Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hitting the highlights







Pictures:
1) Kerwin's first time bowling
2) Kerwin as a pilgrim at the school Thanksgiving feast
3) Kerwin playing the mandolin and singing on Thanksgiving night
4) Kerwin playing with the water works at the Cincinnati Children's Museum
5) Kerwin shoveling rocks in the construction area at the CCM

I have been intimidated by thought of blogging because so much has happened since the last time I posted. But I am back at it now and I will try to hit the highlights.

Our open house went great! We had so many folks come and Kerwin had a great time. He loves having people over which is great because we do too. My grandma came down and stayed at our house for two weeks which was wonderful because Kerwin really got to know her and she helped me so much with getting ready for the party. She even helped with taking the school run several times while I was at work.

That's another development. I now have a part time job. I took a contract with the Berea school district and I am working with preschoolers. So far everything is going great. It seems like a really good place to work.

Last Wednesday, Mike and I were both off but Kerwin had a half day of school. So we dropped him off and hung out for a few hours and then came back to visit his classroom and go to the school's Thanksgiving feast. It was really fun and everyone loved my dessert which I had just learned how to make. It was super easy to make so I gave the recipe to everyone. They typed it up right away and passed it out to everyone who wanted one. They didn't know what to call it so one of the teachers named it "Kerwin's Mom's Pumpkin Fluff Cake."

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. My mom had a big meal at her house with my all of my grandparents, an aunt, a cousin, and then all of Mike's immediate family plus grandma and great aunt. So now Kerwin has met all of his great grandparents; he has five. Thanksgiving night we drove up to northern Kentucky to celebrate with Mike's extended family. Kerwin had a good time and seemed right at home with all those new people. He just ran around playing with his toys. Then he got to play the mandolin and sing into the microphone. It was so cute. He had all the motions down, he was really rockin' it.

Friday we went out for breakfast with Mike's dad and then went to the Cincinnati Children's Museum. Kerwin had a great time. He played with lots of different things and was VERY well behaved. Which I really appreciated after seeing the way everyone else's little brats were acting. I was again reminded of how thankful I am for Kerwin. I only intervened with other people's children when there was violence involved and that was twice. The first time I had to break up a fist fight between 4 year olds. The second time, I had to stop some little hoodlum from whipping my kid in the face with a stuffed rat tail as he crawled through the tube on the way to the slide. I couldn't get to where they were so I just yelled (really mean and loud) into the tube, "STOP, STOP IT." It got the intended result but the other parents were less than impressed. They were encouraging their children to stay away from "that lady." But give me a break, my poor, less-than-confident child was being assaulted in a dark tunnel by a kid with a rodent. The good news is, Kerwin was completely unaffected and continued on his way to the slide after he took his whipping. I was kind of hoping he'd have at least taken away the kid's weapon and chucked it. I guess I didn't give him much time to react. I was all over that kid. Besides the aforementioned incident we all had a great time. Kerwin loved playing in the water, the ball area, the construction area and with the wooden train set. When we stopped playing and finally left the museum, he was so hungry. He couldn't talk about anything else but eating. After eating, we went back to Mike's parents house and they had "card party" at their house. A few of the neighbor kids who are right around Kerwin's age came over. He had such a great time with them and they stayed over pretty late.

Today he was tired and grumpy when we left him with grandma to go the UK game (ugh, we lost in quadruple over time). But by the time we met them for dinner he was all smiles again.

We have a big week this week: a play date with a new friend tomorrow, riding the bus to school for the first time Monday (I will still pick him up in the afternoons), an appointment with Shriner's Tuesday to find out what course of treatment they will take for his legs, and an appointment at Cincinnati Children's to get his hearing aids on Wednesday. I'll post again soon to keep you updated. Please pray for these appointments and that Kerwin will adjust well to his new hearing aids.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The first (and second) day of school

Kerwin started school on Thursday at the school for the deaf. It's about 35 minutes from our house and so far I have been driving him. I think in the near future he will start riding the bus. There is apparently one other little boy that rides the bus from our county to the school everyday. And I met the bus drivers and they seemed very nice. Kerwin and I and my mom went to the school on Wednesday in the morning for a visit. Everyone was extremely nice. They made Kerwin feel very welcomed and he had a really good time on his visit. We had been telling him all week that we were visiting school on Wednesday and then starting school on Thursday. However, I don't think he understood that I was not going to stay with him until Wednesday night at bedtime. He cried about a tear and a half that night and I was afraid that the first day was going to be really tough for him. We prayed that he would be confident and not scared and would have a great day at school. The next morning we got up and got ready for school with no problems. He was excited because our friend Andy was going to be at school for the first day taking some pictures. So with the usual amount of goofing around, we got ready for school and out the door. When we got to school he had no trouble separating. He remembered the room and the teacher got him sitting down and engaged right away. I gave the teacher my cell phone number, gave Kerwin a quick hug and was out the door. I got a call from Andy during the day and he said he was doing just fine. When I went back to pick him up that afternoon, everyone was telling me how wonderful, cute, smart, talented, etc. that he was and how happy they were to have him. I think he had a really great first day and felt like he fit in immediately.

The next day, I was anticipating no problems. I dropped him off and left to drive to a job interview. (Which, BTW, I was offered but haven't decided on yet. I have one more interview lined up for Tuesday). Friday is a short day at school which I thought would be good for Kerwin being that it was his second day and he's never had be in school for that long, ever. Well, when I got to school the teacher said, "We saw a little bit of a stubborn streak in him today." Which is second-day-of-kindergarten code for, "Your kid was a real brat today." I was not at all surprised by this but I did feel bad that he acted that way and caused a lot of frustration, I'm sure. Later the teacher and I were talking in the bathroom on our way of the building and Kerwin was trying to get out the door before we were done. She said, "He's probably had enough of me today." Which is think is second-day-of-kindergarten code for, "I've had about enough of him today." I think we may go through a few more rough days before he gives into the fact that school is here to stay and he must participate. He saw what another student was working on and wanted to do that instead of his work so he closed his eyes and wouldn't participate. There is no way that I would put up with this behavior at home but it's hard for me to regulate what he's doing when he's at school. It seemed so abstract for me to say on Friday afternoon, "Now, Monday when you go back to school don't act like..." I hope for everyone's sake that this was a fluke. I guess we still need prayers for school.

Kerwin was dedicated (kind of like a baptism without the water) at church today. It was especially great because both sets of grandparents, his great-grandma, and his aunt and uncle were there and then we all went out to brunch afterward. It's one more afternoon of play and then back to school tomorrow. Please add your prayers to ours.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Kerwin update

There are so many sweet moments in life. It's a shame that when I sit down and try to remember them I come up with very few. Today, we had a busy day of running around but I went to the firehouse to vote. Kerwin enjoyed meeting the firemen, seeing their uniforms, and looking at the fire engine. One of the firemen gave him a hat, sticker and coloring book. When we got home we put on our firemen hats, watched ourselves int he mirror and pretended to be firemen. Kerwin wanted to go to every mirror in the house to check out how he looked. So cute!

Tomorrow we are going to visit the Kentucky School for the Deaf and, if all goes well, Kerwin will start school Thursday. I am a bit anxious about him starting school. I don't know how he will do with separating from us and for the whole day. Please pray that he will have a great time at school and be excited about going.

We ended up, after two less than satisfying visits at UK, going to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for Kerwin's audiological evaluation and hearing services. They completed a full audiological assessment and confirmed that he had severe to profound hearing loss. They made his ear molds and we go back on the 28th of this month to get his new hearing aids. I was so impressed with "Children's." They are so pediatric focused that they know just what to do with kids. And Kerwin is so bright that he responded really well to them and did a super job with is evaluation. Plus , they have a Northern Kentucky outpatient facility so we didn't even have to go to the main campus in town. We are praying that these aids will allow to hear speech and learn to speak. He will likely not be able to hear some higher frequency speech sounds like f, s, ch, and sh. But we will wait and see how he does with them.

We are still working on Kerwin's home stretching program for his legs. I can see improvements in his range of motion in the two weeks that we have been doing them. He doesn't hate them as much as he did when we first started. We go back in on the 27th to see the doctor and find out what the next course of treatment will be.

We went to the dentist and it was a really good experience. They had a really fun waiting room and Kerwin loved it. He did great in the chair and his teeth and x-rays looked good. We don't have to go back for six months. It was the first appointment without a follow-up. Yee-haw!

My grandma is coming in to visit this Friday. She will be meeting Kerwin for the first time and staying with us. I am very excited. I love my grandma so much. We have been fixing up the upstairs spare rooms so that she will have a place to stay. Now that Kerwin is home, our old spare bedroom is in use. It is so exciting to be going into the holiday season this year with him home. He has been such a great joy to us since the moment we met him. We are having such a great time being a family. We are growing closer every day. Kerwin is becoming even more secure in his place in our family and our hearts. He is very generous with both giving and receiving affection. He is a very sweet and (for the most part) obedient child. I can't imagine being blessed with a nicer kid.

Open House

My mom and sister are hosting an open house to allow people to officially meet Kerwin. Feel free to drop in Sunday, November 18th any time between 3 and 6 pm. The party will be at our house. If you need the address or directions, please send me an email at rebeccahaake@hotmail.com. We hope to see many of you there.

Family Pictures

This weekend, we went to Waveland Museum and Tyler (my brother-in-law) took dozens of fabulous pictures. I was so impressed. Here are a few.




Saturday, November 3, 2007

A fall day

Fall is my favorite season. Here are a few pictures of my guys playing in the back yard. (Did I mention that Kerwin LOOOOOOOVES his daddy?)




Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bike riding

video

This is my first crack at uploading a video to the blog. If it works I will try some more. This is just a short video of Kerwin riding his bike.

Halloween


Kerwin and Grandpa


Kerwin's picture of Mom and Dad


Kerwin's cowboy costume




Carving a pumpkin with Grandma and Aunt Rachel

Fun Pics



Kerwin at the park (in Bengals game day attire)



Kerwin's first trip to the Olive Garden



Kerwin at the Harvest Party at church