Friday, July 26, 2013

Keeping a journal

I have mentioned on this blog before that I keep a personal journal. This is the paper kind of journal I actually write on with a pen. Usually, I don’t write in my journal until the end of the day – IF there is something to write in it, that is. But, today, I had some things on my mind, so I wanted to write them in there so that I could get on with the rest of the day. And not only did I write in my journal today earlier than normal, but I wrote a whole page! But considering that I was talking about writing (“writing about writing”), then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. And I may have a blog related to writing to put this stuff on, but I have a guest on my blog right now and that post stays up until Monday. So I put it into the personal journal, even though the stuff I wrote is not exactly “personal.”

But I got to thinking about all the stuff I DO write about in that journal. For the most part, it is personal stuff. I write about my thoughts, my dreams, stuff going on, conversations I have with hubby, strange things that happen, marriage stuff and personal family stuff. (I don’t believe in airing dirty laundry on the Internet, so I don’t put the drama and personal family stuff on my blog.) This journal was a HUGE help when I was coping with the loss of my mother, and it has also been a good way for me to work through things I have gone through when I didn’t have someone around to talk to about them. (I do talk with hubby about stuff, but not about everything. And I don’t have any family out here, so it’s not like I can get together with my sis and discuss stuff.) So, it’s been VERY helpful to me.

I write about writing in my journal, too. But mostly, thoughts and feelings I have with certain things I am writing. Also, about certain jobs I have had in writing, editing and publishing; the people I work with and stuff.

So, yes, writing is something I talk about in my journals. I also write about my ideas.

And it occurred to me that these topics can actually be journals, too. I have heard some people keep a prayer journal and even a travel journal. I used to keep a dream journal a long time ago, as well as an idea journal. I kept a journal when I was pregnant with my first child, and I also kept travel journals when my family made a cross-country move. For one class I took in college, the professor encouraged us to keep a journal about our experiences taking the class. I have also kept a food journal and a journal just for one particular thing I was trying to learn how to do.

So, yes, journals can be kept for a variety of reasons. I know one of my friends, writer Jenn Greenleaf, also keeps journals, so I was curious if she kept journals for different purposes. “I used to keep a separate dream journal, but now I just keep it all together in one journal,” she said.

These days, I put everything into one journal, too. I guess having separate journals for different reasons is helpful, but I could not keep track of them all anymore. It’s enough to keep track of the different notebooks I use for different purposes.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Lipreading reminders

One thing I knew would happen when having a second child is that I’d have to go through the motions once again of letting my hearing child know that Mommy and Daddy are deaf, what being deaf means, that we use sign language and that things are just a little bit different in our home mainly because the parents can't hear. For example, we look out windows to see who is at the door instead of shouting at an unseen knocker standing on the other side of a thick wall of wood, and we have captioning on our TV set to let us know what people are saying.

I knew I’d have to go through this all over again with Jesse. What I didn’t count on, however, was constantly having to remind him that I need to see his lips if I want to lipread him.

The big difference between my two hearing children is that one of them signs more than the other. Jennifer is the signer. And even though Jesse learned signs a lot quicker than Jennifer did as a toddler, Jesse is rarely signing to us. He hardly ever signs. At all.

So, for the most part, my husband and I have had to rely on lipreading him to understand him. Sometimes he will write things down to the best of his abilities or I’ll employ one of the many tricks I use to understand a non-signing child better (which I talk about in my deaf parenting book), but mostly, with Jesse, it’s all about lipreading.

The downside about that, though, is that, being 5, Jesse sometimes forgets that in order for us to lipread him, we need to see his lips!

I have sounded like a broken record lately because I have had to keep repeating certain reminders to Jesse when it comes to lipreading:

“Jesse, I can’t read your lips when your face is right in front of mine.”

“Jesse, I can’t read your lips if you cover your mouth.”

“Jesse, I can’t read your lips when you are looking away. You need to look at me when you talk.”

And I also tell him I can’t read his lips when he’s talking too fast or when there is food in his mouth.

I was raised in an oral home, so I don’t mind lipreading. As it is, we use both lipreading and sign language to communicate. But when it’s only lipreading, we have to make sure that the person speaking remembers certain guidelines to follow in order to make lipreading work. For Jesse, we have to repeat these reminders. We had to do the same thing with Jennifer when she was little. Many times, she forgot we can’t lipread her if we can’t see her lips. Eventually, the reminders sunk in. I hope they’ll sink in for Jesse, too. At some point.