Friday, October 26, 2007


My friend Jennifer called after reading my last post to see how I was doing. My response was "whatever". She shared how she had taken a liking to that word as well as she had spent the last week going to doctor's appointments, juggling work and sick kids, and a lot more.

And really it is a perfect word to describe frustration over life's circumstances, at least for me right now.

I loved when Kelly on The Office freaked out on Darryl and ended the conversation by making a W on her forehead and then an L. Whatever Loser!

It means you're an idiot.

It means I don't want to talk about it.

It means I don't have an opinion.

It means sure.

It means I can go with the flow.

It means bring it on.

So after my online pity party on Wednesday I picked myself up, dusted myself off and got back to being a mom to the best kids in the world. Bring it on, I am ready. We can handle anything that comes our way.

I know this because I have an awesome God, one who uses my many friends and family members to gently remind me that life is hard and we are in this together. I know this because they call, offer support and to take me to coffee, they bring meals and pray for my family.

My devotional yesterday was perfect.

I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument Isaiah 41:15

A bar of steel is worth five dollars, but when made into horseshoes is worth ten. Into needles, $350. Into penknife blades $32,000. Into springs for watches $250,000. What drilling the bar must endure to be worth this.

It is painful to watch my son be "drilled". It is painful to watch my family. I know though it must be painful for God to watch us be drilled as well, for he calls me daughter, and I call Him Father.

In the end it will all be worth it, I believe that to be true. So whatever, bring it on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Can you hear me now?

So today was our post tubes check up with the ENT. After our 15 month well-baby visit on Monday where Thomas failed the hearing screening, I knew it would be an interesting appointment. Definitely one where I was hoping to get some answers.

So the truth is I have had concerns about Thomas' hearing for quite some time. Almost since he was a baby. Friends and family convinced me, nicely, that I was being dramatic. He was fine. I was just looking for things to be wrong.
Hearing tests were scheduled, cancelled due to illness, scheduled again and cancelled again in quite a ridiculous and frustrating circle of repetition. Finally my pediatrician called enough and said we would just wait until he was old enough to sit still for a less invasive test. Fine. There were too many other health issues going on to argue.

Well, Monday he sat still for the test and his left ear especially did not have good results. Something where they put this probe in the ear, shoot sounds waves at the drum and measure the waves that are returned by the ear, or something like that. Today there was a similar test, but with a much more accurate, high tech machine performed by an audiologist. Neither ear passed.

So now we scheduled again the auditory brain stem response test where he will be put under anesthesia and they can measure how his brain responds to noise (I mean how smart are these people and machines!). The test will be on the 7th.

And truthfully I feel both scared and hopeful. Scared that my son will be going under anesthesia for the FIFTH time. Scared that there is nerve damage causing the hearing issues, which the doctor seems to think is probable. I am hopeful, too. Hopeful we will get answers. Why doesn't Thomas startle to loud noise? Why doesn't he seem to know very much vocabulary? Why doesn't he have any more sounds when he babbles than "ma"? As scared as I am of learning Thomas has hearing loss, I am almost as scared to learn he doesn't. I want so bad for this to be an answer, at least to something.

At the beginning of the month I took Thomas to see a specialist in San Antonio. The woman we met in Annapolis this summer had a clinic there we had an evaluation done. I didn't write anything about it because it wasn't an easy trip or time for me and I really didn't want to dwell on it. The reality of the future felt placed in front of me. The words mental retardation not just loomed, but surrounded me. It is so hard to look at your one year old son, who you love with all your heart, and reconcile that.

So I came home focused on today, focused on the love I have for my family, focused on Thomas as a boy, as my son, not as a diagnosis, or an impending one. But truthfully it lingers back there.

And if I am being truthful, I want a hearing loss to be more than an answer, I want fixing it to be a solution. I want a solution to all this and the truth is there isn't one, and that sucks.

A friend who drops in sometimes to read my blog asked what made me want to start it. I said some stuff about out of town friends and family keeping up with us and how I hope it is something Olivia and Thomas will read one day and enjoy. Kind of like an online scrapbook.

Really I started it so I could say that it sucks my kid will most likely have mental retardation, I am scared he could have severe hearing loss, and whatever else and then move on. That I would be able to share my feelings with my friends without having to see the looks on their faces or stumble through a conversation where they didn't know what to say, because what do you say?

Nothing. You look at this precious face and you smile. He is joy, he is happiness, he is perfect. Oh, and his sister is pretty great, too.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Going to the Chapel

Weekend before this past one, or the 14th of October to be specific, my sweet friend Pam married a wonderful man and friend, Ben. I had the joy and true privilege to be in the wedding as a bridesmaid. I will confess here that this was only my third time to be a bridesmaid. And technically you could say this was my first time, since the other two times I was maid-of-honor.

My first wedding was my sisters. I was young, 17 I think. I had no idea what all was required of a maid-of-honor and I am pretty sure I did a crap job since I was most concerned about how cute I was going to look to my then boyfriend during the ceremony. Would he dream of the day he would marry me? How good would he look in a suit? Can I ask the photographer to take a picture of us? Wait, what? I need to straighten the train? Hold the ring? What? Thankfully she did not keep score because she was a wonderful matron-of-honor to me.

The second wedding was my best friend and college roommate, Karen. I was somewhat better at my job. I hosted a shower (with my mom's help and financial contributions). I attended other showers, bought gifts, attempted a toast, cried. I was young though and had little thought about the actual marriage, the vows, the witness I was and the statement I was making standing with them.

This time was so fun and so much more meaningful. I adore Pam, she is a treasured friend. I have known her since she met Ben and always tried my best to be a support to her as she worked to figure out her relationship with him. I was so honored to be in her wedding. Since he was the Director of High School Ministries and she was the Administrative Assistant to Student Ministries at our church, it was kind of like a celebrity wedding. There was so much more meaning to me this time. As a bridesmaid I committed to supporting their marriage, not just on that Saturday, but FOR ALL TIME. Seriously, I will pray for them, love them (unfortunately from afar) and do my best to be there for them.

This experience was such a good reminder to me, and I think Mike, of the commitment we made to each other. This past year has not been easy. There has been sickness and health, we have felt both rich and poor. So many marriages end when a child is diagnosed with special needs. I am too lazy to look up the statistics, but it is high, I know from teaching. Despite all this, I have never been more confident in my love for Mike, his love for me and our dedication to our family. I do think though we have been so focused on being parents that we have lost focus on being husband and wife. I am thankful for the reminder.

So, congratulations to Ben and Pam! And doesn't Mike look good in a suit?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Values Compromised

So tonight I did it. I fed my family dinner in front of the television at home. In three years we have not allowed television to be a part of our family meal, at least since Olivia has started sharing it with us. Don't get me wrong, we have eaten many a meal in restaurants or at social events where the tv was on, but not here in our own home when it is just the four of us.

Tonight was the night, and what show you ask caused me to bend the rules? The Cowboys, specifically Tony Romo, and my belief that he could lead his team to another come-from-behind victory. I had high hopes, and a friendly bet at church of all places, that he could do it.

Do you ever fall into the belief that if YOU, the fan, keep watching the game then the momentum will change? If YOU, the fan, were to turn it off or give up it would make a difference, because YOU, the fan, are such an important part of the team, equal, to say, the kicker?

Funny, and totally not true, for they lost and there we all were, watching them, in the living room, with our left over pork loin in front of us.

Recently I heard a wonderful sermon from a missionary during Scofield's Missions Conference. He talked about how satan will use anything to keep our focus off God and His wants. Media, music, hobbies, literature, telephone, computer, even ministry. Anything that fills our eyes, thoughts, actions, keeps us moving, keeps us from seeing, hearing, feeling God.

It was convicting because it was true for me. So often when I am alone in the house or have time to myself I seek noise. Music or television or a phone conversation. Once I have had my quiet time, prayed and/or read my bible I am back up, in action, filling space and time with so many trivial things.

And tonight I made a football team more important than family time. I am disappointed because now I realize how much I do this in so many other instances. At night, when Mike and I finally get to sit down and be together, so often we watch reruns of the Office or our latest Netflix. I make phone calls to dear friends while driving or doing chores when my attention is not on listening to them, but divided. I read magazines while my daughter plays in the bathtub. If I keep going I might get depressed.

So will my kids remember this night when we chose a football game over quality time with them? I seriously doubt it, they are young. But will Olivia be asking repeatedly in a high pitched whine if she can eat dinner at the coffee table and watch Cars tomorrow night? Probably, and oh the joy that will bring to my heart knowing I am the one that introduced that fantasy to her young impressionable mind.

Monday, October 8, 2007

So much to say, so little time

Life has been a little hectic lately. I am definitely the over scheduled mom. I think my problem is I get beat down by the doctor and therapy appointments that fill our calendar, so I plan just as many fun outings or get togethers to try to balance it out. New plan, get over it.

Anyway, here is the latest around here in news blurb format:

Good news! Thomas graduated from DOC band and no longer wears a helmet! Yea! We have been swimming, to the park, on walks, played in the backyard. It is great. AND his head looks so round and purty. Way to go Thomas.

Bad news! Thomas had another ear infection, his 5th. He is now getting tubes. In fact, he will get them on Thursday morn.

Good news! This should stop the ear infections and get us through a winter season with much less pondering of whether or not to take him to the doctor to have his ears checked and risk exposure to all kinds of airborne diseases or not.

More good news! Thomas got his first tooth! It was a typical evening late in August, the baths were done, Mike was giving him his prevacid and felt it. A TOOTH! Bottom right. Glorious.

A job! I got a job! It is a part time working mostly from home gig with RISD and I am thrilled about it. I will be back with some of my favorite people, bonus, and I will be helping educate kid, double bonus.

So, what's there to complain about? Olivia LOVES school, the kids are healthy, A TOOTH!. Now if only the Cowboys can pull off an upset....

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Little Miss Manners

After a dinner of cheeseburgers, baked beans and broccoli, Olivia was eating some jello at our coffee table. Next thing you know she toots, looks up at me and says "That was just the steam from my beans."


She is definitely her father's daughter, who says he didn't teach her that. Is it just in the DNA?