Okay, so that half painted wall that I mentioned in my last post started bothering me today, along with a bunch of stuff that belongs to someone else but is being stored at our house for the time being. The wall that is being painted is the wall going upstairs, so the railing for the steps is not attached right now and Tahlia almost fell down the steps today because there is no railing. It's definitely time to get it back up...
Jazzie drank a huge glass of water right before bed time and what I feared might happen, did indeed happen: She woke up around 1 AM, soaking wet, so I had to change her sheets in the middle of the night. By the time I was finished I was wide awake and had a hard time going back to sleep.
I swear, if I hear the word "MOOOOOOOOOM!" one more time, I am going to scream.
Apparently there has been an outbreak of itch mites where we live. I think I have them. I am itchy all over and I keep finding new welts/bites all over my body. You get them from being outside, so it has nothing to do with cleanliness. However, I have spent the day vacuuming, dusting and washing ALL our bedding. Even though these microscopic bugs can't survive the indoors, it is an AWFUL feeling to think there are bugs crawling all over me.
Jazzie's eye is all red, swollen and painful. I'm hoping it's just allergies, but I am worried that it might be pink eye. I am going to wait and see what it looks like in the morning.
On a brighter note, I visited Jazzie's classroom yesterday to talk about her cochlear implant. I explained to the kids why Jazzie wears it, how it works and what they can do to help Jazzie hear better. The kids were very interested and asked a lot of good questions. My favorite came from a boy who asked: "If she can't hear anything at night, how does she get her evening knowledge then?" :-) Jazzie was great about showing her implant to all the kids and about demonstrating that she can't hear anything without it. The kids actually thought that was kind of cool. After my little presentation I was able to have lunch with Jazzie. I was curious as to how she would handle the busy and loud cafeteria, but she did fine. It's amazing how quickly kids adapt and get used to a new routine. Of course Jazzie has always been a good observer and subsequent follower of others if she is not sure what to do. There is a boy in Jazzie's class who wears hearing aids and it seemed to me like he has taken Jazzie under his wings. Several times I saw him put his hands on her shoulders and talk directly into her ear to relay information. I guess out of all the kids in the class, he understands best what Jazzie is dealing with. Before I left, I "spied" on the kids on the play ground at recess and I was happy to see Jazzie playing with one of the girls in her class. I am telling you; it did a mommy's heart good to see her girl at ease at school.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this girl. I had almost forgotten how different it is to have just one child at home. Tahlia doesn't go back to school until September 8th, so we are spending some quality time together, just the two of us.
Tomorrow will be the start of the first full week of school for Jazzie (Tahlia still has a couple of weeks home with me). We got together with family today and of course everyone wanted to hear about Jazzie's first couple of days of school. They asked her lots of questions and Jazzie kept saying that first grade is very different from her other school and that she doesn't like the fact that she doesn't know all her teachers' and classmates' names. I keep telling her that she had four years at her first school and only two days at her current school and that she will learn everybody's names eventually. Still, I feel for my girl. She was just thrown into this new situation where she must feel completely overwhelmed. She has been a little difficult and emotional this weekend and I am sure it is because school as she knows it, has been changed dramatically. But like always, Jazzie doesn't really complain, she just goes with the flow. I am filled with pride but I am also filled with emotions as I wish I could be with her to help her make friends and to help her get used to this new routine. This is my baby and as her mommy I can't help but worry about her. But I know I must let go and that she will be fine in the end. Seriously, I never knew motherhood would be this hard and that it would bring out the deepest emotions in me...
Like I mentioned, we visited with family and my mother-in-lay said something this afternoon that just melted my heart. We were talking about Jazzie having allergies. My mother-in-law said: "Well, I'm not surprised she has allergies, because Matt has them so she got that from him". We all looked at her for a moment and then she realized what she said. Jazzie obviously got nothing genetically passed on to her from either one of us. Then she laughed and said: "See, I just don't think of the girls as being anything other than his real children".
So simple, so perfect, so very, very true and I loved that she said that.
I am breathing a sigh of relief this evening because the first day of school went off without a hitch for Jazzie today. Well, there was a brief moment this morning where Jazzie decided she did not to wear the shirt we picked out last night and we had to switch it at the last minute. But other than that, things went great. Jazzie went on the bus without hesitation (I was the one fighting back the tears). I told her that I would follow the bus on the first day, so that I would still be right there. That really seemed to put her mind at ease. It was funny to see her little head looking out the window several times on the way to school to make sure that I was still there :-) We literally live five minutes from the school and the bus comes to our subdivision only, so it's like having a private bus and the kids are only on the bus for a short while.
Jazzie said her first day was fun but different from her other school. She talked about a girl named Paige that sits next to her and that her group of tables is called the "Blue Family". She went to music today and did not play on the playground at recess ("I didn't feel like playing; I just watched"). When I asked her if she was nervous at all today, I got a firm "NO" and when I asked if she cried, she rolled her eyes and said: "Of course not; you know better than that! You don't cry in first grade"!
I am so glad my girl had a good time at school and that she is excited to go back. Here are some pictures from this morning:
I can't believe how skinny her legs are!
I wanted to thank all of you who left comments or e-mailed me after I posted the picture with all our contact information showing. I know there are a lot of weirdo's out there. When I took the picture, I was careful to place the papers just so, so that our last name wasn't showing. I even edited one of the pictures where Jazzie's underwear was showing. But I completely overlooked our address at the bottom of the page. Not a smart thing to do, so thanks for your concern.
I was careful to edit out the school bus number and the name of the school district this time ;-)
We had Jazzie's Open House at school today and it was great. I absolutely LOVE Jazzie's new teacher, the classroom is so cheerful and all the kids looked so excited. Even I feel so much more excited about tomorrow, even though I still don't feel great about sending my baby on the school bus :-)
So the nights of staying up late are over. It is back to packing lunches, laying out clothes the night before and getting up early. We are ready:
A special box that holds extra batteries, wires and other supplies for Jazzie's implant
Her lunch box is packed:
With a special note from mom, of course:
Her backpack is ready to go:
I have written letters introducing Jazzie and explaining her cochlear implant to the bus driver, teachers and the students and their parents in Jazzie's class:
Clothes are laid out:
Teeth are brushed:
And Miss Jazz is ready for her big day tomorrow:
Our days of staying up late are now limited to the weekends and it is back to our normal bed time (the bus will be at the end of our street in 12 hours and 5 minutes):
There are only three days of summer vacation left. On Thursday my Jazzie will be starting first grade. She is as excited as can be, but I must admit that I am starting to feel a bit nervous. Of course I would never tell her that, but I wonder if she realizes how different this year will be for her.
Like any other parent, I want my girl to be liked, to be confident and successful and to have friends. I love her so much and I want this first year of elementary school to be a positive experience for her.
Even though my nerves are starting to creep up a bit, I am also excited for Jazzie and for myself to start a whole new chapter. I have been making several changes in my life lately and I think starting at a new school will be a good change for both Jazzie and myself. For me, change is usually scary and something I am not very fond of, but this time I also know that it is needed and that it is for the best.
So, here I am. Wondering where the summer has gone; wondering how my girl will like first grade and wondering what this new school year will hold for us.
I can only assume that just like any other year, Jazzie will continue to amaze us.
I conquered one of my fears while on our trip this past week. Besides the water slides, there were also some dive boards and another steep water slide in the lake. One day, my nephews challenged my sister-in-law Christi and myself to go on the water slides. No problem, they were fun! After Christi and I conquered the slides, the boys challenged us to go down the steep water slide. No problem once again; we did it. Next came the low dive board; piece of cake. But then came the high dive board.
Christi went down first without hesitation and I had full intentions on jumping as well. However, as I got to the top of the steps, my heart started to beat faster, my chest started to feel tight, I started feeling very anxious and a childhood memory came rushing to the surface...
When I was growing up, my parents, sister and I went on vacation with our entire family every summer. During one of these vacations, our family went on a hike and crossed over a tall bridge. One of my uncles grabbed me and held me over the water, telling me he was going to drop me. He was joking of course, but I was terrified. To this day, every time I cross over a bridge, that memory comes back to me and when I was standing on the dive board, looking down at the water, that memory was stronger than ever.
I stood at the top of that dive board for a long time, willing myself to jump, but I just couldn't do it, so I headed back down the steps. It was a bit embarrassing to go back down, especially when I was seeing all these little kids jump off the board without any hesitation. Why couldn't I do that? Matt was standing on the beach telling me that I could do it. My nephews were cheering me on. Christi, Larry and Keely were standing in the water, anxiously waiting for me to jump. I could see Jazzie and Tahlia standing with Matt, watching me. However, I was too afraid to jump and headed back to the beach. There Matt once again encouraged me that I could do it and to think about the fact that if I jumped, I would be able to tell my girls one day that their mommy conquered her fear.
So I swam back to the dive board and headed up the stairs. I looked back at the beach where my husband was smiling at me, my girls were watching me and the rest of my family was standing in the water, encouraging me. Just seeing them standing there gave me some courage. I looked at Jazzie and thought to myself: "Just think about all the things Jazzie has gone through in her little life. If she can overcome all her challenges, you can jump off this stupid dive board"! And so I did.
As I jumped and before I hit the water, I could hear my entire family cheering for me and it made me laugh. As I surfaced, I was still laughing. It was the best feeling in the world to know that my family was behind me all the way. Even though my jump off the dive board wasn't as graceful as the one in the picture above, I still jumped and it felt awesome to conquer my fear.
I just wanted to post a few pictures from our trip last week. I took over 700 pictures, so I had to pick just a few to share.
Tahlia got a little closer to her cousin Jake last week, as he really put in an effort with Tahlia by playing lots of games with her and by giving her many horseback rides :-)
Ready for some miniature golf:
Matt's sister and her husband adopted Keely from China 8 years ago. Keely was quite an inspiration to us when Matt and I decided to adopt Jazzie and Tahlia. Today the three girls are extremely close.
Tahlia could not get enough of the water slides.
Jazzie liked the wate slides, but unlike Tahlia who was trying to turn herself around on them, she was more cautious:
Getting ready for some "Corn Hole":
A camping trip is not complete without a camp fire and roasting marshmellows:
Pappa grilling some hamburgers:
The kids played countless games of Monopoly Jr.:
Tahlia right after waking up. The girls slept in the loft of the cabin which they dubbed "the jail".
When we went on our family vacation to the Outer Banks last year, the girls had Glow-in-the-dark-necklaces every night and called themselves "The Glow Girls". The Glow Girls were back in action this year:
Tahlia and Jake:
For as much as Tahlia is a daddy's girl, when uncle Larry is around, Matt becomes chopped liver :-)
This was the most wonderful family trip. We truly had the best time. I have to say that this was my kind of camping. An air conditioned cabin, our own bathroom, a kitchen and a bed sure beat sleeping on the ground in a tent. But being together with everyone was the best thing of all.
We are outta here for a few days of family fun. We will be meeting up with Matt's family for several days of camping. Well, we are staying in a cabin, so it is not really camping. This city girl likes having a private bathroom ;-)
I will be back on Friday... Have a great week, everyone!
Unfortunately, the original date of August 23 that we were given for Jazzie's second cochlear implant surgery, has been changed to September 22. Apparently there is a patient who's device in malfunctioning and he/she got our original date. Fair enough, if it was Jazzie in that situation, I wouldn't even want to wait that long to have the surgery. So we will have to wait a month longer for this to finally happen. Oh well, at least she will have a little bit more time to get used to her new school and schedule before she has to miss any days of school. Also, I am glad it is after Cera's wedding (although barely), who is getting married on September 20.
I kept finding my bra's in the girls' bedrooms and was wondering what was up with that. It turns out that they like to play "Little Mermaid" upstairs by putting their legs into a sleeping bag (which doubles as their fins) and wearing one of my bra's. Such imaginations...
My friend Francine went through some of the girls' old clothes and took a lot of it for her two girls. After I've had about 5 people go through all those clothes, I still have 4 big Rubbermaid tubs full of clothes. Crazy....
Tahlia ended up having an ear infection, but refused to take the medicine that was prescribed for her. We tried everything to get her to take it, but she refused; it made her gag to the point of vomiting. A new Rx was called in for her today and she finally took that, but not after a fight. What finally made her take it was a nice, big spoonful of Nutella :-)
Two more days until the Olympics. I am ready and excited to not only see the games, but to see and learn more about China as well.
Is there anything better than eating a homegrown tomato that is still warm from the sun? No, there isn't.
I am down almost 20 lbs. Nobody has noticed anything yet (or at least they haven't said). The last time I lost a lot of weight, people didn't start noticing until I had reached the 25 lbs. mark. I am tall, so it is harder to tell when I lose weight. I am not following any kind of diet. I am not depriving myself of anything (I do indulge every now and again); I just watch my portions, make sure I eat low fat and low calorie foods and I exercises. Hmmm, eat healthy and exercise - what a concept. It feels great to feel in control, to feel healthier and to feel more confident.
Speaking of food, Jazzie has gotten to be SUCH a picky eater. The only things she will gladly eat are salami and noodles (any kind, without any sauce). I must say that she does like to eat strawberries, apples, peaches and peanut butter sandwiches, but other than that she is extremely finicky. Tahlia on the other is Miss Adventurous, eating anything from pesto to spicy peppers, to salad to artichokes. Matt recently turned her on to peanut butter mixed with honey. Tahlia's latest love is below:
My morning has been all about pee so far. Last night when Matt and I went to bed, we realized someone had peed on our bed. It must have been the dog. She has NEVER done anything like that before and I am still scratching my head as to what happened. Then this morning Jazzie woke up all wet. Up until about a month ago, Jazzie was still wetting the bed at night and wearing a pull-up to bed. But then she kept her pull-up dry for two weeks straight and she has been sleeping without a pull-up since then. However, every now and then she will still have an accident (like last night). Never mind that I just changed her sheets yesterday; I will be doing it again this morning. And to top things off, Tahlia didn't make it to the bathroom in time this morning and peed all over the bathroom floor! Enough with the pee already...
Tahlia was up quite a bit last night, because her ear was hurting. She has been complaining about her ear every time it gets wet and this morning I noticed that her right ear was draining. At least we know her ear tube is still working. I have a call into the doctor's office, so we will see what happens.
Being up with Tahlia for most of the night was tough. It reminded me of the time when we first came home with Tahlia and she would scream and cry for hours at night. Last night was hard, but we used to do this with Tahlia every.single.night for almost a year. I still don't know how Matt and I ever survived that time. I am reminded of this post that I wrote about a year after coming home with Tahlia. Last night brought back a lot of emotions from that time and it was a reminder of how tough it really was. It amazes me how real and deep my emotions from that time can still be today.
And now I am off to the laundry room. It is once again looking like this again...
It seems I had some technical issues with the blog this morning, but the problem has been resolved. It's funny how many panicked e-mails I got from people who couldn't access my blog. I must admit that I panicked myself :-)
A few weeks ago the girls were in Arts and Crafts camp and it turned out that the teacher of the camp was Tahlia's new preschool teacher. Hopefully, having gotten to know her new teacher beforehand will help Tahlia when she goes back to school in a few weeks.
The summer has just flown by. I can't believe that Jazzie will start school in only three weeks.
We were sitting outside last night and our next door neighbor popped her head out the door and asked: "Daiquiris"? Well of course! So we spent the evening drinking daiquiris and playing corn hole. Is there anything better than a warm summer evening spent with great neighbors and a fruity cocktail???
I spent the day with Stacy and PIPO today. It is hard to believe that 6 hours of chit-chatting, drinking coffee and eating can go by so quickly. I was shocked by what a foul-mouth that Stacy can be. When a guy in front of us stopped his car in the middle of the road, Stacy became quite agitated and called him a.... "dingle dork" (gasp!) Ladies, it was a pleasure and it went by WAY too fast. By the way Stacy, I bet you can't guess what Matt and I ended up having for dinner. Thppptt ;-)
Cera picked out the girls' flower girl dresses last week. Their dresses look a lot like Cera's wedding dress and of course Jazzie and Tahlia look adorable in them; I can't wait to share pictures.
Last week the girls were in "Princess Camp". They got to dress up as princesses, they did all kinds of sparkly crafts, learned princess songs, learned about manners and had a tea party on their last day of camp so that they could practice them. All the kids came dressed for the occasion:
Okay, so it looks like they need to practice those manners a bit more ;-)