A lot has been going on lately. Here’s the news:
His current church calling is YM Priest Quorum Advisor. He’s never had a calling with the Young Men before and is enjoying getting to know the boys, teaching, and planning fun activities. They are currently taking CERT classes for their Tuesday night activity. He’s excited for the High Adventure outings they will have this summer.
He’s thoroughly involved in his current passion: photography. He listens to podcasts, studies techniques and other photographers’ work, practices, works on the webpage, and talks about photography pretty much constantly. When he wants to learn something new, he learns it inside-out and upside-down. Much to my (and others’) advantage.
It’s been really busy around here with the normal stuff of keeping up with the kids and keeping the house in order. But on top of that I’m still working a few hours a week at home for my brother-in-law’s HVAC business. It’s year-end and tax time, which is always very busy. Plus, trying to keep Rob leashed in on his aforementioned passion is a full-time job itself! But I do enjoy photography very much also and am getting things in order for this little side-job of ours.
My current church calling is cubmaster and it is so much fun! I was a girl scout and have always enjoyed learning new things and all that cool stuff. The boys are great and make me really happy when they recruit their non-member friends into scouting. It’s an inspired program and does much good for boys and families.
After many difficult months, we finally found out why Nate’s been acting up so much. After seeing a pediatrician, two audiologists, and an otorlaryngologist, we found out that for at least the last year (since his first known ear infection) he’s only been hearing at a level HALF of what is normal. Put your fingers in your ears and that’s how he hears when people speak to him. Put in some background noise and he hardly hears at all.
To further illustrate, I did my own test with the tv volume today. I normally have the volume at a level of 35 so I turned it down to 17 and I had to really listen to hear what was going on. I then turned it up to 70 and his little face lit right up and he laughed!! It just about made me cry! It was so loud to my ears, that I can hardly stand to be in the same room. When I didn’t know this was a problem for him, if I thought it was too loud, I’d tell him so and then turn it way down. So for the last year he’s been watching tv and/or movies without hardly a sound!!! It’s just incredible! But I’ve been turning it up loud for him all day and he’s repeating everything they say and laughing more.
Him not being able to hear is why he acted up so much both at home and in social situations. He always seemed bored (DUH!) and ambivalent (DUH!). His favorite thing to do was to run around screaming and making all kinds of really loud noise. He would seem ignorant or defiant when given instructions. Before Rob and I knew, we’d often get to the point of frustration with him and raise our voices and that’s when he finally listened. Not because we were upset, but because that’s just at the point he could hear us! It BREAKS my heart to know that so many times we’d be frustrated with him and he didn’t know why!!
We now talk very loudly directly to him or (or talk quieter right into his ear when surroundings require it) and he understands and obeys perfectly. His behavior has been so much better already.
Thankfully, the problem is easily fixed with tubes in his ears and his adenoids taken out. Since this all happened during such a critical stage of speech development he may have to see a speech pathologist. Another clue that he wasn’t hearing was delayed, mumbled, barely understandable speech (which we didn’t worry about too much because of similar speech of some of his cousins. They just grew out of it on their own).
His surgery is happening at the end of the week. If you see him before then, please remember to talk so he can hear you. We’re so excited for him to be able to hear all the things he’s been missing out on!! He won’t feel so isolated and bored and frustrated. He will be able to hear music, conversation, trains, animals, toys, his favorite movies, instructions, compliments, and so many other wonderful things.
We love Nathan so much and are so sorry he’s had to miss out on so much this last year. We promise we’ll make it up to him.
Okay, now on to some news that doesn’t make me cry. Madeleine learned how to walk this week!! After practicing for 2 months, she can do it at only 10 months old without any coaxing from her parents. She didn’t need any. Her big brother was her inspiration. How else will she ever be able to keep up with him? She was very motivated and just did it all on her own. While she was practicing she’d fall over and over again but it never deterred her. She never cried but just got right back up and went for it again. It’s sooooo cute to see her little body stepping forward with both arms straight out at her side. We love it.
I told you a lot has been going on lately! Thanks for all your love and friendship. I’m very grateful to my Heavenly Father for all my blessings. My little family means the world to me. They are my first priority. I pray that I will be worthy of and heed the guiding spirit so I can help lead them back home. Nate and Madeleine are such sweet children of God. Rob is my best friend in the world and I can’t believe I get to spend the rest of eternity with him. I love you all!
Here are a couple snapshots from last Sunday’s playtime.