Thursday, August 30, 2007
When I started sending Lauren to school, I quickly found myself on the other end of things. I became instantly aware that Lauren is a reflection on me and my skills as a parent. Whether I liked it or not. Before preschool started, she would run around here with a pull-up, a stained shirt, and one blue Princess shoe. When I send her to school, she is wearing shirts that smell like fabric softener fresh out of the dryer. I used to bathe her every few days when I could muster up some energy. Now she gets a bath every other night. I don't want to have the smelly kid at school.
I feel a little hypocritical. It's ok for her to run around smelly at my house, but not in front of other people? It's ok to run around half naked and dirty at home, but never dare take her out looking like that? Please tell me that I am not the only one who does this. If I am the only one, please pretend that you didn't read this. I'll just be waiting at my door for the Mother of the Year award in case anyone asks.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Lauren almost falls asleep in the car seat when we drive home. Every time I looked back at her today she was yawning. I'll take it as a good sign. The only thing that alarms me is the fact that her arms feel like blocks of ice when she comes out of the building. It may be that the air conditioning is up too high and I will need to dress her a little warmer. Or, I spent too much time waiting like a nerd in the hot car and she only feels cold because I am about to die from heat stroke.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In no particular order:
1) Bird-In-Hand, PA
2) Blue Ball, PA
3) Intercourse, PA
4) Jugtown, PA
5) Burning Well, PA
6) Large, PA - I was actually there today...It was pretty small, ironic isn't it?
7) Scalp Level, PA
8) Butztown, PA
9) Lickdale, PA
10) Zip Down, PA
Is it any wonder Northerners are crazy? Feel free to insert your own jokes at anytime.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
The one thing that sort of stinks is me. Not literally, I did shower today. I mean that I tend to get in the way of the memory. Since Lauren loves anything in a plastic package, she doesn't really have an opinion as to what Grammy should buy. So my mom asks me what Lauren would like. Then it kicks in. I call it "therapy syndrome" and it really sucks. I don't look at toys the same way other people do. Some parents like Dora, others like the Princesses from Disney. Not me. Nope. That would be too easy. My brain sees toys as having a potential therapeutic outcome. For some reason I can look at any toy and tell you how it will help Lauren practice or develop some muscle or fine motor ability. Toys are ruined for me. For example, I wanted to get Lauren a View Master (the toy where the circles slide in and you pull down the handle to get a new picture). Not because they are way cooler than when I was a kid, but because it would help her right hand by pulling the handle and develop speech by trying to tell me what she sees. It's sad that the toy stores have lost their magic for me. I guess I will need to go to New York and visit F.A.O. Schwartz. Maybe the biggest toy store in the world will snap me out of it. There's nothing better than a giant piano you jump on to make you feel like a kid again.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Anyway, I was shocked when I came to the chapter about grieving. They say that parents of hearing impaired children actually grieve when they find out that their child can't hear. It said that parents often go through the same stages of grief that people go through when they lose a loved one: Shock, Anger, Guilt, Depression, Anger, Anxiety, Acceptance, and Action. After I thought about it for a minute, it makes sense. It's like you mourn the loss of what you thought life was going to be like with this precious baby in front of you. If you dreamed about being a mom for your entire life and something like a disability hits your child, it would be easy to see why the stages of grieving would come into play.
I have no idea what stage I would be at right now. I was definitely shocked when I heard the diagnosis. Lauren's speech therapist was as well. None of us thought it would be as severe as it turned out to be on paper.
I am still angry sometimes. I am angry that my child has more than one disability to face. I have said to myself many times, 'It's not fair'. I get angry that life isn't easy with a special needs child. It isn't easy and there is no indication that it ever will be. Why me? Why can't I have the 'normal' kid and do the stuff everyone gets to do?
I have a lot of guilt. Maybe if I was more determined when all the 500 tests that we did came back inconclusive we would have had the hearing aids earlier. Maybe if I would have eaten better during pregnancy this would have never happened. Maybe I should have taken different prenatal vitamins. These things run through my head every once in a while. It's a lot of weight to carry.
I get depressed sometimes. I turns out to be more of a feeling of being blue and droopy at times. I don't feel that I would ever be 'depressed' in a clinical term. I can't imagine feeling so bad that I can't get out of bed in the mornings. That's just not in my personality and I know that the friends around me would never let me get to that point. They would drag my sorry butt somewhere and snap me out it. But I do get blue. It's short lived but still there.
I'm not sure about anxiety. I get nervous when we go to doctor's appointments. Not because I think the will do anything bad. I am just afraid that I will reach my limit and lose my witness while I'm there. You can't really tell anyone you are a christian when your shoe is in there behind. I worry about her and making friends, getting picked on, or feeling left out. I worry about what I am going to tell her when it happens.
Wherever I am in the stages, I am so glad I can work through them on this blog. Knowing that I have a support group with all of you makes this whole thing a little easier. You listen to me and encourage me daily. I don't know where I would be without your love and support. I can't put into words what you all mean to me.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I was talking to my mom yesterday afternoon when the rest of the house went dead silent. Not good. That means Lauren is concentrating on doing something she knows she shouldn't do. While trying to focus on what my mom was saying, I started the hunt for the source of the mischeif. I turned the corner to Lauren's room and nearly fell over. I actually lost my breath and everything went slow motion. Lauren had climbed Everest! Ok, it was her dresser, but she was still really high in the air. She had climbed on her rocking chair then onto her dresser. When I got there she was standing on the dresser trying to pull out a ceramic Pooh figurine that was on the shelf above her. Her little ankle was dangling off the dresser. I think my heart actually stopped for a minute. After my heart started to function again, I was amazed that she was able to do this without her brace on. That amazement was replaced with fear again after remembering she was high enough to break a bone or two if she fell. I have the phone in one hand and I tuck Lauren under my other arm like a football. She was laughing so hard as I lowered her to the ground. As soon as her feet hit the floor she was back on the rocking chair doing it again. Now it was a game. She's a quick little one. She loved it when I would get her just as her knee was on the dresser and I picked her up and placed her on the ground. I'm sure it would have been a little easier to call my mom back and put down the phone. I was loving the adult conversation and, by golly, I was going to finish that phone call. After about the third time of pulling Lauren down and listening to her laugh from her belly, my arm got tired. So I escorted Lauren out of her room, closed the door and walked back down the hallway listening intently to my mom's story. Then I remembered that Lauren can open doors now and turned right back around. She was already on the dresser again. So I put up the baby gate while we were both out of the room and walked back down the hall. As I sat on the edge of the couch to finish the call and catch my breath, I looked back at Lauren's room. The little stinker was trying to climb over. She looked at me out of the corner of her eye with a smirk on her face and a foot on the gate. Even though she was never close to actually climbing over, I knew that it would only be a matter of time. I hope this is not an indication that she will run away with the circus and become a high wire act.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Lauren is at the age where my phone is one of her favorite toys. I have a couple of videos of her that she watches over and over. A picture of the family member or friend calling pops up on the screen whenever they call. This is the feature of the phone that has made my life with Lauren rather entertaining.
Every time my parents call Lauren wants to talk to them. I put the phone on speaker and she has a blast. The funny part is that she is talking directly to the picture not the mouth piece on the phone. You can tell she has a lot to say, only no one knows what it is. When she does learn to talk I think Verizon will be very glad she was born. She is definitely going to keep them in business. Anyway, the even funnier part is that she will 'show' whoever she is talking to something around her. For example, if the dog is nearby, Lauren will actually turn the picture on my phone towards the dog to let the person on the line 'see' Rugby. If they don't acknowledge Rugby right away she will walk the picture closer to him so they can get a better look. I always put the phone on speaker so I can tell the family member or friend what Lauren is doing or they will be there all day. Who knows how close Lauren would get to the dog if they didn't say anything. Once she had a bug bite on her toe and I wasn't paying attention when she was talking to my mom. I looked over to see that my mom's face was sitting directly on her big toe. I am just glad technology doesn't give the ability for smells to travel over phone lines. My mom would have had a nose full!
Friday, August 10, 2007
(While making a silly face at a brother or sister)
"Don't do that, your face will stick that way forever!"
Ever since Lauren started all her therapies, I have been encouraging her to do things that would make most mothers and grandmothers around the world cringe. Allow me to show you a glimpse of our world.
During a typical Physical therapy session I see:
1) Lauren being encouraged to climb onto the fireplace hearth and jump as high as she can off of it several times. It builds strength in her legs by climbing up a step and helps her to learn to rely on the weaker right leg.
In the back of my head, I hear: "Get down off that thing, you're going to break a leg."
During a typical speech therapy session I see:
1) Lauren blowing bubbles in her milk with a straw. It helps her strenghten the muscles in her mouth thereby helping her mouth get ready to form words.
I hear: "That's not how we drink our milk, you're being unlady-like."
During a typical Occupational therapy session I see:
1) Lauren drawing on her right hand with some sort of writing instrument. She is actually coloring in her finger nails on the right hand with a blue pen. It forces her to spread her right hand and stretch the muscles.
I hear: "Stop. The chemicals from the ink are going to soak into your skin and you will get sick."
I guess as a mother of a special needs child you need to pick and choose your battles. If Lauren ever comes over to your house to visit, please show a little grace. If she decides to start jumping on your bed or drawing on your family pet, it was probably something she learned in therapy.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The only down side was the comments the doctor was saying after she took out the hardened blue stuff. They went a little like this:
Doctor: Well, I would have liked them to be a little longer, but I think this might work. It should be long enough for her to hear.
WHAT? Excuse me? SHOULD and THINK are not to be used in front of a mom who has been to three doctors without anything to show for it. I am going to should and think my foot right into her mouth if we get these aids and they don't work. As soon as we get these aids and we remove my size 7 from the doctor's mouth, we are going to go to Chapel Hill and continue Lauren's services. They are the best in the state for kids with hearing impairments. It's worth the 2 hour drive and I won't have to replace any of my shoes.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
A meeting was held quite far from Earth
It was time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the Lord above --
This special child will need much love.
Her progress may be very slow
Accomplishment she may not show.
And she'll require extra care
From the folks she meets down there.
She may not run or laugh or play
Her thoughts may seem quite far away
So many times she will be labeled
'different,' 'helpless' and 'disabled'.
So, let's be careful where she's sent.
We want her life to be content.
Please, Lord, find the parents who
Will do a special job for you.
They will not realize right away
The leading role they are asked to play.
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith, and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for their gift from heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild
Is heaven's very special child.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
There are certain times in your life where something happens to remind you what life is really like. You do the same things day in and day out until, BAM, you remember what you were put on this earth for. Mine came in the form of a Poo Bucket.....
We decided that it was time for young Lauren to use the potty. To be honest, it was time for us to help out our pocketbook and stop buying diapers. Either way, it was time. I would try to get Lauren to understand the concept of using the potty in the past, but all she wanted to do was wad up the toilet paper and wipe. I decided we would bite the bullet and buy big girl undies. My theory? Let her pee all over the place before we get new carpet and hopefully she will hit the toilet every once in a while. There is nothing funnier than seeing Lauren get a look of panic on her face and seeing her little legs run down the hall with a stream of pee following her all the way. I almost wet myself following behind her laughing and jumping over the little puddles she leaves behind. It's the best when Rugby thinks that he's missing out and tries to run with us. Then we have a few seconds to get Lauren's panties down and on the toilet after hurdling over pee puddles and trying to do all of this without tripping over Rugby in the hallway. You really need to be here to see it. You'll never be the same. Anyway, I digress. There were many times when she missed her 30 second window and had an accident in her pants. Most of the time it was just pee. The problem arose when the poo got in the way. Long story short. I can't throw away poo panties. So I needed a new tool. This was the BAM moment that made me remember that I am a mom. I found a Poo Bucket. Not only did I find it, I was proud that I thought of it, happy that it worked, and wanted to call someone to share the victory about it. I'm a momma because I love my Poo Bucket. I fill it with eight pounds of detergent and some water and let it soak, baby, soak. I came back to my Poo Bucket after a while and started laughing at the realization that my life is so much different than I pictured as a kid. I always knew that I would be a mom someday and that someday was here. No one told me that you would have to think about Poo Buckets and pee puddles. You don't picture that when you are setting up your tea parties for all your stuffed animals. Poo buckets or not, I wouldn't change a thing!
Saturday, August 4, 2007
1) Playground attendant at McDonalds
2) Daycare person
Four Places I've Lived:
1) Bethel Park, PA
2) Slippery Rock, PA
3) Grove City, PA
4) Charlotte, NC
Favorite TV Shows:
2) Big Brother
3) Hell's Kitchen
2) Wings from Quaker Steak and Lube
3) Pizza Hut salads
4) anything chocolate
Places I'd rather be:
1) on the beach
2) Hickory visiting my friend Krista
4) sitting on someone's couch chatting
1) Ever After
2) The Net
4) Where the Heart Is
1) Dunn Funn
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Ty surprised me last night with an 'anniversary adventure'. Now, Ty usually stinks at surprises because he gets so excited that he makes rookie mistakes. He will accidentally leave a note lying around and I see it or forget to have a phone conversation out of earshot. The biggest giveaway is when I guess the surprise correctly. Ty can't lie so if I guess something close to what he planned, he gets a huge goofy grin on his face and his cheeks get red. It happens every time. Maybe I should be a nice wife and not guess...too bad. Once I found out that there was a surprise on the horizon it was game on. I think if I had a super power I would want to make you tell me what you were thinking no matter what. Kind of like Wonder Woman's lasso of truth (Come on...who's with me?). I love surprises but they drive me crazy until I know what they are. I have no ability to delay gratification. Ty did not smile or blush one time. He never cracked or gave me ANY clue about the night. I just knew that he had arranged a babysitter (thanks Allison, you rock!) and we were to leave the house promptly at 5pm. He told me what I needed to wear ( a general idea, not crazy psycho man who picks out his wife's clothes), and he put something in the back of the car. I threw every question I could think at him with no avail. I had no clue where we were going until we passed a sign. Ty got my attention and I missed the first one that was near the exit we were taking. He wasn't counting on the seven others that included arrows to show the direction to go. Eventually I spotted a sign for Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. I knew we were going to a concert. Ty got us tickets to the John Mayer concert and I had no earthly idea it was coming. I hadn't been to a concert since New Kids on the Block. Ok, maybe not that long ago, but close. We had so much fun. I had more fun watching all the crazy weirdos around me. There are some whack jobs that come out when a concert comes to town. Minus the occasional drunk stumbling around and the hint of pot in the air, I had a fabulous time.