Thursday, February 21, 2013

splish splash!

m has been talking a lot about being deaf lately,
and her comments range all over the place:

"mom, i don't like having implants because it's just hard sometimes and no one else has them."

"this girl at dance asked me five times what my implants were and i said, 'i'm deaf so that's how i hear.' but she kept asking and then finally she just said she'd have to ask her mom about that."

on valentine's day we each shared someone we loved and one reason why: "i love mommy and daddy because you got me implant surgery."

"mom, i love my implants. did you know that i like when i take them off i can just be calm and hear nothing?"

"are any of the other babies deaf like me? 
did they have to take a hearing test too like when i was born?"
 (she just had two new cousins born in the last month)

"i'm doing cochlear implant surgery on my baby doll because she's deaf just like me. these are her hospital tags (and she wrapped washi tape around her wrist and ankle)"

"can i go to PS (her deaf school) for kindergarten? there's lots of kids with implants there."

i think she's growing into recognizing who she is as a person (including having hearing loss.) part of that is realizing when her friends or new kids notice her implants 
or when she has to stop playing to get her wig tape fixed 
or to get her fm system during school storytime 
or when it's a raining and other kids can go play but she has to make sure she's covered up.

this is the model of implant that m wears. 
it's the same ones she's always had, 
and they are not waterproof or water resistant, 
so bathtime and swimtime are either silent for m, or we do a time-consuming waterproofing method that involves a swim cap and lots of patience (and the risk of damaging her implants).
suffice it to say, water activities are not my favorite.

enter, the opportunity for m to try out a new waterproofing method that would mean less drama and so much less stress! 
and for m, less feeling like she is different from all the other kids (which was reason enough for me)

her audiologist lent us a newer implant, which is water resistant
to be part of a study to see how effective these little plastic sleeves are in getting implants dry.
we had a great afternoon, meeting other families with deaf kids
and m got to swim in the pool without all the drama of what we usually do.
it was so much fun for her...
and here it is, a picture of the little sleeve that goes over the implant 
(i called it a implant condom since i'm so high class)
it worked amazingly well, and my girl had so, so much fun 
splashing around so happily with all the other kids.
i got kind of teary watching her soak up being around a bunch of kids like her (especially the big kids!) and getting to swim like any typical kid without a huge routine. she was slightly obsessed with this "big" girl with implants and it reminded me that although my daughter is thriving in the regular, hearing world, that it is important for her to spend time with other people with hearing loss. i guess for now i'm erring on the side of talking about identity stuff when and if i can, and we'll see what she wants as she gets older. 
i'm so proud of my girl, for so many reasons,
and watching her mature and more aware of who she is evolving into is such an honor.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


wishing you love 
(that you give away and that you receive
in big ways and small moments
deserved and undeserved
unexpected and taken for granted
from little people and old friends
from people just like you
and strangers alike) 
in the coming year

a few things i love:
my tribe of dear ones
hot coffee with cream and sugar
the smell of oil paint
samples at the farmers market
folded laundry
brand new art supplies
ira glass
a clean closet
talking to matt after a long day
my children cozy and asleep in their beds
dance parties
our chickens running into my studio
real mail
berries & yogurt
a really good grilled cheese sandwich
bakers twine
getting an unexpected phone call or text or email or letter from someone i love
my children's drawings
lake merritt
watching tv online
the feeling after i've worked out
road trips without children
discovering something new
black tea and shortbread
my mom playing the piano

love to each of you

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

the post i need to read myself

lately i've been more aware of what my children need from me:

the me that is~
checking email
disguising errands as mommy-daughter time
pretending that i'm listening
being efficient and productive

but the me that is ~
on the floor playing
reading stories
pushing them on the swings
listening to them
dance partying
letting them "help" me make dinner or fold laundry
paying attention just to them
wasting time
allowing the mess, the to do list, the tasks to just sit

don't get me wrong, 
i am all about integrating my kids into my routine. 
there is plenty to do in each day, and i'm not suggesting that i play all the day long while mountains of laundry pile up burying us in an avalanche of dirty kids' clothes.
and i have three deadlines right now,
a studio full of half finished paintings,
a website that needs to be made,
a house that could use some major loving,
and on and on and on.

but i've begun to notice how much my children have to compete with to get their own mom's attention:
my phone
my work
my computer
my self-expectations for how much i should accomplish in a day
my to do list
my blog

my, my, my.

and so,
 i've been trying to take a break from what is either often an ego issue 
(as in, "i've gotten everything on my to do list done, plus kept two kids alive today so i feel pretty great about myself")
or a connection issue
(as in, "if i don't check my email or texts or instagram or facebook then i'll be so out of the loop")

will the world end if i'm a little less on task and a little more intentional as a mom?
then i teach my kids that i value relationship with them more than their (or my) accomplishments and achievements.

here is to my house being messy,
my inbox being full (who am i kidding, it's already full),
my to do list less crossed off

and my kids feeling loved, nurtured, and celebrated as we play, learn, and laugh together.

Friday, February 8, 2013

a week in my life

7 days through the lens of my iphone...
(super cute new nephew alert! TWO nephews in TWO weeks!)
have a wonderful weekend!