Woke up a year older…

I turned 41 today. What a strange age. I wasn’t happy turning 40 last year– I was bummed at leaving my thirties behind. 40 sounds so mature, so…responsible. 41 is just nine years away from 50. And 50 is just a drop away from 60, which is totally mature and you sure better be responsible by that point!

I swore that I was going to stay in bed all day and watch tv, which is a rare treat. So I took in all my landscaping and cooking shows and by noon, I was itching to do something else.

For some reason, I headed out to the compost pile and started working on a new section in the flower garden. I pulled weeds, mixed up compost with peat and spread it around. Everything looked pretty good after a few hours. The hubby and I worked on another section near the side of the house, which was overgrown with clover and thistle. Our neighbor’s house is smack next to this area and I’m sure they appreciated seeing the hostas instead of the the thistle. I even experienced a Zen moment while taking a break and sitting in the swing and taking in the flowers. I told the hubby, “We need more moments like this…”

We ordered pizza tonight and I went for a bike ride with the kids– the first time that I actually used the bike this summer.

Definitely a productive day– maybe 41 isn’t so bad after all.

Wicked–And some wickedly bad seats

On July 22nd, Lauren and I went to see the play, “Wicked” along with two other friends. It was an interpreted performance. When we arrived, we discovered that the so-called accessible seats were more than halfway down the theatre. After calling the house manager and requesting seats closer to the interpreters, we ended up in seats right in front, but off to the side. There was no time to change it, as the play began and we had to settle in.

For the first half, I had a great view of the interpreters, but couldn’t see a thing on stage unless the actors came forward. The kids fared a little better as they were able to take in more of the view. What a disappointment.

Needless to say, we ended up with a full refund…

Early Intervention

I work in early intervention as a Deaf Mentor, providing information and resources to families with children who are deaf/hard of hearing. I also teach sign language to families who request that mode of communicationwith their kids. This position is unique in the early intervention field because it provides role models to deaf and hard of hearing children from birth to age three. Deaf Mentors can share their perspectives and experiences of growing up with hearing loss and give parents an understanding of how to access communication in various situations.

A Bit About Being Deaf…

I’m always asked, “What is it like to be deaf?” I wrote this Epinion to introduce a bit about my life with hearing loss: http://www.epinions.com/content_4738687108.

There are five generations of hearing loss in my family. My great-grandfather, my grandmother, my mom and all four of her siblings and all of my siblings, plus my kids and one niece all have various levels of hearing loss. All of us were born hearing.


Welcome to my little spot on cyberspace! I’m Karen, and I’m married to Joe and we have three kids who are deaf and hard of hearing. Joe and I are deaf. David, Lauren and Steven are the light of my life. Oh yeah, the hubby too.

I work in early intervention as a Deaf Mentor, helping families with babies who are deaf or hard of hearing. A lot of my work involves teaching sign language to families and various ways of communicating with children who are deaf/hard of hearing. It’s a fun job– I get to play with babies and then go home! I teach a course called “Conversational Sign Language” at a local community college. I also substitute teach in the elementary and middle schools when I can.

I am the Chairperson of
Illinois Hands & Voices, a state chapter of Hands & Voices National. I am also a board member of Hands & Voices and I contribute articles to the quarterly newsletter. I joined Hands & Voices because it is a parent-driven organization that believes “What works for your child is what makes the choice right.” Hands & Voices works to bring families together regardless of communication mode.

Looking forward to making this blog a fun place to be!