Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Monday, October 17, 2011

It has been a Sad Day

Before I can tell you why I am sad, I have to give you all a bit of information. Back in the summer of 2010 a young lady named Hope posted that she needed someone to take care of her cat while she lived in a dorm in college. She was not living at home and no one in her family wanted to help out. I saw a picture of the cat and knew we had to help her. This cat, named Whisky, looked just like our precious Ridgeway who had died in 2008. I emailed her and we spoke on the phone. We met in person and got to meet Whisky. Now Whisky had a temperment, but could be sweet. We agreed she would bring us Whisky in August and she would give me $40 a month towards food and litter.

We took Whisky in and it took almost two months to get used to us. She finally decided to make Jacob's room her room and stayed in their 99.9% of the time, only venturing out every once in a while. Jacob and Whisky were quite close and he was the only one who could pick her up. I would send Hope updates about Whisky and send her pictures and movies too. We kept in touch and pretty soon it was May 2001 and she came to get Whisky.

We kept in touch through Facebook. I followed how she was doing in college and she would post pictures of Whisky. Jacob had been really sad to see Whisky leave, but he was glad she was happy with Hope. Hope recently posted a picture of Whisky that made us all laugh and I had written her about Whisky.

Last night, when I signed onto Facebook I saw Hope had posted on her Wall. Well, I started reading and I couldn't believe what I was reading. It stated that Hope had been killed in a car wreck on Saturday. I went straight to her Wall and started reading all of the posts. There were no words to express how sad I was. She was only 19 years old. I finally got some more details, and found out she was not wearing a seat belt. She was the passenger in a car that the driver lost control of and they hit another car carrying two people. The three other people survived, but one had to be care flighted to a hospital. I have no idea what their condition is.

I told Jacob the story today. He gasped when I told him that she was not wearing a seatbelt. We had a long talk. Jacob is 15 years old and will be driving within a year. I don't judge Hope for not wearing her seatbelt, but her tragic death affects so many. What if she had only worn that seat belt? What if? We will never know. This has bothered me so much today. Maybe, it is because Jacob is only four years younger than her. Maybe it is because she was just so young. I just know that I am sad and I am sad for her family. It gives me perspective and reminds me that I need to live every day to the fullest.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jacob's Socks

Every week I wash the boys'clothes. We are being ecofriendly and using a clothesline to dry our clothes. I have noticed that most weeks Jacob has very little underwear and socks to hang up. I guess he doesn't believe in changing either very often. Well, this week he had only ONE pair of socks in his laundry. I mentioned it to him and he said that Elijah must be taking his socks. Well, let's just say that Jacob's socks don't fit Elijah's feet. My conclusion is that they never end up in Jacob's laundry basket.

I folded laundry today and Jacob finally decided to search his room for socks. He then told me in a very annoying manner that he didn't know where his socks were with a look accusing ME of losing his socks. You would just have to be there to get it, but imagine a teenage boy and how they talk sometimes. I then go and search his room and find two pairs of clean pair and one dirty pair. I then find a LOT of trash and a few white t-shirts. I then made him clean up his room and told him it was real simple....walk the TWO steps it takes to go from his bed to his laundry basket and HIS socks wouldn't get lost. They don't get lost going from his room to the washing machine. They just never make it to the laudnry basket.

Jacob cleaned his room and took his trash out to the big trash can outside. He was very polite and I think he realized he needs to be a little more respectful and that pushing MY buttons just makes his life a little harder! I love him dearly, he is my heart, but there are times he needs to think before he speaks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Too cool!

Elijah and I were driving around last weekend and I was listening to music from my Iphone plugged into the car stereo system. A song started, and I wanted to listen to the next song so I skipped it. The song had just started and we had heard the first few beats of it before I skipped to the next one. Elijah immediately said, "mom I want to listen to Dynamite." He had heard just the first few beats of the song and recognized it. I was so surprised, and of course, I went back to that song and we listened to it. He sang along with it and we had a great time. He has asked for that song a few more times when we drive! It amazes me what he can do with the hearing he has from his CI processors.

Another funny story is how he has selective listening. I can say his name several times from the kitchen while he is in the den and he doesn't answer. However, if we leave the refrigerator door open and it starts beeping he will yell at me from the den to close it. He even hears it over a Wii game he is playing or just the TV being on. He can also recognize TV commercials and some that are his favorites, especially anything with cats!

Elijah heard for the first time on October 22, 2001 and for the second ear on January 20, 2005. He has been hearing for 10 of his 11 1/2 years. You would think that I would still be used to him being able to hear and what he can do, but there are times when I am still amazed. Maybe it is because I work with deaf and hard of hearing kids on a daily basis and I wish they could do more with the hearing they had. I wish they didn't have to struggle so much. Elijah is still behind in his language skills, but he is so much farther along then some other kids I work with.

He has always worn stickers on his processors, but this week we put on blue microphone covers with some blue star stickers. Here is the picture. I think he looks cute. The picture at the top was taken last year when we stopped at a Steak and Shake to eat. I thought it was another cute picture. I sure wish he could have the Nucleus 5 processor, but his Freedoms work just fine and he can HEAR!