Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just Like Me

When we went to check out books from the library last week, a book I had requested this summer finally had come in. The book? My Ears, a book of few words and 70s-era pictures about hearing. It was the only thing I could find when I searched under "hearing aids" when we first found out that we would be acquiring some. So when I saw what ACTUALLY came, I was a little disappointed. Still, we sat down to read it a few nights ago.

It was uninspired. It had few words. But when we got to the page with the picture of the little boy wearing hearing aids, Caleb shouted, "Look!!! It's Caleb!!! He have hearing ears like me!" SOLD! He chose that book to read every night until it was due and we had to take it back.

I went to Amazon and purchased that book and a couple others that talk about deafness and hearing aids. Do you have any suggestions?

Also, if someone you love wears hearing aids and you like to accessorize, Caleb found these very exciting! I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mixed Feelings

I got a text message today from Caleb's birthmom saying that his bio-dad is really sick. Bio-dad was diagnosed with lymphoma several years ago and nearly died. He's been in remission for awhile now, but the disease has come back with a vengeance. Somebody, probably Bio-dad's mom, sent a text message to everyone on his cell phone saying he was back in the hospital undergoing massive chemotherapy and awaiting a stem cell bone marrow transplant.

While we have a wonderful relationship with Birthmom, Bio-dad made it clear right away that he wanted no contact with us. When he first found out about the pregnancy, he told Birthmom to have an abortion. Caleb was only born because Bio-dad thought Birthmom went through with it. He delayed the relinquishment process by playing games with the social worker over signing the papers. He broke Birthmom's heart and told the social worker that he wanted no contact with Caleb. He's never been my favorite person.

However, if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have Caleb.

About two months ago, Birthmom called saying Bio-dad was coming for a visit. We were all baffled by this, but guessed that perhaps his health was declining, as doctors made it clear that he would probably not survive his next bout with cancer. The date he gave her came and went, which was typical, but Birthmom did receive a call saying he had doctor appointments he couldn't miss. There was a mixture of relief and disappointment, as we never intended to meet this man, but he is Caleb's bio-dad. The text message today confirmed the worst.

Bio-dad has two children of his own. His son, Caleb's only bio-sibling, is only five years old. Bio-dad is only 29 himself. From what I know of him, he's not in a really good place with God.
There's got to be some good in him, because Birthmom did love him. I'm just afraid that he may never get the chance to find that goodness and fully express it. He may run out of time first.

So tonight I find myself praying for the man who was responsible for our son's existence, but who never wanted him in the first place. I'm praying for his son and his wife and her daughter. I'm praying for Birthmom, who loved our son enough to give him life, who had the wisdom to know that bio-dad would never be the father Scott is, and yet who is inextricably bound to bio-dad by her love for Caleb. I am praying for a glorious miracle of time that would allow all of us to work this out

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fun All Around

Today, my wonderful mother spent her morning off talking to our students about nursing (the career, not the form of nutrition). She arrived in time for our whole-school assembly with four of her current students from the university. She had a great PowerPoint with pictures of all the steps in a surgery (total hip, in case you're interested). The students AND staff were riveted. SUCH FUN!

In AP Psychology class, the topic was hearing. There was significant discussion in the chapter about deafness and hearing loss, and guess what?! I know a little boy who HAS some hearing aids! So Caleb went to school with one hearing aid and I took the other in, along with the earphones to help us listen to his aids to check them. I showed the kids all the parts of the aid, took it apart, and then they each got a chance to listen. They were SO EXCITED! One of the students spent an extra half hour after school so he could listen to different sounds through the aid. Who knows? Maybe one of them will grow up to become an audiologist or SLP!

Then, after school, our Girl Scout troop headed to a local dinner studio to do their cooking badge. They made (from scratch) ranch dressing to pour over lettuce wedge salad, meatballs to serve over spaghetti, bruschetta, and apple crisp for dessert. They also had the opportunity to watch the catering company that shares the space prepare an order and take it out, and they got to talk to two professional chefs. Next, they have to put their skills to work when they make dinner for Ronald McDonald House.

Am I wiped out after my busy day? YES! But it was SO much fun. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Speech Explosion

Caleb's speech is taking off! Before hearing aids, his speech consisted primarily of phrases that he would repeat, and maybe insert a noun where necessary:
  • Where did it go, ball?
Now he is producing long, complex narratives about what happens each day:
  • The sun go down and the moon go up. We go night-night. The sun go up. We wake up. We go to school.
Sure, he doesn't differentiate his verb tenses, but considering that three months ago he had no concept of time (or at least no way to express that he did), we're impressed!

One of his IEP goals was to use pronouns. Tonight, when it was time for bath, he announced to Scott:
  • No! Not you! (looking at me and pointing at Scott) Not him! (looking back at Scott and pointing at me) Not you! HER! (at this point his arms were crossed, still pointing)
And he has adopted some terms of endearment. Last night, we dropped off Nikki for a sleepover. As he hugged her goodbye, he looked into her eyes and said, "I love you, sweetheart." AWWW!

He's singing songs. He's narrating his play. He's talking back to the people in the shows he watches. Tonight, he and Scott were watching Enchanted. During the scene where the wicked witch poisons the princess, Caleb was furious:
  • Stop it! That's not nice! (to Scott) We have to hit! We have to help her!
Okay, so the aggression is disturbing. But he did announce to Scott on the trampoline earlier, "Stop that! I don't like that!!" and it was NOT followed by hitting. There also haven't been any hitting incidents at school this year, although we get daily reports of, "[Insert friend's name] hurt me. That's not nice!"

One more example and I'll stop gushing, I promise. Today, we were reading books before nap. Curious George is one of his favorites, and in this particular book George eats too many candies in the candy factory. There is a picture where he's looking greenish and holding his stomach. I asked Caleb what was wrong with George:

Caleb: He sad.
Me: Why is he sad?
Caleb: He tummy hurt.
Me: Why does his stomach hurt:
Caleb: He eat candy.

WOW! He inferred all of that, because it's not actually said in the text.

It's so much fun getting to know this little boy whose thoughts have been trapped in his head for four years. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why I love my husband.

He got home at 7:00 tonight after putting away the football field after a game and the volleyball gear and now he's out getting ice cream for us because I needed chocolate and couldn't find the energy to procure some myself.

It's not the only reason I love him, but it's WAY up there on the list!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Fun

We headed up to Julian with Caleb's godparents for some fall apple picking. Neither of my kids had ever done this before, and they had a BLAST! Here are some pictures:

Nikki thought the best part was eating her way through the orchard. She and Scott were busy comparing the flavors of the five different types of apples.

Caleb was SO EXCITED to do this. Every time he turned around he would scream, "LOOK WHAT I FOUND!" and pick another apple. Of course, most of them were full of worms (it was a pesticide-free orchard), so there was a constant cycle of him filling a bag, trading with me for an empty one, and me weeding out the wormy apples.

Scott had as much fun as the kids. :)

So if you live in San Diego, I highly recommend heading to the mountains for some fall fun. But DRESS WARMLY! We FROZE during lunch!

Happy fall!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Great Day!

Maggie did great in surgery and is resting comfortably. Nikki got a 4.0 on her progress report. AND IT'S FRIDAY! It doesn't get much better than that!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Prayer Requests

Yep, more problems, and even dealing with ears! But this is about Maggie, our nearly-fourteen-year-old Golden Retriever. I went to pet her Tuesday night and was greeted by a large cyst in her left ear. Of course, by the time I found it it was quite late, so I took her to the vet yesterday when we got home.

The vet took one look at her and said, "It's a hematoma. She needs surgery." My first reaction was that I did not want to put my geriatric dog under general anesthesia. The doctor checked her heart and said it sounded great. I asked him what he would do, and he said to do the surgery because she is so uncomfortable. He said it's a simple surgery, but that without it she would be miserable until her ear tissue finally died and shriveled up. GREAT!

So I went home and called my mom (an OR nurse), who said I was being overly cautious and should do it. If Maggie were hers, she would do it. Then I called Ronnie, who worked in the veterinary field for years. She said the same thing. I prayed about it and God hasn't knocked me over the head saying, "DON'T DO IT!!!" (which, in case you were wondering, He generally does do when He needs to).

So tomorrow my puppy, our first baby, is having surgery. If you have time to squeeze in a prayer for a geriatric retriever, I'd really appreciate it...

Monday, October 6, 2008


I cleaned my bathroom today. In case you were worried. Except the toilet. I ran out of time this morning. Maybe tonight...

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I haven't cleaned my bathroom in three weeks. How disgusting is that?? But instead of cleaning my bathroom, I have done laundry and played felt friends with Caleb and done my grades and watched the Chargers game and been at Homecoming and played Freecell Solitaire. So some of my excuses are legitimate, and some, well, not so much.

I also have not yet touched the essays that need to be graded. Grades are going in without them.

I WOULD go clean it right now (really!!), but I have to prepare my lecture for AP Psych for tomorrow.

I feel like I DO deserve to have moments of fun in my life, but the bathroom is not going to clean itself!!

Oh Summer, how I miss you!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hearing Ears

We've been proud owners of hearing aids for about a month, now. Last Friday, Caleb went in for his first aided test. Two things happened that made it pretty much a waste of time.
  1. Caleb wouldn't cooperate.
  2. Caleb's left aid stopped working. And it didn't start again when we took it in.
So this week, Caleb has had only one hearing aid.

Also, on Friday, the audiologist put new tubes into the ear molds that made it harder for Caleb to pull out the tubes while removing his hearing aids. So yesterday, Caleb decided to remove his ONE aid, and guess what?? He pulled out the tube. But since we had these new, harder to remove tubes, it took a chunk of the ear mold with it. The $100 ear mold. The one we have to pay for and insurance doesn't cover. That one.

So now we have a mold with no aid and an aid with a broken mold. And I found out yesterday in my paycheck that our insurance no longer covers hearing aids AT ALL.

BUT, on the bright side, Caleb returned to speech today and his teacher noticed a HUGE improvement.

I should make a new MasterCard commercial.

Ear Molds: $200, oops I mean $300
Hearing Aids: $4,000
Aided Test: $200
Hearing Your Son Make an /f/ Sound: Priceless

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We now return you to your regularly scheduled chaos...

I've not been very good about posting lately. Maybe it's because I've been teaching a new AP class, trying to get through four tests, two sets of essay questions, two sets of in-class essays, helping to prepare for our school's 50th anniversary celebration, working Saturdays, attending meetings and doctor appointments for Caleb, running Girl Scout meetings, and trying to stay on top of cleaning the house (at which I've not been too successful). But in between all of that, we had a big surprise for our kiddos: DISNEYLAND!!

Because we had to be at the 50th anniversary celebration until LATE on Saturday night, the kids spent the night with my parents. We picked them up right after lunch on Sunday with their bags already packed, and without telling them, drove to Anaheim. We had passes that were going to expire at the end of the month, so we just did it. We even got a free hotel room with our credit card points.

The kids were SO EXCITED about the hotel room (they had bunk beds) that Disneyland was just the icing on the cake. We went to California Adventure on Sunday evening and then Disneyland on Monday. We left the park around 7:00 and drove back for school the next day.

So now we are exhausted, but at least we've had a little fun. Back-to-school time is so hard on all of us. It was nice to break it up with a little fun.