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January 2012 - Chris Schuette

The Latest

January 27, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

Patty & I attended our first ASL (American Sign Language) course this past week at the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul. Since Isla has been learning a lot of signs, we figure we’d better do something to keep up.

We actually know quite a few signs from earlier attempts, but this class seems more immersive. The fact that the teacher is deaf forces our brains to learn differently. We need to really pay attention to context and facial expressions, since there no is no speech to explain what we’re seeing. Time will tell how effective it is. As far as I’m concerned, this is going to be my second language (well, I know some German, but only enough to get my face slapped in Berlin.)

We’re also starting to see Isla’s nurturing side. She loves to hug and she is really good around the animals. With any luck, she’ll avoid my whole “sitting on the cat” phase. She also loves taking care of her dolls; however, she doesn’t seem to understand that Elmo might not be a fan of lemon juice.

 Pictured: Nurturing

Here is the full one-minute video. And yes, it is equally as exciting as the photo above.  By the way, Isla doesn’t have her implants on because I was just about to drive her to daycare. She tends to pull her implants off while riding in the car.

In case you were wondering.

Where Is The Snow?

January 16, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

Isla seems to be taking our unusually mellow Minnesota winter in stride.  Thanks to her cochlear implants, she can now hear her dear old dad go on about the brutal winters he experienced as a child; however, thanks to her youth, she simply doesn’t care.

Patty and I recently took Isla and the dogs for a jaunt through the fields behind our house. We all enjoyed the mild weather, and Indie & Bear got to wear themselves out.  Isla even got to walk the dogs for a bit, although, Indie seemed to have some reservations about taking orders from someone in a penguin hat. I guess I would too.

A lot of people ask how Indie & Bear are with Isla.  Well, they’re both great with her; however, Bear seems to be her protector and is a good sport when she wants to hug/ride/borrow money.  Indie prefers to keep her distance, lest Isla decide to work on her eye-poking skills.  Isla is never alone with the dogs, of course, and Patty & I are good about teaching Isla the proper way to interact with them.

Nothing wacky occurred on our walk, so unfortunately, all I have are adorable photos that’ll treasure forever. Sorry.


Shelf Wife

January 6, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

My wife, Patty is the “Professional Crafter” in our house, whereas I need to settle for the title of “Crafty Professional.”  She built, painted and installed these bookshelves in Isla’s room. My assistance was minimal since I was busy tracking down the perfect Theremin sound for an upcoming Groundhog Day post.

For a much better post about the shelves themselves (including photos,) check out Patty’s blog. It’s OK, I don’t mind. I figure you probably read other blogs anyway.  She’s got a whole bunch of posts about her various projects, most of which involve a hot glue gun, some sparkly ribbon, and a DeWalt DW718 12″ Double-Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw (you know, for the Li’l Princess House.)

I, of course, was a boatload of help.

I think I need a shave

Isla loves the new shelving with easy access to her books, while I wake up in a cold sweat worrying that she is going to climb the hell out of them.

And no, I have no idea why she’s wearing her jacket in a 70 degree house. It’s a thing she has.

Happy New Year

January 4, 2012 | By | No Comments

Patty and rang in the New Year with a couple of movies, a roaring fire and a quiet evening on the couch. Yes, we party pretty hard when Isla is sleeping.

We spent New Years Day at the Como Zoo & Conservatory, where they had their “Noon Years Celebration.” It’s a kid-friendly event where they do a countdown to noon and then have a beach-ball drop. That’s right, they cram a bunch of kids and their families into a confined space, give them noisemakers, then drop a whole bunch of free toys.

She elbowed two kids and a Teamster to get everything in this photo.

Isla always has fun at the Conservatory. She especially enjoyed watching the fish, while wondering how she could take one of THEM home. (Incidentally, never underestimate the speed and tenacity of the fine members of the Conservatory security staff.)

And the “No Diving” rule is strictly enforced.