literally the same as going to a respectable college, and we weren't prepared to send SJ to college at 3 years old. If we live closer to the school we will qualify for the local funding opportunities.

Tomorrow SJ starts summer school thanks to the donations of friends and family. Then in the next few weeks we will be narrowing down our apartment options and hopefully relocate so that SJ can continue to receive all the services she needs, and Z can start school too.

In looking at our plans we recognize that there is potential for us to land flat on our faces, but we are stepping out in faith. So there you have it. Our latest giant prayer need. Please stayed tuned for the next installment as my dramatic life continues. Whew, I am trying to make light of things because it's too overwhelming not to, but in all seriousness we absolutely do appreciate all the prayers and support of our community. Even the virtual one. Thank you.

This post is linked up with Lisa Leonard for Hello Monday

Saturday, June 1, 2013

That Makes 33 Stitches

I was hoping the repeated injuries were going to be isolated to my boy, but as of last Friday NOPE. SJ and Z were playing tag when little miss priss tripped onto a drainage pipe splitting her head open right down the middle. Sigh.

She cried briefly, but bounced right back in no time.

Our first stop was the minute clinic, but it was bad enough that they referred us to the children's hospital. It was actually a really pleasant experience all things considered.

Each time a different Nurse or Doctor came in they asked about how to communicate with her. The answer is a little complicated, but I appreciate the fact that they cared enough to inquire. They took her CI's off for the proceedure, but I told them I could do some basic signing with her. They have a specialist that comes in before they give stitches in order to help alleviate any fear or confusion and she was awesome. She showed SJ everything by using a baby doll and allowing SJ to play and become familiar with all the tools they were using.

At the ER putting stitches on the baby. The staff said she was future doctor for sure.

When it came to the 6 stitches the Doctor was so thorough and precice wanting to do everything possible to minimalism the scaring. 

They used an ipad to distract her during the procedure. Her head was numb so she couldn't feel it. The Doctor and nurses were amazed at how cooperative she was. 

It's hard to say what the scar will look like in the long run. I hope for her sake that it isn't noticeable, it's not like there is even an exciting story to go with it. 

My instagram chronicling the week of the stitches from the ER to the day they were out.

I don't know how much more of this stitches business I can take.

A glimpse of 13 years from now. Oh dear.

 I have managed to go 30 years without needing stitches. Between Z and SJ they have had an estimated 33 stitches between them in less than two years. I say estimated because I don't  have a clue how many stitches SJ had after her CI surgeries, but Z had them on the chin and ear, then add to those SJ forehead. I am starting to think I might need to invest in a DIY kit. Not really. In fact I could barely mend their pants if they ripped. Hopefully the worst is behind us. 
There was a picture of her with her stitches at her school and she is showing Z the location of the injury.