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Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Bud of Joy









I have changed so much, so many times, that it's almost hard to remember who I once was. Not that I really want to, I am a much better person now. Healthier in every sense of the word.

I love that I was finally able to grow emotionally and mentally. To be strong.

I left myself over and over again, springing new life,
Leaving behind that life I knew, that girl I was, that heart I had.

It was imperative to do so.




Most of you have no idea who I am.
Some do, some think they know who I was
Some think they know who I am now. But they don't
no one ever really knows another, I believe.


It's pretty easy to keep to myself, and I happily do so.
I wouldn't enjoy my life's pursuit (Writing) if I wasn't a little bit, secretive.

Life has been damn hard. The things I've allowed to happen in my life have sprung perspective not everyone can relate to, or understand.
You're not meant to, either.
We all go through our lives and learn things and accept things differently. It affects us all differently, molds and shapes us differently.
I've felt the sting of heartache, the fire of lies, the pain of being lost in this harsh world. Felt loss. Tragedy.
I may not always smile, but rest a sure, I know the value of happiness. The fruit of our lives that get us through the dark times, start with the bud of joy. True joy. If you have found that already, don't let that go. If you haven't found that yet, keep searching, find the right one, not a temporary one, and hold onto it for dear life.
Whatever it may be that fills your soul. Makes you smile. That crowds your mind. That gives you feelings you crave.

Because no matter how often we change, no matter who we become, no matter what trials we fight, or battles we lose. That tiny bud, that sliver of peace we have within us, will keep us blooming. Keep us alive. Keep us growing.

Without it, we continue to stand like the barren tree among the spring.










Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Create Free Playlist | Hypster - free music online - player for tumblr

Create Free Playlist | Hypster - free music online - player for tumblr

Be

To know ones self one must search beneath the hardened exterior.

Crack through the gossamer finish to reveal what is lying right below the surface.

Remove the fa├žade used to cover up flaws and imperfections we refuse to adhere to.


Allow ourselves to be swallowed up by emotions. No fear.

Allow ourselves room to grow. Mold. Seek.


Astonish ourselves in the strength we have and the vitality we can use.

Walk merrily in our choices instead of sitting idly waiting for something new to come along.

Shine.

Breathe.

Exist outside our minds cocoon.

Be Jovial

Be smart

Be artistic

Be serendipitous

Be adventurous

Be You. The hardest thing in the world. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of that which inhibits us.

Be free


Laugh Or Cry Or scream what ever is right in the moment you feel it

Never make excuses, own up to your wrong doings, your faults and your successes, never hide.

Be cordial and accepting

Be genuine

Be...

Just

Be!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sophie's Choice

Moms!!!!!!!!!



Have You ever been in a group, out in public or in a moment where You notice peoples physical reaction to your children?
Whether its for a tantrum in public, mismatching outfits, or something more personal, like in our case, being deaf.
The face of disbelief, the face of disgust?
I've been conscience of societies reactions. The pure rudeness and gal of what people think they can say, or do to complete strangers. It is appalling. I have witness, Children who start to play with Sophie and then ask "whats wrong with her?" and once they are told she can't hear, and she doesn't talk, they start to distance themselves. I've been asked by adults, who then look like a deer in head lights, who get stiff and do not know what to say so, they make a face, and turn and walk away..."ok Goodbye to you too, thanks for chatting" said in my head, not out loud, though I probably should. I've witnessed while being in the home of someone we know, not want to even look at her, I've watched parents allow their kids to treat Sophie is disrespect. They show their ignorance to something that's perfectly ok, and yet because its not in their everyday, they make the "gross" face. Its like shes diseased...
Ohhh no Don't touch my daughter, or you'll be deaf too...kind of deal.
Which as Sophie gets older she starts to notice.
She notices the little girl who wont look at her, when Sophie is trying hard to get her attention.
She notices the boy who stops playing with her.
She notices the face expression that the parents have on their face, the one that's different towards Emily, and Ryan. The Smiling face that says "hi" when we see them, that quickly turns to just a slight grin and...no Hi, And Guess what...I notice it too!
Because we are naturally able to hear We are also around more families that are hearing as well. In a hearing World. Sophie has and does well to adjust herself to be in the hearing world as best as she can. But she shouldn't always have to.
we have been lucky to have found a small tight knit community that understands our family dynamic. To have placed Sophie in ASL education where we have watched her take off at lightening speed. Its Been Sophies Choice.
To watch her Story tell, to watch her explain, to watch her understand, to watch her Absorb language. Her Language. Its been an amazing experience.
One we have noticed is sometimes hard for people to understand.
People want so badly to make everything "better". They want perfection, they want what they see as normal to be...normal.

In talking with a friend this morning, she used the word normal is such a simplistic, yet awesome way. "this is your new normal"
One of those silent "uh ha" moments happen in my head...like DUH Bec! What a terrific way to explain that to those who just do not get it. That Having ASL in our lives is our new normal, and sharing it with as many people as possible is a testimony to the Joy that knowing ASL can bring. Advocating that its OK to be accepting to all things and sharing all kinds of things, thus making this sometimes, dark and stormy, World a bit brighter.

I've been told by close family and friends that we should NOT EXPECT those around us to learn ASL. That Sophie is one person, and its would be easier to just have her use the gifts of technology to come through into their "world".
BUT
Why shouldn't I expect that. Like a "Hey you want to hang with us, Learn a bit as ASL, so You can communicate with all of us as a whole" Right? YES!!! We can't be the friend, the mom, the wife, the daughter (in-law), Son (in-law) sister, Aunt, Uncle, Brother, Husband, AND ALWAYS TRANSLATE. We of course Aren't expecting you to learn it all, or understand it all, We are still students of the language ourselves, but I don't think its asking too much, especially of close family and friends, to learn the basic's...average 100 Signs, (not including the alphabet) Its really NOT MUCH! And Its not too much to take in, it benefits, Your brain, it strengthens you bond with Sophie. All she asks for is love and attention. To fully know her, means to understand her, How else will you get the gist of her story tell, or her joke, or the tricks she likes to play on people. OH THE MIGHTY POWER OF LANGUAGE!
Any language, any knowledge is good knowledge and works the brain, and keeps the cells active.

I've had countless people, say "oh you know Theres this thing that fixes hearing, right, the cochlear implant, you should get her that" "Oh why doesn't she talk?" "whats wrong with her?" "why is she so loud, can't she be quiet?"
Its reallllllly annoying. You know theres better ways of asking questions Folks. and Truly, If You do not know anything about Cochlear implants, or whether or not we have one, or was looking into one, you should NEVER tell someone to get it to fix their child. Theres Nothing Wrong with being deaf. Not to mention, everything that comes along with the device. Its a wonderful invention, it works awesome, and helps, it allows hearing to happen, but theres so much more then comes along with it. So much work that the person has to do on a day to day basis. Its NOT A FIX. Its wonderful, we have witnessed great differences, and seen the power of Cochlear implants. We may get to see it through our Sophie one day. But please don't expect us to force it on her. Its Sophie's Choice

Matt and I both share the fear of what would happen to our children should GOD FORBID anything happen to us both. Who would be the best match to take our kiddo's. And We fear that without family ACCEPTING ASL as its necessity, and as Sophies MAIN language, that she will suffer even more. Her comfort, has never been hearing, but in seeing. If You take away her parents, and her communication, and force upon her something not vital to her very own existence...what does she have left? Its important for us to document, Sophies Choice. While we continue to ask her to use the C.I. While we are still on the path of fixing it and setting up Aural Therapies. We will always use ASL. We will always ALLOW our CHILDREN TO DECIDE what works for them. We try and come from a place of yes as often as possible. We are trying to instill independent virtues in all 3 kids. showing them that we support their choices.Giving them enough guidance to make smart ones, but ones that will work for them, and their future. Who Am I to say, what they can study, or what colleges they can Attend, Who are we, to say where they can live or how far away, or who to love. ya know? If we can provide a solid foundation, and show love and respect for them starting even this young, then we can assure ourselves that their future is grand. Their choices!
I hope that should something happen to Matt and I, those next in line to care for our children can honor that, honor our way of parenting. We are honest, and allow real life in their life, while also nurturing silly fun fantasy like, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy! I couldn't image it being any other way.


Matt and I lucked up with these Kiddo's. As crazy and loud as we all are as a group. As trying as times can be, as hair pulling as these kids ages are (especially 3s) We have this beautiful thing called Family.




American Sign language ROCKS!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tropical haze

Courage, sometimes is the very least of my assets that show through

I am the poster child of being all bark and no bite. Truly. I'll talk a big game, but then All I do is shake like a min pin.

Some would say that it takes courage to have moved as many times as we have, especially those times with out the army aide.

Some would say that it takes courage to have a special needs child.

Its not courage, or strength really, its love. I would not change anything about where we have been or who Sophie is. Her deafness

doesn't make life harder, but enriches us. Our journies have not scared us, but molded us.

Was there a moment when we were sad by Sophie's profound deafness, sure, the very first day it was made for sure.

Were we ever scared about one of our moves...well in a sense, dude I hate FLYING!





What scares us more, and what has stired a sense of courage has been this newly adverse moment; where we are dealing with a school that has been nothing but...disappointment.

The Same school I talked up, the same school we had joy and hope and excitement for.

We have sat back a bit, and watched as week after week, Sophie has been involved in some form of "accidents"

With exception of vague FB status' and speaking with class room moms and our close and personal friends and family, We have been relatively quiet.

But things have been off about these marks and bruises since week one back in august. Even some stories are odd.

In the beginning it was extremely hard to not think that there was some kind of trouble mixed between the aides in class and the students. Sophies lack of ASL at the start of school, made understanding what was truly happening even tougher. She couldn't explain who or what was the reason.
The one good thing that has come out of the school is her expanded ASL understanding, she signs so well, so advanced now, so quick. And is able to explain what had happened at school. Not so much, why...or what led up to it, but, what did occur. Which led to the true discovery that theres a rough, very rough kid in the class. One Sophie likes, and claims to have a good friendship with, they both were batman for halloween at school and have the same exact lunch box.

We would have conversations with the teacher about theres mysterious bruises. Or "accidents". There would be different stories floating around about what took place. But it always got boiled down to them saying that because shes an over achiever, other kids and her compete. She has the incessive need to be first (we are working hard on that) and that that mentality has now created a bit of a competive and rough atmosphere for her. Which in a sense, Im then reading between the lines, that they are pretty much saying that Sophies personality is "ASKING FOR THIS". That its creating confrontation in the class room.
We know where our kid faults, the being first thing, the being bossy, the being nosey, the been stubborn...its both Matts and I's DNA! lol. Still, we also know her attitude around other students, in public, and with her friends. And it does not correlate.

The one BIG accident besides this very last one from friday, that still doesn't sit well with me, is the one where I got a call saying Sophie had been pushed into a counter resulting in a nose bleed. The office then told me it took them 20 minutes and an icepack to get it to stop bleeding. I was told, that A student couldn't see the oven they were baking in and pushed her out of the way, and her being close to the counter...well...yea. BUT Sophie, who has no true understanding on how to lie or what lieing is, or any reason to "story tell" Had said that this student, first Elbowed her, and then Sophie demonstrated to the degree of force used as he then pushed her. Then funny eough used Emily as a prop! ;) to show me again. It has led me to believe that theres no control in the class, the kids are able to bicker and duke it out as they please, resulting in these types of accidents. If they had been "fighting" over the space in front of the oven. And An elbow was thrown, wouldn't someone have noticed it first? So one would assume. But thats not what they want to be told. They don't want to be told, they are careless, and that they need to actually watch the students, not sit and doodle on their cell phones or gossip in the corner with each other.
We leave the lives of our children in the hands of these ppl, and theres no urgency to keep them all...In line...I know We are not the only parents who see this...
Fridays call...Even the nurse was like..."umm yea it looks bad, shes ok, I gave her ice, shes not crying, but its big" Said Sophie was being chased by another student, while playing tag at recess. Sophie was looking behind her and running fast, and smacked her check into the pole (on the jungle gym I assume) The bus driver, who has to ask about any innocent she sees on a student getting on the bus, was told the same thing I was...Sophie was being chased...Sophie when she stepped off the bus and I saw to the level of how bad her face was, shook my core. I couldn't stop tearing or shaking. Sophie told me her friend was running with her and then bam, hurt. Soon after her getting home, I received an email about Sophies cheek. Saying that NO, Sophie was doing the chasing, and chased the student up the pole, and trip because she wasn't looking at where she was going was looking at the student, that she then got up and blamed the student for her getting hurt, but that the aides told her it wasn't the students fault, then the email continued saying she was then blaming the wrong student....Doesn't make any sense...everything is conflicting. And because this isn't the only conflicting story of an accident, and because We aren't the only family feeling lied too, I've taken it into my own hands this time, and have called, The Department of Education, the special education Complaints department and the Honolulu school district head super. And Currently waiting to hear back about if, and what kind of action will be taking place...
We are tired of fearing sending her to school, especially being far from her. We are tired of her fearing getting on the bus and having to be picked up and buckled in while screaming and crying...

Im scared about the way she will be treated after the principal and teacher are given word on the actions taken this time. Im worried about them not doing anything about these situations, Im worried about the fact that if things don't go better the only choice we have is to remove her from school completely. Either to have her enrolled in the oral school thats closer after the new year (which Again we are scared her ASL and thus learning will suffer) or completely take her out, till next year, and I home school her. Either way, action will be taken before the end of this Calender year...which needless to say is coming to a close very quickly.



We had such joy coming to Hawaii, This tropical paraside and sun, fun and beaches. Made them find us a military home as close to the school as we could, which also lets us be close to downtown and fun beaches. Close to Uncle John, whom Sophie always talks about, asks for and completely adores. We love the fabulous happy go lucky mentality of Hawaii, we think its beautiful here, lots to do, lots to love and admire...but with this School issues and our littlest girl being hurt every week in one way or another...we seem to be stuck under this tripical haze...

These are the same bruise from the beginning of the school year



This is from her being kicked

lol don't mind her spidy undies


this is from her being pinched by another student, though the teachers and aides say they never see a student pinching, and then told me well, actually they have been concerned with how rough Sophie has been with students. WHICH PISSED ME OFF. Its something I've been saying would happen if these accidents don't stop happening, shes 100% a watcher, then a doer...and shes gonna fight back. Shes going to think its ok, and repeat and repeat, I said I don't want my child to be that kid. Its not how we are raising our kids. But of course...Now all they see is Sophie defending herself. Of course...because I haven't kept my mouth shut to the teacher about the bruises...now they are pointing fingers at her again, IM SORRY BUT ALL THIS ISN"T SOPHIES FAULT ALONE! She doesn't ask for it, like they implied and she doesn't deserve it. Im feeling like targetted.




lastly this is from Friday's accident, then the crown one I took to document how the eye is changing, and then the last pictures, are from today, and you will notice that the bruise is now being seen up the side of nose and onto the top of her upper eye lid. How does one hit that hard, for this to be the resutl, shes 4...and not a track star speedster...






We are praying things change for the better, Our Poor Sophie is going to remember this as her first deaf school experience.

We now can't wait to leave the island, to get to better schools, to be where we don't fear for our kids...I'd happily shorten our stay here on the island...or fast forward to 2016...Just feel like a failing parent and Hate that.



Monday, October 21, 2013

Husband says this all the time



"You never realize how good things were, until you no longer have it"
My Husband is a smart man. An extremely hard worker. He loves his family and does what he can to make sure we are all happy and safe. So he knowing the trouble we are having in a very important matter, Hurts.
Having Moved so many times. Having seen friends and family go through different school systems because We have luckily found life long friends in every place we have lived, We can kind of get the feel to what schools work and why. Hawaii Is now our families 2nd school district for our own kids.
In the DOD school system on base in WA. While Emily's school didn't have the best ratings, her teacher was FANTABULOUS! Loved him. She was half day, and I still do not get how he managed to teach everything she knew to 20 kids in just 2 hrs a day. WITH NO AIDES! No help! Just him. You Rock Mr. T. Sophie's School on McChord had better ratings, and She had an awesome willing and amazing Teacher, Hi Mrs. Ellison, we miss you. Even Though she used S.E.E and There was an ASL interp. At the same time (which can cause confusion) and even though it was a mixed special needs class, Mrs.E and her helpers were the best. They were tuned in, on point, did everything they could to make sure Sophie Thrived. They started the love Sophie has for learning.
last year! NOT ONCE, was I called into the school, or got calls about Students pushing, kicking, or other harmful moments caused by a student, to Sophie. Was I called about injuries? OF COURSE! McChord and her Teacher did their due diligence as a School. In Emily's case. Emily being more of the shy one, soft spoken, and knowing what is class room acceptable and not, is now into her 2nd year of school, having NOT ONE incident. NOT ONE! Runs around outside, 2 times a day (two recesses, how lucky)has gym class, and "free play" in class, sits on the concrete floor, pumps into things often (shes my kid lol, plus her class is super tight.) And has never come home with bruises, cuts or what have yous.Her Class Has about 23+ Students and ONE TEACHER! again NO HELP~ Again, Emily's school doesn't have the best ratings on the Island for DOE. BUT, Her teacher, Mrs Rapoza is SO SUPER! I do not remember in the first grade learning about History,sociology, Or the human body. Emily totally knows what white blood cells are used for, what Antibodies are and how to properly take care of skin. ITS FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!! She knows so much! Its scary.
HSDB, Sophie's current school. Is definitely trying. Its had some spotted past for some students and is going through a growing period right now. New People in place trying to make the system better and working as it should. I'm too much of a worrier to have my kid in a place thats transitional and not steady on its own rules and ideas. Though, Sophie's teacher has a great Educational background. SHE KNOWS HER STUFF! and Shes a good teacher. When in class. Shes also a very busy lady. I do however think that shes not exactly equiped for this age group maybe. theres 9 students and like 3 aides along with Teacher,so how do all these accidents happen, thats 2 students per one adult... and When I went through Sophie's paperwork, the daily reports that get sent home, there are 9 bad incidents that involve another Student harming Sophie. Now on purpose? Or not? Not sure. Stories don't always add up. And THANKFULLY, in great appreciation, to her current teacher, Sophie is now able to tell me what happened to her and who did it. Not so much the WHY, part yet. But we will get there. Now I said 9 incidents involving Sophie getting hurt by another student...that does not include the few "accidents" that happened the first month of school before the started to send home the accident report. And that does not include the reports about her falling by her own account. (again My kid, We are a clumsy family apparently lol) Mind you, School hasn't even been in session 3 months yet. Doesn't that sound a bit much!??
I get that This is a deaf school, I get that the deaf kids can be more handsy and rough, and pivot their anger in a not so nice manner. BUT COME ON NOW! I can't tell if its poor student inter action or if its aides Not watching. Or The lack of Correction. Feeling like for a short time the daily lessons should not be about "hungry Caterpillars" or "the 3 little pigs" but should be about How to treat friends, and class mates, respect to adults, and listening to parents. They are 4 and 5, and old enough to get those lessons. I do my best at home, with the 3 kids. From the emails from Sophie's teacher, to my understanding, Sophie isn't being aggressive to them. Shes merely "annoying". Shes in their face and curious about What they are doing and why. She Sees a friend reading a book, and goes to see what book, and maybe read too...and that student doesn't want her there, but Phi wont leave...so that student then acts aggressively. OR The last one was Because Sophie was in the way, of another student viewing the pie baking in the oven, and shoved her. Shoved aside is one thing. But damn this student must of had some real gumption Behind the push because it caused Sophie to slam her face into the counter and bleed for what the office told me was 20 minutes, WITH an ice pack on her nose.
Now let me step back and explain. Sophie is a brut herself (at home) She and Ryan can't sit still, want to always play fight, and wrestle. And When Mad...they both go at it, LIKE SIBLINGS! With exception to the scratching (yes they scratch each other, tho I try and keep their nails short...Don't worry they get punished for scratching)There is never a mark inflicted on eachother by each other. In fact, An example to use, is over the weekend, they were NOT LISTENING TO ME, and were bouncing toward each other on the sofa, where one then would bend and the other would flip over their back. Laughing having fun, but again NOT LISTENING TO ME, about stopping before someone gets hurt. And Someone did, Phi! Ryan's hard head (like his daddy's)Cracked into her where her cheek bone meets the chin. I heard a CRACK, like when you hear the football helmets slam into each other on a tackle. Ryan bent down to get in position but at last minute decided tojust body check her instead. (OHHHHH BOYS!!!!!!!!) I freaked out by the sound, break them apart and Shes crying and "yelling" at Ryan. Her face, looks a little swollen, but no cut, no bruise (yet) nothing more then a little raised. Not even pink oddly. So I watch it the rest of the evening, and into Sunday...What do I see? NOTHING! no mark. Again I say it was a hard hit and the cracking sound when I think about it, still makes me cringe. So You readers tell me...How can she keep coming home with all these cuts and bruises from school, that Im being told comes from a student? But it not happen when I see it with my own eyes at home? How does that even work?
Is it by the hand of students? Is it by someone else?
I don't think Sophie is at the age where she can even get the magnitude of the situation.
Lately, shes not been wanting to go to school. Lately shes coming home in crap moods.

Im wanting to switch her school and Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) has proven to be battle! The professionals I need to speak with Wont even call me back. The School I want to visit, wont let me meet and speak with teacher and visit his class to see his interaction with the deaf students. I just want to see it, see his ASL with the students and how he runs his class.
I tell Ya, We were so excited to come here to Hawaii.
Excited to have a special school for Phi
Excited to be involved in Deaf community of Hawaii
Excited to be on this island and have another adventure.

And While we have loved seeing what we have, Love the esthetics of the Island, the people of Hawaii, the views, the beach...Its not the paradise We had hoped it to be.

Its making me feel regretful to have come here.
Its also left a bad taste in my mouth about deaf schools. Something Grams did warn me about.

Its put a real damper on my Love for Island life...Which leaves me to say the most disgusting thing Ever...WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN WASHINGTON!

But Like the Husband says
"You don't know how good you had it, until you don't have it anymore" He usually says the same thing, in multiple different ways ;) Love you hunnnnny!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Its beginning to...

Its beginning to...NOT look a lot like christmas, even though the TV Commercials try and tell me differently.
Which of Course, Already makes me want to bust out the mini tree and play Christmas carols on Pandora.
We all have our Favorites...come on...You know you do. I know I do. And I will belt them out without a care in the world. Especially in the shower ;)

If I Cannot have Winter here on Oahu, even though this warm fall weather is nice, I guess I'll have to bling out this Ole Blog here to get my fill of a winter wonder land this year ;)



As The end of October is soon to approach, Ill be gathering Everything about my Favorites here to share.

October had always been my Most loved Month, when the weather begins to change, Sweats and sweaters, leggings and boots. No mittens or wool hats needed just yet. The Colors along the roads from the falling leaves. The smell of fall. The air starting to get that hint of a wood burning stove from neighboring homes. Shorter days. And Comfort warm stews.

I have to remind myself that here in Hawaii, this is just another adventure to check mark. I love Hawaii, so don't let me miss lead you. I love the esthetics, the people. The Culture. The wonder and awe of the breath taking views. The tiny smell of sea (not as strong as back east) The Breeze. I love Hawaii. And Woooowho Im tan again. yet haven't sat out in the sun in a while (so it feels)

But All this sun shine...I like to actually miss the sun. and then Love and basque in it when it shows its colorful face. Ya know?

I miss rain, and Lord knows, Ive missed THUNDER STORMS FOR 3 years now ;) We get teased once and awhile, But Lord I need a GOOD LONG battle rattle thunder storm.


Im not complaining, you see, Im just missing.

So to Fill my seasonal needs till its summer time again, and all the joys of festive holidays have since past, I shall OVER LOAD my blog with everything I can not have.


With that in Mind. On this very Sunny October


Season Greetings...

Begin