Monday, December 12, 2011

12 days until christmas

It is 12 days until christmas........and my true love gave me a 2 year old a running, a 7 month old a scooting-making a mess everywhere and growing by bounds and leaps!

Recently-we have been chatting with Vincent about christmas..... as you can tell.. christmas spirit is all around us-everyday in everyway- in what way?? GIVING.  we are teaching vincent Christmas is about giving others-and it is joyful work- and we may not always get something... but it feels SO good to give.

Vincent asked me to pick him up to the calender and together.. we counted 12 days until christmas eve and we can go to grandma's k's house to open the first round of presents.  We think we have about 5 christmases set already. Our children are so blessed that we have so many people that want to see them and hug them.  I hope that this never ends and that they will always know the love of our wonderful family.

This whole past weeks has been really busy- with preparing for christmas and shopping and figuring out what the kids want and need....... and finishing up the rest of the peoples on our list... and vincent is hard at work making pictures for some of our very fine family that will be honored with his art work of how a tree looks like.. may not be accurate but..... he is excited. :)

vincent and victoria went to the doctor today for vincent's 2 year old check up because it wasn't in the system (even though we did it in april............dun dun duh!!) and Victoria had to get her 2nd flu shot...  I really hate going to those appts because I prefer andy to deal with the kids when they are getting their shots. :)  Vincent impressed me he just sat there and let the doctor look him over and gave me the all ok that he was healthy! he is a normal, active 2 year old.  I decided to give Vincent the nasal nose spray for flu instead of getting the shot.. it was less painful and vincent did not really like the fact he got stuff sprayed in his nose but.. he got over it fairly quickly.  victoria had to get her 2nd flu shot to make sure she was protected from the flu completely.  She is now immune to whatever type that flu shot was... yay!  

I can't believe how quickly the year flew by....... Look for our next blog.... the xmas letter........ shortly. :)


Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving that was..

The thanksgiving that was............

whoo........ what a rideeeeee. It has been a whirlwind couple weeks visiting family and remembering what we are blessed with.  :)  First- a surpise visit from my aunt and uncle who live in Indiana.. they stopped in to visit my Grandma and decided to surpise my mom and visit her a home- and we all came to visit.  I didn't have Vincent with me since he went with his other Grandma but they got to meet victoria and play with her a bit and chat.  It was a nice visit.  They are moving to FL so I don't know how often we will see them now because it is SO cold here, and warm down there :p

Now.. the day before thanksgiving...... I had decided well- my kids are going to be meeting family so that means.. they get scrubbed until they are shiny and cleaned and vincent needed a small... trim to look nice.   So, I decided ok I am going to put victoria down and- she is a squrimy little thing so she can wriggle kinda-creep to get things.. I was busy and cutting vincent's hair.. he was sitting there whining because he doesn't want to get his hair cut and im like too bad.. we are seeing Great-Grandma Marie (for those that don't know- Victoria's middle name is from her ) :) so we have to get your hair cut and you bathed so you are all pretty for her.  He was not happy. I am like I promise if you let me finish you can have some skittles (ah bribing a 2 year old and i said i would NEVER bribe my children HA HA good parenting!!!) he sat willing for a few skittles ok...... so we are done and I trim a bit of the bangs.. he protested loudly...... and wriggled...... therefore..... now he has curvy styling bangs! I tell him YOU DID that to YOURSELF.. mommy only held the sciccors.. and he giggles. man.. 2 year olds. Vincent laughs and says Look baby mama!!! ( look at the baby mama!)
I looked............. and...... Tori...... bless her heart.... had a pen in her mouth............... and pen lines allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll over her face..... on her nose.. on her forehead......... and on her sweet chubby cheeks......... dear child.  we have thanksgiving tomorrow.............and you are meeting Great Grandma Marie and Great-Grandpa Don and you have pen marks all over your face- oh great and you giggle at me.  Vincent was laughing.  I was like are you telling her to do that?????!
oh dear......... now what do I do............. thank goodness......... baby wipe got most of it off..... then a little of baby oil worked for the rest of it....... and she was a beautiful baby again. Vincent is running around at this point with his curvy headbangs rocking his new "hair-cut" how i love my crazy life these days! 

the next day was thanksgiving and we spent it with don and marie and andys mom's siblings and Vincent ran around being his usual very happy chatty self and wanted to play a lot and colored and threw his pooh around while the game was still going and he clapped a few times when the packers got a TD... he was exicted about the game.  victoria was her usual diva self.. very upset when we got there and took a bit to calm down then she accepted that other people were going to hold her and she tolerated it pretty well........ it is a never ending guessing game with her.. some days she is fine and accepts other people to hold her and talk to her.. and other days she only wants her mama and daddy. :) 
Friday was a very quiet day for us............ we spent time together as a family and decorated our tree.. tis very beauitful. Vincent helped me with it and rearranged the xmas lights just so... and he was running backand forth with me to fix the green leaves and setting up the lights.. it was a precious 2 year old memory with him always.  Tori was sleeping but when she woke up she got to see the lights.. and she likes it but she is not suepr interested in right now.... :) 

it was a beautiful quiet weekend.......... with time with family. I remind myself.. even with the craziness that surronds me everyday.... I am truly blessed and thankful for my kids and Andy...... my life would be so different without them :)


Monday, November 21, 2011

Potty Training a 2 year old

So.. I am potty training a 2 year old now...... Yep.... im in the troughs like every other frazzled mom.   On top of having 2 kids- both in diapers and one that is Diva- and Vincent is such a sweet devil child that makes me utter- sweet baby jesus about 1,000 times a day. 

In mid- October- I had finally seen that Vincent was Ready to start potty training. I wrestled with first time mom questions like- AM I THINKING he is ready or is he ready truly?  am I doing this because I am sick of having 2 kids in diapers and changing them both all day long? Yes... but vincent seemed emotionally, and physically ready...... but the doctor said not to push it...... BUT i have 2 kids in diapers!!!  my sister C- she said if you're ready and hes ready then let it happen.  So- off to the store we brought his potty chair and his potty training book- and a bag of skittles to bribe him (im such a great mom) and big boy underwear.. and we told him you have to go potty in potty so you can wear big boy underwears.........

As soon I placed vincent on the potty and looked at him..........and my mind twirled backwards to the day i gave birth to him..... how quickly had time flown by? how possible is that? It still feels like a few months ago I just had him and here is my vincent as a 2 year old ready to be a big boy.  I find with every big moment- my heart feels sorrow and also joy and triumph because my little boy is growing up but sorrow because every step I give him-- he is leaving me a little bit more each day.  I remind myself what I do now to help him will make him a wonderful man xomeday.. I can only hope.

A few days of potty training he wouldn't do it.......and then all of the sudden he did....... and lots of hugs and high fives  and some skittles. he was game.  He quickly learned if he went pee or poop he got skittles.... and he really has taken a interest in it.. Now he goes with some regularity but we struggle with staying dry and him wanting to be a baby- and a big boy. I know everyone struggles with this. and we are working on it as a family.  At this point I realize Vincent will always need me no matter what.

He goes through fits and days he doesn't want to go into it.. but recently he has started to go again... so I am hoping maybe he will be all done potty training during the day for christmas. that would be nice. and save money and he will be a BIG BOY...... for now.. he is alternating between big boy pull ups and diapers.
 I have found that it works. Vincent does not really like the diapers anymore.. so I tell him well.. if you wont go pee i have to put the diapers on........... so he really TRIES to go pee to avoid the diapers. :)  

who knows.. maybe in a few weeks i'll be posting he is all done and is wearing underwears. :) we will see. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

what is it like having a 2 year old??

Two Year olds.......... are FUN........... and DEVIOUS.

Here is how my day goes now with the children- and I lovingly refer to vincent as a demon child-mind you he is sweet as pie.. but has his Devil moments.......... Tori so far is the Diva. :)

Diva gets up at 7-730 am.... Eat, and be changed
7:45 to about 9:00 playtime for Diva...
Vincent gets up around 8-830- potty and cereal and milk
Callilou goes on the tv... 
9- time to eat for Tori again and change and dressed for the day
930- vincent dressed and potty again or change depending on his MOOD. 
10:30 Diva gets cranky.. and crankier...... vincent gets mad because I am dealing with DIVA and decides to go off and......create trouble that i will find... and later yell about.
11- tori eats again and she plays for a while usually off to nap around 11:30 -12 30 depending on the day and what time she gets up.
I find mess- clean up and yell at vincent and put him in a chair... 
Making lunch......
eat lunch........
play with vincent
1:30-2:30 Diva wakes up and wants to eat. Vincent gets mad again because Diva cut his play time short with mommy- he goes off to create another mess or whine about why Wii isn't playing callilou or Bar-fart_ney... lord help me. 
Tori gets changed after eat.. then its play time and I clean up the mess Evil child makes.. I beg said evil child to take a nap- no go.
I guess if Diva cut his playtime short with mommy and Diva takes up mommys attention he must stay up all day so he can drive me crazy- boy am I a glutton for punishment now!
4:00- vincent starts getting cranky- hungry for a snack- eats snack- Diva usually screams for food too.- feed and change - I look at the clock and think to myself.. praise sweet baby jesus 2 hours to kill until andy gets home and i can pass off the devil child on him.  
5:00 sometimes tori takes a very short late nap.
vincent has made numberous mess and most likely will make a mess before dad arrives home just for the hell of it.. by the end of the day, I have said about 1,000 Nos, Please don't. and you better think twice before you......................... 
Diva just screams all day when she isn't being paid attention to and it is most likely to happen when Devil child makes a mess and i must clean.

Man.. a two year old is exhausting............. but Vincent yet has so MUCH energy.  I think I should ask him to bottle it up and give it to momma.. he sure loves me........... but he still likes being evil.  


Off to another day tomorrow.......

Stay Tuned- vincent's first Christmas parade this weekend in GB. :) YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sorry it's been so long

Man... it has been really busy around here with two kids.. I have so much to catch you all up on... first of all.. Halloween was Awesome.  I invited Ashley to come and hang out with me and "assist" with trick or treating since Andy was going to be working late so he missed out on all the halloween fun! Boo.  We dressed vincent up as Spiderman- let's just say he was VERY EXICTED to be spiderman.. and was showing Ashley how he could fly.  :)  it was so cute to watch my 2 year old Truly believe in imagation and really think in someway he could really fly.  It makes me feel like I have done a good job so far as a mother- if Vince feels secure enough to really let go of reality and imagine for a while.  Victoria was going to be a pumpkin- but due to the weather and I was not sure how long we would be out for.. I transformed victoria into a pink bunny from the xmas story.  I am sure one day Tori will kill me for doing that to her.. but she was SO CUTE.  Vincent was raring to go.. once he figured out he was getting candy from the neighbors... we were out for a hour and 20 minutes.. and even stopped to visit Grandpa M.  Grandpa M was very happy to see him and vincent was "chattering" a lot about the candy.  victoria the bunny slept the whole time in the stroller which amazed me and Ashley. she must have been very warm and cozy in the stroller and the stroller moved a lot. :)   We got a lot of candy......... a lot.  Ashley and Stu also contributed to vincent's sugar high by buying him skittles- a love of vincent and Stu's forever...... it was pretty funny to see vincent all hyper from all the sugar :) By the time Ash left.. Vincent started behaving like a drunken spiderman.. it was pretty funny. poor kid. haha.  memories.

So now that halloween is done... we just had Victoria's 6 month check up completed- and she is 16 pounds 1 oz, 25 1/4 inches tall and her head is about 42 cm. - she was born with a 32 cm head.. so she has doubled in everything since she is born which is what they want to see... so they were very pleased... execpt she has had a horrible yeast infection that we've had a hard time resolving.. thankfully to the nurses of bellin- someone told me to give her a baking soda bath.. and it cured the inflmation.  I am SO happy.  

Next.. it started to snow!!!! it was pretty crazy because we still have leaves on our trees around here and it usually doesn't really snow until right before thanksgiving- like when it gets super cold...... well.. the sky just started dumping rain.. it became freezing rain.. and it became snow.  Vincent was VERY excited when he saw this.  I explained it was snow not rain and he was running around the house signing frantically mama its snoooooooooooooooooowing. Great.  thanks for the alert weatherman Vincent.  :)  Vincent will also alert me to the fact it is raining outside.  It is so cute how Vincent is very interested in the weather changes and what is going on outside.  so it snowed all day... and It got me started to think about christmas.. I admit i had been thinking about christmas because of the kids and what they want and need for christmas.  but.. the snow made me really think about how exicted i am for it this year.. Vincent really enjoys watching Christmas movies with Barney and Caillou and I think once we have the tree up and get ready for christmas.. I plan on counting down the many days of christmas with him and really teaching him what christmas is all about.. giving and recieving.. and of course the decorations and meeting Santa. :)  vincent had met santa last year.. but was too afraid to sit with him and have his picture taken.  I am also looking forward to vincent's christmas pictures with his new little sister.  It should be interesting because tori is now rolling all over the place and TRYING to creep but she goes backwards.. she is also very vocal.. and very demanding.  Lately she has been a crab.  It is no fun-I barely get things done because when one is sleeping the other wants attention.  Man. :) juggling two kids...........

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

snot factory.. drip.. drip.. sneeze!

I can't believe I am actually posting during the day.. many of you know I post at night after the babies are in bed.  My babies are sick...... with colds........... from their daddy.  we love andy so much this week don't we? he came down with a cold on thursday and it's a not a pretty one.. but what cold is?  he has been sneezing, having sore throats and coughing a lot.  sadly.. he passed this on to me out of love, and the children too....... so our house has now shifted from the poop factory to the snot factory.. I am sure we could make MONEY by the massive amounts of product we produce. :)
I have been sick tooo..... but moms never have the day off..... :) 

Vincent has been sick since sunday.. and tori just started today and I call it the sniffles and a little sneezing.  Not as bad as i feared.  she is faring well but sleeping a lot more than usual.  vincent my 2 year old that NEVEr naps, has napped yesterday for 3 and half hours. and today hes down for another nap.  I must say I ENJOY it when he's sick.. not when hes screaming at me to make him better...... but when hes sleeping because then I can actually.. blog, read a book and dance in my living room with no one watching......... oh crap! I let that out... yes. I dance......... can a deaf person dance? yes.. maybe not in perfect timing but...... we do. :)
with much love from the snot factory...... 'til next time

snotty boogers

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birth Stories

I thought it'd be fun to document my 2 kid's Birth Stories since some people might be interested in what its like to be deaf and giving birth- trust me, it is NOT all that different- just one extra person in the room and that person is just to tell people what you are saying and translating what they are saying into ASL.

Vincent Michael entered our lives on June 17th, 2009.  What a Adventure that was.  I was deathly afraid of giving birth.... I am not.. good with pain at all but I endured. :)  I was having braxton hicks for about a month- they are fake contractions that are irregular.  I was waiting and waiting.. for our little boy to get here- I just couldn't wait to meet him and hold him.  
June 16th.. I had let the dogs out (trooper RIP, and Lady) and they came back in and I was changing the sheets on the bed.. and I had one HUGE contraction and it actually hurt... I was like... Ok that "felt" different... we will see if It keeps going.  That was noonish.  3 hours later around 3pm.. I was starting to realize that we are probably going to meet vincent that night or the next day because my contractions were about 8-10 minutes apart.. Andy and I were talking on text (cell phones) he was trying to decide if he should come home or not or if I could wait.. I was not in too much pain so i was like whatever babe. I don't think hes going to come until Late tonight or in the morning. (how wrong was I!) our ex- roommates came home and had a bagful of baby stuff for Vincent and I laughed and said Im in labor we think. and they laughed at the Irony of it and asked if andy was coming home or if there was anything I needed- i'm like andy will get home when he can and Im ok just having some pain. the Pain got a little worse and I told him.. maybe you should come home now...   I had my last meal... choc chip cookie at 4:30...I didn't eat until 11pm on the 17th.  They told me with vincent you couldn't eat when you suspected you were in labor.  Liars.
6 pm contractions were coming about 6-8 minutes now and fairly strong.. Trooper and Lady are running around playing while I am having contractions.. at this point I can sort of talk through them but they hurt more than earlier.  Andy and I talk about what to do about the dogs and plans for the next few days.  Andy calls his dad and asks if they can watch dogs for 2-3 days- they of course say yes.  Lady and trooper headed over there and Lady was NOT happy about being sent away. Sorry pretty girl.. Trooper didn't really care he was only 5 months old and Almost housebroken.  
8pm- contractions are about 5-7 minutes apart and a little bumpy.  We finally call the dr and the dr says 5-6 minutes apart for a hour then come in. WHOO HOO! so I am texting everyone we know and saying baby may be here soon! and walking and packing andys snack labor bag.  
9-30 pm..driving to hostipal- contractions still going........
10 30- still having contractions but they slowed down- my mom shows up at the hostipal all ready to meet her grandson.  They said I was only 3 cm dilated but had bloody show but DR will not decide until morning.. what to do. mom heads home sadly.. and says.. call me if you start labor. any time!!!
the BIG day is here.. 8:00 am.  Dr asks if i want vincent out today or if i want to wait. I said NO i want him out hes getting too big.  Ok, so off we go on the inducement- they broke my water right away and let me sit like that and said let's see if we get things moving.  my water breaking didn't do anything, so they put me on pitcoin by 10 am.  I thought oh for sure we would meet vincent that afternoon. they kept upping pitcoin and by 1 pm i was in pain and only 4-5 cm dilated.  I felt like it was FOREVER.  I opted for the epidural because I thought I had "pain' (I laugh now because of my birth experience with Tori)  The epidural helped a lot but they missed a spot on my right side on my lower right hip side.. so I felt contractions and pain the ENTIRE time.  Carrie and Andy begin to talk about "sweet baby jesus" from talledga nights- hey sweet baby jesus lets hurry up and get this baby out, sweet baby jesus less pain please. This was going on while i was getting the epidural- Carrie and Andy were laughing their butts off, my Epidural doctor was full of jokes.. he said a joke abbout a elphant or some stupid crap.. I was like JUSt PUT IT IN then tell me the jokes. People. I was not amused at all.  around 3pm that day Andy eats a bag of jalpeno chips.. and it stunk up the whole room and I couldn't eat anyway! I looked at him and was like what the hell are you eating it stinks?!!! and he looks at me and smiles and says jalepeno chips. I am like stop eating it. it stinks. I don't like it. and he breathes jalenpeno chip air on me like AHHHHH.  I promptly flipped him off.  My mom was in the room with me and she LAUGHED and laughed.  glad i could amuse her but boy was i annoyed. how dare he!
6pm- I was defteinetely feeling more pressure and pain.. I kept saying I gotta go poop and theyre like no thats the babys head moving down. I'm like whatever it HURTS.  I was surpised i was able to feel as much as I did.  I suppose the epidural was probably a bad shot. (ha ha!) I was about 6-7 cm dilated so the nurses are like you are almost there.. maybe a hour-two you will start pushing.
7:30 I was 9 cm... finally.......... 8:00 i was complete on one side and 9 and half on the other side.  so flip flop lauren like a pancake and a few minutes later I was done. 
so around 8:05ish- I started pushing........ and pushing............I swear to god it was the hardest thing i've ever had to do.. and I was so tired.. and you know these scenes in the movies where the mom says she is so tired and she wants to give up and the baby can stay inside her forever.  I said that.  I told everyone im done.. Vincent can stay inside where he is and I am perfectly fine with that. No, everyone said no you can do it you can push you're just almost done. REALLY... fine..
9:13 pm... vincent was born and our lives were forever changed.  He was placed on my tummy and blue and purple.  Andy and I expected to see a happy pink baby and not a purple little guy so we were both freaked as first time parents as what to expect and do... but they said because of me taking so long to push and the long labor.. about 12 hours of labor then a hour 10 minutes-ish of pushing.  Vincent was screaming and breathing ok.  We were so happy to meet him though :) I still remember holding him and being amazed at how little he was and how sweet he was.  

The whole deafness thing didn't stop me from having a baby. we had a awesome interpreter in the birth room.. and she jsut translated whatever the nurses were talking about (if) i was awake.  I slept a lot through this labor because i was in pain and not feeling good.  I thought it was hard before I had vincent to have a interpreter but in the end I was SO glad she was there because she helped so much.. and andy was able to enjoy being there for me and being a dad and not having to... "work" for me. haha.

Victoria's part......
Victoria was born April 23rd, 2011
I also had braxton hicks with Victoria for about a month as well but these were stronger so I never knew if it was the real thing or not.  I spent many a night on the couch watching t.v. and contracting and watching the clock.  I was so exicted to meet our little girl.. and give vincent his little sister... I was thankful we had her healthy and alright. :)

Thursday the 21st-
I was planning on begging my dr to induce me.... because I wanted her out and it was my birthday- i really didn't care if i spent it in the hostipal. I just wanted her born.  Looking back now, maybe i knew I should have her sooner than later?  mother's inutution?  Dr had said that Bellin was full of patients and they wouldn't send me unless i was contractiong- great the only day I wasn't contracting all week. I was 4 cm so i could go anytime.. just had to start contracting.  I made the desicion to send Vincent to Nanna B's house because I knew i could have her that night, fri or sat... or sunday... and I figured well if the dr knows I could go anytime and im 4 cm. this baby could move quick...... so off he went for his first sleepover without any practice.. and poor mommy had to deal.  I missed him horribly but i had time to prepare for Victoria's arrival and clean... I was SO mad she still hadn't arrived on friday afternoon.  I finally decided i was going to eat lunch/dinner and take a nap- well deserved after all the cleaning.  I ate Arbys and off to dreamland i went.......
I woke up in a middle of a contraction....... and It did not feel right... and I've had one of those a few times but this was super scary.  my contraction would not stop............. and it would keep going for number of minutes and nearly kill me.  I was laying there thinking ok i want this to stop now.  andy finally helped me sit up and it kind of subsided- and I thought i need to go to the bathroom and walk around or something.  I went to the bathroom and....... then Victoria just wouldn't move.  I poked her i shook my belly- my tummy was hard as a rock but no baby movement..... I started to freak out as any mom knows when your baby isn't moving espically after a bad contraction like that you freak.  I told andy she wasn't moving and he got very nervous and.. told me to call the dr. it was right at 5pm when they were done for the day at the doctors office so they had to beep the dr and have him call us right back.... I was pretty sure we would end up at the hostipal because that was just WEIRD.  Dr called back and andy explained in man sense what happened LOL and he is like have her drink some orange juice, lay down for a hour and the baby should move...... if not then call me back and we'll meet up at the hostipal. so lay down i went on my left side........... and victoria did start kicking............ and SO did my contractions..... they went from 7 mins apart to about 3-5 minutes apart.  Andy is like well, screw it, I am sick of waiting to see if its the real labor so we are going in and we are NOT leaving without a baby. HAHA andy. thanks.  

We go in............ my contractions stopped (what the hell?!) but the nurse said the dr did want to talk about inducement on sat morning since i am almost 40 weeks. (40 weeks monday) but wanted to send me home.  Andy is like NO. we are not leaving here because our ins will make us pay twice.  dr said ok fine you can stay and then asked us to do a non stress fetal test with tori where I had to feel her kicking and press a button. that was fun.  Not.. Carrie and I and andy all hung out for a few hours watching my contractions and watching t.v.  
Andy went home to sleep to get ready for the big day- I was so sure dr would let me go and have this baby.  I was ready! 3 am..... I had a KILLER contraction the same one like at 3pm that afternoon............ and it went for i think about 5 minutes long or 6 min.  and there were a couple dips.  the nurse came back in and said, ok this is called triple chain contraction. which means you have 3 contractions that are happening at the same time on top of each other.  Great...... I don't want that. Thank You - it hurts.   No food. great. damn it.
 7 30am- they wake me up to wait for the dr to meet about inducement.... what a quack.  I couldn't eat breakfast because of the stupid contraction at 3 am. Carrie and I filled andy in what happened at 3 am........ and he was like but they said ur ok right? uh yes if i wasn't they would have gotten the baby out right away and you would have gotten a phone call. 
finally at 10 am after a Long time of waiting........ the dr shows up.. I am a little irriated because i could have slept until 9 30 but WHATEVER. I want to meet HER.  Dr says: ok fine, I will induce you..... but if it doesn't work then you have to go home and wait for her to come on her own terms.  Dr also DX me with Irriatable uterus..... and the only cure: is having the baby. Great. thanks. she better come.  so they got the water IV in, the pictoin started.. and that took about a hour to do because they couldn't figure out the machine....
so at around 11 30 they got the pitcoin running and i am drinking apple juice, orange juice and popsicles and chilling and chatting.
12 30 they brought me a cup of broth and some jello.............. real food. seeing as I hadn't ate since 3pm the day before (except for some M and M's carrie snuck me  she is awesome) carrie was fixing my table.......... and my water broke......... I was like...... I think...... my water not sure but.......... gush....... yes.... carrie is like can i look? im like uve seen everything haha! she checked and yep it broke... and what a MESS.  so the nurses came in and we're like water broke... and they looked and confirmed that my water did indeed break. Great.  so they changed my sheets, changed my gown and i went pee... Yay they went to report to Dr that i was going to be having the baby in a few hours.....around 1pm... things were moving right along, my contractions started getting worse, and they were coming really fast and strong.  Please god don't let this kill me now!!! At this time I opted to ask for a epidural.  Lamaze class was the best thing EVER for this birth...... I think if i never learned the technqiues from this class. I would probably have been throwing stuff at everyone in the room.. and swearing.  I only swore once.... and my nurses knew exactly what i just said- and theyre like Yep we know and it was funny.  I told andy quite a few times we were NOT having anymore children...............and how much it hurt.  holy cow. 2:30 rolls around.. my epidural guy strolls in and asks how i am doing and how dilated I am...... and the nurse says 8 cm.. and hes like do u still want the epidural.......I m like PUT THE damn THING IN now. hes like you have to be nice to me..... Ugh i just want IT IN now (thinking: what?!  I am in Fooking pain and you're asking me to be nice to you, you are a man, you do not understand, you deserve to have ur balls chopped off in order to understand why i want the epidural NOW) so he puts it in, and I cried the whole time because my contractions were killing me.. the needle didn't hurt much the contractions hurt more. that was 3pm... the epidural was put in in just enough time to take away the pain of the contraction.....and they said yep ur a 10 ur ready to roll.  so they called the 30 people in the room that they have to have in a room for a birth. and they asked if it was my first or 2nd? I was like my 2nd.  the nurse said oh it will go much faster with her now.  I was like uh ok i just want her out. 5 big pushes and she was born a little grayish-pretty pink looking little girl. Victoria Marie 7 lbs 13 oz  I immediately start shaking like I had the chills or seizures.  I feel bad but I was just not interested in holding her at all at that moment.. i looked at her and i was like ok shes out and shes fine...... now i just need time to stop shaking and feel like myself.  andy was worried about me since with vincent i was able to have him and push him out and hold him right away.  It took me 50 mins after tori was born to want to hold her.  Its not to say I loved both of my kids any different, its just the birth situations were VERY different.  I love both of my kids more than anything else in the world... it is because of them, I know I was put on this earth to be their mother.  I feel it every time vincent hugs me in that "only for mommy" way and Victoria leans her head on my shoulder and snuggles.  In those quiet short moments I have with my babies............ I realize over and over, I was blessed with 2 amazing gifts that I will hold for a lifetime knowing they both have left their handprints on my heart.  I will never forget the memories, the joy.. the love of raising 2 kids.  the struggles with having 2 kids 2 years apart is hard but I wouldn't trade any minute of it.  My kids are meant to be mine. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Deaf Awareness week

DAY two-

Deaf awareness week is "celebrated" September 26th-30th or around the last week of September- it gives us a opporunity to celebrate and socialize with other people that are deaf- and also to educate the general public and students and co workers about what deafness is all about.... and really.. ask anything.... we have heard everything a-z- I am almost never shocked anymore.

being deaf doesn't mean I live in a world of silence... It means my life is more enriched by having 2 cultures.  I grew up in a hearing household and my children are growing up in a bilingual culturally life and household. they are so lucky. I often say I am just on the bridge between both worlds because I can talk and sign and hear with my cochlear implant so everything is "open" to me so to speak.  there are people that choose to stay in the deaf world- marry a deaf person and maybe luckily have deaf children someday and work in a deaf supported enviroment.  

Now, going to the deaf panel yesterday- my job isn't working or being a student right now- it's being a mom and teaching my 2 beautiful kids all about ASL and trying to raise them to the best of my ability and hoping someday to make them into amazing, wonderful young people that I love.  It was so much fun talking about my kids- I have stories and stories full of just "vincent" :)  Victoria is too little to start telling stories about but she has her own development milestones that I love to brag about as well.  it doesn't hurt they are cute.

Now... for today I will fill you in on some common deaf awareness things so you know for future reference- in case you come across a deaf person and you.......... want desperately to know what to do?

first of all.. don't feel stupid- there is no such thing as stupid questions really.. and we don't bite... 

1. just make sure we are looking at you when you approach.... I've noticed now with my kids espically- if I have my kids with me I am often focused on them and not really thinking about if someone else will approach me- so tap us on the shoulder if you want to converse.  
2. about 90 percent of hearing parents HAVE deaf children.  Often times- deaf people have hearing children- it is about 10 percent of deaf people that go on to have deaf children (depending on genetics)
3. gesture if you need to- don't be afraid to look stupid.
4. if you converse with a person that is deaf and can read lips... don't overextragge lip movements or try to talk reallly slow (like hoooooooooooow aaaaaaaaaaaaareeeeeee yoooooooooooooooou) its very annoying to us and we ARE used to reading lips and if we need you to slow down or write something down we don't understand- we WILL ask
5. how do deaf people know when sounds are happening? we have flashing lights or some people have a hearing dog for this purpose- OR have a hearing person around.  Pretty much now days with texting you could actually text a deaf person now and tell them you're coming and they will expect you.  
6. deaf people live and die by texting.  its the newest mode of communication other than IM- and it's made life a LOT easier because now we can text a hearing person too and it is like "chatting" on the phone.
7. deaf people have videophones that we can call anyone and sign. It's really cool
8. remember always... deaf people ARE just like you- we are normal human beings and our ears simply don't work- there are deaf people with more disabilities as well but MOST deaf people are normal.. we vary as well there are people that can talk and sign, people that don't talk but sign... and different SIGN choices like (ASL, PSE and SEE)  
I hope I educated you a little bit about what to do around deaf people... oh yeah.. it doesn't hurt to learn a few of the basic signs as well... don't be afraid to ask a deaf person to sign with you- we are always willing to help you learn our language. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

going back to old stomping grounds

Today- was a interesting adventure... I decided two weeks ago to become part of a deaf panel for deaf awareness week at NWTC (my old college- and may be re-new- college lol) so I decided that it would be best if Vincent went off for the afternoon with a Sitter- and Victoria would get to come with.  :) 
This week is deaf awareness week- which means you educate yourself or learn about what is it like to be deaf.  or how to acclimate yourself to socializing with a deaf person and so on and on. 
it was so nice to visit my stomping grounds and show off my newest little addition to our krause family.  victoria is so sweet- it is just so easy to show her off.  Everyone was asking about vincent though and how he was doing and what he was up to.
The deaf panel was very interesting and there was 4 of us on the panel and we all got to explain different point of views or opinions about deaf people and our experiences of life.  I- of course a proud mother of 2 CODA cihldren couldn't resist talking about my little ones.  :)  It is very interesting how 4 different deaf people have different experiences and learn differently and have different opinions and also STILL have silimar experiences with "deaf-impared" people as I like to say.
Afterwards it was actually more fun because it was time to really socialize and chat among ourselves the hard work was over and really discuss different things we wanted to happen at NWTC- it sounds like a ASL Deaf club may be in the works there...  I'm starting to think about setting up something where young people can get together and chat in the GB area- or even the FV area.  funny- now that tori is getting older- I find that I am starting to have the itch to still be a mom- but start exploring the possibilities my life will go in now foward as mother of two.
Vincent was a little disappointed that mommy was busy- but he was having such a blast with his sitter that I don't think it even really mattered- he even convinced her to buy him some skittles and some dinosuar toy.. that boy is going to grow up really spoiled because he knows how to work it!  (sigh) :)

going to blog more tomorrow about deaf awareness--- stay tuned!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

being a deaf mom

On october 22nd,2008.. My life was changed forever- I recieved the first and 3 postive tests- I was pregnant with our first child- Vincent Michael...... now began my journey into motherhood and began my journey into being a deaf mother and juggling 2 cultures... and life itself... crazy.

I absoutely loved being pregnant with both of my kids.. My pregnancies were both very different but it was a joy carrying them.  I still think about the days I spent carrying them and feeling them.. what a remarkable experience I will never have back.

I worried about everything like a first time mom would do, I read books, I set up vincents room with clothes and bumpers and prepared for his arrival... and once he was here.. In the hositpal- how would we deal with him crying and I wouldn't be able to hear him?  Luckily bellin where we had our kids offered rooming in AND sending the baby to the nursery- and I worked a solution out where We could keep our little baby with us until about 10 at night- and I would feed him/her and send them off to the nursery and they would take care of vincent so I could sleep- and came back every 2-3 hours depending on when the baby was hungry.  It was a perfect solution......... then coming home.  It was crazy.... waking at all hours with the baby montior or Andy would wake me up- we decided not to go with the lights flashing because andy needed his sleep for work- so I had to make do until the kids slept through the night.  
Being a deaf mom- I know I get a lot of attention when we go shopping and I have to yell at vincent in the store (he's two after all) People stare- (oh that poor deaf woman is yelling at her kid in a STRANGE accent)  or people just smile at me shyly and wonder how on earth could I have one kid, or even TWO perfectly healthy normal children while being deaf (and to those that think that I heartily bop you on the head :) :) ) 
Here is a funny example that happened last week... I went shopping at target and Victoria was being happy as can be and either wanting to be held or looking around in her carseat.  Vincent was running around the infant/toddler dept throwing his pooh bear around to himself and laughing and chattering- ok maybe to the average person- my child was having too much fun- but to ME it meant I could have about 30 mins of shopping to myself without him annoying me about something.  so i am picking out the kids fall outfits for this fall and winter.... they are getting so big! so  I am shopping and shopping because i have 2 kids to buy for and I wanted to get done before lunch so i could get the wee little one to nap, and vincent home to rest.  All of the sudden vincent was running around and being goofy.. and I realized our dear little pooh bear boppy blanky security thing went missing.  FOOK! FOOK! we have to find it now... so andy's mom (we'll call her Nanna B) Nanna B started helping me look for it while I was freaking out on the inside, and we asked vincent a MILLION times in many different ways where it could be.  Vincent in his simple 2 year old style was like.. I don't know I don't know I don't know.  so we LOOKED EVERYWHERE... under the clothing racks.. in between the clothes.. on top of the shelves.. even in the carseat aisle........ NO bear found.  so I am going in circles and now freaking out because I know vincent does not care NOW but he will later when it is time to go to sleep and he wants it.  Ah.......  Ok, so I asked Nanna B to ask the nice target worker if she had seen anything- she had said no but if something was dropped or whatever- sometimes someone picks it up and brings it to customer service or front desk.. Ok fine.. so  I sent V and Nanna B off to front desk to see if they had it.. and they didn't........ so I am now majorly kind of freaking out and going oh my god what am i going to do tonight when he goes to bed?! and he asks for it?! so I told Nanna B we have to look for it some more.. we are not leaving here without finding that fooking thing!!!!!! Nice target worker comes back up to us and says they found it under some clothing racks in the Infants dept and someone brought it up front.......... GREAT. so I sent nanna B and Vincent to go retrive it.  I'm buying more stuff... and then they came back and vincent was carrying his pooh bear and I am like SO thankful to see that damn thing but at the same time a little mad.  SO i start signing to vincent that he needs to be nice to pooh bear and that he can't be hiding pooh bear in places we can't find because it is not nice to give mommy a heart attack.  meanwhile Nanna B is like I can tell you were majorly freaked out and she was giggling the entire time.. Ah Grandmas! how soon they forget. 
That whole experience made me realize i am going to have to brush up on asking people for things and help.. espically with two little ones and their security blankys.  We have a cute Monkey Boppy head thing for Victoria... I think after this.. I am going to buy her 2 or 3 of the same boppy head blanky so we don't have to freak out if we lose one. lord help me.

I asboutely love it when people ask me questions on how it is like to be a deaf mom......... I seriously dead pan- and go............ of course- it is just being like YOU except i cant hear....... granted my kids have to take on a little more than most kids and help their poor amazing supermom (if i say so) I only hope it makes them a better, stronger couple of kids.

questions people have asked me:
How do you hear the baby cry?
Baby monitor or for some people- they use flashing lights I use a combo of using Andy- and the baby montior
when you're pregnant and u go to the doctor and you want to know if the babys heart is beating?
Luckily my OB at the time was very nice- and I had a great interpreter- the interpreter would sign if the babys heart is beating and if it is fast or slow and sign the heart rate number when the doctor announces it- also I was allowed to feel the doppler thumping.
wow, deaf people can have a child??
yes, really, I have two.. deaf people can have sex just like you can and probably louder too. 
is the birth experience normal?
Normal... yes.. lots of pain.. the only difference is at the end you have one extra person in the room with you other than your husband or BF or some family members that is translating everything that is being said and done.
does it make it easier for your children to be bilingual?
yes.. vincent has learned early on that he is BI-lingual- he is my little coda in training so to speak.  I have seen him go back and forth between english and ASL pretty flawlessly.  He will go to his grandparents and speak english with them and chatter.. while at home with me and Andy he will use ASL (which is enforced here) and english if andy is speaking with him.  WE also enforce reading books here- we read books often throughout the day and right before bed...... enforcing ASL and english.  

I couldn't imagine not being deaf and being a mom.  Being a deaf mom brings a extension to my life that wouldn't otherwise exisient.. and I really love seeing Vincent sign.. and I am already signing with victoria. Granted, being deaf brings challenges and a lot of stupid questions from those unknowing deaf-impaired people but its part of a greater culture and a different way of life that I love living.  I only hope that my children someday grow up to appericate the wonderful gift i have given them-- to know deaf culture and thrive in 2 worlds........ and somehow and someway it clashes perfectly.  after all,, that is how i live my life... a perfect clash..... :)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

we will always remember

September 11th, 2001-a day of Infamy for many americans.. today we ask of one another... do you remember where you were when the world stopped turning?????

I was a senior in high school... and my friend came up to me and said the world trade center has been hit! I was like..(laughs) really good joke here you know? no one would hit us on our soil..
3 minutes later.. the world stopped turning..... the prinicpal made a announcement over the p.a explaining the events... my interpreter was late.. I remember being so mad because I KNEW something was going on and it was not good judging from my classmates's reaction and how the teacher was behaving. (that darn deaf feeling)
She finally arrived and explained and I was like OH so that is what is going on... I remember that whole day just thinking........ is it really real? our world just changed instantly.. now that it's been 10 years. I promise you i can't even remember what sept 10th felt like... sept 11th took all that away from me.

Now-most of you know Andy had to travel overseas for work while i was pregnant with my oldest... to Buenoes Aires, Argentina.. a beautiful captiol city of Argentina.... its about 18 hours to fly from green bay to there (and thats not including the wait times to get on the plane and all the delays in the winter oh lord)  I would be so nervous when he would hop on the plane there, and worry worry worry until i got a email or some form of contact saying he made it there and hes fine and to stop worrying.  he knows me so well.  I would love to think that if 9.11. would have never happened-i would have worried less.. but man did I miss him (that is before the honeymoon phase ended)
I wonder what i will end up telling vincent and victoria about this someday and if they think wow mom and dad are ancient-they lived thru something that happened before i was born.  I hope I can give them as many answers that they ask questions of :) 
I am extremely proud of my family and friends that have served... you all have done a amazing job,,, thank you for keeping our country free and helping.  we will never forget and freedom will always previev

Friday, September 9, 2011

family night

Tonight was family night.... even though andy had to work... but he took a break for a while and played with vincent and Victoria.  Andy started playing with Vincent's security Items- Tigger and Pooh- one of those things we never leave home or leave anywehre without- it spells trouble for us.  :)  and making them dance to music and throwing them around and well.. being BOYS.  Vincent got a HUGE kick out of this and was like laughing hysterically and trying to copy andy- but did not want daddy to see him copying him.  We were all dancing and bopping to the music- even victoria.  I am sad to have to announce- it looks like Victoria is Daddy's little girl- i can't get her to smile like he can- or Laugh.  I always imagined about having my own little girl and of course she turns out to be daddy's little girl.  I have 18 years to change her mind :) Ha Ha!  
Vincent has been so much fun to raise- vincent is 2 now- and into that whole period of- im not really hungry so i wont eat when food is put in front of me. GRR.  It will get better I know.. it just is worrisome when your kid won't eat. he will eat when he is hungry. I know.  we did discover the other night he LOVES popcorn- and I taught him the sign for popcorn- when we were watching the packer game.  Vince was asking for it again today because he really enjoyed popcorn last night.  

How about this- I just have to share- I dressed my kids and myself in packer clothes-including my lucky jersey-and we won.... 42-34!!! and this was against a former super bowl team just 2 years ago- AND they said this would be our toughest team all season- well... that said we should have it in the bag!!!! but we will have to see how we do injury wise this year :)   I got in a unbelieveable twist of fate... I have always wanted a rodgers jersey and it fell into my lap.. ironically.  :)  I must tell you- we are all packers fan- I train my kids young to love the green and gold- and that starts when I am pregnant and when theyre born- they already have green and gold awaiting them :)  
Vincent really loves watching the packers play and he is trying to understand the game in his own way- but he loves it when we get exicted because of a TD.  he claps and does his own little victory dance. :)   victoria  just sits there and kicks and drools and coos when they are playing.  :) I know when i was little i really didn't care for the packers at all... but when i went to Lambeau field with my dad for the first time in '98- that changed my life forever.. from that moment on.. I bled green and gold.. :)  I plan on one day taking my kids to a game so they can experience the FUN atmosphere. :)  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vincent and his Monkeys

Life is never boring around here.. I will give you that.  :)  I have been going insane getting everyone well from the pooping factory- I am pleased to announce that Vincent is all better and out of his diaherria stage yay!! I have never seen that much poop OMG.  

Now.. Tori's swing was dying... so she would not nap good for mama at all-  I am used to the short naps in the morning but I really LIVE for the naps in the afternoon because that (2-3 hour) nap she takes in the swing is the ONLY time all day I am able to get things done as well as you can with a 2 year old that tries to help.  Vincent really enjoys helping "clean"  He will wipe things clean and he really enjoys running around the house with a broom and screaming.  I am not sure if he thinks he is helping when he does that or if it is for fun?  :)  He is starting to understand when Mommy cleans its time to settle down and help or go somewhere else and do a quiet activity while mommy is busy.  

We now have Netflix at our house despite the captioning crisis over at Netflix that has many deaf/hh folks up in arms and angry.  Andy wanted more access to different things for gaming and movies and shows... and there are "some" very limited things that are captioned.   I am hoping that since some deaf folks and NAD are suing them for violation of ADA act and blah blah blah (yea I didn't do research) that things will start speeding up for more access for deaf folks. There is no excuse since hulu and youtube have the ability to caption now.. so netflix really needs to get its butt moving.  Anyway- yesterday while i was trying to figure out how to keep one kid occupied and run around with the other in a carrier or vice versa.. I decided to turn on netflix to see what they had for little kid movies... and they have a pretty amazing full selection.  Vincent saw this movie about a Monkey and wanted to see it......... yes ladies and gentlemen... we have a CURIOUS George fan in the house- and nothing makes me happier because as a little girl I loved him too.  I said Ok, you want to watch this with your juice and blanky and eat ur fish and be quiet as can be so Mama can clean?  he nodded eagerly... and I said ok. I was thinking in my head this is NOT going to last long or end well.  I started the movie and Vincent was jabbering excitedly- Mama look, Monkey (points at screen and signs monkey) Yes Monkey vincent It is a Monkey movie.  Vincent sat for the longest time about 20 mins then he moved for a little bit... then something more exicting happened in the movie so he settled down again and watched it until the end.  I was AMAZED.  My 2 year old- he is SO busy all day and wants to run, play jump and bounce......actually sat and watched a entire full length movie at 85 mins long............ and he got delighted in the fact he could sign to me all the animals he saw in the movie. It makes me sad that my little boy is growing up but at the same time- it gives me a little more freedom (haha!) to do a few things quick without him hanging on to me, or victoria is asleep and he wont nap.  It was the most relaxing 85 minutes except for him talking about all the animals.  :)  Nothing makes me happier than seeing my little boy so content with his life. 

Victoria is still working on rolling over. I am not sure if I have mentioned that Tori has been able to lay on her side since she was about 2 weeks old- she is making every attempt to roll on her tummy from her back.  She abosutely hates tummy time on the floor so she does it while she is on mama and no rollling- that scares me! 
She just turned 4 months old and now is laughing when she sees her brother do something funny, or daddy or me.  she LOVES to be held though and is starting to like her bouncer less and less.  I am exploring options for a new chair for her that is a "big girl" chair.  I got this Infant to Toddler chair for vincent and he loves it and still uses it to sit in to read books or watch t.v.  I had tori sit in it the other day and he did not like it one bit. and tori did seem to like it but it is more upright than her old one, so i am thinking she was not used to having to support her weight more.  We will see what happens and the progress she makes. :) 

Vincent is in a monkey phrase right now... he loves the song 5 monkeys jumping on the bed and he loves curious george now.... guess maybe his pooh days are far behind him? NEVER... he still takes pooh and tigger and his beloved pooh blanky every night to bed.  you can't go wrong with pooh. ever. :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Pooping Factory

So- excuse me- I haven't been on in a few days.... For over a week now- our househould has turned into a pooping factory!  Vincent must have picked up a flu virus while we were running errands-which means time for me to buy sanizter again and not go to the store as much during the fall/winter season again.  Anyways, He picked up a virus and experienced no pain like other, and could not stop pooping.  Friday-after a week of this and the poop was nasty smelling anyway- I took him in to make sure it was not anything more serious- he had a virus.  Great.  I love viruses just beause you have to let it run its course.  

It had seemed Vincent was starting to feel better- oh when he threw up...........then he was NOT feeling well at all.  Andy got the pooping flu too......and was sick all weekend.. so far Tori and I have been spared from it.  

Last night, I was constantly struggling between trying to clean and make sure the kids were happy and ok, as well as andy (my 3rd child!)  Vincent had just pooped, so I changed him and Andy ran to the bathroom and did what he had to- I was kind of aghast-I did just clean the toilet yesterday morning and andy has to plaster his artwork as soon as possible (this is a running joke between us because i will never understand why he wants to do that!) I was sitting with Victoria SHE then decided to join the boys and start pooping and it exploded outside of the diaper.. leading to the 4th clothing change.. I said out loud.. well guys- Mama was going to clean but you kids keep on pooping!!! Andy who was watching Arthur on netflix- I am so jealous he can watch Netflix anytime he wants. Anyway-he turned his head and looked at me and seriously started to laugh and laugh and laugh.  I just looked at him and laughed too just because the amount of diapers and poop i've had to deal with in the past 7 days is just ridicilious.  I have never seen so much poop in my entire life.  

I guess our Family can safely start a poop factory.... after all we churn the stuff out good! :) 

Monday, August 22, 2011


and no i don't mean age, sex, location!!! I mean American Sign language... yes.. finally after 3 years of dating and a lot lot lot of frustration with spoken communication and fights that often end in silent anger and tears and slamming doors oooh now im thinking of Taylor Swift- "our song".

So Monday nights are usually family nights with the kids where we watch a movie or hang out with the kids- as a mom i am always hanging out with the kids but on this night daddy joins in and we have lots of squeals and laughing and running around.  Nothing feels as good as a house full of love.

Tonight after a rough weekend and a lot of frustration-I sat down with Andy and started lesson 1 of 30 lessons expecting it would take about 4 months at least... but we found we were having so much fun that I'm really enjoying teaching andy.  Andy is picking it up fairly quickly and Vincent Enjoys the fact Dad is learning how to sign too and even got to show off some signing of his own that Dad didn't know and learned.  Andy had commented that he wants to shoot for 2 lessons a week and try to learn as much so he can expand on the rest after lessons are done.  We will see.  This lesson plan we are following now has about 250-300 MOST commonly used words in the english language (yes there is such a thing!) So I am expecting Andy to be able to sign in proper sentences and use facial expression by the end.  Right now it is all fun and giggles.  I have been working very hard at teaching vincent ASL and he has picked it up fairly well.  Yesterday- I taught him Where since he is always asking (like a typical man!) where is _____________.  He is also learning how to say Please (he can say it perfectly now) and im trying to teach him hand over hand thank you.  He seems to have a challenge with that one-I wonder because he doesn't really understand what it means.  Vincent knows pretty much about 10-15 animal signs. he also likes to sign Star.  Andy was Amazed at how much he knew already and I told andy- that is what I do all day everyday is work on vincents vocab and work on fun games related to signing and just old fashioned playing.  
It seems like.. Andy is finally understanding what I do all day during the week since he is not here so much to see for himself but it is much different from the weekend that we do- do things.  I am much more relaxed over the weekend.  During the week- it is like school.  Vincent is learning all day long basically at 2 years old- learning how to sign, and attempting to talk.. and express himself approipately ( we still have a long way to go with that one)
 I absoutely enjoy learning.. but it is so much fun spending time with my family and just chatting.  Andy and I spent about a good hour after the lesson just chatting.  I hope that it stays that way and it opens up lines of communication.. maybe there won't be slamming doors and FOOOK YOU all over the place... we should see.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"I love you"

so it's been really fun teaching Vincent how to sign. Vincent seems to really pick them up fast and He picks them up even faster if I make a game out of it or somehow visually appealing.  
The last few weeks we have been working on Manners with vincent... like "Please" "thank you" and "you're welcome" and "i'm Sorry"  Vincent really has picked up on please and thank you and im sorry.. but the You're welcome is more difficult for him to understand and master.  

This afternoon I showed him the hand sign for "I love you" Vincent Immediately said NIGHT NIGHTY!!! Yes..... we say it at night.. and that made me think- we should say it more often, not just at night, but when we get up in the morning and even when vincent is naughty.. I love you even though ur being a sassy boy! haha.  but anyway back to the point... I started to teach vincent who was giggling by the way how to sign I-Love-You... So I am sitting there with vincent doing hand over hand... I love you!!!  Vincent would giggle when I would make him do it to his stuffed animals.Vincent knows how to do this on his own I am certain.. but I think he thinks it is more fun to make mommy do it with him and we clap our hands when we are all done with trying something new.. so hes been really catching on.  These days, vincent is asking what everything is and totally absorbing everything in ASL.  he also expresses himself correctly using facial expressions.. it's just amazing to watch to see him grow and learn and really immense himself in the whole culture.  I have to admit I am so proud of him.  I taught vincent how to sign I love you over and over and over... and he giggled... but i know he knows.  he does think mommy is his best friend.  Although.... Today for the first time he went with his grandma for the weekend without being upset or crying.  I guess hes finally realized that its fun with mom and his sister but he would much rather be the center of attention.  :) it broke my heart just a little to know my little boy is starting to need me less and less.  How quickly does the time fly.  he was born just 2 years ago and a little baby in my arms and he was cooing and chatting with me the way Victoria was with me tonight... and I reflect.... in about 2 years... vincent will be a preschooler and Victoria will be stuck in the toddler stage he is in now... and no more babies? only time will tell.... but I hope time freezes long enough for me to tell them everyday, in a million different way......... I love you forever.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


One year ago today... we said goodbye to a dear sweet boy.... he was our friend and our son's buddy.  I reflect on the year that's gone by... so many changes.. and still there's this emptiness that trooper left behind.

Trooper had been critically sick for 5 days when he passed away.  I Had mentioned to Andy that Trooper had not gone outside for a few hours which was a little unusual for him- being a mastiff he drank a lot of water and tended to need to potty a lot.  Andy said ok and I took Vincent to the store...
When I got back and brought the first bag and vincent (yeah i can multitask whoo hoo!) into the house... There was andy on the floor with trooper just begging him to get up and move... at the time I thought there was nothing worse than him not being able to move- how do we get him out to pee (120 pound buddy) we finally got him out and Andy and I decided it was for the best to bring him to the vet.  Andy called the next day and they would not fit trooper in until 4 30.  I was so pissed.  I knew within my heart there was something really wrong with trooper and he needed to be seen sooner than that.  I called and I said I know Trooper has a appt at 4 30 but I really think he needs to come in sooner. he is NOT acting like himself and barely eating or drinking anything.  Andy Brought Trooper in- and they ran blood tests (not enough in my opinion) and said he was dehydrated so they gave him water.  They did give him pain pills for trooper and said maybe he pulled his leg muscle or hip- which is common with bigger dogs and He and Lady were so Active together. I was so angry because trooper could barely swallow his pain pills.... and hes FINE? really.......... (insert a lot of swearing here)
5 days later trooper had rapdily deterioated.. Andy and I tried so much to just get him to eat and drink his water. 
Trooper was acting strange... he was sick for a few days and he hadn't wanted to come in the living room with us.. but that day he did.. and he "spent" time with each of us.  I believe he knew he was dying and did not have very much time left.  He died just a few hours later.  Of what? I dont know.  I wish i had all the answers.. but I know whatever trooper was suffering from didn't let him be a happy dog.  

I have so many pictures of trooper growing up.. playing with us and being our first baby- before vincent! we have quite the collection of Vincent and Trooper being together.  It's very fitting the last photo I took of Trooper just the day before he passed away was with vincent laying on him-comforting him in time of pain.

Trooper... I hope you know we always think of you.... You were a beautiful soul that loved us with everything you had.  You made us laugh with joy, and shout with anger when you were naughty.  You were happy to come up north with us and run and play with the dog pack although you were the biggest one... but the most submissive. :)  I still think of you when it thunders because you get scared and wanted us to snuggle with you.  I hope wherever you are, that you have a lot of friends with you that snuggle with you when you are sad or scared.  I know you know we had victoria- I can't explain it but I know you know.  I will always love you trooper.  You were the sweesest sassy boy ever.  I can't wait until the day we all get to meet again at the rainbow bridge.  I know you're waiting for us.  Just keep watching over us sweet boy. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

rainbow bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called the Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again.
The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head. You look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…
-author unknown

In truibute to all animals that have gone on to that side.. Sally, Trooper, Noel.. how we miss you today and forever.

Life... Death... Circle of life

It has been a sad couple days for our family.  Andy's Sister-(my "sis in law") horse passed away early yesterday morning while in surgery.  It got me to start thinking all day about Life, and Death.  I must explain how this came about.
A year ago, our beloved dog- Trooper, who was the sweetest English Mastiff puppy we ever had passed away from something questionable.. and we couldn't save him.  It was then, I too, pondered the true meaning of life... and the circle of life.. and how to begin to understand and accept death.

Yesterday morning- I had found out Noel died.  I loved the name Noel because it always reminded me of christmas and the great joy Christmas brings.  You know- the first noel.  Well, Noel was the best first noel I've ever met and will always remember.  I met Noel 2 years ago- not by sight or visiting but in andy's sister's senior pictures-he was a beautiful horse- and I had then told her I can't wait to meet him he's so beautiful  and you look so happy on him.  a year later, I finally got my chance.  Noel was too sick to trot and run like the other horses in his hall- and stall mates. Despite that- he was gracious and happy to see pepole visiting him and asked for a million carrots.  He seemed to understand Vincent ( who was only about 16 months then) was small and was willing to let vincent say hi and pat him on the head.  he had those big beautiful brown eyes.  Now, being 5'1-5'2.. I don't really like HUGE animals (funny because I LOVE mastiffs and theyre BIG for dogs haha) but Horses kind of make me nervous.  andy's Mom and sisters are so comfortable around horses and they can walk around them like it is nothing.  :) 
Noel had been sick with some health issues for a while.. but this death was very sudden, everyone was very postive he was going to make it through the surgery- so quite a shock.
I had to tell Vincent that Noel went to heaven with Trooper.  Vincent just simply glanced at me and smiled and clapped his hands.  Yea!!!!! Vincent was right... We shouldn't be sad about the fact Noel is gone.. but joyful because he is in a better place with no pain.. and earned his righfully his- horse wings.  
It hit me really hard.. because I understand how it feels to experience quick, shocking death- as we have gone through that with trooper (a different post for a different day) One of my favorite movies as a child- was the lion king.. the circle of life.... It moves us all... through despair and hope.  Right now, it is one of the most saddest times for our family as we mourn Noel and bid him farewell... I know happiness and life will truimph again with hope.

Noel... thank you so much for being part of our family, even though Vincent and I haven't known you as long as Andy- and his family have... you have shown us compassion, and how to be tolerant when life deals you a hard blow and you had to be patient. Thank you, for being a wonderful friend and a amazing competitor.  You are beautiful in this life, and I know you are more beautiful now with your angel horse wings.  I know you are up there with all the animals that have gone on over the rainbow bridge.. and you are waiting for N and our family.  Thank you... for teaching us valuable lessons. You are Noel... the first and only Noel. sweet Noel.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rainy Day at the Beach

So.... while cleaning and seeing the beautiful sunshine outside and the gentle winds breezing and the leaves ever so rustling... I thought to myself... today would be a perfect day to swim and hang and have fun right?! It would be perfect for tori to sit and "nap" on the beach. 

I asked the kid's auntie Ash and uncle Stu- Ash is one of my best friends and I always have a blast when we are hanging out together.  to come meet me and swim and have fun... They got there before I did.. and stu enjoyed some of the glorious water and diving.

So I get there with the kids and we all sit down.. vincent is enjoying his delcious goldfish snacks and we are looking around and commenting how beautiful today is and how perfect it is to spend a day on the beach.  Stu got some skittles ( catch the rainbow) and taught Vincent how to sign "candy" so he said more candy!!! funny boy.  he sure loves skittles now!  so we are all chatting and stu spots a dark cloud on the horizon...........and it gets bigger.. 

In matter of minutes- I am not kidding at all.. the sand starts blowing like crazy like we are in a Sand War! Everyone started packing up fairly quickly and dusting the sand out of our eyes and making sure the kids were okay.  Stu is a cute over-protective uncle- and took care of tori while Ash and I fussed over Vincent.  vincent is just looking all over the place.  It gets darker......... and darker....... so we are all in the shelter huddled for dear life.. Stu tracks the weather and says.. it is not going to just pass.  Ugh.. so we all ride back in the jeep.

We got back to the house and it was raining out like crazy!! and we all hung out for a while.. and vincent loved to high five stu and ash..  and he was enjoying showing them his stuffed animals and cars and he showed Stu his drum.  Stu loved it and banged on it for vincent.. it was FUNNY.  Uncle Stu is a big kid. :) tori just sat on me most of the time and watched everyone play and listened to the chatter. she was calm for most of the day.. and puked after they left.

I am so tired out from all the craziness and playing with the kids and Tori. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I love you forever

so, vincent and I read a book tonight called "love you forever"  This is a amazing powerful book.. espically if you're a mother.  Vincent knows when we say I love you every night before bed.. we've also used the hand sign every night since birth.  He has been trying to sign back but he takes his index fingers and wink his eye and points at you when you say it.. Love you too! in his own special 2 year old way.

"I love you forever and for always, my baby you will always be" 
through the years i've watched my kids.. (vincent) grow up... this rings true over and over again... i know when my baby boy reaches age 25, has a baby of his own.. i will still think of him as my baby.  I teared up reading this book because it shows the little boy through the years and the mom keeps saying.. i love you forever and for always my baby you always will be..  no matter what he did to make his mom crazy.   I feel like that about my kids... and when they tell you they love you and hug you and kiss you..... its amazing. Vincent is very cuddly at age 2.  I hope he never stops that. :)
vincent you will forever be my baby.. :):)

Monday, July 18, 2011

the muggy dog days of summer

So... We have had a new challenge this summer being a mom of two LITTLE kids.. when it gets HOT out.. there is nothing to do but stay inside.  Boy, I thought in the winter-time like everyone else.. when the snow stops and melts and is not so cold anymore we would be outside EVERYDAY.... Well, snow stopped late march for us in Wisconsin, and then I was already 8 months pregnant with Victoria... and feeling well... PREGNANT haha! along with being tired all the time..and it was cold and rainy much of april... it felt like a June monsoon in africa.. then I had Victoria and we have had a few good nice sized heat days since then.  I feel like we went from winter to summer with no spring at all.  
So.. Today was miserable.. how in the world do you explain to a 2 year old that it is very hot outside and there is a heat warning against being in the heat too long?  Today, I felt like groundhog day... here is our conversation about 100 times
Vincent looks outside- mama out? 
Me: No, its too hot outside
vincent: HOT????!!!!!
Me: yes.. very very hot so hot
vincent: looks outside again.. hot? (i think he thinks I was LYING)
me: Yes very hot outside.. too hot for any of us to go outside and do anything
vincent: (loudly sighs)
me: let's find something fun to do.........
imagine this conversation 100 times a day.. that was ME today.. 
and this heat wave is supposed to last until thursday but still hot throughout the weekend.... all I have to say is thank god that Andy's stepmom Teresa and andy's dad Mike- affectionately called Gramma and Grampa... they offered to take Vincent to a family reunion for Teresa's family up north.. I, Of course jumped at the chance.. I really miss taking naps when victoria naps and cleaning.. and just spending time with one kid.  I feel like I shortchange a kid.. when I have them both together.  it is a balancing act I am learning to master. :)  

it is horribly.. too hot here..........

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The greater love of a family

I am so exicted to be a blogger!  My friend started blogging for her wedding, and now her post wedding adventures.. and I really enjoyed reading her adventures.. and I thought I have to start one for my family since there is so many funny things that happen day to day with my babies or andy and I
I named this blog "the greater love of family" because I love my kids and I love Andy.. even if he drives me crazy at times. :) my kids do too. :)

My kids are my pieces of my heart...  Vincent is my oldest.. he is two and he LOVES life.  he never fails to make me smile.  Victoria was born in april, and is the sweetest baby ever.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful children.

Andy works outside of the home as a database fixer.  I am a stay at home mom- and deaf.... and we have adventures... quite a bit. LOL. 
we are blessed with amazing love for each other and our children...stay tuned my friends... we have many stories to tell.