Sunday, November 30, 2008

the latest addition...

if celebrities were athletes, then maybe i'd know who had been traded to what team, who had the most rbi's, who had a record number of assists, and so on. as it is, i know pretty much nothing about sports. (ok, a little bit maybe, but don't hold me to it) with celebrities, however, i am a treasure trove of knowledge. i know that i should be embarrassed about that - that celebrity trash is just that, trash...and that it is a complete waste of time to pick up tabloid magazines or watch "entertainment news" on tv because it is all nonsense. that being true (and i know it is), i kind of can't help myself. it's just one of those things that's rooted way back in my childhood and i can't help but magically absorb fluffy celebrity news. (in summary, at the age of 5 or 6 i was playing dance routine with my friend terra in my driveway. she said she got to be linda carter and i was dolly parton. um, i had no idea who either one was, so i channeled dolly in the dance routine. later, i realized i'd been duped, linda was way cooler than dolly, and i resolved to never not know who i was impersonating again...pitiful, yes, and apparently it scarred me for life?) 

i know this severely damages my street cred as an intelligent person who thinks and talks about substantial issues, but i really, truly am defenseless when it comes to all things that could possibly pop up on the e! network. for instance, at both of my baby showers the games were celebrity related. (and i dominated the games, thank you very much. you want to know the names of celebs' kidlets? i am so your girl)

this brings me to today's topic: the latest addition to my celebrity sleepover. for years, i have been fully convinced that if i ever happened to run into reese witherspoon, we would bond like the oldest of friends and get along smashingly. i used to tell my roommates amy and nancy that if reese knew me she would come over and say, bake cookies with us, hang out at our place til all hours and stay for a sleepover. over time i've added a few others to my celebrity - but really just down to earth friends - sleepover: kate winslet, drew barrymore, jennifer garner. love, love, love them all. and don't you think they would be friends with me? i do.

well, a couple of nights ago, matt and i saw the movie rachel getting married. it was good, albeit intense & super-realistic about family drama and dynamics, and i left thinking: anne hathaway (who stars in the movie) is SO one of my celebrity buddies. she is completely invited to my sleepover too. i think she's fabulous.

(although she may want to change into something a little less fancy for hang out time at my house.) 

i'm realizing that i sound a little crazy in this post. rest assured, i am not a weird celeb stalker. i promise. i haven't even picked up a tabloid in months (except for that one that matt's sister left on our coffee table, but that just migrated effortlessly into my hands.) anyway, you can come over too: lots of food, good talks, and if my celeb friends don't show up we'll still have fun without them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

for skip

sometimes individuals are in your life for a relatively short season, although their presence impacts your life in a significant way. this week i learned that my most influential high school teacher, skip mohatt, passed away at the age of 74. skip taught, coached, reigned in, and commandeered my competition civics class.

my senior year at amador, i took a class called competition civics (or harley davidson civics or civics especial, depending on who is telling the story). upon explaining competition civics to him, my husband has completely missed the mark with, "so, it was basically debate class right? you were in debate." um, no. it was so not debate. it's kind of hard to explain the class in a succinct way, but i guess the best summary would be that our class was divided into 6 teams. the entire class was responsible for learning and familiarizing ourselves with the entire constitution and bill of rights. but then each 3 or 4 person team covered a unit of material covering a specific issue or portion of the material which became our area of expertise. i was on team six, which was responsible for knowing the 9th amendment and unenumerated rights backwards and forwards (so, we were all about school choice, abortion, health care, etc.) i'm realizing that it is a long, convoluted story to even summarize the entirety of what the class entailed, but basically we studied our butts off, studied supreme court cases, watched mcneil lehrer & read the paper daily for contemporary constitutional issues, prepared a billion hours for competitive presentations and question and answer sessions in front of lawyers, politicians, constitutional scholars. i know, it sounds nerdy and completely uninteresting. but it was amazing. i promise. it was stressful, and exhilarating, and super fun. our class won regionals, and then we went on to state and won state, and then went to nationals, and...came in fourth. sigh. we were totally ripped off.

skip is the reason that class was so great. (well, skip and the fact that half of my friends were in there.) he's the reason we were motivated to put so much energy into the constitution (of all things), and the reason i spent lots of saturdays at the library. (so sexy, i know.) well, that was maybe not the only reason, but i digress. he was a teacher who knew exactly how hard to push us, and then pushed us just a little bit more. i still remember the anxious feeling of waiting for a test to get passed back: he gave them back in order from lowest score to the highest. not so much fun if you hadn't studied the unit before the test; i always dreaded my name being called at the beginning of the pile. he had been an incredible basketball coach for years, and he treated us like a team - in both the good moments and the bad ones. he didn't mince words, and he didn't offer false words of encouragement. when we slacked, he let us hear about it in no uncertain terms. he was brutally honest, and he reduced more than one of us to tears that year. he taught us the power of the spoken word, the importance of editing one's argument, and the need to speak passionately and precisely. when we succeeded (even if that success did not mean we had won first place), he rallied, congratulated and celebrated with us. he put up with and even appreciated my dramatic, hyper, emotional 16 year old self. he challenged us to have pride, passion, perspicacity, and perseverance

i've been thinking a lot this week about that class, and about skip as a teacher and a man. i remember running into him about a year after i'd graduated. we were catching up, and i was telling him about how i was teaching elementary school and completely overwhelmed. i told him i had no clue what i was doing. he said, "i still don't know what i'm doing in the classroom. the minute you feel like you have it all together and you know exactly what you're doing is the minute you need to quit teaching." of course, he did know what he was doing in the classroom. he taught with passion, integrity, and great commitment. he taught us that the world was much bigger than, as he'd say, the "disneyland" where we lived. for all of his brusqueness, he was incredibly kind and gracious; he was one of those teachers that opens up your world. this entry doesn't feel very profound or elegant, but i am so thankful that i was able to know and learn from mr. mohatt - a short period of my life that has shaped me in a lasting way.

skip's passing makes me think of great hope about little m's life too. skip had polio as a child, which crippled him for life. his achievements as a coach, writer and educator, in a world which looks past disabled people, reminds me that my daughter, even though she is deaf, has the ability and capacity for amazing things. i know that in my gut when i think of little ms future, but it is a striking reminder to me.

thanks, skip. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

otherwise occupied

i've been offline for a few days, so the blog has been a bit sparse since thursday. one reason is that my dear friend, amy, had a baby boy! spending time with amy while she was in labor - it was looong and slow going, brought back a lot about my own labor experience. seeing her and baby judah after she gave birth has prompted me to think back on the 7 months of momming since i gave birth to little m.

a couple of thoughts:
one, i'm really glad i was able to give birth sans drugs. i have absolutely no problem with epidurals or narcotics or whatever a woman needs to get while she's in labor. let me tell you, i have never felt so much pain- not even a tenth of the pain- as i did giving birth to little m, so if anyone needs to do anything to survive that pain, then i say go for it. once i mentioned to a friend that i was open minded going into labor about pain meds, but still going to attempt to go drug free, she said, "oh well, then you'll do the drugs for sure." little did she know that that offhanded comment made me inwardly resolute that i could go through labor without any drugs. ha- little did i know that i would want to die because it hurt so bad, but those words spurred me on....and i did it. 

so yay for me! i bestow on myself a medal of awesomeness. labor sucks, no matter how you do it, and i think that every woman who has birthed a child is a rock star - drugs or no drugs. but going through labor without any pain medication it isn't something you normally brag about or broadcast, so i'm taking these few inches of blog space to celebrate. i have been reliving some of the pain through amy's labor process, and it kind of reminded me that i was proud of myself.

second, this year has for sure been a little different than i anticipated. ok, maybe really different. but, despite lots of curve balls of an assorted variety, i love being a mom. amy had her baby at the same hospital where i had little m, so as i headed back there today with m, i thought about how much this last 7 months has held. pretty incredible. i just think this little 15 pound person is hilarious and wonderful and fascinating. she can be infuriating too, and i see in her so much feistiness that i can hardly imagine her as she grows older (i think i am in trouble)...but i do love being a mom. she's kind of my favorite human besides matt. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

i sort of tend to read a bunch of different books simultaneously...and sometimes that "reading" entails skimming, or hopping around between chapters, or fast forwarding to the last page. not so much a traditionalist when it comes to reading books from front to back and cover to cover. matt gives me a hard time about it, but i have noticed that 6 years of marriage and 13 years of friendship have rubbed off on him: he now reads multiple books at once now too, and is kind of ok if he doesn't quite get to the end of a book. i have two equally high stacks of books on my bedside table, and i thought the books represented a good summary of what's rolling around in my head at the moment - a good current self portrait of me so to speak.

the funny thing is, i'll probably be sort of reading half of these books a year from now too. that's ok, it's about the journey not the destination, right?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

facebookers unite

i first joined facebook a couple of years ago, back when i was still in grad school. at first i didn't do much on it: no status updates, no photos, no groups. my poor friend adriel sent me a message on there that i never even picked up until probably 6 months later. it was back in the day when to be on facebook you had to be attending a school, so my only friends on there were people that i either was going to grad school with, or who were going to another grad school at the time (but that i was already somehow friends with in the real world). fast forward to last summer. my sister rebecca had joined facebook and wanted more friends. she not only added me as a friend, but she uploaded a photo of me to be my profile picture. that was the beginning of it all...

i have friends who have resisted facebook, and friends who think it is a poor substitute for "real" human interaction. that's fine. i have no need to coerce people into following in my footsteps (well...maybe only a little). but i kind of love facebook. 

first of all, i moved around a lot growing up. when matt and i were first dating, i had to draw a map of the united states to describe where i lived, and what years i lived there, with lines going from one city to the next. not only did we move, but i changed schools a lot: in 2nd, 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grades. matt, on the other hand, grew up in ventura and lived there until he went to college. so, for me, when i go home to visit my parent's house (which is now 3 miles from me), i'm not going to run into someone that i took 5th period biology with, and we're not going to drive by my elementary school. my memories feel somewhat fragmented, since they are scattered across the united states. and often i've wondered, for instance, do the people who i went to 4th grade with even remember that i was a part of their life? am i remembering people as part of my own history that would never include me in their own personal history? 

so unlike my friends who absolutely do not want to add a single friend from their high school- or earlier- experience, i am all about it. it's not because i had an amazingly perfect elementary through high school run, void of awkwardness and embarrassment and bad friend moments. ha- far from it. but it acts as this validation that the history i am remembering, even if it was only at this school for one year, or that school for two, existed. it acts as a reminder to me that maybe i did play some part in the lives of others. it is really fun to reconnect with people whose lives intersected mine when i was a child, and as i grew older into high school and college. 

ok, ok, so for some of these people, i've added them as a "friend" and that is that, no additional interaction since then. it is a momentary, "oh yeah! i forgot about them. wonder what they're doing now..." and then nothing else again. but there are a few friends who i am authentically communicating and connecting with. for example, when i've gotten messages from my forever friend sooz, whose mom was pregnant with her at the same time my mom was pregnant with me, or my elementary school friend claudia, who tried to convince my mom that i should get my ears pierced in the 6th grade, it has reminded me that we may have been little people, but there is a reason why i was friends with them way back long ago. these relationships were not without their flaws. hello, we were girls and girls are inherently lame to each other. but that reconnection has been a gift to me: to be able to share the real things that are going on in our individual lives even though we have been separated by time and distance is pretty great. and in some ways it's like coming home to a place you know like the back of your hand, because it little ways it reminds me who i used to be and simultaneously shows me that i have grown and matured into someone else while still retaining parts of myself that have always been there.

so maybe it seems silly, or like faux friendship, but i love facebook. and i'm willing to put up with the random friend requests and virtual time suck if it also means that i'm coming back again to some of the people who have marked my life at different points in time, and who in some small way have contributed to who i am today. for me, who has to fly to opposite parts of the country to experience the landscape of my childhood, it makes me feel like i get to drive by my middle school or run into someone from first grade at the store when i open my profile page. and for me, pretty much amazing. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

my mom

i love this photo of my mom. i rarely see my mom sit still for long, much less have the luxury of doing the things she enjoys or chooses to do, so this picture captures a rare moment. my mom has lived a life of serving and caring for others, of sacrificing her desires and wants to benefit the people around her, and of extending her love through thoughtfulness. if you know my mom, there is no doubt that she has probably baked you a pie, or put her arm around you to see how you are really doing, or come over to sit next to you and talk if you were feeling alone. my mom is not one for small talk or chit chat, so it's hard to just shoot the breeze with her, even if she doesn't know you that well. she's pretty quick to cut to the chase as she says, and have a real conversation.

i'm just thinking of her today, and how she is a woman of strength, courage, tenderness, faith, and integrity. 

i hope that i've learned bits here and there from her about how to love well, and how to raise children that respect and love you.

today's playlist

{above: the bulletin board in my studio}

i'm off to paint later today, and i either listen to music or podcast episodes of this american life. here are some songs that i've either discovered or re-discovered lately & that happen to be on repeat often.

the world spins madly on- the weepies
fidelity- regina spektor
rarity-lucinda williams
oh god, where are you now? (in pickeral lake? pigeon? marquette? mackinaw?)- sufjan stevens
life in rain-remy zero
hoppipolli- sigur ros
satellite of love-u2 (cover of lou reed song)
paper planes- m.i.a.
with you- stars of track and field

and some episodes of this american life you shouldn't miss. amazingness. ira glass is brilliant and if you've never listened to the show, you should start. you can stream it, download it as a podcast, or buy an episode. it's hard to describe why this show is so great. suffice it to say, we don't hear enough good stories these days; this american life is chock full of good stories...give it a try. 

this recent episode came out just before the election and is a fascinating portrayal of pennsylvania leading up to november 4th 
this is such a funny episode. if you've ever babysat or been babysat, it's worth a listen.
touching and funny...this is one of my favorites. hello, phil collins helps her write a break-up song?
are you trying to understand in plain and entertaining language how we got to this place with foreclosures and the economy? listen to these. these two episodes are so interesting, kind of depressing, but mostly just important to listen to.

but green is good for you!

this feels a lot like a parenting blog lately, but i couldn't resist these funny pictures of little m in the ring against green beans.

the other day before little m's speech therapy appointment at her school, we hung out in the family room and tried round two of feeding her green beans. round one had been a failure. complete and total rejection. our little hungry hungry hippo, who eyes any and all food items and tries to stick them in her mouth, and who can eat and eat and eat, pursed her lips tightly and flat out refused the green beans. so. we tried again. we figured she'd do well in therapy if she had just eaten. but eating usually means you actually consume something...

as you can see, it basically all ended up on her face. that's right, out of the entire bowl of green beans, maybe a teaspoon or so made it into her actual mouth. or... so i thought! when we finally gave up on the beans and went to clean her up she parted her lips and using her tongue slowly spit out anything that had miraculously gotten past her closed mouth. so really, she successfully avoided eating a single bite of green beans. sigh. don't worry, we're attempting the green beans again; miss anti-veggie will ultimately not defeat us! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


well, it is no news flash for those of you that keep up with this blog that my life has been lame lately. i have decided that somehow i mistakenly became a resident of sucksville, and i want a passport to somewhere a little more mellow. statusquoville would be just fine with me about now.  even so, i think it is important to celebrate the good with the bad.

and one piece of good in my life is...matt. he is pretty much amazing to me, and he is a fantastic dad to little m. ah, i remember the infamous moment that in the pre-dating matt era, my friend nancy was predicting that we would end up together. in very dramatic (but i thought sincere) fashion, i replied, "matt just doesn't know how to love me." how far i was from the truth. we may be very different in a hundred ways, but often matt knows what i need more than i can articulate myself.

one example of amazing: so, not much cheers me up lately. but my husband knows that i sort of love presents. i love opening things- i swear it could be a pack of gum, but wrap it up in paper, and you've won about a million points with me. it's not really that i just like stuff, but for whatever reason i kind of love gifts. so the other day i walk into our room and on our desk there is a pile of presents. all for me. little presents all wrapped up in paper, stacked there, waiting for me to open them. in the past, in my younger, and oh so immature days (let's not get too specific on how far in the past this lack of maturity was), i probably (ok, i would have) torn through every single present in one fell swoop. actually, matt said i could if i wanted, but i am spreading them out and opening one when i am feeling bummed out or sad. the idea is to think of what hope for the future each gift represents as i open it, so i get to dream as well as consume!

all i have to say is, can you really get more fun than walking in and seeing a bunch of presents hanging out waiting for you every time you go in your bedroom? it's pretty much the best thing ever. all this talk about presents is making me think i need to open one. right now. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

uh-oh and YAY all at the same time

she's been rolling and inching, but it's official! little m crawled for the first time this weekend! (note her look of pride and satisfaction above.) she basically does the army crawl and pulls herself across the room, but she is beginning the joys of self-propelled movement! all i can think of is the fact that now she is going to wreck havoc and crawl all over our house, pulling everything down and out in her wake, but it is still exciting. 

(and yes, i know this is not the most thrilling blogpost, but this is the gripping narrative around our house. forgive me; we watch the little m channel at all hours, so for us, it is quite entertaining and celebratory! now off to childproof the house...)

welcome to parenthood

poor matt. his daughter likes all things that he is not partial to. in fact, it is a pretty sure thing that if there is something in the world that matt doesn't like, little m will be drawn to said item.
a short list: shiny gold bathroom fixtures; crazy bohemian patterned wall hangings; ceiling fans; scarves and jewelry that look like they may have been sold on QVC; any item which sparkles, lights up, has some motorized component or is licensed by a company like, say, disney; brightly colored and space consuming plastic toys-the larger and more plastic the better; anything with rhinestones or sparkles affixed to its surface... you get the picture. matt is a minimalist, and our 7 month old (like most- or maybe all - infants) is not. i firmly believe that if little m could hear, she would prefer easy listening and country music (much to her parents' chagrin) over any artist associated with the word indie.

so imagine my delight when i got little m to sit in her daddy's eames chair this weekend. i felt like affixing a little comment bubble saying, "see dad? i, too, appreciate and understand midcentury modernism! from now on i only want to play with toys made of molded plywood and lacking in adornment."

i don't think it's happening any time soon, but she sure looks cute perched in his chair.

treats + friends

i took a couple of days blog free, so i have a few entries up my sleeve from the end of last week still! that way even though it is monday, you can pretend it is thursday or friday! 

we started thursday off well with a fun visit from our friends bearing delicious treats: coffee and la farine. (i've evolved in my relationship at la farine- first i was obsessed with morning buns, then moved on to the chocolatine, and recently i am all about their savory morning bun. yum.) little m woke up from her first morning nap while we were hanging out, so she came out for her own snack of milk and her hit of social interaction. she snuggled for a while with nancy's mom and then spent the rest of the time eyeing baby micah, who is only 4 months behind her in personhood. at this point little m grabs everything of interest and stuffs it directly in her mouth, so once micah got close enough she lunged for him (i saw either a baby make out session or disastrous eye poking on the horizon). i think it's pretty safe to say that little m already has her prom date. (although there are a few other worthy and very cute contenders out there...if you want your child to get bumped up in the queue, you can bring us coffee and snacks too.)

there is little better than just sitting with good friends (of course, enjoying good edible treats with them does knock it up a bit, and good coffee makes it even a little better, but i digress). i have been hibernating somewhat this year, which is so unlike who i normally am. i've been realizing this week that i feel like this year has changed me at a fundamental level. it is as if a part of me, or maybe i should say parts of me, has been taken, stolen, removed without my permission. very important parts of my identity have been reshaped or erased and i am trying to process that:  who am i as a maker, wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister, and so on? right now, i don't really know, but i feel quite unfamiliar to myself. in the midst of that lack of knowing, it was peaceful to sit with good friends and share the beginning of the day. 

Friday, November 14, 2008

happy friday

i love this picture. matt and little m, sitting out on our front porch- little m turning to look up at her papa. not much to say today, but i thought of this picture i took last week as i sit typing and little m and her daddy hang. little m is rolling around on a blanket on the floor, crying because she can't quite crawl. matt is rolling around with her, and snuggling her tears away. it's hard to be 7 months, you know. at least it must be, with how much squawking little m makes! it's a mellow evening for us after a long day of appointments related to her hearing loss. i am happy it's friday, and i'm sure you are too.

enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


things i don't like today:
  • the way my fridge hums so loudly all the time
  • crazy drivers who don't signal and then cut over last minute but they don't look at you because they are aware of their lameness (selfish, selfish pants)
  • the next 2 hours of painting in my studio, because the painting looks really ugly right now
  • emails that get buried in my email account because so much spam goes in my inbox
  • that i still haven't finished my book club book (sorry, oscar wao)
  • the bills i need to pay
  • that some amazing people in my life live really far away

things i like today:
  • the supercuteness of etsy (you have to sift through the lame to get to the good, but it's there)
  • my morning latte with brown sugar 
  • the sun shining outside! (dreary weather=dreary me)
  • our clean kitchen
  • my husband and that he sends me lots of text messages all day long
  • the bulbs pushing through the dirt in our front yard!
  • sending video messages on facebook
  • the quilt on our bed that my grandmother made
the end.

7 months old!

yesterday marked little m's 7 month anniversary of life out in the big bad world. she celebrated with some rice cereal, banana, and later in the day topped it off with some pureed carrots and squash. what a 7 months it has been round here! among other new feats, she has mastered rocking on her hands and knees (and is about to crawl), discovered how to lunge for my cup to try and drink out of it, figured out that if you grab and pull at leaves they inevitably come off in your hand, and finally, that it is is quite fun to stick limbs as far out of the slats of her crib as possible (all is fun and games until she wants to roll over and her leg is twisted and stuck. oops!)

happy 7 months little m! thanks for sleeping longer and longer at night. that is my personal favorite new thing you are learning- forget all the developmental stuff...i like to sleep! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the drama that is hearing aids

so, now that little m's cochlear implant surgery has been denied, it was time for us to head back to the audiologist the other day to check m's hearing aids and have them adjusted a bit to give her more sound. the testing itself was no fun at all: little m had gone to an appointment already that morning and as a result had missed her nap, so she was already a bit on the cranky side. first, the audiologist put her in a soundproof booth and tested her responses to sound without the hearing aids on, which meant we had to remove the aids. (which entails pulling the aids off of the delicate behind the ear skin, because we have to lightly tape them on with wig tape to get them to stay. as you can imagine, an already fussy, tired baby loves this.) 

it is always discouraging to watch her evaluations, and the fact that she responds in absolutely no way at all to sound. we know she is profoundly deaf, but it is a very visual and clinical reminder. after the no hearing aid portion of the evaluation, it was time to see how she responded to sound with the aids on. so our audiologist reset them to give little m about 40 more decibels than she had been getting before. we popped in new batteries and went for round two. at this point she really was going into meltdown mode, and it just made me sad. i thought about how different these first 7 months of her life would be if she didn't have hearing loss: she most likely would only have gone to the doctor for immunization appointments and regular checkups. it always kills me that i have to drag her to these appointments so that she is poked, prodded, and evaluated. no wonder she gets irritated! i know we are doing the best we can, and she is a really happy baby, even going to so many appointments. (for those of you that know me well, you know i am not a fan of making phone calls and going to the doctor, so the irony is not lost on me that my life now consists of umpteen appointments!)

i think i am just having a tough week with everything feeling compounded and freshly raw, like new waves of sadness. what it comes down to, as i've mentioned before, is that this all feels like a perfect storm: little m being deaf and all the work, energy, advocacy feels minimal compared to the emotional devastation that is happening in my family.

this all brings me to yesterday and my fight with the new hearing aids. 

this is how it goes....first, i am armed with my roll of wig tape, which helps the aids stay put.

my teeny scissors clip the tape, and the otoferm (thanks mary claire for that tip) is a silicone cream which we wipe on the ear mold to get a seal so that they stick in there and don't feedback all day.

here is a hearing aid ready to go. at this point we've checked batteries, checked the sound in the stethoscope, and affixed the tape and the cream. little m is on the changing table, squirming, and so we (hopefully) deftly hold up her hair around her ear, get the ear mold in and push it around until there is no feedback, make sure the back of the hearing aid is in the right position behind her ear and then (because by now she's screaming and all over the place) quickly do the same thing on side two before swooping her up and planting lots of kisses on her.

here is her hearing aid in the way it is supposed to be.

here is little m halfway through the process yesterday. when her surgery was slated for halloween, the surgeon had us remove her hearing aids for a week prior, so she kind of got used to them being off. now that they are back on, she tears them off constantly! we've started putting on a little pilot's hat so she can't swipe them off. BUT brilliant and precocious girl that she is, she has now learned how to pull her hat off. um, yeah. smart little bugger.

add to that the fact that the aids, newly adjusted to emit much more sound, are good for little m, but it complicates life for matt and i because that means the feedback is also significantly louder. (every time the ear mold presses against something - like if she leans her head against the side of the carseat, or snuggles, or turns her head - or anytime the mold is out of her ear canal, the hearing aid feedbacks (which is a super high pitched, and now very loud and dare i say annoying, tone). 

so yesterday involved the above routine, over and over and over. i'd get the aids in, and the feedback would begin. she'd tear at her ears, pull on her hair by her ears, pull on her cap, grab at the aids, shake her head back and forth and scream. at one point she tore one out while i was putting the second side in. at another point she got her cap off so it was just tied around her neck but not on her head, and then she took an aid off and pulled the ear mold completely off of the behind the ear portion of the hearing aid. when they were actually in her ears they were screeching feedback, so i kept poking and pushing at her ears to get the aids in the right spot. it was a pretty tough day. 

sigh. this is a very long and rambling post to say that at the end of the day, i'd fought the hearing aids....and the hearing aids won.

we'll see how today goes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the fruits of matt's labor

matt has been growing dry heirloom beans since the spring, and it was finally time to harvest them. as evening fell, he sat with a few people in the middle of the garden and they helped peel the beans out of their pods until they filled bowls full of the little beans. i have to say, i was a bit incredulous about the beans when matt first planted them: they took up so much garden real estate, and we'd never grown beans before. 

but shining in the bowls, looking like little matte gems, i was glad matt planted them. later, as we ate warm bowls of my mom's homemade baked beans, i was glad they harvested them. 

now that winter is coming, matt is planting new things in the garden. matt and i are slowly realizing that is season of very hard things in our life is not changing anytime soon, but that we will be processing and grieving for a while. matt asked me yesterday what we are going to plant which can act as a visual representation of that long, slow process. hmm. we have 4 big raised beds and a couple of wine barrel planter boxes...any ideas?

Monday, November 10, 2008

life round these parts in photo form...

...with lots of little m, of course.