Friday, September 30, 2005

Video of Noah

We got a video of Noah in the mail! We weren't expecting it at all, so it was really exciting. I saw the package in the mail and I thought "That looks like it's about the size of a videotape." I was trying not to get my hopes up, but I basically tore the package open and then immediately called Scott. He wanted to see it right away so he came home for lunch. It was so sweet to see him crawling around (he doesn't really use his legs yet, but he pulls himself along with his arms). He was really adorable. I can't wait to go visit him! And Jaden was really cute, watching him. He kept saying things like, "Baby Noah is being silly. Baby Noah is playing with the Winnie the Pooh toy." He was really sweet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Psych Appt Cancelled

Scott and I were supposed to have our psychiatrist appointment tonight, but apparently the doctor is sick. :-( So, we had to reschedule it for next week. Sometimes it feels like we'll never get done with our dossier. I wish that I was better organized - I could have gotten things done quicker, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New Sign Language Class

Tonight was our first sign language class at the Center on Deafness in Northbrook. We're really glad that we ended up taking it. It's a lot different from Harper, but it's good to get a different perspective. Harper goes at it from a much more academic standpoint. This class is much more laid back and geared toward real life use of sign language, it seems. In some ways, I think that it's probably not as good for pure ASL, but it's good to have this other perspective. We are thinking that it would be nice in the future if we could take both this class and the Harper class.

We also talked to several people about early intervention and about services that are available for Noah once we get home. They told us to call when we get Noah home and they will help connect us with the proper people. One of the women used to interpret for the school in Vernon Hills and she told us a lot about it. The only thing that I'm not crazy about is the fact that they use something very close to signed exact English. She said that when the kids are young, they even use signs for "ing" and "ed", etc. I don't really think I like that. Scott said that after talking to her, he felt more reassured about it (she explained that mainstreaming is their main goal and that they use the special signs so that the kids will really understand English grammar), but I still don't feel very good about it. I just don't see how throwing English letters at the end words in a visual language makes much sense. I would really like to see some actual data on how Deaf kids learn best. All I've heard is anectdotal stuff. Of course, both sides insist that their way is better.

Monday, September 26, 2005


This morning, Scott and I went and got our vaccinations for our trip to Haiti. We had to get a Hepatitis A shot and a Typhoid shot. Scott also got a Tetanus shot, since he didn't get one when he had his physical. We had to bring the kids with us, but it didn't go too badly. They were actually very good, considering.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Trip is On!

I booked our tickets to Haiti!! We finally figured out all the details and Scott got approval to take the days off from work. I was so excited to actually book the tickets. We are going from October 9th through the 13th. I can't wait to see Noah! Now I just have to figure out everything we need to do before we go. I did get us an appointment for immunizations on Monday morning. So many things to think about!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Planning a Visit to Haiti

I spent a lot of today trying to figure out whether or not it will be possible for us to go to Haiti in October. We were thinking of going from the 13th to the 17th, but I hadn't looked at the flight schedule correctly. There are no flights out to Cap Haitien on Thursdays.

I spoke to Robin on the phone for almost 40 minutes today. I found out that there are some days that would be better for them because they already have to drive to the airport. Apparently, the airport is only 7 miles away from the orphanage, but it takes them 45 minutes to drive there because the terrain is so rough. She said that there are potholes the size of a car. She also said that there are no real roads, no road signs to speak of and no traffic or street lights. Apparently, people basically just use their horns constantly to let others know what they're doing. Robin also said that Cap Haitien is much different from Port au Prince. She said that the violence that the media talks about in Haiti is pretty much just in PaP. She also said that the media really blows things out of proportion and that it is not as violent as they make it sound. So, it's an option to go after the elections if we can't make the week that we want to go in October work out.

Robin told me a lot about the orphanage. Apparently, Robin's mother (and she) started the orphanage 6 years ago. They went out there and basically started taking in babies when all they had was a shack to stay in. They had no electricity and didn't even know where they should go to buy food, etc. They had five babies and it was just Robin and her mother taking care of them. Eventually, they found a building that they were able to rent. Then, they moved out to the country and were able to stay in some buildings that had been used by some missionaries. After a few years, they built their own building and the missionaries moved back into the old buildings. They now have a generator (and therefore electricity). Robin said that many people have commented on the fact thta COTP seems like a much nicer place than other orphanages they have been to in Haiti. She said that they really try to take care of the kids like they are their own. She said that they know each child's cry and whether the cry is a pain cry or a "someone's taken my toy" cry. They really love these kids. I really feel like we are blessed to have Noah living in this orphanage.

Robin also warned me that Cap Haitien is a lot poorer than PaP. She said that people are always shocked when they get there. They are not prepared for the level of poverty and the number of people in the streets, and the amount of garbage in the streets. It's hard to imagine how it will be and how we will feel when we get there.So, I ended up calling Lynx airline to find out what flights they have seats on. It looks like we can fly out on the 9th and come back on the 13th. In some ways, it's not as ideal (Scott will have to take one extra day of work off, we'll have to miss a sign language class), but it will most likely work. We're trying to work out the rest of the details so that we can actually schedule it!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Garage Sale Day 3

This morning, the garage sale was VERY slow. Absolutely no one came during the first two hours and then a few people trickled in. By 11 AM, we had only made $10 (the sale started at 8 AM again). But, at least I had a nice relaxing morning to catch up on my Yahoo Group reading and my journaling. :-)

The rest of the day was equally slow, but we did end up making $67.70, so it was worth it. It was funny - we actually made $10 after we had already packed everything up and were loading it back into the garage. I was wheeling the old TV stand (which we had books on during the sale) back into the garage and someone pulled into the driveway with a truck. They asked how much we wanted for the stand. Since we hadn't really had it in the sale, I asked Scott what we should sell it for. He shrugged, "$10?" We figured they'd try to talk us down from there, but they didn't. So, we made $10 after the sale was already way over. Overall, we ended up making $571.3o! I was definitely happy with that number. Hopefully we'll make even more in a couple of weeks at our next door neighbor's sale.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Garage Sale Day 2

Today's sales were even better than yesterday! I was a bit worried for part of the time because we weren't as busy overall as we were yesterday. We had some loooong lulls. But, we sold some of the bigger items like the lawnmower and the TV. So, overall, we ended up making $260 for a grand total of $505 so far. Yay!!!!

Friday, September 9, 2005

Garage Sale Fundraiser

We were up until 2 AM last night working on garage sale signs and had to get up early this morning to start the garage sale at 8 AM. So, we're pretty tired. But, I was also very excited about the sale and didn't mind being tired much.

The sale went very well. We ended up making $245 today. I was very happy with that and am hoping that we can make about $500 for the whole sale. It was really encouraging to have such a great start. We really sold quite a few things. Scott's mom came over to help out, which was great because otherwise I don't know how I would have picked Jaden up from school. It was also nice to have her here while I fed the kids, etc. She stayed until I put them down for their naps. The one drawback of today was that I couldn't end the sale until after Scott got home from work because I couldn't bring all the tables in myself. It turned out that Scott had to work late and couldn't get home until 6:30! By then, I was exhausted and the kids were hard to deal with (since I couldn't really do much with them).But, overall, a very good day. I even met several neighbors (a couple of whom I ended up talking to for a long time). Hopefully tomorrow will go just as well.