Monday, August 31, 2009

Back Story

A few of you wanted to hear the back story about why I had to wear scissors around my neck in elementary school. Here is the whole account of that fateful accident.

It was 1987 when I was in second grade. We had a great playground at our school with one major flaw. The playground was on cement. Just cement. No wood chips, bark, or rubber pieces under any of the equipment. It was also the era when I rode on the arm rest next to my dad while he was driving. Booster seats weren't even a blip on any one's radar and neither was a soft landing spot under a jungle gym.

We were playing a game of tag when I decided to run as fast as I could away form the person who was 'it'. What I didn't count on was a broken shoe and a sharp turn. Most people would put their hands down when they fall. I guess my arms were pumping to hard and I fell squarely on my chin. I fell so hard that I shattered the round part of my jaw into a zillion pieces. The last thing I remember is holding my jaw and screaming as I ran to the nurses office.

My mouth was wired shut for six weeks. I was not able to open my mouth. Luckily, I had four teeth missing, which I used to shove food through in order to eat. My mom would cut up bite size pieces of PB&J for lunch. I would shove it through my teeth and squish it on the roof of my mouth until it was easy to swallow. It was really fun to sit with me at lunch. No one lost their appetite at all.

To make this social nightmare even worse, some genius administrator at school decided that it would be a good idea to wear scissor around my neck in case I started choking. That way a responsible adult could cut the wires and give me any life saving procedure I might need.

The best part? They decided to use bright, yellow yarn to tie the scissors around my neck. Not white or tan or even pale yellow. No, highlighter yellow, as if it was a nerd beacon screaming, "Make fun of me!" as I walked through the halls. I wore the scissors in class, going to the bathroom, PE class, even to lunch. I guess no one told them that it could be dangerous for a 7 year old to be running and playing with scissors two inches from her heart.

Needless to say, the playground had wood chips all around the equipment a week after my accident, I survived the social torture of the scissor incident and I made it through second grade without any puncture wounds. Now, if I could just look at yellow yarn without twitching.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hearing Loss and Genetics

I learned an interesting fact when I took Lauren to her appointment in Chapel Hill a week or so ago. For those of you who don't know, Chapel Hill is the number one place to take your child if he or she has a hearing loss. They are the top teaching hospital for hearing disorders in the entire state of North Carolina. If you ever go, even just once, you will see what I mean.

While Lauren was getting her hearing aids fixed, I was talking with her audiologist. I asked her if there was any chance that Lauren's hearing loss could be an predictor to hearing loss of other family members. Could this be genetic?

Her answer was simple. Hearing loss can be familiar, meaning 'family'. If you have grandparents that can still hear great at 90 years old, you will probably hear fine for a long time, too. If you have grandparents that are losing their hearing, you might find that your mom, dad, or even you might lose you hearing later in life as well.

I guess it makes sense. Although, I have to lend some credit to how loud the world is now a days. Surely, listening to iPods, cranking the radio in the car, and the constant roar of traffic all can contribute to hearing loss. Since my grandpa can't hear a thing, I should get my hearing tested just to see where I stand. You never know...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oldies, But Goodies...

I found some old pictures of Lauren taken when she was about three months old. They were a surprise for my husband for Christmas. A fellow teacher in Shelby, NC took them for me in my third grade classroom. I can't believe how different she looked. I could still bite her cheeks off.

What's weird about these pictures is the fact that we had no idea that she had a hearing impairment or Cerebral Palsy at the time they were taken. It would be six months after these pictures were taken that we got the diagnosis of CP. It would be a year and a half before the diagnosis of her hearing impairment.

The journey we took still amazes me sometimes...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Did I Really Do That?

Lauren's first day went great! She had a wonderful time and worked really hard. The first day for me ended up with a small, yet embarrassing, episode.

Lauren used to get picked up and dropped off in front of my house. I guess CMS decided that it was too much work to turn a giant bus around in a cul de sac, so our stop was moved to the end of the street.

I was waiting for the bus this afternoon with the husband and dog in tow. I wasn't sure which direction the bus was coming since it was the first day. There are a ton of buses that use this road so I was looking for a specific number.

After a few minutes I saw the bus heading towards our stop. It didn't slow down like I had expected. In fact, it blew right by us and started to turn on to our street. At one point I even started waving at the driver, but she never even saw me. Fearing that the bus driver would go to the house and not see anyone waiting, I started running after the bus. I didn't want the driver to think she was at the wrong stop and keep on going.

It started to get embarrassing when I decided to take off running after the bus like someone was chasing me with a chainsaw. I dodged a car and bullied my way through low lying tree branches in order to try to catch up to the bus. Buses are surprisingly fast, just so you know. My arms are pumping, I'm starting to sweat, and I am running as fast as my little feet will take me praying that I beat the bus.

What makes this even more embarrassing is that I realized after a moment or two that I was chasing the wrong bus. I was wondering why Tyler did not have the same sense of urgency and was just standing there watching me run after a bus like a deranged lunatic. It was a long walk of shame back to the stop, wondering who else saw me running like a crazy woman after a random bus. I almost didn't want to make eye contact with Tyler who was standing there with a look of utter confusion on his face. Even the dog looked at me funny.

After I picked the leaves out of my hair and caught my breath, Lauren's bus pulled up. Thankfully this time it did stop and I did not have another impromptu sprint down the street. At least I got some exercise...

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Game

Lauren has found a new game to play this summer. It keeps her entertained, but makes me wonder a bit.

We kept Lauren's toddler mattress and slid it under her big girl bed in case her cousins came to stay over night. We figured there would always be an extra bed to use. Lauren decided one day that it would be fun to drag it out to the living room and use it as a make-shift trampoline.

Most of the time she just jumps up and down with the occasional somersault off the end. I guess that didn't get the adrenaline pumping enough. She now climbs on the couch and jumps as far as she can to the middle of the mattress. Sometime she hits the mattress, sometimes she doesn't. That doesn't discourage her, though. She loves every minute of it.

My major concern is not that she will get hurt. I just want to know how in the world she can get that mattress out to the living room by herself...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Bad

Ok, so I know that I have not posted in a decade and I probably am writing to no one, but here I go again. Back in the blog world to stay.

Here are a few updates to get us all up to speed:

1) Lauren is starting her last year of preschool in her hearing impaired classroom. There are some milestones to look for in order to get her in a mainstreamed classroom for kindergarten.

2) Tyler has not been hired back at Tommy Hilfiger, and is still technically unemployed. He has jumped full force into his creative company and hasn't looked back yet.

3) Lauren has a unique ability to not say a word until we get into the car and not stop talking until we reach our destination. Seriously, I am not kidding. She will not stop until the car is in park and we are out of the car. Then she barely makes a peep.

4) I have loved my summer with my family. I wasn't sure if I was going to be as entertaining as Lauren's friends at school. We had a blast together despite all the changes this year.

5) I have to put my baby on the bus this Tuesday. I really get nervous and hate to let her out of my sight. God bless her wonderful teacher who calls when she gets to school for the first few days.

I promise to be a better blogger. Thanks for being so patient. I think my brain needed a summer vacation as well. Now that Lauren is such a little person, I should have lots of fun stories to tell. Hopefully there will be some goods ones to bring back out on her wedding day....