Tag: asl

A Fabulous Weekend

This weekend was one of friends and family.  I had so much fun this weekend I don’t want it to end.  First this weekend had a lot of fear in me.  The kids had their Tae Kwon Do tournament, last year my hearing took a dive on this weekend.  I was starting to get nervous would history repeat itself?  The tournament was on, the movie we watched that night and I was so scared because I couldn’t hear it, part 2 of the movie was on this weekend.  What are the odd’s?  I was getting really scared and nervous and reached out to a friend of mine.  This friend was my ASL (American Sign Language) teacher.  We became friends and I vented  to her.  She ended up coming with me to the tournament and we had a fabulous day!  We were both a tad nervous about hanging out, would we get along, would the kids like this, would there be a communication barrier, were all things I though about.  All these things were unneeded worry.  We had a great day.  I got to hang out with another wonderful friend also.  Her daughter is just a doll, love her like a daughter.  You will see her in some of these pictures also.  Greta helped at the tournament and Henry competed.  He ended up getting 3rd place in his forms and 1st place in sparring.  Here are some pictures from our day our Saturday.  

greta and henry tkd Henry sparring tropheys kids at tkd tournament

Sunday is a family day in my mind.  Today we had lunch together then a day off playing for the kids and watching some Sons of Anarchy for Chad and I.  This evening we went to a Halloween party for our 4H group.  What a fun evening.  We met out a an old Town Hall building.  Think one room school house.  There was pumpkin carving, sscavengerhunt, a potluck supper, and lots of playing.  Here are some pictures from tonight.  Greta was dressed at Katniss from Hunger Games and Henry was superman and then stripped that off and he was wearing all camo under there so an army man.

I hope you all had great weekends and I hope that wonderful feeling I have now will carry on through the whole week.

Henry and Greta costumes Henry and his pumpkin Greta pumpkin Henry and Carlie pumpkns Greta and Carlie costumes Henry in the woods

My Top Ten List

As I look at the calendar I start to get tense and look back at this past year and I marvel of all the changes that have been made. This upcoming weekend is the Tae Kwon Do tournament when I noticed the crowd was more hushed, I noticed I couldn’t hear a TV, or my kid’s voices.   I am not sure at this moment my hearing dropped or it was slowly dropping and it kind of hit me on this weekend. Either way it has been a learning curve with hearing aids, and accepting this new normal.

I look at this past year and I thought I would make a list of 10 things I have noticed and learned. I was able to get a hold of my audiogram from 1996 when I was 19 years old. I was in college and attending the University of Wisconsin and studying Communicative Disorders.   I had a conductive loss at a 30-35db loss. Which in all reality I could have been wearing hearing aids back then.  I am now 37 and I have a mixed loss that ranges from a 60-90db loss. That is a big difference. Will it change from this point, I don’t know but if it does I know there will be frustrations but I feel I will be better equipped to handle it.

Top-Ten-list

  1. Always carry hearing aid batteries with you. I learned the hard way this last week. I decided to leave my bag out in the car after lunch and I was subbing in science. Well both hearing aid batteries went dead. I had about 3 hours of the day left to go with no break to run to the car. Thank God we were watching a movie very little talking and listening had to take place. It made me realize I need to learn to speech read more then ever which will be my number 2.
  2. I hear with my eyes as much as my ears. I need a big boost in speech reading. I can do a word here or there but I need a lot more practice. I lack in this area greatly. Although I have done a few experiments on my own while listening to someone I really do concentrate on their face. I will close my eyes at times and my comprehension really goes down. I need that visual; I need to see it as much as hear it.
  3. Hearing aids are not miracle aids. Yes I really rely highly on my hearing aids. I recently told a friend who is Deaf, I can’t sign proficiently, I can’t read lips for a full conversation. I rely on the hearing I have. I have become great friends with the phonak and starkey hearing aids I own. I don’t have perfect hearing with my hearing aids but they make up for a lot of lost ground.
  4. Ear molds are better then domes. This is an individual thing but wow a big difference for me. I was given domes then got moved to closed power domes in my hearing aids. They annoyed me and I could hear better with my finger in my ear with them. When I bought this up I was told it just took time to get used to. I then went to another audiologist and they told me my hearing loss was to great for the domes and that is why I was having the problem. I was told I needed the ear molds and I sure can tell a difference. What I learned from this, you know what you need. If it doesn’t work for you and you have a finger in your ear, it isn’t working. I will never use domes again. You can change doctors nothing is set in stone.
  5. You are not alone. Family and friends supported me and listened to me but I needed to find someone who understood me. I have found friends and the Say What Club. They understand hearing loss. They can laugh with you and help through the tough times. I urge anyone who is going through a trial to seek out a group that understands. As a fellow SWC friend says you need your tribe. You need the people who walk in the same shoes as you do. Seek them out!
  6. Car radios suck. Ok so I am blunt and to the point. Maybe this again is just me. I try explaining to my husband I can hear the music and the beat but I very seldom can make out the words. I can hear parts of words but it kind of sounds like a broken foreign language. I will keep the radio on I like music but the words nah can’t do it. But I have never been able to really listen to the music and get all the words so maybe this isn’t such a new thing.
  7. I have become to love the assistive listening devices I have. I was very stubborn at first I didn’t want to try these. I felt that I was not profoundly deaf or hard of hearing so I didn’t need these. I was wrong. I use the streamer on my TV a lot. It blocks out everything but the show or movie we are watching. It makes a big difference. I still use the captions but I seem to be more engaged in a movie if I use it. Otherwise I seem to lose focus and I am off doing something else. When we are watching a family movie I need to be involved and enjoy the time.
  8. Keep my family in the loop. My children know when I can hear them and when I can’t. If I say I can’t hear you they are really good at waiting till we are somewhere else and then ask me. My kids understand my hearing aids. My husband will hook up and ask if I want the streamer on the TV or for the music we are listening to. They support me and that makes such a big difference.
  9. Sign language- I know some but I need to learn more. When we are in a situation and I can’t hear my kids I would love to be able to use more sign. Today in church I used sign to my son and we understood each other. I hope another class will be offered soon in my area.
  10. Pimping and blinging my hearing aids have become an obsession. Heck if I can go and see all these fun glasses at the eye doctor why do hearing aids have to be beige or dark brown in my case. I can decorate them and maybe no one will see them but I know they are there and sassy.

So here is my list of 10 things I have learned this past year. I wonder what my list will look like in another year.

County Fair

Every year as the thermometer creeps up and the nights get a little shorter we have a wonderful event that our family fully loves….The County Fair.  We are not a family of livestock or crops but we love the fair for the neighbors we will see, the hard work of our community members and our favorites the 4H and open class buildings.  

Both kids are in 4H and this is a big deal getting all the projects put together and then going to the fair and judge them.  Greta brought 8 projects to the fair.  She came home with 8 blue ribbons, 2 grand champion ribbons and a honorable mention.  I think that is pretty good for an 11 year old.  Henry is in Cloverbuds and he brought with 4 projects and came home with 4 ribbons.  

Chad and I entered open class which is always a fun thing to do and so different from year to year.  Chad entered a welded candle holder and got a second place ribbon.  I entered a variety of items and got a variety of ribbons from first to 3rd.  Here is our 2014 fair experience in pictures….

Henry’s judging and his ribbons

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Greta’s judging and ribbons

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A sampling of my ribbons

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A great time was had at the fair and not even two full days after the fair has been done we are already asking ourselves the question…WHAT SHOULD WE MAKE FOR NEXT YEAR?

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Valentines Week

It is fast approaching the day where we will all see pink and red hearts painted across the sky.  Well maybe that is a little dramatic but it seems like it.  I don’t know why but I have never been the lover of this day on the 14th of February.  I think I did as a child making a card box and having our party and passing out the little valentines to each of our classmates was fun but as I grew older the excitement fizzled.  Now I have loves of my life.  I love my husband and I adore my children but I think I can say and express I love you everyday with them.  I don’t need a special day to show them I love them. 

I have a fond memory of Valentines day when in college.  I was away to college in New Mexico and a couple friends and I decided to take a day and make homemade cards for our families and loved ones.  That was so fun we made hearts and took paper lace and made stacks of cards.  This is what the day should be to us every year in my opinion.  A want to show love and affection, not a deadline to get your card and buy buy buy and get caught up in the consumerism of the world.  I made cards for whom I loved.  Maybe my dislike started during the 10 years I worked at a prison.  Do you know how much mail can come through a maximum security prison at Valentines day….LOTS.  The girlfriends send those big cards, you know the ones that are as large a a child.  Then they proceed to pour an entire bottle of perfume on the card and send it in with the pictures no one should be taking to their man.  I am sorry that again wrong meaning of Valentines day. 

My husband and I already told each other that we love each other and there will be no gift buying this year.  With a totaled car last week and some health challenges in the last year we have expressed we are here for the other person and will continue to be there for them.  Our children yes- I will probably get them some candy and a card.  It is fun for them on this day but I hope they know everyday I am proud of them and love them to the moon and back. 

So we still need to make a valentine box for our son to take to school.  He wants one to look like a welder.  We need to get the cards and have him write his name on them.  That will be enough tears to last me a month, he is already whining about writing his name.  My daughter is just having a movie party without the cards.  It just cuts down on the drama in the class, I can see that. 

So Happy Valentines Week to you all.  I hope you have a wonderful day that you can tell people you love that you love and appreciate all they do in your life.  I will continue to kiss my kids goodnight and when I take my kids to school I always tell Greta I love her and Henry and I do the ASL sign for I love you to each other.  It is just our thing. 

Those that don’t have that significant other make sure you tell a co-worker, a parent, a friend or the cashier at the coffee shop that you thank them for being special in your life.  That is what the day means to me, a reminder that we are loved and we are called to love each other. 

Thoughts from a mom on a Snow Day

Today started out with a 2 hour late start for school that soon changed to closed.  When you have a day planned and two hyper kids who are on the verge of killing each other it just crushes you.  Yes I love my kids and I would hate for them to go outside in the blizzard we are having but when your day gets turned upside down it just changes your mood.

I had a meeting scheduled today with the State office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  I was hoping to get some questions answered and find out where some of the resources are located in our part of the state.  I read about all these classes and other things I would be interested in and they are 3 hours away from us.  Not very practical.  Would be nice to know what our region of the state has.  When I found out school was cancelled it was NOOOO I don’t want to do this meeting with kids there.  Meeting got cancelled hopefully will be rescheduled soon. A little relieved- didn’t want to do this with the children.

I was going to clean my floors this morning but instead I have blankets down on the floor and it is either a TaeKwonDo sparring match, or a WWW match, or cage fighting or some variation of this.  The kids are determined to harm one another today.  It must be the change in the weather.  The wind is sounding like a freight train and it is doing odd things to the children’s brains.  They are wild!!!!!

I made some soup for dinner and cleaned a few things up today but I am thinking I am done for today.  I need to act as referee today and maybe a quiet movie later will be the magic pill.

The kids and I have been practicing our ASL.  So now the kids are using the signs they know to insult each other.  I tell you the day is one long fight fest.  Henry’s big way to bug Greta now is to sign “Beautiful Henry” and then “Boring Greta”  Greta then does some insults back to him and it goes and goes until one starts crying or tattles.  At least they are learning ASL even if it is for taunting.  That is good right?

Well good luck for anyone who is stuck in a blizzard.  I hope my husband makes his 1 mile drive home ok tonight.  I think we will all be staying home tonight. Now to go keep the peace and let my daughter know that she is “Beautiful Greta.”  Maybe we should look up some uplifting signs today.

Have a good day everyone.