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November 2010 - Chris Schuette

One “Art,” Please

November 24, 2010 | By | No Comments

Isla is almost 6 months old and she is already creating art that makes all my previous creative endeavors look like an abomination before God.

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, the nice people at Isla’s Day Care helped her create a turkey-themed masterpiece.  Check it out!


Look On My Works Ye Mighty And Despair! (Seriously, start despairing)

In case you know nothing about art, her right thumb is the head of the Turkey and the palm is the body.  The feathers represent the feathers (as is the current custom.)

After careful consideration and with the assistance of a calculation error, I give this piece 110 points out of 100. And yes, it’s Fridge-worthy.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Cowboys & Aliens

November 22, 2010 | By | One Comment

I normally don’t link to awesome film trailers, but when the awesome trailer looks awesomely awesome, I put down my thesaurus and pay some attention.

Pictured: Awesome ca.1996

The new movie, Cowboys and Aliens comes out in Summer 2011.  It stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.  Normally, I wouldn’t mention a non-Star Trek-related movie so early; however, as soon as Patty realized she can see a movie starring James Bond, Han Solo/Indiana Jones and a whole bunch of horses, she firmly declared that she WILL be seeing this movie.

Apparently, I’m invited too, or something.

Piano Time

November 15, 2010 | By | No Comments

We had our first blizzard of the season this weekend, so it was a nice chance to stay in, drink hot chocolate and play some music.  Now that Isla can spit sit up by herself, she occasionally keeps me company while I play piano.  She seems to enjoy Elton John, but she really lights up when I play some Jerry Lee Lewis. 

C’mon, who wouldn’t?

Krazy Komment!

November 12, 2010 | By | 3 Comments

I recently received a rather odd comment from someone at a Hotmail address. I won’t divulge the email address, so I simply refer to the writer as “”  The wording/tone of the email suggests that it was written by a woman, and the fact that it was from a Hotmail account suggests she is over 80. 

The writer had viewed our (by all accounts) adorable video clip of Isla laughing which I posted earlier.  In the clip, you can can clearly see Isla’s little pink hearing aids.  Well, this writer opined that it was cruel to make a baby wear hearing aids and that a child should not have hearing aids until they’re age 3 at the earliest.  The commenter also suggested I get a clue and that I must be a bad mother. I’ll agree with that: I am one Bad Mother.

I didn’t save the comment because as you know, I simply cannot condone imperfect grammar…from clueless morons…who hate kittens (probably.)  I now wish I would have saved it, but it seemed more like this writer was more interested in trolling than engaging in an actual thoughtful dialogue about the choices one must make when raising a child with a disability.  Oh, and every study we looked into suggested that waiting too long to provide hearing aids can adversely affect learning and language development. I think I’ll take the advice of medical professionals over that of someone with a Hotmail account and no concept of punctuation.

Our family has received so much support from incredibly kind and talented people.  We are continually amazed at the help that is available for children with hearing loss, such as our Isla.  We also have the support of friends and family who are willing to help us in our journey. (Unfortunately, we do not yet have the support of Journey.)

Seriously, not even a phone call.

Patty & I are surprisingly friendly and approachable when out in public, and we have no problem when people politely ask about Isla’s hearing aids.  For the most part, people ask honest questions in a sensitive way. So, if you have questions about how we raise a child with hearing loss, please ask me. I love that kind of thing.  But if all you have is clueless insensitivity, prepare to be on the receiving end of my Gary Busey impersonation.  (Spoiler alert: It’s disgusting!)

“Food” Time

November 10, 2010 | By | No Comments

Oh, I almost forgot, Isla is eating solid food now.

OK, calling it “solid” or even “food” seems to be pushing it a bit. Her doctor gave us the OK to start feeding her rice cereal, as long as we make sure it is of a “pudding consistency,” and not “porridge consistency.”  Since I didn’t actually grow up in a Charles Dickens novel, I’m not sure what the hell “porridge consistency” means.  Patty seems to have it down, thanks to her disconcerting knowledge of all things gruel-related.  (That’s right. I actually linked to the Wikipedia article on “gruel.” You’re welcome, readers; you are welcome.)

Strangely enough, Isla seems to really enjoy the über-bland mixture, but hey, if that’s what the kids are into, I’m not going to judge.

Current Family Favorite

November 8, 2010 | By | No Comments

Isla is growing like an adorable widdle weed and as a result, she is rapidly outgrowing some of the funnier (and less offensive) clothing she currently owns.  Patty & I figured it was our last chance to photograph her in this particular article of clothing.  As you can see, Indie & Bear are slightly less than amused…but only slightly.

OK, it’s a cute photo, but in all seriousness, we were VERY careful in staging this photo with Isla and the dogs. What this photo doesn’t show is me standing just off-camera ready to grab Isla if either one of our dogs moved even a little. Make no mistake, Indie & Bear are wonderful dogs and they have been great around Isla, but despite their training, dogs and other pets are still inherently unpredictable and should never be left alone with a child, even for a minute. 

Betcha didn’t think I knew that, did you?

Weekends With Isla

November 7, 2010 | By | No Comments

I’ve been having a great time with Wifey & Isla lately.  Isla is getting over a cold and her very first ear infection, and other than some residual congestion, she seems to be doing just fine.  As you can expect, our little girl’s mood has been improving as well.  Oh, and she’s doing this now:

Of course, no good will come of that.

The weekends have become even more important to me, since I feel like I never get enough “Baby Facetime.”  (This is of course different from “Babyface Time,” of which I get plenty.)

In addition to our regular weekend activities of ignoring various household chores, I’ve been giving more home concerts for Patty & Isla.  Since Isla has hearing loss, she gets to sit on the piano (with moral and literal support from Patty, of course.)  She seems to enjoy the music and the attention.  Plus, everyone loves to sit on a piano!

There has also been plenty of simple, but important play time with Isla’s laughter filling up the home. (Yes, it’s VERY distracting!)   However, one thing Patty & I still struggle with is getting Isla to sleep at night. The little girl really struggles and fusses, and it takes a while to get her from warp speed back down to impulse speed and finally back into spacedock.  (Um, I’ve actually been informed that my Star Trek references are neither amusing, nor insightful. However, I still want her to live long and prosper, and I want her to ask the important questions in life. Questions such as “Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?”and “What do we do about this whole ‘whale thing’?” and of course, “What does God need with a Starship?”)

Anyway, we are finding some tricks that help, such as swaddling her so that her flailing arms don’t cause a re-awakening.  We’re also experimenting with different types of music and lighting. It’s a bit like running a nightclub or carpet store.

We also met recently with a very nice family whose son, who has been deaf his whole life is now a Senior in High school and will be attending college in New York.  The meeting was a great way to just talk with a family who has been down the road we’re heading.  We have a lot to think about, but we know we’re not alone.

Oh, and we’re also really freaking tired.