Lucas just celebrated his 5th birthday. The weekend of his birthday fell exactly the way it did at his birth, so I did a lot of reflecting - the crazy blur that was his birth 5 weeks too early, and of course, all the health issues in the days and weeks to follow. If only I knew then what I know now, I could have saved myself so much heartache. The only word I can use to describe my feeling of understanding is perspective. Five years have brought me a lot of perspective when it comes to parenting and hearing loss.
I was home to celebrate with him on his big day (because it was on a Sunday!), and celebrate we did. We spent the afternoon at Dutch Winter Wonderland, with our dear friends who live down the street.
Nora is 14 months and is a really sweet little girl. I'm having so much fun watching her grow! Her natural language milestones are also incredibly fascinating to me, along with her acquisition of Spanish. We're teaching her ASL signs with Spanish, and she uses quite a few already: milk, water, cheese, grapes, eat, daddy, cat, more, bath, sleep, all done, please and monkey. She doesn't talk much, but says mama, dada, "ga" (for gato = cat), up, hi, uh-oh and tickle. She growls for a lion, and quacks like a duck. She waves hi and bye, likes to give butzers (raspberries), LOVES to read books, and is obsessed with our cats. She just started walking (as her chosen means of getting around) at Christmas, although she's been knee walking for about 2 months. Check it out... it's pretty amusing:
We had family portraits taken at the end of October. Here she is at 12 months:
Lucas celebrates his 4th hearing birthday in just 8 short days. I haven't decided what we're going to do yet, but something fun. I don't know why, but I'm even more excited for his hearing birthday than his real birthday. It makes me almost giddy just thinking about it. Lucas continues to progress beautifully. He was tested this fall and is scoring at and above age appropriate levels in all areas of language. He will start Kindergarten in the fall at our local elementary school, and will be completely mainstreamed. This is what we've been aiming for for the past 5 years.
I would really like to blog more this year, and I'm going to try and find time to do so. I want to chronicle Nora's bilingual journey, as it is almost as fascinating as Lucas's hearing journey. Lucas is learning Spanish too, just not the same as Nora. In the middle of the night the other night, he asked me for "más agua" (more water).
May your new year be blessed with new experiences!