Home Stretch for This School Year

It’s official. I turned in re-enrollment forms for both of my school age kiddos. SJ will be going into 1st grade and Z is going into 3rd. I’m really excited about this next milestone for these two.

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Not a lot will change for SJ because her school uses a montesorri type format. So she will be in the same classroom with a lot of the same students next year, except now she won’t be the youngest. You would think this would be an easy transition (for me), but I get anxious almost every year.

The schedule is the same for SJ which means she spends about half of her time doing academics and the other half is speech and language. This year I felt great about that because even her hearing peers were only doing half day kindergarten anyway, but in 1st grade I have to worry about her getting a “full day” of curriculum in half the time. I worry so much about her being behind. I practically had to have a voluntary intervention at the parent teacher meeting last week.

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Thankfully we have the most amazing team of teachers, directors, even the audiologist was in there at one point. They all encouraged me by answering my questions and telling me what an incredible job SJ is doing. They also reminded me to remember how far she has come and she really has!  I feel 100% better after going to this meeting and now I am ready for next school year. I make it sound like I am the one going to school. I know I’m not, but I might as well be. We’re in this together!

3rd grade

Z is going to be switching classes for the first time when he starts back up in the fall. He said he is a little apprehensive about that, but I know he’ll be fine. I am beyond excited that he gets to be at this school for the 4th year (new building, but same school by the way). I love his school so much and we weren’t sure if we were going to be moving, but we’re not. We are staying in our rental home another year. After that we’ll try to become home owners again and we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

The funny thing is, even though I don’t have to worry about Z falling behind I worry about him being challenged. With Z he has shown a lot of signs of being at the top of his class and he’s really great with technology and math. He wants to be an inventor and I want him to be able to do that. How do I harness his abilities without being pushy or overbearing? I know I sound like such a worry-wart, but I prefer the term over-thinker. The other day he had to remind me that college is still 10 years away. I am that mom.

Regardless of my tendency to fret I can assure you that these aren’t thoughts that constantly pervade my mind. With 4 kids I don’t have time to obsess. I am all about kids being kids and learning trough play, yada, yada, yada. I think all moms want their kids to succeed and reach their fullest potential. That’s what it boils down to.

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I am genuinely excited about wrapping up another successful school year. The last day of school for both Z and SJ is exactly 5 weeks away!

Look out summer, here we come.

By | April 21st, 2016|Schooling|1 Comment

Mornings as a Deaf Child With Cochlear Implants

The other day someone asked me about SJ’s cochlear implants. The person I was talking with had never heard of them before. I hadn’t either before I had a deaf child. They are such a huge part of my life now that I forget that it’s not “normal” and there are still a lot of things people don’t understand about the procedure and the device.

So I had the idea to share a day in the life of a child with a cochlear implant (CI), but it would probably take a day to write so I am going to break it up a bit. We’ll start with the beginning of the day.

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Keep in mind these routines aren’t the same for every child with hearing loss and things will change as each child advances in their journey, but for now this is what it’s like for SJ.

CI recipients wear their processors about the same amount that the visually impaired would wear glasses. The way it was described to me was that “The Three S’s” remind you when to take them off “Shower, Swim, Sleep” So SJ wakes up in silence. She had severe/profound hearing loss already, but when someone has the cochlear implant surgery it damages whatever preexisting hearing they had. So when the processors are off she hears nothing at all.

For now I wake her up, but many years from now when she is on her own there are special deaf alarm clocks that vibrate and there is a variety of options to choose from.

Some children may like to put their CIs on the moment they wake up. SJ doesn’t. She likes to ease into her day and have things quiet at first. I mentioned this to my family and my sister in law (who is hearing) said she is the same way. Makes sense to me. I’m not much of a morning person either.

Anyway, SJ can talk without wearing her processors. She sounds the same either way except she is usually oblivious to her volume. Kind of like when someone is wearing headphones and they don’t realize that they are shouting. So I have to remind her to speak softly when this happens. She also reads lips and signs, so we manage pretty well in the mornings before she puts her processors on. It isn’t long though before she has to be dressed and ready for school. That is when she puts her processors on.

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The processor is the part that allows her to hear (shown in the photo above in white, the round part is a magnet) and the implant is inside her head (shown on the left). She calls the processors her “implants” because that word is easier to say. I wrote more extensively about the equipment in the post “All About The Cochlear Implant“.

Technically SJ can put her processors on all by herself, but it’s not easy. So for now I usually do it for her. When she is bigger they will  simply hook on her ears and stay put, but right now her ears are just too small. They don’t make child size cochlear implants so a 1 year old wears the exact same processors as an adult. There are multiple options for children to keep the processors on though. SJ uses special headbands that my sister in law makes for her.

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At Christmas she gave her some new sparkly ones and SJ has been thrilled to have more options to choose from.

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You can get more elaborate with the CI headbands, but SJ’s are as simple as they look. It’s just a headband with an elastic loop.

Sometimes she doesn’t wear headbands and on those occasions we keep the CIs in place with toupee tape.

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That pretty much covers the whole morning routine. After that she is hearing and ready to head out the door and go to her deaf school!

By | March 9th, 2016|Special Needs, Uncategorized|5 Comments

Dramatic Haircuts on the Way

Everyone has different priorities and it just so happens that in this family we don’t place a lot of value in haircuts. Some of you are probably thinking and it shows. I have a lot of respect for my friends who are stylist and someday when I have more money I’ll take care of my hair, but for now I’m just kind of meh about it. It’s dead to me (because hair is pretty much dead).

So the guys in the family get haircuts at home. Evie recently had a big change actually.

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It was even longer than it was in this picture. It was really shaggy and in his face. I wanted to get it done before baby Elle came, but we all know she came before I was ready. So J cut it.

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and here he is with his big brother do.

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I’ve wanted to get SJ’s hair cut for a long time, and at one point she agreed. Except come to find out she wanted her hair cut to be “long and yellow”. In other words she wanted Rapunzel’s hair.

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When I explained that hair cut means her hair would get shorter she protested. She was not interested UNTIL… I said I was going to get my haircut short. Now she’s on board. I always chop my locks after having a baby because I shed SOOOOO much. There are long hairs tangled up in the baby’s hands, in the shower, in the dryer (all wadded and knotted up) hair all over the back of my jacket, hair in my food.

HAIR. HAIR. HAIR everywhere. I can’t stand it.

So If I am going to loose that much hair I would rather it be a little shorter. My plan is to go from this

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to this

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SJ’s cut will be about the same. I tried to get her involved in picking what she wanted, but even though she understands about the length it seems she still thinks she gets to choose the color which is odd because I don’t color my hair. So as we are looking through potential hairstyles she says very matter of factly with a serious face that she wants this one. 

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I say That one? as I point to the colorful pixie cut on the screen and she looks at it and nods yes. I asked her if it was because of the color and she said yes. She was not laughing she just wants My Little Pony hair and it’s not that strange to her.

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I made two separate appointments for Tuesday so it’s official. The hair is going to go. I will be sure to post the after pictures next week. I don’t plan for either of us to get rainbow colors, but we’ll see.

By | December 4th, 2015|Frugal Living|4 Comments

Broken Jewelry Decor

 

I’m all about birthdays this week. Remember the tea party from last March?

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I do and I will never forget it and how special it was!

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One of the things I shared when I blogged about the decor was this simple wooden letter S. It was a nice little addition to the party theme, but unlike the piñata and the desserts that I talked about yesterday this is a piece of art that we get to keep!

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I have a cute story about this S that has traveled to a new place in our home. SJ got her own room yesterday. We were waiting to find out the gender of the baby to decide how to split the rooms up in the new house. Then when we learned we are having a girl we still had a bunch of boxes in the room to unpack. Finally we got the room straightened out when  my in laws came to visit this past weekend. That was the motivation we needed to set up a bed in there. After they left yesterday SJ moved in. We still haven’t really moved any of her stuff, but she wasted no time getting her toys, a photo of herself, and this letter S.


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She is so proud of the new room. I would share pics, but I don’t have any since at this point it is really not much to look at. The thing that cracked me up was the moment she got home from school and started setting up camp in her new room I overheard her yell “Ezie get out my room!!!” It was the first thing she said, almost immediately after she claimed that territory. Ahhh, siblings.

She slept through the night in there all by herself which is saying a lot because she is 5 1/2 and she has never been in a room by herself. Her and her brother have shared since day one.

Anyway, I bring all this up because that lovely letter S that she cherishes so much was a super easy DIY project and you can make one too! All you need is a wooden letter, some old jewelry, hot glue, and some fabric. The whole tutorial is over at Little Dove Creations today! Stop by Little Dove Creations to see all the details.

By | September 9th, 2015|Crafts, Parties|1 Comment

Tooth Fairy Disappointment

I have another kiddo joining the adult tooth rank. It’s funny how different it has been though. 2 years ago when Z was in this position he barely made any mention of his tooth at all and on Christmas eve it fell out! We were wondering how he would ever get to sleep that night with all the excitement. The tooth fairy and Santa all in one night?

I figured my job was done when I sneakily grabbed the tooth in exchange for a dollar, but  in the middle of the night he lost a SECOND tooth and also slid it under the pillow. I panicked, but we were able to distract him while we did a snatch and grab of the 2nd tooth. We got it all on camera which was fun.

I was hoping to do the same thing with SJ and get her reaction too. She has been anticipating this moment for a couple weeks. I remember the day she noticed her tooth was loose. She was sitting on the couch and her eyes got really big as she exclaimed “My teeth is falling out!” then she panicked and got a paper towel and stared at her tooth in the mirror. She obsessed over that tooth everyday telling anyone in sight that her tooth was broken. We explained the whole baby teeth big teeth thing and how it would fall out and you would get money. The night she lost the tooth we put it in a ziplock under her pillow and she as beaming as she fell asleep awaiting the tooth fairies arrival.
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When I heard her wake up I rushed into her room so that I could record her reaction on my phone only what happened next was not at all what I was expecting.

At first I thought she was upset because she did not see the 4 shiny quarters in a bag, but that wasn’t it. She saw them. She just didn’t want them. She wanted her tooth back and she was very clear about it. She cried for a while and then began to desperately look all over her room because she just couldn’t believe the tooth was gone.

In the long run she got over it and spent her money on a small beach bucket and shovel. I should know by now to expecting the unexpected with kids, but I certainly wasn’t predicting the first lost tooth to be so eventful for either of my children! They have a way of keeping me on my toes.

By | August 4th, 2015|Laughter, My Life|4 Comments

SJ’s Birth Story

Wednesday morning I woke up to a contraction at 7:17 am. I know the time because I wrote it down in my pregnancy planner and I continued to write each one down all throughout the day. I don’t normally do this, because of braxton hicks and all, but for some reason on that day I decided to keep track.

All day they went up and down, ranging anywhere from an hour to 15 minutes apart. Not too consistent or intense, but enough to give me the lingering thought of “I wonder if this will be the day?” By the afternoon I told my mom “Well I guess I will be going to church tonight because this just isn’t progressing.” and off I went. I continued to time them all throughout church. The contraction were coming about 10 minutes apart, but no one knew that I was in labor, not even me.

When I arrived home there was a plate of eggplant parmesan waiting for me, a dish that is known for it’s labor inducing affects. My parents had ordered take out from Maggiano’s and whether or not the old wives tale is true, I am not one to turn down good Italian. At this point we reverted to the iphone app for timing contractions and I suggested we play a game to keep me distracted. As my parents, husband, and I played bananagram we talked and laughed and the contractions were ranging anywhere from 10 to 6 minutes apart. At 11:45 pm they were 5 minutes apart and I thought I should take a warm bath to see if they would stop. After I got up though the next contraction was a lot more intense. I called my midwife at 12:00 am and told her details, I also casually mentioned that she could wait until after I took my bath. Luckily she insisted that she was going to leave immediately. After that the next contraction was tons of pressure and I told my mom to make up the bed and get my music ready. I was finally convinced that I was about to have a baby. I told J to call my midwife again and update her. The contractions started coming one on top of the other and I sat in the tub praying and trying to focus on relaxation. I was so worried about having the baby before my midwife who was still 15 minutes away could get there. I told J how scared I was, but he comforted me and helped me with my breathing techniques.

All of a sudden I shouted “UH OH! I HAVE TO PUSH” and right then my midwife burst in the door in her scrubs and gloves calm and ready to go. She dipped her hand into the water and told me the baby’s head was right there. I declined the offer to move to the bed, I wasn’t going anywhere at that point. They helped me lean back in the tub so that I could push which only took once and the head was out. She told me I just needed one more push. In disbelief I said “are you sure? I don’t have to hold back?” and having been given the okay I pushed once more and at 12:40 am J reached down, grabbed Sedona, and laid her on my chest.

I was in shock! I couldn’t believe that I was holding my baby! It seemed too quick, too easy, and too good to be true. After a minute of these thoughts, it finally sunk in that this was not a dream. I looked down at my daughter, my beautiful healthy baby girl and I welcomed her home.

By | March 7th, 2010|Natural Living, Pregnancy & Birth|10 Comments

You can’t trust the intuition of a woman on a mission

Wisdom always tells us not to over think things. You almost always find the what you are looking for when you stop looking, whether that be your sunglasses, a spouse, or in my case a positive pregnancy test.

We hadn’t been trying to conceive for that long, but with each passing month I began to get a little more anxious. So I decided the “it will happen when it happens” approach that we took with our last pregnancy wasn’t going to work this time, and I was going to have to take control of the matter. I began to journal everyday about the whole process, charting every detail that would pertain to fertility. I was tracking my temperature using a basal thermometer, taking prenatal vitamins everyday, and being very aware of what phase of my cycle I was in. I was a woman on a mission and the mission was to get pregnant!

By the end of the month I began starting to feel like I could be pregnant and those feelings increased everyday. There were a lot of things that pointed toward pregnancy and my intuition was telling me that I was. The journal entries escalated from “I think I might be pregnant” to “I am %99.9 sure I AM pregnant.” I even posted on my friend Lexi’s blog that I thought for sure I was, but like I said I guess you can’t trust your intuition when your a woman on a mission. I had my due date calculated and everything was planned out, but with each negative pregnancy test I began to be really confused. I was so desperate for answers that I even spent $75.00 for a blood test, which confirmed that I was not nor had I been pregnant.

I was discouraged to say the least. It’s not that I wanted to be pregnant THAT bad, it’s just that I didn’t understand how I could be so certain and be wrong about it. That’s where my quest for fertility ended. The following month I stopped taking my temperature, stopped charting, I even stopped taking my vitamins, which I now regret. It was on the 4th of July that I began to feel a bit off and the idea popped in my head that I could possibly be pregnant. I said last time that I wasn’t going to put myself through that again, and so I tried to get the idea out of my head. That night I dreamt that I was pregnant, I woke up and argued internally on whether or not to take a pregnancy test. Finally I decided that I wasn’t going to stop thinking about it until I took one, so I went ahead and took a test that I already had on hand and I didn’t even have to set it down for the positive line to appear. At first I was just in shock, but it didn’t take long for me to spring into maternal action and start to calculate the due date, take my vitamins, and get ready to embark upon another one of life’s most amazing journeys.

By | July 29th, 2009|Motherhood, Pregnancy & Birth, Uncategorized|1 Comment