Sunday, February 26, 2012

Eleven Months

It was hard this month to get him to sit still in this pose. He is very busy now. Trying to walk has become one of his favorite activities lately. And sitting still is definitely not.

These two are glued at the hip. He loves her attention. It is sweet to watch him develop a different relationship with each of his sisters. He lets Avery carry him anywhere and he is usually very happy with her. He likes Tatum because she knows how to make him laugh with her silly faces and noises. Laney is usually content to just sit next to him and give him toys and talk to him. He is a blessed little guy having such attentive sisters who want nothing else but to play with him all day.

This was one of our little science experiments... letting colors from pen marks climb up a piece of coffee filter paper dipped in water. It wasn't the most amazing experiment, but it was fun to do it together. Avery went to one of her friends' Mad Science birthday party a few weeks ago and in the party favor bag was a bunch of fun simple science experiments for kids, so we've been trying them out.
Here's Brian and Avery at Daddy-Daughter Date Night at church last weekend.

Laney got tubes in her ears on Thursday. I was so excited about it that I really didn't feel too nervous. We had it done at a surgery center rather than a hospital, which made it very low-key and easy. We were the only ones there that whole morning... it seemed like they opened up the facility just for us. Laney did really well through the whole thing. She did scream when I handed her to the doctor. I knew that she would not go with the doctor unless he picked her up and took her. It took a little longer than usual because her ears were filled with such thick snot that he had to get two different vacuums to suck it out. Brian met me there and we waited about 20 minutes until the doctor came to get us. As she came off the anesthesia, she was a crazy lady. Squirming, thrashing around, screaming and crying. They told us it was normal, so we just tried to keep her from hurting herself or us. Finally she opened her eyes and started settling down, so we were allowed to take her home. She cried and fought her seat belt the whole way home like it was a snake trying to attack her. It was pretty crazy. I fed her chips & queso with apple juice when we got home and she starting acting more like herself. After we relaxed and read a few books together, she seemed completely back to normal.

We have been watching her closely to see if we can truly tell a difference in her hearing. So far I've noticed two things. I haven't had to repeat myself to her once. And Brian & I both agree... she has a new twinkle in her eye. It's hard to describe, but she is just happier now. And so am I.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So how's homeschooling going?

We now have two days under our belt. I have felt like I was crazy at times, but I have also found myself genuinely thanking God that He has made us a homeschooling family. This was not in our plan, but if I have learned anything about life, I have learned that when my situation becomes uncomfortable and I feel God start to pry away layers of junk around my heart, it always turns out good when I trust Him and obey.
We withdrew Avery from school last Wednesday. It was a very hard day for me. I cried my eyes out several times. I can't really put into words why I was so emotional... I guess it was the finality of admitting our child is different. I had so many mixed emotions going on inside me that day... relief that this decision had been made, thankfulness that all the pieces had fallen into place, fear of the unknown world of homeschooling, sorrow for her missing out on the fun times she would have had at school, but mostly relief that the battles were over.

So last weekend, we re-arranged the furniture in our study and made it into a pretty cool little schoolroom. I bought a few educational posters for the walls. I bought a math curriculum. I bought a lesson planner. Everything else we are borrowing from friends or just making do with what we already have.
So yesterday was Day One. Laney stayed home from preschool because she wasn't feeling good - that's a story I will tell more of later - so my plans for a quiet house quickly disappeared. But we still got everything done we had planned. Math, Reading, writing, history, spelling, phonics and storybooks. Today we added science and Bible. Tomorrow we are planning to add piano and baking. We probably won't do every subject everyday... I plan to do Bible, math & reading everyday for sure, then the rest I will throw in a few days each week.
Today all 4 kids were home all day. I discovered several challenges I hadn't anticipated, but I also discovered the greatest thing about homeschooling ... immediate feedback. In just two days of homeschooling, Avery is already writing her letters and numbers way better just because I have been telling her immediately when she writes something the wrong way.

So onto the story about Laney... Since before she turned two, I have been concerned about her hearing. I would walk into her room when she was still in her crib and she wouldn't turn to look at me and I sometimes had to call her name several times to get her attention. Our pediatrician said it was "selective hearing." He said the fact that she speaks and understands instructions means that she doesn't have a significant problem. Even though I didn't completely agree with him, I didn't think there was anything I could do with her so young.

So fast forward to this year. I knew at her 3-year old check up, I wanted to talk to our pediatrician about her hearing again. This time, since she had a pretty bad ear infection and he knew our history of concerns about her hearing, he referred us to an ENT.
So I took her to the ENT today. First, an audiologist put us in a sound booth and did a hearing test on her. She had headphones on so I don't know all the sounds she was hearing, but there were several times I heard a sound and she didn't respond. So when we came out, the audiologist said she does have significant hearing loss. But the good news is, her ears are filled with fluid so hopefully when that is cleared, her hearing should be fine.
So next we saw the ENT. Right when he walked into the room he said, "So you know you have a deaf child, right?" Oh my, I had no idea it was that bad. He said the fluid in her ears may very well have been there for a whole year! She may have had several ear infections over the past year and I never knew because she didn't run a fever or act like she felt bad. My poor little Laney all this time, we've known something wasn't right, but didn't know it was that bad. She can't hear consonants, so in most of her words, her vowels are right but her consonants are off. I can understand most of what she says, but sometimes I need Tatum to interpret. Tatum always knows what she is saying.

So we are planning to get tubes in her ears, hopefully this week or next. It's immediate and easy. He said the surgery will take a total of 6 minutes. When she wakes up, she will be able to hear! I can't wait to see her little face as she hears things she has never heard before. I am hopeful that her new ability to hear things will help her have the confidence to try new things and reach out instead of clinging. I am excited for her to "get it" the first time rather than the seventh. I am excited to teach her how to say words correctly. I am so excited for her.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guess who lost her first tooth?

Seems like just yesterday she was just getting all those teeth!
How on earth can she be turning FIVE in just a few months?

Princess Tatum, we love you!