#1 Ethan LOVES his new school, he is at the school for the deaf here and it's amazing how well he is taking to it. He's a new kid! He signs so much more often and has been seen initiating social interactions at school! We have never witnessed Ethan engaging, much less initiating interaction with a peer, so we're THRILLED! He is starting to follow directions! The other day he wanted to show Rich and I the circle in his classroom, so he took us over and showed us while signing "sit", then he sat down. On the way out of the building he likes to sign "eat" as we walk by the cafeteria and "ball" as we head past the gymnasium. This level of communication is totally new for our family and I think being immersed in a sign language environment is the Main Ingredient. Finally, after 3 years, my son is finding his "voice"! There just aren't words for it.
Of course we're still dealing with the public school here and I've written and submitted a letter of appeal. I linked to it over on the sidebar just in case any readers find themselves in need of a template. It took a long time and I'm hoping that we can help someone else in a similar situation.
#2 I love our new babysitter. She is a young woman who happens to be profoundly deaf, so she and I have been emailing, but I've also been holding my own in our signing conversations, which feels pretty amazing. She's wonderful and Ethan also loves her!
#3 I'm taking ASL classes at Ethan's school. My teacher works there and though she is hearing, she is a fairly fluent signer with 20 years experience. This is a great opportunity and our babysitter is making it possible (Rich is usually out of town on the night of my class).
#4 I just attended my 20 year high school reunion and am still flying high from the feelings that accompany being reunited with some of the most important and memorable relationships in my life. Can't beat it.
#5 My birthday is Saturday and Rich is taking me to a weekend getaway (for a wedding) on Cape Cod. Rich and I haven't had that much alone time since Ethan's birth, which has been even tougher for us as we've been under some intense stress. It will be awesome :-)
#6 My parents spent last weekend watching Ethan and a great time was had by all. Those are pics from their trip to the zoo; apparently the polar bear was really putting on a show.