Tuesday, May 31, 2011

just saying ...

... most of the time it's fine. In fact, more than most of the time you
don't think twice about it. second nature like.
Get up in the morning, put on his cochlear implants,
just as you put on his clothes.
Talk to him, listen to him,
Therapy at the kitchen table becomes an everyday thing.
You call your husband excited about the discovery of a new word or sound,
and you cherish the moment together.
CIs are now a part of everyday life; a new normal.

as time goes on, you get past all "the looks and stares".
you THANK GOD ev-er-y.day for the miracle of CIs and
all the differences they've made in your child's life and
all the opportunities they've brought (and will continue to bring);
you THANK GOD ev-er-y.day for the fact that he can HEAR
and that when you talk to him, he comprehends,
even if he doesn't LISTEN to a word you're saying,
you know he HEARS you.
and when you confirm your initial thoughts, (and the equipment is just fine),
you chuckle, because he's no different than your two hearing kids,
in the fact that he TOTALLY has learned listening is a choice.

and you know it's the actual hearing part where the miracle began.
and mostly, there's this constant giddiness because of it all.

BUT, there are still THOSE moments,
MOMENTS, that may last a minute, sometimes an hour,
sometimes more than a few hours,
sometimes a whole freakin' day ...

Where all you can do is WONDER and WORRY,
about what's to come.

He's only THREE
hearing, two years.

You've come such a long way, yet have such a long way to go.

and of course you worry. Not all the time. Not a lot of the time,
but there are some times, you worry much more than others.
and sometimes that worry is hard to shoo away.

and even as you hear him talk to his siblings, or know he responds
as you call his name from upstairs and he's downstairs,
down the hall in the back room with the tv on,
there are still moments of worry ...

...what's to come when he's 6 and is not in an oral deaf program
with kids who are "like him", because you've worked so hard for him
to be a part of a mainstream classroom and
even harder that he NOT be defined by his hearing loss,
YET, all the six year olds see him as different.
Not only because of the equipment on his head, but
because it's much harder for him to listen and take it all in.
and you just pray and pray the teacher
teaches the class about UNIQUENESS.
not just his first year teacher in mainstream school,
but every teacher and every year thereafter.

...what's to come when he's 8 and he really starts to see himself as different,
and tells you he hates being deaf or asks why he has to be deaf,
when no one else in his family is;
or is scared to speak his voice to tell someone, "I didn't hear you," or
"Can you please repeat what you said?" because he doesn't want to stand out,
in fear of drawing more attention to himself when
honestly it wasn't his choice of not wanting to listen,
but the mere fact that he just didn't hear.

...what's to come when he's 10, and there are sleepovers.
and yes, he's been accepted, because you do everything.in.your.power
to make him a part of the community and to be included,
you advocate, you teach, you empower.
BUT, he's still DEAF and at the sleepover, he's not sure if he should
take off his CIs so not to miss out on the craziness that may go on after he
falls asleep and can't hear a thing.

...what's to come when he's a young teenager and all the kids are
going through puberty. the time when it's a known fact
that kids tease other kids,
and making fun of someone's differences is one way
of ignoring/getting past their own insecurities,
no matter how wrong it is.
you pray he has a good sense of humor, some good come backs,
and that it's not him who is the insecure one.

...what's to come when he's in his late teens and heading off to college,
to a WHOLE NEW community new to his world.
Having to take classes in HUGE auditoriums,
with 100's of classmates, and be able to understand
and keep up with everything the professor is saying.
because honestly, does the professor really care if he's getting it or not?
OR when he's in his college dorms and everyone is running out
because the fire alarm is going off and he's fast asleep, without his CIs on.
will someone stop to take the time to wake him?

You continuously teach him to be his own biggest advocate,
but even in doing so, you constantly pray and hope you are also teaching him
to always be proud of who he is and to use his voice.
as it is his voice that you've worked so hard at achieving.
it is his voice that you are thankful for everyday,
right along with every.single.ounce of hard work teaching him
to not just "hear", but to LISTEN.

just saying.

it's not easy.

I'm his mom. and no matter what,
I will always worry about the "small things",
that truly,

Friday, May 27, 2011

for the LOVE of brothers

one of my favorites of my boys

Last night as I was cleaning up the dinner dishes,
Ryan and his girlfriend, Anna,
were playing with Aiden in the living room.
Aiden ADORES Anna (or "nana" as he calls her).
He adores his brother too, BUT,
when Anna's around, he's all about the girls.
SO cute.

Out of the blue, I hear Aiden yell at Ryan,

"Ryan stop! No mommy's phone!"

count them - FIVE words - TOGETHER.
each one of them, CLEAR.AS.DAY.
an AMAZING possessive.
and exclamation points galore.


He knew Ryan wasn't supposed to have my phone without asking,
let everyone know it,
and marched it right back over to me.

Actually, he's been onto Ryan a lot lately,
(ryan loves to mess with him),
so Aiden's phrase of the month has been,

"Ryan, please stop!"

Ryan's been feeling the wrath of Aiden lately.

Later that night, after Kailyn was through reading
Aiden his bedtime books,
the four of us sat in Aiden's room chit-chatting.
Aiden ran over to his brother,
jumped on his belly, threw his arms around Ryan's neck,
planted a HUGE kiss on his cheek, and said,

"I wuv you Ryan!"

Needless to say, we all went to bed
smiling ear to ear.
especially Ryan.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

crazy busy days

dear blog,
i truly do love you dearly,
but i love creating memories to write
about even more.
i promise i'll be back soon,
but until then, just a glimpse of the
memories being made.

a very special girl's first communion

and her cousin's (aka bff's)
(note how the girls are being goofy as Aiden shows them how they should be posing)

a very kick butt first communion party for the two princesses,
even if it did rain the whole time and
all the kids were covered in mud by the end of the night

a trip to the farm with aiden's class
(and one to the zoo, pictures on their way)

tumble/cheer class recitals
(note: putting make up on a 10 yr old for the first time is.not.fun)

spending as much time outdoors discovering, climbing, playing
(which I may still need to build that ark with all this rain)

and most of all ...
mom's here.
and when mom visits, I cherish each little moment of her!

see you soon.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I seem to start all these posts with "It's been a crazy week", so I won't this time. This month HAS BEEN INSANE and it's not going to stop until summer break gets here. My calendar is screaming out in pain with the heaviness of all the ink! (YAY me though for actually getting this out on Tuesday!)

2. I'm busy finalizing odds and ends for the "Royal Princesses", I mean, my niece's and Kailyn's First Communion party this Saturday. When it's all said and done, we will have celebrated three Confirmations (two of my nephews' and Ryan's) and two First Communions, all within two months. Things Remembered has become my best friend.

3. Last week Aiden had AVT on Thursday and then audiology on Friday. Not a big deal if we didn't drive over an hour to AV and two hours to audiology. Gas prices + an SUV = one stressed out momma. Thank God we have family close by to camp out at.

4. Speaking of insane gas prices, I'm trying to cut down on my errand running and do more online. What is your favorite online (and practical) place(s) to shop?

5. Write it down in the baby book! Aiden cooperated for the whole audiology appointment! This was our last appointment until we head HERE, so I was SO thankful we got across the board results on the left, right, and bilaterally with a very cooperative three year old! (more to come on this in a separate post).

6. My mom will be here this week for Kailyn's First Communion and I cannot wait! She'll be with us for a whole week after. This will be the first time ever that I get to spend time with her A-L-O-N-E! I've either always worked while she visits OR one (or all) of the kids are home with me. Hmmm .... wonder what room we can redecorate/paint? (hint-hint)

7. Two field trips with Aiden's class are in my near future. Tomorrow we're visiting all the new babies at the farm and next week we're heading to the zoo. Fun fun!

8. I'm in the process of building an ark. Yes, an ark. This rain has been non.stop.and.I'm so.over.it! Yesterday we were given a 70 degree clear skies teaser day. I was so excited until I looked at the ten day forecast: rain, thunderstorms, repeat.fortenstraightdays. I thought I moved to Ohio, not Washington. Bright side - our grass is very green!

9. and with all this rain, brings all these weeds (in a field by our house), in which Aiden has become the official weed picker ... in his sister's shoes ... and jammie bottoms ... with crazy hair.

10. In the midst of all my craziness, I decided very last minute to take a mental health day (yes, I need these as a stay at home mom even more so then when I worked for a paycheck). and after those "oh so fun" state standardized tests last week, I let my daughter take one too. We started our day with a pedicure, had lunch at her favorite restaurant, then came home and enjoyed the sun as we prettied up the driveway with chalk. It was AWESOME and our piggies are flip flop ready!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Toothless Wonder

When Aiden's right top front tooth came in, it had a little brown spot on it. Since my oldest son's tooth did the same thing, (and I was told it was only a discoloration on the tooth), I didn't think much of it. His pediatrician confirmed my lack of worry. Unlike Ryan's though (who has never even had a cavity), Aiden's started to decay and part of his tooth broke away.

In preparation for the dentist, I first took him with the rest of us for our six month cleaning. I let him sit in the big chair and then held him as our family dentist looked in his mouth. She said it could have happened from an antibiotic I took while pregnant, decalcification in the tooth before it even came in, or for no explainable reason, and referred us to a pediatric dentist.

practicing his "ah's" before the dentist comes in

After his quick visit, I talked to him for a couple weeks about the dentist. We'd look at pictures on the Internet, we'd practice by laying on the couch and saying "ahhhh", and then we'd look at more pictures (and when there was a picture of a little boy not opening his mouth, Aiden would tell him, "no, no! say ahhhh!") He was all ready today for our visit and he did WONDERFULLY.

He didn't want to sit in the mini chair by himself, so he sat on my lap and watched Chuggington above him. Everything the dentist asked Aiden to do, he did immediately. They even x-rayed his front teeth, which they told him to "bite down on it (the film) like a cracker and hold it tight with your teeth.", and he did it twice without me having to say a word.

We had two choices with the "boo-boo tooth": 1) cap it - which would've entailed scraping it out, filling it, possible root canal, then capping it, which meant SEDATION which could take up to an hour or 2) pull it using a little numbing gel and a small shot which would take a total of FIVE minutes.

The tooth fairy is coming a little early.

He sat in my lap. He couldn't see me. I held his hands in mine. I was reassured knowing that even though he couldn't see me, he could HEAR me. I was able to talk to him and COMFORT him during the whole five minute, which seemed like forever, process. and he did great. Definitely some tears, but he didn't fight it. Once again, so thankful for his cochlear implants and the gift they give. I couldn't imagine going through this without them.

and now we have,

our toothless wonder.

Of course we went for ice cream and got a balloon right after. I just pray this visit doesn't ruin the whole dental experience for our next visit, but he'll talk about the experience without a problem, which is definitely a good sign.