Thursday, August 28, 2008

The ONLY Constant

Things that have changed for us in the last week:

• hearing aids
• crazy behavior associated with hearing aids
• going back to work
• new start time at school (7:15-which means we have to leave by 6:30!!!)
• new principal
• new dean of students
• new class to teach-AP Psychology (for which I have NO training, other than the degree)

And Tuesday, Nikki starts at HER new school.

I think crawling into a nice hole somewhere sounds like a GREAT idea. But instead I guess I'll go make dinner. *sigh*

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is this normal??

Caleb has had TERRIBLE behavior the last couple of days. Everything results in a tantrum of unprecedented proportions (well, maybe not unprecedented, but definitely not seen since Three). Last night, we had to leave our church's gathering/council meeting WITHOUT Scott and Nikki because he was screaming and hitting uncontrollably. Thankfully, our pastor lives close and was able to drive them home. Today he went to school, but we had speech afterward and he had a huge fit (the kind that requires a full-body restraint for several minutes) over practicing his sounds with me.

After his speech teacher took him to get a snack and glass of water and came back to find me in tears, I told her that his behavior has progressively worsened since getting his hearing aids. This is VERY disappointing, since I thought they would make things BETTER. Then I realized that he MAY be on sensory overload with all his new sounds. The last two days, he's worn them ALL DAY, and they were the worst days.

Does this hypothesis make any sense? Even if it doesn't, say it does. I need some hope to hold onto here!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The End is Near

We go back to work tomorrow. I suppose that means that summer is officially over. *sigh*

It's been a great summer. We got to see some fantastic places and spend lots of time with people we love. I haven't done any work-related things for at least a month. I finally finished Invisible Man (Ellison, not Wells). We watched a LOT of the Olympics. We swam, we ate entirely too much, we played games, we hung out with each other.

So now, we go back to the chaos that will be this school year. Our principal (an amazing man) left to pursue his PhD. Our Dean of Students (equally amazing) left for a more supportive environment (now that our principal is gone). New Principal (appointed by the district without teacher input) is proving to be ineffective. But we have this amazing staff that's working miracles. So now we have to pursue charter status or else we will be lumped in with all the other small schools on our complex in Fall 2009. After that, the plan is to level our school and re-build it from the ground up.

So mostly this summer I've been trying to ignore all the sad things that have happened to our school. And now I have to put my game face on and go in tomorrow ready to fight for our kids and educate them to the best of my ability.

So tonight I have mixed emotions. I am grateful for this wonderful break from my all-consuming job. I am excited to work with our amazing staff and students. I am hopeful that we'll be able to do something to save our school. And I'm sad that the district doesn't support programs that are really making an impact for the neediest kids.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Whole New World

Caleb continues to adjust to his hearing aids. We take little breaks here and there so his ears can breathe, but then they go right back on. He wore them for about five hours straight last night. He starts school on Wed., so I'm hoping he'll be acclimated by then.

Last night, we went to a church dinner which was held outside on the patio. While we were sitting there, a jet flew overhead. Caleb perked up and said, "What's that??" He'd never heard a jet before! He's seen/heard plenty of small jets/planes as they take off/land at our small local airport, but never the hum of one high up in the sky. So cool!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hurray!! Yippee!! Woohoo!!

Today is the day! Caleb got his hearing aids!! The pictures my mom took pretty much say it all.

The joy was tempered by the annoyance of having large, form-fitting pieces of putty in his ears. He wanted to scratch itches in his ears. He wanted to take them off. He pulled the tubes out of the earmolds (!). But every time he had a break from them (swimming, repairs, itches), as soon as I put them back on, he looked at me and said, "Say hello." I did, and as soon as I did, a huge smile covered his face.

So we're adjusting, but mostly it's a wonderful thing!! Yay!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Off to San Fran!

Nikki and I will be leaving in the morning for San Francisco with her Girl Scout troop. Such fun! The girls worked very hard selling cookies in hopes that this day would finally come, and it has!

I'll post pictures and stories when we get back. Until then, happy summer!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leaps and Bounds

Have I told you lately that my son is amazing?? Well, he is. And I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom. Well, maybe I am. You be the judge.

First, I should say that we went for his well-child visit yesterday. We are also going to be seeing a geneticist who can tell us all about why Caleb has stubby fingers and toes, ear pits, fused toes, hearing loss, etc. I called today to make the appointment. They are happy to see us in November. Of course. On the other hand, his kidney ultrasound is scheduled for next week! They'd better be careful about fitting me in so quickly!! I MIGHT get used to it.

Caleb learned to swim today. We were in the pool, and he wanted to take off his floaties. So I did. And he swam. Wow. By the time we were done today, he was jumping into the deep end and swimming back to the side. All by himself.

I'm also pretty certain he is NOT, in fact, color blind. We had some quiet time together this afternoon (for perhaps the first time all summer) and we played with some crayons. He was able to find the matching crayon (red, blue, green, purple, yellow, black) EVERY TIME! By the time I was done, he was telling me most of the colors. We'll have to keep working on that.

So we went to Target and bought Candy Land (apparently, ours went away after Nikki outgrew it), and then we went to Jamba Juice for a cool treat (it's about 95 with wicked humidity today).

Caleb is also campaigning for school. He's ready to go back TODAY. When we were at Target, he picked out a backpack and wore it home. We keep counting the days until school, and I told him that there are still fourteen (we count every day on the calendar), but he's pretty sure I'm mistaken. The fact that Scott is at work every day (football practice started) isn't helping.

I can't wait to see what he'll do once he can hear. Eight more days until the hearing aids come.

I look at him and feel so inadequate. He learns all of these things in spite of the obstacles he has to overcome in order to do so. His speech is taking off even though he can't hear. Has he learned to compensate for color blindness, or was it just that he couldn't hear the words and connect them with the colors? He can count, and swim, and throw a ball like a pro pitcher. How am I supposed to keep up with all of this? Certainly, God knew what he was doing when he made me Caleb's mom, but sometimes I wonder if I'm able to live up to His expectations.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Did you miss us?

We were on vacation! We went with Caleb's godparents and their kids to Lake Tahoe. We had a BLAST!! Here are some highlights from the trip.

First, it should be noted that Goddad is French. He was actually trained as a French pastry chef, which means we had lots of yummy treats, and every meal was BEAUTIFUL. Who else make paella out of leftovers?? Also, it means that he frequently makes mistakes in his English. Mistakes that we find exceedingly funny. That said, here are some of our highlights.

We rented a house together in Tahoe. It was a big house and very nice, but there was no lake view. I picked this particular house because Godparents were moving and had no Internet access when we were making our travel plans. I think I will be relieved of that duty from now on, but we had a great time anyway. Here are some pictures of the house:

One of the most fun things about traveling with The Godparents is just hanging out with them. We had a great time playing games and visiting. However, Goddad likes to "conquer," so we did a good deal of that as well. We fished for crawdads, went river rafting, kayaking, and spent lots of time at the beach. In addition, the boys went jet skiing one day, and the girls went horseback riding. The highlight was probably river rafting.

In addition to all the fun we had, Goddad provided some humor. We were getting back on the river after a lunch break, and we were passing the oars around to the people who were paddling.

Goddad, looking at his oar: What do you call this?
Scott: An oar.
Goddad: How do you spell that?
Scott: O-A-R.
Goddad: No "h?"
Scott (laughing): No "h."
Goddad: Oh, good.

This evolved into the following:

You can have a LOT of fun with people who are learning English as their second language. :)

After our long week of fun, we had a LONG drive back. But we took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves along the way for fun and fellowship. One such opportunity was kayaking in June Lake. It was just beautiful! Oldest Godsister thought it was even more beautiful than Tahoe. You be the judge...

Okay, this blog is already too long and I have to put my kids to bed. More vacation stories tomorrow. Until then, keep your hoars in the boat! ;)