Friday, March 21, 2008

Cleveland Rocks!

We spent last weekend visiting some of our favorite friends who live in Cleveland.

Hi Colette! Hi Mike! Hi Finn! Hi May!

Mike took us on a tour of his work-place, which happens to be a firehouse since he is a Cleveland City firefighter and all. You can just about imagine the bliss that ensued in Ethan's world :-) And since Mike's place is down on the river, there was also a fire boat!

It was hard to capture his joy on camera since he NEVER STOPPED MOVING, plus there was a glare in almost every shot. But we got a few...

One of my favorite moments was visiting the West Side Market and meeting Dennis Kucinich there. (He's actually quite handsome in person.) Taking in all the sights and smells at the market made us feel even more excitement for the move that we are about to make. I think we're ready for city living.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where to start?

I feel like I've been offline for months while in reality I've only been "unplugged" for a few days. As a total luddite friend of mine would say, I've been immersing myself in the "outernet".

Time away from the computer is necessary for me. I have been totally immersed for 2 years in forums and mailing lists discussing everything from potty training a deaf child to adjusting medications for toddler acid reflux. Lately, I've been picking up a book instead of reading articles on biomedical interventions for neurological impairments and the change has been REFRESHING!

So lots of stuff is going on in Ethan's World. He is experiencing a language explosion and it has been such a thrill to see and hear. He still isn't making those consonant sounds in speech, but he says a perfectly clear M and N now. Instead of only using a sign he now attempts to say the word that he is signing. You really have to know the sign in order to understand since he only says the vowel sound in most cases. But this is major progress! He now says "Uh -oh" at appropriate times, such as this morning after turning over the coffee table. His signing has picked up lately as well; we're seeing more signs and with more intention behind them. I'm really inspired by this long awaited progress and wonder how much of it might be due to the addition of another cochlear implant. There's no way to tell for sure, but it seems to me to have made quite a big difference for him.

Also in BIG NEWS: Rich has been making some career changes and will now be able to work from a home office in any location, which means that we will be moving to Cincinnati! Ethan's entire team of specialists are there and we have been making the 3 hour drive (each way) for 2 years. Plus, there are so many educational options there for Ethan that our tiny town simply cannot provide. There are 2 deaf schools and one even has a preschool class for kids with apraxia; as if it were custom designed for Ethan. The other is a wonderful oral deaf school with an outstanding reputation for preparing deaf children to be mainstreamed into their neighborhood schools by 2nd grade.

Sure, we are facing some unusual stress with having a home to sell and then another home to buy. But this is the kind of stress I've been praying for and I'm embracing it now with open arms. (We're doing fine given that we have a home to sell/buy in the first place!)

Since Ethan's birth, Rich and I have felt stress the likes of which neither of us could have imagined, and living here has had us continuously worried about Ethan's future. It has taken a toll on us as individuals and as a couple. Living in Cincinnati is going to alleviate so many of the anxieties that have been on our shoulders here. I can imagine having that psychic energy freed and how that will positively change our lives all the way around!

So much to think about.