Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I'm late jumping into this game but I was tagged for this meme by Drew's mom at Turn On My Ears, who writes/blogs about her son's hearing loss and cochlear implant. I love reading blogs written by mothers with deaf & hard of hearing children. It gives me a glimpse of the emotions, thoughts, and feelings that my parents likely experienced when they found out about my severe/profound hearing loss at the age of two. I'm so proud of these parents who are doing everything possible and using every resource available to help their children to hear and communicate in today's world. (I have links in my sidebar to some of these blogs. If you would like to be added, just let me know by email or in the comments.) To all you moms out their with children who cannot hear, thank you for all you do! You are making a difference. . .even if you feel like you are taking one step forward and two steps backwards.

Now, I will step forward and answer some questions!

1) Each player must post the rules at the top.
2) Answer the questions in bold.
3) Tag five people you would like to know better, go to their blogs, let them know they've been tagged and ask them to read your blog.

This is just for fun, so don't feel like you MUST play. I won't be hurt if you're too busy. Here are my answers to the questions. . .

What I was doing ten years ago. . .
1998 - I had four children still at home and had just started a part-time job as a bank teller. I was also thinking about returning to college and applying for scholarships. This was a decision that required much thought and prayer and was not done lightly because high school and college were not a positive experiences for me (except for meeting my husband). I did return to college in 1999 and graduated from the University of Tennessee in December 2003 with my Finance degree. I would not have accomplished this without the help of the Disabilities office. When I started classes they contacted me and offered to interpret my classes for me. When I told them that I was oral and did not sign, they responded by informing me that they had transcribers available for persons like me. Two transcribers came to every single one of my classes with two computers. I had a computer in front of me and they had the other one. The transcribers used a program called Typewell and typed almost word for word everything that was said in class. I could read it on the screen in front of me (and could sit ANYWHERE in the classroom) and participate. After class, the transcript was saved in a file and emailed to me for my notes! The purpose for two transcribers for every class was because they took turns typing during the 90 minute sessions so they wouldn't get tired. And I had different transcribers for different classes because they needed to take breaks. Believe me, my transcribers needed those breaks because my classes were not easy! These transcribers became my friends and I still keep in touch with some of them. As an added bonus, at my graduation. . .everything was transcribed for me (and others) on the Jumbotron in the stadium! I was very glad that I waited to return to college when I did because 25+ years ago there were few resources available for deaf & hard of hearing persons like me.

Five Snacks I enjoy: (wishing they didn't have so many calories!)
1. Oatmeal cookies with butterscotch chips
2. Kettle Corn
3. Flatbread and hummus
4. Any drink from Starbucks!
5. Chocolate!

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Donate to Methodist churches in Latvia and other missions.
2. Pay off our debts and be debt-free.
3. Build a log home in the mountains.
4. Take our kids, their spouses, & their families on vacation every year.
5. Travel the world and experience different cultures.

Jobs I have had:
1. Dental Assistant
2. Housecleaner (and I still paid someone to clean my house!)
3. Seamstress for quilting shop
4. Cashier & Department manager for a clothing store
4. Bank teller & Informations systems
5. Accountant

Three habits:
1. Procrastinator (I wait until the last minute)
2. Cleaning & Organizing
3. Have too many projects going at once. . .I love to start them but can't seem to finish them!

Five places I have lived:
1. Orlando, Florida
2. Idaho Falls, Idaho
3. New London, Connecticut
4. Two Rivers, Wisconsin
5. Ohio (Columbus, Dayton, & Chillicothe)

Something most people don't know about me:
I used to be a synchronized swimmer. But, I could not hear the music in the water because hearing aids aren't waterproof! I learned my moves outside the water and by watching the other swimmers. I also memorized the routines.

What is the one thing you would tell the parent of a child recently diagnosed with profound hearing loss?:
I answered this question at the beginning of this post. Also, I truly believe that God is too loving to be unkind and too wise to make a mistake. You are here for a purpose and God places special children with parents that He knows will do everything in their power to help them be the persons they are created to be!

Five people I would like to get to know better:
1. Elizabeth of Elizabeth Embracing Life
2. ??? of Loudest House on the Block
3. Denise of Hearing Elmo
4. Leah of Say What?
5. Lotte's parents of Lotte Sofie

I would also love to meet Heather Whitestone, Marlee Matlin, & Michael Chorost in person!

(If you have already been tagged for this meme or do not wish to participate, that is okay!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Leaving Texas

Being a grandparent is GREAT! Steve and I are officially in the "Grandparent Club!" I never thought we'd get so attached to a little baby. . .he has captured our heartstrings forever! I thoroughly enjoyed my two weeks in Texas with Jason, Jessica, & Jackson and did not want to leave! I truly bonded with that little guy and want to see him again. And hear all his little sounds that he makes. He changed so much those first two weeks and I don't want to miss a thing. I'll be back in June after my HLAA trip to Reno, Nevada!

The following pictures were taken the last day we left. Steve and I got up early so we could take turns holding him before we left for the airport. Isn't he precious??? :)

Gramma Laurie & Grampa Steve with Jackson
Gramma Laurie & Jackson
Jackson - 12 days old

Friday, April 11, 2008

Grandpa is here. . .

. . .and all is well! Steve arrived in Texas on Wednesday night and was happy to see the newest member of our family!
Steve & JacksonJackson in Grandpa's armsSteve & Jackson together

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Best Things Come In Small Packages

"How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still the calm assurance
This child can face uncertain days because He lives. . ."
(lyrics from the song "Because He Lives")

Jackson is nine days old and is such a sweet, cuddly, & warm bundle to hold! I just love being a grandma! But better still, I am blessed to be able to hear all his little baby sounds. . .the sounds I missed when Steve and I had our four babies.
Jackson Sleeping on Grandma
Gramma Laurie & Jackson (9 days old)
The mornings are the best times when it is just he and I. Jason or Jessica will bring him to me when he wakes up around 6 a.m. We eat, burp, cry, coo, gurgle, grunt, sleep, snore, and listen to the mornings birds chirping. He'll stay awake for about 30-45 minutes and then falls asleep in my arms. . .and we snuggle for a couple hours. I love to listen to him breathe! Sometimes he "sings" as he breathes and it is so cute! This is heaven on earth and I'm really going to have a hard time leaving him when I return to Tennessee. I'm already trying to figure out a way to get back here again. He is changing every day and getting more alert. He is attracted by light and likes to look around with his dark eyes. He knows his mother's and father's voice and calms down when he hears them. It is amazing how babies are so tuned in to their parents voices. I'm bonding with him, too, and he knows his grandma!
Jackson Listening to his Mommy's voice
Jessica went back to classes yesterday and had a hard time leaving him. I don't blame her. He is such a sweetie pie!

I've had several "firsts" with Jackson. I brought him and Jessica home from the hospital last week because Jason had to work. I also went to his first doctor's appointment when Jessica needed to take him to the doctor after he was released from the hospital. I've given him his first "walk" and his "first bath." If he is fussy, I'll walk outside with him and he'll calm down. He does not like to be "unwrapped" and have his clothes off or his diapers changed. He has different kinds of cries, too.

I've been taking plenty of pictures of him and sending them to family and friends. Steve can't stand being away any longer and is flying to Texas today to see his grandson! He loves babies and can't wait to get here!

Stay tuned for more pictures!