Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hey Ho!

I'm here at the Traverse City library, working on the computer listening to a obnoxious kid. He probably wouldn't be half as annoying if he didn't have such an awful voice.
Anyway, the kids are at camp and we're headed off for another day of fun and shopping. Honestly, the shopping is getting a bit much, but we're probably covering 5 miles a day, so it's worth it.
The kids are having a BLAST at camp. They are completely wiped out at the end of the day and springing awake first thing in the morning to go. One of the counselors is studying Communications Disorders and American Sign Language at CMU or was in MSU, there was a "U" involved. Although she's not Griffin's couselor, I know if they needed an interpeter one's available. Whew!
We had some big excitement last night when a dog walked by our window while eating dinner and then wandered around looking horribly lost. We went out and give her some water worrying, she'd run away from home and gotten lost. Her coat was full of burrs making us think she'd been on the lamb for awhile. We called the neighborhood groundkeeper and he didn't know the dog, so we tied a rope on her and went for a walk going door to door. All the while we were wishing to never find the rightful owners, because she was so sweet. Unfortunately for us she belonged to a family a couple houses down. I had already built my life around this sweet little Wheaton terrier. WAH!!! More about the hilarity that insued when we returned "Abby" later.
Mom's done gotta go.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Most Perfect Place on Earth

Fishtown is the most perfect place on earth. I love eating at Rick's, next to the dam. My mom and I headed there today after dropping the kids off at camp. The temperature was perfect, I had a wonderful chicken sandwich and we just sat and talked. Perfect!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Surreal Experience

This morning Griffin woke up just spazzing to use the VRS.

I said, "O.k. I'll call you."

Kind of crazy, but because it's through the computer and has a separate number I can call him and sat there with him. We got connected and I explained to the terp (that's short for interpreter) that we were practicing with a five year old. The call went through. I was sitting in the other room watching but out of Griffin's way and sightline. Here's our very little conversation.

"Hi, Griffin. What are you doing?"

"Mmmmmm, I'm looking out the window. It's very foggy and cloudy."

"Are you ready to go to camp?"

"Let me think . . . yes."

"O.k. let's go."

Here's where the surreal part kicks in. I talk to Griffin all day. Those who know him well, know he talks ALL day. Be it in sign or voice Griffin always has something to say. But it can be very difficult to understand exactly what he's saying. My signing is getting better, but he signs little kid sign. Just as hearing kids don't always say things correctly, deaf kids don't always sign things correctly. Through the terp we communicated. Neither of us had to say, "What?" or "Sign that again." We just had our very tiny conversation. Blew me away in a weird way.

By the way, if you don't know what I'm talking about check out yesterday's blog.

Monday, July 21, 2008

H-E-Double Hockey Sticks

Why is it when all hell is breakin' loose, the rest of the hell breaks loose at the same time? Holy crap! What a frickin' crazy hour and a half. I had the whole evening planned. Dinner would be completed at 5:30, we'd eat and clean up the kitchen then I'd teach. The house is spotless and it's was going to stay that way, so the night would run smoothly. That's the great laid plans of mice and men. But at 4:30 a truck pulls up in the driveway. It's a guy from Sorenson VRS (Video Relay System/Service). About a week ago I put in a request for a video phone for Griffin, I had completely forgotten. I guess it was approved because here it is.
What does this thing actually do? Well, this is where new technology completely changes a deaf person's life. First off, two deaf or hard of hearing people can video phone each other and have a one-on-one signed conversation directly via the video. Or a hearing person can call a deaf person through the VRS (Video Relay Service) and speak normally and an interpreter will sign to the deaf person and then voice back to the hearing person the deaf person's response.
I really feel sorry for the interpreters that got the few practice calls we did today. Griffin was a little confused and will definitely need practice. Learning to use an interpreter is not automatic. Griffin was so confused when I said it's grandma calling. He looked at the interpreter with an obvious expression of "That's so not my grandma." Many explanations later, I think he understands. Practice will help and I can't wait for him to get to call Lexi, his true love.
Meanwhile, the house got trashed, dinner didn't get done and students arrive any minute.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Deaf Camp

Once a year for a magically week our family heads to Deaf Camp. This was our third year attending. What makes it so magical is Griffin can sign with everyone he runs into. He finds it amazing, can't wait to get there and cries every year when it's time to leave, "No Mommy! Stay long time, please." Honestly . . . six day is enough.

Each morning the kids go off with the counselers and the parents head off to lectures about deaf education, family relations, whatever the topic is that year. Well, the topic this year was sex education, something I like to consider myself an expert in. Now I'm even more of an expert, because I know all the sex act signs. Unfortunately, they are all very obvious, so I can't ever use them in public, but I'll teach you them, the next time we're together. *Snicker*

Check out the pictures below.

Deaf Camp 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Out for Pizza!