Family

Family
Lonely no More:)
And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Matthew18:5



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Growing!

Ok before we get started...check out where their heads come to on "the white door"  Here.  This was taken in late May or early June.  Before glasses.  They have GROWN!  Oh....and Gwen, this is another good reason to use "the white door!"  I can measure growth:)

Ready for school...posing with her artwork.
 ......and with a little more flare.  I have to snap fast....she will never pose long!


And again.......to compare Iley's growth.
 

Since sister posed with it......guess who else had to get hers too!


 .......and never content with just one pose.....some have to ham it up for the camera.




 Checking out her dress options for Kyndahls wedding....I asked her which one she liked best....of course she picked the sparkly one.  But it's really not her choice...it's Kyndahls:)

 Headed in to preshcool.

She informed me she was wearing a "lello" hat.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Better Day

Wren did really well today with her implants.  When we put them on this morning, I let her turn the little knobs to turn the volume up.  If she feels like she has some "ownership" of something she is MUCH more cooperative.  When we started patching it was a bit of a struggle.....til I let her pick the patch....unwrap the patch...and then hand it to me while SHE holds her hair back.  We figured out a little better way to hook her CI's onto her too, which resulted in less times of dislodging them from her head.  The over the ear processors that look like hearing aids would be the best, but they just don't work well with her glasses.  We have to wipe her glasses umpteen times a day and the whole kit and caboodle would have to come off and be reattached.  Sooooo.......this is our invention.   A soft denim belt from a skirt I had on the pile to send to GoodWill, safety pinned in front so it lays flat.  This was yesterday.  Today she had an undershirt on with the belt on top, the cords between the two shirts.  This seemed to allow the cords to slide better and not pull.  It probably felt a lot better too.  She wore them from 8:30 to 8:30pm today:)  12 hours of hearing on day 3!!  This kiddo is a trooper.

 She has her pink head pieces on here.  You can't see anything from the front.


 This is the very first day in the elevator at the motel.  She had her black headpieces on (which I like best cause you can't even see them)  Her processors were clipped to her shirt which kept pulling backwards, and the cords would get hooked on things.  We've also considered a little pouch like insulin pumps are carried in, but that would be even bulkier under her shirts.  If anyone has some great ideas......on how to attach the ear processors along with her glasses, or a better wearing option for the body worn ones.....let me know!
 These are the armbands and swim cap for swimming.  They fell off the entire time because the cords weren't quite long enough.  we finally took them off and just let her swim.  We forgot swim suits, and after searching all over town for them, we finally gave up and bought the cheapest leggings we could find at Wal-mart....marked them....took them to the front desk to borrow scissors....and chopped off the legs.... then put on their under shirts and called it a swim suit.  If "no street clothes" is the criteria....no worries!  I most certainly would NOT let them wear this on ANY street:)
They had so much fun swimming with Dad and Harrison.  Troy would carry them both and they would chase Harrison. They would jump off the edge to him over and over.   Being that it was a Thursday night.....we had the whole pool to ourselves. 





 The girls had something so important to show me.  They kept beckoning me to COME HERE!!  When I got to the couch....it just looked like a throw and some pillows......
 But......Ta Dah!!!!!  How tricky!
 Oh my .......another one!

 Iley practicing her core strengthening exercises?  She can do the "bridge" action about anywhere!

 Even while watching Mary Poppins.

 Maybe a little stomach work while this boring guy is singing......

 Or maybe it's just singing in any form that makes her restless?  Wren sat as still as a stone the entire movie and never missed a thing.  Iley who can hear AND see now.....was much more restless, and left at the end to take a bath before it was completely done.  Wren doesn't budge from a movie until the words start coming up the screen.
 That is some SCARY HAIR!
 Seriously!  WHAT do you have to do to get your hair to do this with NO product?  Wow!

 And as usual.....Iley ends up right next to Wren....doesn't matter that there is barely enough room for her there.  Two little brown barbaloots in their barbaloot suits:)  soft and squeezy!

Wren is definitely more subdued with her implants on.  I don't know if it's just not being used to wearing the equipment, and being afraid of knocking it all off, or if it's the added sense that has her mellowed.  One friend said maybe this will take her from hurricane... to just "gale force winds" Ha Ha! It IS a nice break!  BUT......Really I hope she's back to her lively self soon.  She wears me out, but her business is just that...business....it's the tantrums, and defiance, and sheer stubborn...do it my way attitude that drains me.  We are making progress, and I am seeing it less all the time....but whew.... she can make me crazy!   We know this is part of the bonding, and attachment issues that come with kids from institutional environments.  I'm sure her independence and stubborn tenacity helped her survive where there was no one to stick up for her.    Add to that... that a LOT of deaf kids (I've been told) are pretty stubborn and try to control their world.......and we have our work cut out for us:)  Thank you all for your prayers on her behalf.....and ours.  We love this stubborn little daughter inspite of it all.  I just know there is a beautiful little soul in there that is really nurturing, and a server, helper, and worker by nature.  I'm thankful that I serve a God who is The healer of hearts....and it doesn't rely on me.

Lest you think she is a stinker all the time......she's NOT.  Most of the time she's cheery and loves life in general.  She wakes up.....early....at the same time every day like clock work (we have even blacked out her windows....hoping she will sleep later...no use)......with a can't wait to get the day started mentality (poor thing has a mother who is NOT a morning person!)  I'm not overly friendly till I've been up for a bit and had a cup of coffee!  She's just a little TOO chipper, and too rough and rammy that early!   She's tough as nails, and SMART!  This girl is going to go places.......mark my words.  She is the leader in every activity with her and Iley...when they are by themselves.  She can often persuade Iley to go outside with her.....seriously, she does.....with very little words.  Lots of facial expression....much gesturing...and if that fails, she shrugs her shoulders, with an "I tried" shrug......and goes off on her own.   Iley even waits for her to pick her toothbrush....then picks the exact same one.....which then inspires Wren to pick a different one......which makes Iley pick hers just like that one....So Wren will change hers again.....this would go on and on.....but mom says ENOUGH!  Just brush your teeth!!!  I can't wait till Wren can communicate more!  She is very one dimensional at this point, but I just know there is a lot of personality in there wanting to come out, but not knowing how.  So much of her personality is unrefined.  Her humor is all physical....what she can see.  She LOVES Tom and Jerry for this reason....and all like cartoons.  They are physical, and self explanitory.  I want her to be able to understand the subtle humor in the give and take, in conversation.  Or listen to a comedian and "get it"  And to just NOT be left out of conversations. 

Iley's english is taking off.  It's so hilarious to listen to her chatter.  She usually has a running commentary with Wren while playing.  We need to make sure her pronunciation is right, or she's going to teach Wren to talk all wrong!  And the things she picks up are a hoot.......Harrison sat her up on the bed to put her shoes on and she pitched herself backwards and yelled "incoming!"  Think she's hanging out with the male species a little much?  Or she'll say "OK FINE!"   Then.... When we were getting ready to fill our cups at the drink station while on our trip, I started to fill hers with water....she says no no no...while signing it too....then signs "black drink"....then she signs "not water"...."brown drink"  she didn't know what it was called but she knows what it looks like!!LOL  Everything is "it's a Iley's shoes" or "its a Iley's whatever"  Iley do it.  She is trying to figure out the brother sister relation ships.  She knows that her and Wren are sisters, and that the boys are brothers.  She pointed to Troy and me and said...mama, babba....brothers?  Not quite:)  When she's hollering for me around the house it's always "Oh Mommy"  Oh Mommy"  so I say O whatie?  She's a total ham.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wren's Activation Day

We all woke up excited.....except for Wren and Iley.....who had no idea what was about to happen.  Wren had no idea this would be her last day of life as she knew it.  Her silent world was about to be bombarded with sound.  Would she  hate it, love it, or would it not phase her?  For a while she will have no idea what to do with it.  It will just be noise.  Noise with no meaning.  We will have to train her,  like an infant.  Point to things...over and over, and say the name of things, along with the sign for them.  With much more listening therapy as well.  It will most likely be a long slow process.

We headed out of the motel to a wet and windy world.   As soon as we stepped out from behind the plywood, (the motel was in the process of being remodeled).....the wind hit us whack.  The girls both turned around and headed back in:).


 Sharing Crayons while waiting for breakfast.

 My children seem to think it's their duty.....or revenge..to get my picture on the blog.  This was Harrison's handy work.


 Harrison surprised them coming out of the restroom.


 Waiting to be called back to "the" room at the audiologists.  Is it just me....or would there be an easier way to go about this?

 Wren is hooked to the computer while they program her processors.  We were all doing stickers to help keep them occupied.  Along with a whole cupboard full of toys.


We were here a total of 3 hrs.  Wren did amazingly well sitting through all of it.  It was a bit chaotic with 8 people in the room!  Most of the chaos was generated by Iley and Harrison......we tried to send them out, but Iley wouldn't go.  Troy offered to take them out....but I was afraid Wren would want to go too.....and I wanted another pair of ears listening to all the details.  I'm sure we both missed a lot.....there were so MANY details.....sigh.

Wrens reaction when turned on was pretty anti climatic.  She just smiled a little and looked unsure and tense.  But there was no real "oh my word" moment.  Here is a video.






We got more of a response from her the next morning when we put it on her after being off all night.  She was watching cartoons at the time, and when I turned her on she looked startled and backed away from the TV, waving her hand no...she didn't like it.   She still doesn't love it.  She prefers her safe silent world.  She understands how things go there, and can order her thoughts as she likes them, not as the noise around her dictates.  We put them on her first thing this morning and she did the same thing...kind of backed away, and wanted them off.  She wore them until about 4:30.  She asked to take them off a couple of times before that, but didn't fuss when I said no.  When she asked the last time I said ok, since she had worn them a while, and she had her eye patched too!  I do think she is slightly more aware of her surroundings, and looks at my face a little more when I'm signing and talking to her.  We shall see:)  Keep praying please!

Ohio Trip

We headed to Ohio on Friday morning, to get Sherman to his cousin Felix's birthday party Saturday, and  attend Kyndahls Bridal shower on Sunday.  Saturday we flew around and got everyone bathed and then Sherman and I went to town to get a very last minute gift for the birthday boy, and drop him off at the party.  One thing I love about Sherman...he knows exactly what he's getting.  We were in and out of Wally World in 10 minutes.  Then I met Mom and Dad, Troy and the boys and girls, Mike and Gwen, Henry, Fran, Kyndahl and Thatcher, and Suzy for lunch at the Chinese restraunt in town.  We went to Gwens for supper Sat. eve. with Kip and Darcy, Teague and Mckell, and Ella. 

I told her to smile so I could post her picture for Ash to see.  She didn't think that was very nice....since he was the only one that wasn't able to come with us.  I think she was saying...that's not very nice:)  But I personally think he would rather see a picture of her than nothing!  What is your opinion Ash?  Picture or no picture?  I think I would want to see this cute face:)
 

The girls were sitting at Gwens Island looking so cute....until I took their picture!  Then they looked all wacky:(  But I'm in love with that blue bowl with yellow pears!


 Iley and Cousin McKell.  She belongs to Troy's brother Kip, and Darcy.  They also have Teague.  He'll show up later.
 Then Wren joined in for a group hug.

 Eating eggs at Grandma Knaus's.  Nice bedheads huh!
 Sherman and Teague.  They were posing "COOL" for me.  I just thought they looked cute.....
 mud splattered face and all:)
They had fun riding the gator too.  Sometimes it has even more people piled in than this.....it has a whole back end that can be occupied too!.......Grandma even keeps some old cushions around to make the ride more comfortable.  Grandmas are so nice  that way. 

 Sitting on the porch eating pez candy.....thanks Aunt Dixie:)
Now sitting on the go cart eating pez candy.




 I think Grandpa bought this little pedal tractor for Ashley!  Bet he never thought I'd have a girl riding it.

He went and bought matching trikes for the girls.....had to search several places and finally found the last two at tractor supply.
 They had fun riding them down the hill.
 A good scream always makes the ride more satisfying.


you can watch the action here.

 Grandma has swung many a chile on this swing......and just sat and watched them play.


Kyndahl wore My mom's wedding dress to her shower.  It was still in really good shape .  She added a belt to update it a little.  She is the only one of the family that is tiny enough to wear it.

 Kyndahl and my Mom.


 Kyndahl's mom Suzy had the tables decorated with pumpkins and leaves....so cute for fall!

Such a nice turnout of family and friends!  Thanks every one for coming and blessing Thatcher and Kyndahl with your friendship and gifts for their new home.

 Poor Kyndahl.......she was literally covered in "help"  Cute help......but.......she was probably wishing them at Jericho!

 Some of the gifts were as big as the carriers....which made all of us a little concerned for the contents!


 After the shower on Sunday afternoon, we headed up north.....WAY up north....to Tim and Dixie's (Tim is Troy's 3rd brother....there are 4 boys in his family)  The little blonde boy is Tim's.
 This sweet girl is a neighbor and good friend of Tim and Dixie.  She has been faithfully praying for "Dayu" since she first heard about her.  She also knows some sign language.  She was SO excited to finally be able to meet her.  Thank you Ellie for your faithful prayers!

Then Wednesday morning we headed to Kansas City for Wren's Cochlear Implant activation!  Exciting!!! 

We stopped at a rest area and Harrison was chasing Wren, and she tripped:(  Poor baby bonked her head good. 

 Our backseat crew.  Sherman had gone on with Kyndahl and Thatcher the day before.  Harrison was willing to be smooshed in the back with the girls so he could stay 1 extra day.



 A straw in the tub?.......all the better to drink the water with my dear.....I had JUST told her NOT to drink the water!  I stepped out.....and then popped back in.  CAUGHT RED HANDED....or at least red strawed!