Sunday, November 25, 2007

Domestic Violence

It's been a very interesting but sobering weekend for me. I have a lot to be thankful for. I had been thinking alot about those who have been in domestic violence situations...and for those I know who have survived, I applaud. For those I don't know, and do survive, I admire them. For those who didn't survive, my heart goes out to them.

On Thanksgiving, I heard from a friend of mine I've not heard from in a long time. I had helped her out many times when she was struggling with a boyfriend who was very short-tempered. I remembered one night driving home, I had this awful vision appear in my mind I was speaking at this friend's funeral, giving the eulogy. And speaking out against domestic violence. Well, I got home, and I got online quickly. She was online and told me that she had been badly beaten and that the guy is in jail. I was very thankful. She said it was time for her to leave the state. So with one of my best guy friend, borrowed a pastor's truck, we headed up north to her house and helped her with packing, and took some of her furniture away. She moved out of state, and just when I thought she was starting again, the guy followed her down there, and they got back together. That is when my guy friend and I decided no more. We've helped her out many times before. I've drawn the line.

Well, on Thanksgiving, I heard from her on Sorenson VP and found out she had already broken up with him for good. And she's dating a wonderful man. I was so happy but didn't have a chance to talk much with her.

Tonight I watched Extreme Makeover, Home Edition. it was very heartwrenching. It did focus on this blended family. A family with 4 children were a wonderful loving family. Father was killed in an accident, the oldest daughter survived the accident but had to witness her father's death. Then couple years later, the mother had to take a restraining order against this abusive exboyfriend. One night, the 12 year old daughter had a bad feeling and she was 12 at that time. Around 2 in the morning the abusive ex broke into the house and went upstairs and shot the mom and boyfriend dead. The 12 year old witnessed the shooting. She and her sister went over the neighbor's house to call 911. The 911 was really heartbreaking.

Well, the sister of the mother already had her own children and they became a family of 9 (soon to be a family of 10, with baby on way). The daughter, now 13, and her aunt who took her and her siblings into her home, are advocates of Domestic Violence. They have passed many bills in their state of Minnesota.

I have looked back at myself, my family, my own life. I have witnessed domestic violence in my own house...not really violence, but more of my parents arguing and throwing stuff around and swearing at each other. And my dad storming out and find relief with a bottle of booze or in the arms of my mom's best friend across the street.

Then living with my kids' father who was very controlling with mind games, and never physically hurting me, but mentally and emotionally, yes.

And to witness my friend (the one I mentioned earlier) being pushed around in my own home after a night of partying. I had been babysitting her kids. I noticed some thumping around downstairs and went downstairs to see him pushing her around. I turned on the lights, looked straight at him and said, I'm taking you home. And I did.

Another incident, I lived in a trailer park. I lived next door to a couple who had drinking problems, and they had 2 children. I used to babysit the kids. I had asked the mother if there's ever a time the kids need to be safe and you need someone to call the police, give your daughter a videotape (movies, whatever) and send them over to me. That will be a signal to call the police. I only had to do this once. I was getting tired of the kids coming over all the time scared saying their parents are fighting again. It was too stressful for me to live there, and it was hard on my kids. Another situation intervened and it helped me pick up the kids and move away.

Ladies, if you are being controlled by the man in your life, please, for the sake of your life, get away. Get help. Call the police. Do not be afraid. No man should ever treat their wife or girlfriend in that manner. It can really affect you, your family, your children if any, but most of all, your community. You'd be really amazed what people feel about domestic violence. It's a very serious crime. If I could help every woman in this situation step away and get help, I would. If you know who I am, know this: my home is a safe place if you ever need to find one. And know this too, I am not afraid to call the cops. My friend's abusive ex-boyfriend hated me with all of his guts because I was the only one who never felt threatened by him and was not afraid to call the cops on him.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I hop for IHOP!

Well, I took the day off from work today. My family is still sleeping in!!! It's 8 am, and I'm wide awake. Hm. Maybe soon jump on the kids' beds and wake 'em up? Do some shopping, eat at IHOP that just opened up in town? I live in a small town where Buschs' is the main grocery store around, and we have a smaller grocery store but doesn't carry a whole lot of stuff Buschs' does. However Jerry's (the smaller grocery store) has excellent fresh meat. I get my beef, ground beef or ground turkey from there. If they have specials on pork chops or chicken, I grab those too. Yum.

Tecumseh is a very charming, small town, and all the families look out for everyone. I live in downtown, which is only 2 blocks long. I am directly behind Marco's pizza, and if I wanted to do any shopping, I can just step out and it's practically right outside my doorstep. Very charming town.

If I want to do major shopping such at Walmart's or Target's or go to Meijer's for great deals or more major stores, we'd have to go 13 miles to Adrian OR 26 miles to Ann Arbor. Not too bad. My bank is in Ann Arbor anyway (time to pay bills!).

IHOP just got built next to Meijers in Ann Arbor area. I have been craving their blintzes so I told the kids as soon as the IHOP opens, we're going. It opened on Monday. Perfect. Still brand new. We'll go today.

It's pouring rain today. I can understand my kids still snuggled in bed.

After all that stuff has been taken care of, I have major housecleaning to do. Maybe stuff everything into my room and just close the door. Do a quick sweep of the floors with my soon to be new vacuum that I will pick up from Walmart's today.

Have a wonderful day, y'all. And wherever you're going today, please be safe if you're traveling. Be nice to other people! We have a lot to be thankful for these days!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What's for dinner?

My daughter says. "What's for dinner?"

Geez. What's wrong with her? "I'm hungry!"

*sigh*. Told her to go make ramen noodles. I know, I know, I'm being bad. I need to check the fridge. My son is at tap dance lessons right now and will be famished when he gets home.

I need to attack his room, and attempt to turn his loft around and create a better setting in his tiny room. Then I have to start cleaning up the rest of the house. Been trying to contact my kids' grandma regarding Thanksgiving plans. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow, I'll just assume they aren't coming? Nah, I'll have to page Uncle Dave.

Oh yes, IHOP has opened up today in Ypsilanti. I'm so excited. I LOVE their blintzes. Oh yes... and Wednesday morning I plan to drag my family there for breakfast or as brunch, depending what time we get up, and get going.

I did find a turkey, a 20 pounder one. Wooo was that a heavy bird. Of course, it's dead. And frozen. So I stuck it in my fridge. Hopefully not frozen on Thurs morning.

Well, I know tonight's blog is nothing exciting and I apologize. But I hope you all are looking forward to your Thanksgiving weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rachel's Story

I promised to share Rachel with you.

Rachel was born in the late summer of 1990, at 6 1/2 lbs and about 19 inches long. She was just a beautiful baby. Being a brand new mom, single, living with the baby's father, and never taking lamaze classes, I came through pretty good. Rachel was born breech, meaning she came out butt first. Yup, then the rest of her came out fine. I think I was blessed that she had the perfect shaped head, not a "cone head" most babies were born with (if head first, I mean).

We lived in this really awful slum-apartment but I did pretty good keeping it clean. I had a really hard time being a mom, being new at this, having my own baby to care for. Then when I went back to work, I was happy I had found a wonderful daycare provider (whom I would use for the next 15 years).

My relationship with Rachel's dad was still crazy---the love and hate business I mentioned in my previous blog. We fought, but we also loved. So looking back at that, I'm amazed we even managed to come out of it unscathed.

Finally one day I had enough and moved into a housing the university had for students with families, staff or faculty. I had a nice 2 bedroom townhouse. Around that time, Rachel would have been 2 1/2 years old. I noticed her tummy was swollen so finally I took her in for a checkup. They checked her over and ordered blood tests. And ultrasounds. When they did that, I got the "phone call" at work. My boss at that time sat down with me and helped me with the phone call. Her face went white, and so did I. I nearly passed out. They wanted to bring her in for more testing. I knew that moment it was bad.

My parents and I took Rachel in to the hospital and they ran ultrasounds then scheduled a biopsy. What turned out to be "Wilm's Tumors". It occurs very rarely. If you had asked me back then in 1995, I would be able to sprout off all the facts and the stats. But it's been a long time (13 years now) I wouldn't be able to tell you at this point. Anyway, hers were big like a cantelope and an orange on her kidneys. Wilms is cancer of the kidneys, and happens to young children.

The day of the biopsy, while in the waiting room during the surgery, I found out my grandfather had just passed away. At first my other grandma didn't want to say anything but I needed to know. So I had to call my grandma and tell her I was sorry. And that I would pray for her. It's hard for HER to deal with 2 major things going on, her husband dying and her great-granddaughter undergoing the knife to find out if it's malignant or not.


My world fell apart. So we spent a year and a half fighting the battle. We spent 3/4th of our time IN the hospital than at home. I have forgotten what the outdoors looked like. The breaks I took from her room, her chemotherapy treatments, her everything, I would step outside but never really looked at the skies or the trees or anything. I was doing what a mom should do, spend time with her daughter and help her recover. My whole family were involved in taking turns spending time with her. My stepsister even spent a lot of time with her (we became good friends as we got older---unlike the snooty girl she used to be in our younger days). Rachel made friends with every single doctor and nurse on her floor. It's just amazing. I have even met the governor! His niece was Rachel's roommate, and I had NO CLUE that her mom is the sister of our Governor! I thought his wife looked so familiar, with the gap in her front teeth and pregnant (I believe she had twins OR triplets...maybe someone can help me remember Gov'ner John Engler and his wife?). Amazing. I wondered why so many people in the hall were peeking into our room. OHHHHHH!

Anyhoo, Rachel had 2 different aggressive cycles of chemotherapy and they didn't work. Finally they contacted Make A Wish Foundation and Rachel wanted to go to Disney World with Mom and Dad.

So off we went, and visited Disney World, and Sea World, and we had a great time. We visited St. Petersburg and saw the beautiful ocean. Took lots of pictures and videotaped her in a Belle gown she bought from Disney World. She was in a great place.

Came home. More chemo. Finally they said, it wasn't working.

My world fell apart.

Anything else we want to do?

Visit relatives in Arizona. So we flew off. And then after a day, Rachel turned for worse, and we had to fly back home.

Flying home on Southwest, I have never met so many wonderful, caring people who streamed in/out. Majority of them offered their prayers. Some asked for our addresses. Some just wanted to say hi to Rachel.

Got home. Met with the team of nurses and doctors. They all asked me the question. I told them, Rachel said time to stop. She knows what will happen if we stop treatment. She's tired. She's had enough. The doctors cried. The nurses cried. I cried. My parents cried.

Took Rachel home...few days later, she passed away peacefully in my arms.

She was born August 10, 1990 and passed away Feb. 9th, 1995.

Once she asked my dad one day as they snuggled up for quiet time, "Opa, what will happen to the world when I die?"

My dad answered, "Well, there is a time to be born. There is a time to die. But the world will go on as always."

She was a social butterfly. She has touched so many people in her life. Her heart was bigger than one would think. She loved life. And butterflies were one of her favorite things.

Whenever I see butterflies, I think of her. After her death, I reminded myself to always enjoy the outdoors, not to forget to really look at nature, the skies, the clouds, the sun. You never know when you'll see it again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Let me back up just a smidge. Or further back. I should perhaps begin with what I was like growing up.

Growing up as the only "deaf" kid with 2 sisters, and parents that divorced when I was about 8-9 years old. Because my dad was caught with my mom's best friend who lived across the street. Also my dad was an alcoholic. And a gambler. And of course, I have one of his weakness: Coca-Cola pop. I am a Coca-Cola gal.

My mom re-married and we gained 2 stepsisters, who I thought were the snootiest girls on earth. I never got along with them at all. We did have our differences. Finally they stayed with their mother while I had to live with my mom and stepdad, and my 2 sisters.

Growing up was very hard on us. We pretty much lived on potatoes that was made into many types of dishes, along with pea soup (bleah) and whatever. And we lived off on cheap food and did everything to save money---even drinking powdered milk. It was a very hard life for us.

Moving from Tucson, AZ to Michigan, then out to Portland, Oregon for 3 years, then came back to Michigan. I had some rough times in Oregon as a teenager. Being bullied, getting drunk for the first time at 14 years old, and trying out cigerattes. I was also falling into a deep pit of depression. I was not a happy girl. One day, my house was on fire. That's when my parents became concerned and put me in for counseling. I chewed out the counselor because he had NO clue what I was going through.

When we moved back to Michigan...things got little better. My parents were able to buy a house for the first time, and I wasn't going to be moving around like I was some "army brat". I had my moments in high school, and not very proud of it. I've done everything against what my mother had taught me...the rights from the wrongs. I drank, I smoked, and snuck out for parties and other things that would turn your hair grey. I was two different people---being a good girl, going to youth group meetings and to church with my family. Tsk.

Straightened up in my senior year, and made the honor roll. Then off to a local college but that was hard for me as I was not doing so well. Then I was sent off to Galluadet College.

Gally... oh, that for me was a total different world. I didn't have my parents watching me. I did whatever I wanted to do. I drank, I smoked some, I partied away, and was hardly in my own bed on the weekends. Then one night, this guy I dated put some drugs in my drink. And raped me. Now, looking back, I didn't realize that was called date rape. What did I know about things like that? I was "getting around" and I was a big flirt and well, I let myself get drunk. So at that time, it was my fault it happened, so I thought. When I woke up the next day, I did not feel like I belonged in this body. My mind, my heart, my SOUL was so detached from my body. My body was bruised and sore. I had the worse sickly feeling in my head and my soul. I at that time decided, no more. I am going to be in control of all of my dates from now on. And I was going to be cold-hearted. Since then, I'd just date whoever but never get attached to them. I've been labeled the Ice-"Queen" (there was really another name, but I don't swear anymore, sorry). Finally my grades were not up to my stepdad's expectations so I left Gally and never looked back since.

After getting back to Michigan, I've gone on to work and training to become a manager for McDonalds when the local university hired me as a temp, which promised to become a full-time position. And it paid more than what I made at McD's.

Then I met my kids' father. Dated a few months, moved in together. My lifestyle at that time was back to worldly ways...but still went to church. I was struggling to find my place in this world. My soul was really starving but I didn't know what I was doing at that time. I would soon find out I'm pregnant with my first child. I didn't care what the world thought, or what my family thought. I was in love, and I thought, okay, we can do this. I have a good job. He had a good job at that time.

When our first daughter was born, we had no idea what we were getting into. I was too young. So was he. We fought. We made up. We fought. We made up. For the next 12 years, it would be like that.

In my next blog I will share a special story about our first daughter, Rachel. The next blog will be Rachel's story.

It's gotten late, and I'm hitting the sack. I feel since I'm almost 40 (yea, yea, one more year to go), I've joined the elderly who goes to bed early and have weird sleeping habits and getting up too early.

Wanted to close with one thought: there was an old song I used to listen to (Kids of the Kingdom, with the Gaithers in the 70's), and the line says: "Be still and know that I am God". I know it's a verse from the Bible. That has always helped me through my most difficult times of my life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Single deaf motherhood experiences

I have been a single deaf mother for many years before finally getting hitched. I've had 3 children. My oldest was born in 1990 and passed away from cancer in 1995. I later had my 2nd daughter at the end of 1995. 5 years later my son would be born.

All this while, I've lived with my children's father for about around 12-13 years. Finally breaking up and moving away when my son was barely a year old.

My relationship with their father was a very typical relationship of not being married but enjoyed/hated being together. We had this love/hate relationship that leaves so many people puzzled how we managed to get out of this alive. With so many problems trying to stay together, I finally picked up my kids and we left. We just had this awful relationship of trying to be a couple, but at the same time, we loved each other. We just didn't know how to make it work.

Then after breaking up, we've become good friends. Which is a lot better than the relationship we had as a couple. I've become wiser and a better person because of that.

I have always been the main breadwinner, and was on my own with the kids for a few years. It was tough going. My daughter used to tell her friends that her parents are divorced. I had to laugh. Recently I had to explain to her that her daddy and I never married, but we were together for so long, people treated us as a married couple. My daughter never thought about that, and whenever people asks her about her parents, she says oh they broke up. So no need further explaining.

Right after the breakup, I went to Florida for SBCD (Southern Baptist Conference of the Deaf) just to rededicate myself to God, and to renew my relationship with Him. I did not live the right life style, and I had just broken up with the kids' dad. While in Florida, there was a man (he himself is from Miami) there God put in my path. I first didn't care for him or his attentions. I just didn't go there looking for a new relationship. I was trying to repair my relationship with God. I think that year was the time me and another fellow traveler were trying to figure out where we stand with God. But this young fella was stubborn and hung out around me whenever he could.

Who would've thought I'd discover Instant Messenging in the year 2001? And that this fella would start contacting me, and we would begin a 3 year online dating before he finally pulled up his roots and moved out to Michigan? And marry me?

Think of God with a Barbie (me) and a Ken (my husband) putting them together and making it work? Ok, I use that as a symbol when I tell people how it turned out this way. it's funny to visualize God with Barbie dolls and Ken dolls. Doesn't He do that with people??? Or matchbox cars moving us (in real cars) around and keeping us safe? Ah yes.

Being a single mom was really rough. I could go into more about my life as a single deaf mom. The struggles and the truimphs. How my family viewed me or the people. I'll probably start a series of single deaf mom-hood after this.

For now, my son is tired and wants me to lay down with him (helps him go to sleep faster). I need to make sure my daughter's gone to bed. My husband will be home later from a men's bible study.

Good night.

Halfway there...

Am I looking forward to the weekend! It's been such a crazy couple days. Yesterday I have hit the 18 years milestone working for Eastern Michigan University. While my evaluation was a "tough pill to swallow", I am very appreciative of my current supervisor. I had no idea my former supervisors thought so badly of me. That's too bad...if I had known, I would have worked things out with them.

This brings me to another subject. When people have issues, I know there are people who are confrontational, and others who aren't. We have aggressive people. We have quiet people. Usually when I have an issue with someone, I try to look at the issues from all points of views and then I try to see how I reacted or behaved about/during that incident(s). Then I try to work things out. When the other person isn't willing to discuss or resolve these issues, it can cause a lot of friction in friendships, or any type of relationship.

So, I took a long hard look at myself, and my past behavior, I may have been wrong in some areas. I didn't realize I had reverted back to some annoying habits and promised my supervisor I'd change my ways.

The ending of my evaluation meeting with my supervisor was very nice. She is rooting for me. She said, "You can do it, Kirstan!" and smiled.

I felt lot better.

Well, my break time's over, so I better get back to my work desk. 2 more days til the weekend.

La la la.........

Monday, November 12, 2007

Someone said...

"Happy Monday" to me this morning. I had to chuckle over that comment. I was gassing up my van at Shell, then went inside to get a TALL cup of cappucino for the road (pumpkin spice, of course) and this man leans into my line of vision and says, "Happy Monday". Took me a few seconds to register what he just said.

The weather wreaks havoc on my body as well. I'm so sleepy. I did have a good nap yesterday, but apparently can't stay awake today. Had my yearly evaluation and I'm very impressed with my supervisor. I have some areas I need to improve on. So I have to make some serious changes so I can continue to improve and be in better standing. My standing is safe for now. But would like me to do more. So I did thank her for her honesty and being very frank and to the point. My previous supervisor was an awful boss from hell. Unfortunately she put a black mark on my last year's evaluation. So I'm still trying to white it all out.

I suppose I better get back to work. I will blog more when I can.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Aw, met the new baby today during my lunch break. How precious. How beautiful. I just love babies. I kind of feel guilty I haven't met my own newest niece yet. She was born last month, but I haven't had a chance to hike out to her neck of the woods to meet her. Maybe I should call my sister up and ask if can visit her sometime.

It snowed a little today! Unbelievable! But it didn't stick around or anything. Still nippy outside.

Been calling home hoping my daughter would pick up and talk with her. BUT, the phone's BUSY. Typical of tweens, you know. Must chat with friends or maybe she forgot to HANG UP!

Just wanted to post the baby news of my friend's. I shared with them what God told me yesterday morning. God told me they were having a girl by showing me pink colors in the sky. Yeah!

Happy Payday!

This morning, "T" came over to my cubicle and said, "Happy Payday". I had to laugh. We both were talking a couple days ago about how much we had in our bank account. He had only a dollar and some change (even showed me the ATM slip!). I had a good laugh. I told him I had only some loose change rattling around in my account this week.

Big congratulations to a friend of mine. She had her baby! First, let me explain. This friend was a few days overdue, so they scheduled to have the baby yesterday afternoon. Yesterday morning as I drove towards work, I was asking God, "Okay, is it gonna be a boy or girl?" Well, God showed me by lighting up the skies with pinkness from the sun coming up, and it really outshone the blue/grey clouds. I thought, "wow, amazing. It's a girl."

Because I didn't want to impose on this happy little family after work, I patiently waited until I received the email from their friend. It's a girl! YES! High Five Slap with God. Yeah! *doing the happy jiggy dance*

But I will share God's answer with them. That can be a story they can tell their daughter about Auntie Kirstan's conversation with God.

Anyway, how many of you have experienced house fires? *raises hand*. I have. I was in high school. It is a traumatic experience. Imagine not having anything anymore. While it is nice that people will generously help us out, it's just not the same. One leader of my church's house caught on fire. She was newly introduced to our church, and they just got settled in. Thankfully they were safe. But everything they had was gone. Good thing their insurance will cover everything and replace. Fire started by what, you ask? Dryer. Yes. We finally learned something new. Do not run the dryer when you go to bed. Because nobody is really "supervising" the dryer, and when we're all asleep, we don't think about it. So apparently the dryer caught on fire. I have a washer/dryer in my bedroom (my apt is set up weird) I'm not too worried about it. I am very sensitive to smell, and I'm very sensitive to movement or vibrations. I can tell when the dryer stopped. I go and check to make sure. Before I run my dryer, I check to make sure the filter's cleaned out, and the venting (hose part) is not smushed or anything. I run the dryer.

Advice: DO NOT run the dryer when you're not home OR running it overnight. Please. Be safe. Be cautious.

Okay, I'm going to hike down and get a coffee. I'm little chilled right now....brrr!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What snow??

Well, it was pretty nippy yesterday when I left work for home. I was informed that we're supposed to get snow. None this morning. Let's see what my weather bug says....yup. We'll get flurries and some rain... a mixture...starting today until Friday. Today is 70% chance of snow flurries. The next few days are saying, 30% chance. Okay...let's see who's right.

We all need mentors. I was "chillin' out" after I got home yesterday and tuned into BBC America channel, watching "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares" or something like that. This is a popular but swearing chef who goes visiting other restaurants that are in danger of going out of business. He observes how they run the kitchens, and the restaurants. Always giving advice and challenges them to improve so they can do better, and keep their business. I usually don't like watching shows with swearing but I promise you, they do bleep him out every time. But he does have a big heart. He cares genuinely. I do admire how he encourages gently (or rarely, "tough love") the chefs. What even impressed me greatly, is one time I was reading a newspaper or some type of article online...he is involved with raising awareness about domestic violence (abuse). His mother was abused, and I admire him because he mentioned in the article how he would try to protect his mother. I don't remember a whole lot about what he said about his father. Of course it involves forgiveness. Which is really amazing. But anyhow, Ramsey and his wife are advocates for promoting awareness of domestic abuse/violence and speaking against it, etc. Amazing. You see a swearing, but big hearted chef on TV and you find out more things about him...which just surprises me.

My friend shared little bit more about her dad's funeral service. Sounded so beautiful and with her dad married to a Thai woman, she included a Thai service as well. When I see her this weekend I will hear more about it. It's very interesting to hear about different culture's way of mourning or having a funeral service. When I hear more about it, I'll share the Thai's service with you.

Have a super day. Stay warm wherever you are.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Stuck in Time

I woke up at 5. Old time, would be 6. That might've made my body think I'm late getting up. Couldn't go back to sleep for another 45 minutes so I got up, checked my emails. Then took a hot bath to relax a bit. All my barrettes have gone AWOL, so my hair's down for today. Good thing I dyed my hair yesterday---I feel little younger. Hee.
Last Friday was my birthday. I was reminded how old I've gotten when I tried to see something small and had to lift my glasses and peer more closely without getting cross-eyed. Then, getting a phone call from my doctor's office. Reminding me I have arthritis (okay, my doctor already told me that the day before!) and will set me up with a specialist and what I should do to take care of this. My husband was little late in wishing me a happy birthday. That's fine...if he's too sick with a bad cold, I would prefer him to get better first.
My weekend went pretty well. Saturday had a meeting with my MiBCD (Michigan Baptist Conference of the Deaf) Executive Board. It went pretty well. Basically just planned for our winter workshop in January. It was good to visit with some of my friends, and seeing someone's new house for the first time! Gorgeous home. 3x bigger than her old home. I had to tease her about that. But it was very nice.
Yesterday taught Sunday School for my husband (still sick) and felt it went pretty well. I did have my own struggles with the subject but the Holy Spirit guided me through this. Then afterwards, went shopping with my daughter. We ate out, then let her get a couple shirts from Limited Too. It was really interesting to watch so many tweens in the store. All have similar taste in fashion. I basically just plopped on one of the chairs and let my daughter roam around. Ended up a happy girl. Off we went to home....and my kids went off to play with their friends.
Spent the next couple hours doing emails, with one friend who lost her father recently. She shared the highlights of the funeral and sounded so beautiful. However, was having a struggle in another area, and I merely just wanted to be supportive and lift her up in prayers and with my support, my love. It can be very hard to lose a parent, but when family members start up some concerns or struggles, it can become hard on everyone else in the family. This family member wasn't looking for trouble, really. Stress can do that to anyone and usually we say hurtful things. I myself didn't really know how to answer that but can only be a friend and let the person share. They just need someone to listen, and it means a lot to them.
Well, today, there'll be an office birthday party for me and "B". We both are couple days apart. This will be "B"'s last year with us til retirement in spring. I did get a fun card for "B" so it'll be interesting. Food today...yum. Looking forward to it.
To end today's blog, I wanted to say big thank you to those who remembered my birthday, the small gifts given to me and their friendship. It means a lot to me. You know who you are, and I love you all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, November 2, 2007

39 years ago...

I came into this world. My parents didn't know what to expect...they didn't expect me to be born with severe hearing loss---"Hearing Impaired". Now, that word really makes me think someone jammed sharp instruments in their ears, impairing their hearing. I am NOT hearing impaired. I am just ... either deaf or hard of hearing. With my hearing aid, I'm hard of hearing. Without my hearing aid, I'm deaf. I prefer to be labeled DEAF.

I do have the ability to speak. I have the ability to do what any hearing people can do. SOME phone calls I can handle, if I know the person's voice well enough. But most of my business phone calls are done through using relay services via Sorenson Video Phone or using IP relay services from the computer. Both are very convenience for me. But I also do ASL. I'm fluent in both speaking English and signing ASL. :)

I look like a normal person. I act normal. People have asked me where I'm from. I'm easily amused and like to tease them a little but very flattered that the majority of them think I'm British. Aw. My speech must be really good for them to compliment me like that. They, however, are usually very shocked to learn I'm deaf and I'm "speech impaired" as I, Kirstan, like to call it. Hee hee.

Well, I was born as a rubella baby. What that meant was someone whose children having measles visited my mother while she was pregnant (about 3 mos) with me. Well, they carried the measles with them and it affected the unborn fetus (me). When I was born, they thought maybe Kirstan might have problems. So far, I was blonde, blue eyed, all ten fingers and ten toes. Nothing out of the ordinary about me. Until a year later or so, my dad screaming at me if I wanted ice cream and I never heard him. That started my mother's journey to find solutions or help for me.

My journey into the big wide world was a real eye-opener for me. Going into ASDB (Arizona School for the Deaf/Blind in Tucson) at 3, being fitted with those gosh-awful bulking hearing boxes or whachamacallit with wires going into earmolds that were jammed into your ears. Wearing the hearing box on my chest like some frontal backpack...and trying not to get tangled up with the wires...not fun. Going to speech therapy, and learning to sign at the same time.

I learned ENGLISH SIGN LANGUAGE. Looking back, I have to laugh. It's ridiculous and very time consuming. Now I know why ASL is so much easier. I like it much, much better. My first spoken word was purple, and learning to say, I like purple. In a very high pitched little girl voice.

Throughout elementary school years mainstreamed, and constant speech therapies, I remember blowing up at one speech therapist. I can't see where you place your tongue for certain sounds like R, T, whatever sound where your tongue is on roof of your mouth. When learning to speak words that ends with oy or ay, my lower jaw sort of goes into a circular motion instead of going straight down when you say "boy" or "gray". Kind of hard to describe but...took a long time to overcome it.

I don't think I do that weird lower jaw movement when I say words that ends with "ay" or "oy". Maybe only in dramatic moments.

Ah. Right now, I wear those digital in the ear mold type of hearing aid without that part where it sits over your ear...I've moved up!!! :) I was so thrilled to get the earmold type of hearing aid. It really made a huge different. I hear better...but my hearing loss did get worse, as I get older. If I go profoundly deaf, so be it. I'm prepared!

Okay, well, my coworkers treated me to a breakfast sandwich from McD's as a birthday treat. However, when "C" ordered 3 bacon, eggs and cheese bagel sandwiches, they came w/o bacon. Why? "T" doesn't like bacon be nice to "T", we've eaten them plain. But hey, nice treat. I think we will celebrate on Monday when everyone's in the office at the same time. "B" isn't here today and "B"'s birthday is on the 4th. So might as well celebrate together at same time. More food to go around, right? I'm going to enjoy my Pumpkin Spiced Ice Cappucino I treated myself from Tim Horton's. YUM!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


It's November already?! Halloween is over, all the candy passed out, and the kids gorging on their candies...and on a sugar high.

I think I will need to call the dentist soon. We're overdue for a visit anyway.

Kind of hard to know where to begin to share more about myself with you. But maybe it'll be random thoughts...memories or just sharing experiences.

My youngest sister is learning to handle two kids on her own. Her husband has started a new job...the midnight shift. Which is unfortunate but I think after time, he will be able to switch to daytime hours. One time she had asked me how I had handled it? Raising 2 kids on my very own, no husband, no boyfriend or any other adults in the wasn't as bad as one would think. I feel it has to do with who you are personally, and how you enjoy being a mom, and your relationship with your children.

It can be very tough being a single, full-time working mom of more than one child. You have to struggle to make ends meet, stretch the food out, make sure you have everything the child(ren) need, and just winging it. But the biggest reward out of all of that is when your child(ren) comes to you and gives you a big hug or kiss and their sweet, sweet words, "I love you". No matter what kind of day I"m having or any life-death situations going just drowns out all the struggles and troubles and worries I would have. That, my friends, is what I love most about my children.

A friend was teasing me how often I blog. So I'm going to try to keep up, my friend! *wink*

It's gorgeous here in Michigan. I think the temp is low 60's but the fall colors are awesome, and just simply gorgeous!

Talk s' more tomorrow....don't forget your cup of coffee (or tea).