Saturday, January 30, 2016

Death doesn't come easy

Welcome my friends to this blog....

Death is a means of a end, to put something behind you, to have closure to something that will never open again, and to lose people that we love. 

I am 31 years old, for the first time in my short life, I am in the season of life, where it begins to start saying farwell to the people that have loved us for the entire time we are on this earth up to this point. Over the past year, I have been witness to such a beautiful process, of family coming together to support one another, to care for one another and unite in such a difficult, sad time in our lives.  I am so amazed that we have SO much love in our family. We are so lucky and so blessed. 

My 6 year old and 4 year old understand death much younger than I ever did, and they know exactly what it means.  It means that people get sick, and die and they go to a beautiful place where they see people that theyve loved before and have gone before them and are happy and whole and perfect.  They know the people they have loved, that have held them as babies laughed with, tickled, and  heard jokes from, are gone.  

I see a new transformation in our family---- We say more "I Love Yous". We hug, we care, we go out of our way a little more now just to remind each other we still are here, and we still care. We find joy in the small things, a baby's smile and laugh, children running amok in the house and dancing and laughing, board game/ or "Penny Poker" time with our families.  It is during this time I reflect the most on how truly amazingly blessed that in death- we've been able to learn those lessons-- to just love and laugh and LIVE. 

In death- I've gained a new insight on faith and hope. Faith means believing in something you can't see, and holding on for dear life.  Hope is just as important. Hope is the means of wanting something to happen, but it can't happen yet.  it goes in hand in hand with faith.  I've hoped, for more time, for a cure, for things to help, for doctors to know what they are doing. It goes with having faith in what the doctors can do, and to have faith that God knows what he's doing when he takes our very best.  

Love: love is what happens when everyone came together, to unite and support each other.  Love is what you feel when you have hope and faith, and everyone unites to move to support that. It's such a beautiful thing, and I am so thankful everyday that I've been present and able to witness that for months.  Love is a constant thing that never changes, Hope changes everyday- but without faith, it's not possible because that gives you the power to move, and believe and become.  In love, we were all united for one moment, for a hour, a day, a month, an year, 5 years, 10 years, 25 years, 31 years.

Saying good bye is always hard, It is so sad, and heart breaking, I wish so much, and so often that I never would have to do this again but I do.  When I feel like this, then  I think of this song.... by mr. brooks "the dance" 

And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd have had to miss the dance

I am so glad that I didn't know how it would all go, and how it eventually would end. I loved each day I had with you, It's all left up to chance but I know I would have missed the pain, but I wouldn't have wanted to miss this dance with you- you made my life full- with hope, love, and faith, and laughter-- thank you for forever loving me as I am, and i can't wait to see you all again.Good Bye until we meet again......... 

What A Wonderful World

I see trees of green, 
red roses too. 
I see them bloom, 
for me and you. 
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world. 

I see skies of blue, 
And clouds of white. 
The bright blessed day, 
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world.

There I was, in a school gym-- full of 150 squirming 150 first graders on the risers, a sea of what seemed like 800 parents,grandparents, siblings of children singing that fateful afternoon.  My little boy- my firstborn spotted me and waved frantically at me and signed "I LOVE YOU MOMMY" (instant heart melt here folks)  He was happy.  There I was, in my own special area they marked off for me D/HH.  Suddenly-- rows full of chairs popped up... I sighed to myself-- typical hearing people.  The principal ran up to me and said are you OK? I'm like... Yeah sure I guess... its just " whatever" My friends that I had made over the 2 short- beautiful years since my son started going to school there started texting me.... Are you OK? "those hearing people are really stupid" (LOL) (I giggled to myself)  I'll make videos in case you can't see. <3 My interpreter ran up to me and was like-- oh god all those people! SO SORRY!! Yeah,Yeah, the principal walked over again and explained quietly that he could ask people to move... I was like, for once, I want what I want.  Yes! ask someone to move... where? uhh i'd like to sit over there (closer to center stage) He did.  I waddled over with my 4 year old and waved at people along the way. I sat down.  I realized no one cried, no one freaked, no one yelled.  Wow, the world didn't end because I asked nicely as a deaf person to be treated equally to my peers and have access that everyone else has.  2 cute 6/7 year olds come forward and said... this is a song about the world, and the things in it.... and they began to sing.... I see trees of green, red roses too.  I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself-- what a wonderful world.  I began to tear up.  I thought about how proud i was of my son, and the long journey we've taken together since he was born.  That indescribable joy. I thought then to myself, It has been a crazy few months even with "bright blessed day" and the struggles we've had "dark sacred nights" and how we continue to find ways to think to ourselves often walking along the way, "What a wonderful world" 

The colors of the rainbow, 
So pretty in the sky. 
Are also on the faces, 
Of people going by, 
I see friends shaking hands. 
Saying, "How do you do?" 
They're really saying, 
"I love you". 

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow, 
They'll learn much more, 
Than I'll ever know. 
And I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

Yes, I think to myself, 
What a wonderful world. 

This world that we have is so diverse, so original.... "so pretty in the sky" I find mothering a 6 year old is much more challenging than mothering a 2 year old.  This is when I begin to teach about Diversity- and loving yourself, and Bullies and hate.  I hate that I, have to as a mother teach my children why that happens in this world.  Again, I think to myself of the HOPE that we teach our children it's so important to have manners, and care for others.

This struck me more than anything else as a mother... I hear babies cry, and they grow, and they'll learn much more than we'll ever know.  Life will always change. it is Evolving.  There are the first times your children do things.. and then the thousands and hundreds of times, then one day, it's the last time, and they never do it again.  I am constantly amazed at the things my children learn. I hope your love for learning never stops.  It truly is what keeps the world moving.  Yes, I think to myself.... What a wonderful world. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


As the rain is steadily falling in Green Bay this morning... I have my cup of coffee next to me, the boys are gone to school and work, and My littlest angel- my little Cindy Lou as i like to say- is asleep in her bed for a long winters nap.. I started looking at the Tree we have in our living room and started to reflect on christmases past, present, and the future...

My best christmas was probably the most talked about christmas among us girls.  I have 2 sisters- B and C.  It was Christmas morning,  My mom had told us girls to sit by the tree and she had to go "get" something.  My Mom walked to the door to our front porch and opened the door. My Dad had walked in with my big sister's new pink and purple mountain bike, He gave it to Becky, he walked back out to the porch and walked back with a Green and White Bike for Char-- it was actually probably more of a Teal pretty green.  She screamed with Delight... then my dad brought my Betty Boop bike in, and I was SO excited. 6 years old, and my first brand new BIG girl bike... but that meant I would have to learn how to ride with training wheels.  My dad and Mom looked on as we all chattered and shouted with joy over our new bikes and many many thank yous! My mom took a picture of all of 3 of us on our bikes- I couldn't quite get on it just yet because the seat was set too high yet.  That was the first, and the only christmas I remember having my parents in the house together, celebrating christmas and feeling like for one day- we were just a normal family for a few hours. It was one of the most beautiful days that I can remember.  Everyone was together and thankful and happy. 

As we go into this holiday season- remember that there are children that will have less than you have under your tree-- while you are sitting around the tree on christmas eve, or christmas day- remember those who are less fortunate- and be thankful in the moment that you are able to do what you can for your loved ones- Also pause to reflect on what you can do to help those families out in the coming year- donating, helping, giving your time and talents to others that may not have your skill.  It makes a world of difference- and people are eternally thankful and joyful after you have done something for them.

As I sit around the tree with our many families that we have over the next few days- I will often be reflecting on how wonderful our family is, and the time we get to spend with them, and just being with each other.. after all.... that is what christmas is about.. it's not about the gifts, or the money you spend on each other-- it's the time together that matters. Make it count today, tomorrow.... forever.

Merry Christmas with lots of love....

Lauren, vincent, Victoria 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Catching up :)

HI to my dear, faithful readers-

It was recently brought to my attention, a few people have missed my blogs/ my funny stories about my lovely children.  Let's update you on all that has inspired since my VERY LONG BREAK... :) 

Vincent is 5.5 years old now, and attends a Elmentary School in our district.  He is a very happy, sweet, mellow boy.  He has a mad passion for his Ninja Turtles-- He wants to bring it everywhere he goes.  He is a very good friend at school, He has a lot of friends but the one we hear the most about everyday is R.  R and V are always together on the playground and do everything if possible together.  They are also cousins but further down the family tree- More about that later.  He is a stellar big brother to his little sister Victoria-- 

Victoria has grown from a little 1 year old to a 3.5 year old- a full, motivated little girl that she is.  She is high energy and is always finding things to stay busy with.  her passion is still Minnie Mouse- although she has partipcated in the Frozen craze--- (how many of you mom's now know Let It Go by heart) Yea! She has recently discovered the art of making friends and "staying" friends.  She looks foward to the day that she can have more friends in school like her big brother.  She adores Vincent and wants to do everything he does even if it hurts trying. :) 

I am still a busy stay at home mom- but i've recently discovered a new passion which i absoutely love and have been working on a few pieces- is doing/completeting cross-stitch works of art and quilts.  I am currently making one for christmas with a beautiful snowman on the front- it is kind of christmassy and fits the season.  In a month's time- I will be putting that aside and starting to work on my sister B's quilt for her new baby that will arrive in June 2015- we are all thrilled for her and J. Life is truly wonderful.  I am looking into how to occupy my time once Toribear goes to 4k in the fall- possibly returning to school and working towards a bachelor's degree.  It will feel good to have that finished.  

We have since lost Lady to cancer in September 2014-- It was too much taking care of 2 very young children so my sister graciously stepped in and took care of lady for me during her last few beautiful years on earth.  It was found that Lady had mouth cancer which is pretty common with her major breed (border collie) Lady was a mutt type of dog as well.  She held on for as long as she could- then she went very quickly and peacefully.  I will always miss my sweet little Lady but I know she is running across the fields of heaven with our sweet trooper who we lost in august 2010.  It is so good to know that Lady has a few people/animals up there with her waiitng for our return one day.

Andy is still floating around here somewhere.  he works now for BT-fuel in green bay-- NO MORE COMMUTE- YES! he stays busy with work and his games and he has discovered a new hobby- flying helicopters--- he has shared that love with his Dad- so they go fly helicopters together a lot. Vince now has expressed a interest in flying those things-- but Vincents passion is really more focused on remote control cars. But anything mechanic that them boys can control makes them boys happy while us girls look on and go back to our craft projects.

Next up is Vincent's winter concert-- he will be with at least another 100 children including himself. there are about 6 kindergarten classes at the school he is at now. his entire school is about 780! Imagine that. thats not counting the staff walking around everyday.  I am SO excited.  I really really hope Vince sings well but well.. they are 5 and 6 year olds. :)  That night we are also making gingerbread houses with andys  stepmom and his family. vince says he will make a huge one full of candy- judging from last year i Believe him.  Victoria and I will complete one together as her attention span is not that long and she just does it long enough to get a good sugar high, and off she goes to run and play :)  I LOVE CHRISTMAS! :) 

Much Joy to your family from Ours!! 


Monday, October 15, 2012

time warp with deaf technology

Hey guys!!

I know it's been a while since I last blogged... life.. kids... it all caught up to me.  ;) but recently I had a conversation with a friend that made me think I really need to blog about this because it touches my life deeply.  Many of you already know that I'm a deaf mom- a fierce wickedly cool one by the way.. not sure my 3 year old would vote for that today but.. haha. I digress. :)

Per my conversation with my friend- we started talking about how deaf technology has truly changed and for the better.. and wonder what the future will bring for us.. hopefully more and more access so we can finally be on the same footing as hearing people. :)

1. In 1990- ADA law set up that every disabled person must have access to any public place, with accomdations made by the place to accomdate a disabled person.  In this law as well- included closed captioning.  for many of you who don't know- closed captioned is when words show up on a t.v. screen with black background and white letters.  If it is "subtitled" it will often be yellow or white and "open" open caption is almost like subtitles.  Anyway, CC became required in that law and around 1992-1993.. my mom had gotten a voucher to get me a CC box it was a black box attached to the tv via cable cord. and a plug to the wall.. and it had buttons on it that you could turn the CC on and off.  She plugged it in and got it all hooked up and she's like Lauren, you can read the words on the t.v. instead of asking what they are saying.. i was like.. what? ok?? she turned on oprah winfrey- ths was one of the VERY few shows that were closed captioned at the time....... and I remember watching the words scroll on by.. they were saying what people were saying- probably a bit delayed but I remember being amazed.... as the years went by up until about 1995-1996- then more and more shows are captioned.  Almost Everything on t.v. is captioned now.  For me, it is normal to have words on the screen so i can read it.. and most of the time when i go to other peoples houses- they are willing to turn on captioning.. but I also hate asking because i feel like it is a hassle to figure out how to get it on and sometimes people don't remember how to get it off also.  Just funny, thinking about watching that first t.v. show with CC and being floored and now it is a normal everyday thing for me.  my kids are growing up with words on the screen... I wonder what they will have to say when they go to other peoples houses and notice they don't have CC. :)

2. TTY to TTY conversations... TTY is a box keyboard computer thing almost.  you place a phone on it, and you can make a phone call to another TTY and also through relay to a hearing person.  and you type what you want to say, then say GA, (go ahead) then if you are done talking and say bye bye you say Stop Keying (SK SK) This is also widely known as a leader to future technoglogy as Instant messages and also texting on Cell Phones- yes you can thank the Deaf people now!! We are the reason why everyone texts. :) Texting works silimarily to how a TTY worked back then.
instant messages- that didn't come around until about 1997-1998- so Us 25 year olds and up- were born before internet... Life without Internet... and big box computers- and we had dial up too... and often got told to get off the computer so someone could use the phone- now its a completely different world- everyone has a cell phone- and the Internet is often cabled- and no more dial up!

3. Baby monitors- they finally made one that is made for hearing and deaf parents alike- a vibrating baby montior- I have used this with both kids- It is a life saver- it vibrates when the baby cries and MUCH better than hooking up lights to this special montior- that would make every light in the house flash every time the baby cried or talked or made a peep.  Could you imagine having a house flashing lights every time your baby made a peep? Not me! I was so thrilled that they came out with this. It helps a lot.

I think those 3 things in my life as a deaf mom- had a huge impact on my life.. for one thing.. my kids will probably learn how to read faster because they will be exposed to literacy early because of the CC. My 3 year old already knows how to use the mouse and keyboard, and he knows when I am chatting with my friends on VP or through relay or Skype- that I am talking to someone and it is normal for him to annoy me when i am on the phone- just like you hearing moms- I have the same issues you do! :)  Although I am almost done using the baby monitors- it will be amazing to see what else the future has in hold for more advanced deaf technology and also how... things have changed in just few years.  I am so happy we have those changes now- and they make life easier.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

cochlear Implants

this is a different blog post than in months past... a friend of mine brought up how hearing people think that a cochlear implant is a cure all.  It is not.. I have my own story to tell plus hundreds of thousands of stories of other people that have their own experiences and stories to tell.

I got my Cochlear Implant at age 6.  My parents espically my mom questioned if it was the really truly the right choice- and my dad was all like "hey if it helps her then it helps her"  My mom sat me down one day and said....... do you want to hear? What a heavy question for a 6 year old... I just wanted to be just like my sisters... not be different.  I wanted to whisper with them at night, and share secrets in the dark and not have to work to talk to them, or anyone (not that ASL is a beautiful language) I just wanted to be a normal, happy 6 year old.  so I said Yes..... and that started my journey.......

I had to go through a lot of tests to find out if the Cochlear implant would even work and a interview process with the Team at University of Iowa- Iowa City.  They are about 7 hours south of GB.  I don't really remember too much from this time.  it came out that i was a perfect candidate with my right ear and they would do the operation.  They scheduled the surgery for Dec 6th,1990- just so i could have the 2 weeks off from school then winter break then return to school.  I remember having the surgery done- I actually remember not wanting to breathe into the mask.... but it made me really sleepy so i fell asleep... I woke up in recovery but fell asleep again.  I woke up a few hours later because they had to check to make sure i needed to eat.  I was SO, SO tired.  I just wanted to sleep a lot the first day.  After that I started waking up more and I wanted to be more active but it was difficult because of the gauze on my head that felt like it weighed 20 pounds.  I did have a headache and fever- they ended up keeping me just a day or 2 longer than planned to make sure i would make a full recovery. I drove my mother Crazy the next 3 weeks- I couldn't wait to get back to school.

I got back to school and I looked different so it was a little shocking to some of my friends- my dad came to school with me to tell my friends about what happened and why.  I finally got activated in march.. I couldn't tell you what day it was... I actually don't even remember it at all.. but basically what happens is they Map you and you have to listen to tones to make sure it sounds all the same and it sounds good and watch you for reactions to the tone.  Im sure the first time they turned it on and I responded it was probably cute and emotional..I don't remember this at all but I do remember driving back to Wisconsin and we got back to GB and we went to pick up my sisters from my dad's house-my dad and I walked into the house and my dad's like.. she can hear now... and all 3 of my sisters all started talking to me loudly and laughing and making noises to see what I could hear and stuff. My mom said that when they were driving back I was asking what sounds EVERYTHING was making- it was just so much noise! I was thrust ed from a quiet world with crappy hearing aids to this.. loud noisy world!! 
It's been about 23 years now since I've gotten my cochlear implant.. I've flourished.. I've learned how to talk, i can read lips pretty well... I can hear sounds and words and environmental sounds.. Its just if you are talking to the back of my head it just sounds like garbled words being spoken too fast haha.  I can catch a word or two but not everything.  Although if i look at you and can read your lips- I pretty much understand everything you are saying.  I can't hear on the phone like normal hearing people can- it just sounds like words messed up... I know only a few words that i can "pick out" but yeah.  

getting to the real point here though.. I have so many different deaf friends that have cochlear implants... for some of them- they have not worked at all-only hear some or some environmental sounds but its very very limited-some have exposure to a lot of sounds but words and language does not sound different than the sounds.  People like me that can survive with having a CI get spoken language and understand fine and actually are capable of picking up spoken language... and there are deaf people that are completely oral with CIs- which means they just talk and they get a great benefit with the implant- and years and years of training.  not everyone can get the training and sometimes you put in all the work and still not 100 percent capable of getting all the benefits from it that other people do. 

I've also had issues with figuring out who i am because of having a cochlear implant and being able to talk well before (my speech is horrible now) but at that time in my life it felt like like i was in between both worlds like talking and signing... and trying to go between.  Now though, I don't really wear my CI anymore (and I should) and I feel that im more on the deaf end of things- which Im absolutely fine with... I love where I am and I love the rich language and the culture that it comes with and I don't mind dabbling in the hearing world as u know my bf and my children live there but I love being where I am.. when i am with my deaf friends- i am simply at home- it is where I can be myself with my language and communication flows freely and clearly with no frustrations.  It took years though to figure out where I wanted to be. 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things I miss before I had children...

a different topic today than normal... I decided to write about the things I miss that I did.. before I had the children

1. Being able to finish a book in a day.......... and they said rome was built in a day (not if you have 2 toddlers)

2. Going out when I feel like it (have to pre-plan, sitter, and pack the kids bag)

3. Eating a Hot meal..... My kids eat before I do and by the time i get to it.. it is cold and yucky.. and then i warm it up in the mircowave... and someone falls.......... there goes the dinner. 

4. a clean house.. in all areas... at all times. (it looks like a war zone much of the time.. with toys waiting to be set off and blast your ear with loud music.. and they wonder why kids are going deaf) 

5. Taking a shower... and a long one.  

6. going food shopping without having children present/or begging for food

7. watching a entire movie without falling asleep....... yep.. I get so exhausted i can't even finish a movie. 

8. having a house full of food.... longer.. my almost 3 year old boy begs for snacks almost hourly now.. he is like a garbage disoposal that cannot stop eating.  

9. not having to feel vibrations to make sure that my kids are behaving... and checking on them a lot.. more often than not.. they are wrestling (yes my kids wrestle now) or fighting over a toy they just cannot share.. and when it gets really quiet then they are having too much fun and doing something that is a no no.

10.  sitting on the couch in a total clean house and proud of my work and feel great it can stay clean for a while... doesn't happen when you have children.  

11. again, reading a book in one or so day.. It takes me weeks now to finish a book........... man. 

Don't get me wrong.. this isn't complaining about my kids at all... I just have certain things that I miss.. before I had my children... but my life is much fuller now because of them... Every morning I get to get up to see the 2 most beautiful faces on this earth. I get to play (most of the day) with my kids and be The cool silly mommy and make my kids laugh.. even though i can't hear them laugh, I see the smile reach up to their eyes and they (esp vincent) yells Mommy you funny!!!!!!! Nothing makes my heart sing than my ability to make my kids giggle.  I hurt when my kids hurt.. I hate telling them no and seeing them cry but I know in the long run it will make them a stronger person.   My favorite part of the day-- is when I get to sit on the couch with both of them and watch some t.v. and we all snuggle.. sometimes its a movie and we get to eat popcorn.  Every night I put them to bed... and I silently sing Hallejuah because I get to spend some  ME time finally but.. I'm always thankful that I am THEIR mommy.  Life isn't so bad when you have two hearts to love and love forever.  Not so bad after all. :)