Thursday, June 30, 2011

Art 101: Intro to Crayons

  I introduced E to a box of Crayons. He took to it very well. He colored on the paper only. If he picked up a crayon and the wrong end was on the paper, he would turn it until the pointy end was being used.  He insisted on changing colors frequently. I was impressed by how particular he was about it all. I put his mini masterpiece on the fridge as his very first creation. As you moms know, it's just scribbles, but to me, it is amazing :-)

  Because it is so stinkin' hot and humid outside, I decided a kiddie pool might be a good idea. I found one that fit the bill and also allowed enough room for me to be in it with him. After I finally got all of it blown up, E climbed in and had a blast! I hope he finds it to be as much fun when we add water!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pleasant Surprise

   When I got the latest circular in the mail from Toys R Us, I flipped through and noticed that there was a little boy featured wearing a cochlear implant! I tore out that page and have kept it on the side table in our living room. I think it is fantastic to see. I wonder how many other people noticed it? It just makes me smile to see one of the child models with his CI. After all, a CI is easily removed and nobody viewing the photo would have been aware that the child had a hearing loss. We made the choice to leave E's hearing aids on when we took him to have his one year photos made. He may not always wear hearing aids, but he does right now and it is part of who he is. We would never want him to look back and think that we were not comfortable with that.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. While playing at the Chick-fil-a playground yesterday, E had a little boy come to me and ask what was on his ears. I explained what a hearing aid was and why E needed them. E signed to the boy and I explained that E was talking to him using sign language. "Cool" said the boy and he began to "talk" back to E. The little boy didn't know a lick of sign, but he wiggled his hands as he talked to E and seemed to really think he was saying what he wanted to say. It was really great to see the innocence, curiosity, and acceptance of the little boy. While his hand wiggles meant nothing, it was very cute to see him try to interact with E.

2. E literally fell asleep standing up the other night. He refuses to lay down in his crib because he knows the moment he lays down, he loses his fight against sleep. I noticed on the video monitor that he was very quiet and very still, but standing. I went in to see that he had wadded up his blankie against the rail and laid his head on it. He was asleep on his feet. I guess it's good sometimes that he doesn't hear because I laughed out loud as I eased him down onto the mattress. Bless his little heart :-)

3. E does so well using my iPhone that I am seriously thinking about saving up to buy him an iPad. I think it would be good to have on our looooong trips to the hospital. Any parents of toddlers out there have an iPad? What are your thoughts? What are the best apps out there for toddlers?

4. E blows kisses. They are not just any kisses though. He blows french kisses! He licks his hand and then blows his kiss.

5. E has started "reading" his books to me. He brings me a book, points to the pictures, then signs to me. He is usually babbling with his hands and not signing any real words, but he is obviously telling me a ton of stuff if only I understood :-)

6. I need advice on brushing a baby's teeth. E likes to brush his own teeth, but he only really chews on the bristles. If he had any molars, they would be really clean, but he has only four teeth and they are right up front. When I try to brush them myself, he either purses his lips tightly or sticks his tongue in the way so I can't reach his teeth. Any tips or tricks?

7. Summer is really tough when you're married to a youth minister. We are coming up on the time of year when my husband is gone for a week, home for a week, gone for another week, then home for another week, then gone again. Thank goodness for Skype.

8. We are thinking about having a silent dinner with our friends. This is a dinner where voices are not allowed. It will force us to really polish our signing skills. Friends of ours that have been to many silent dinners before said that sometimes they have even had to put a quarter into a jar if they are caught voicing! I don't think we would do that (mostly because the jar would probably be full of quarters from ME) but it's a fun idea none the less. Have any of you ever attended a silent dinner? What was it like?

9. I really want to learn to sew. I have a sewing machine and I have sewn things before, but I was just kind of making it up as I went along. I do not actually know how to properly sew. I do not have time though to take a class or anything. I guess I will just have to continue to look longingly at sewing projects that are beyond my reach.....*sigh*

10. If it weren't for DVR, I don't think I would ever see a TV program that wasn't animated. The great thing about the DVR is that we are able to save episodes of "Signing Time" and play them whenever we want. I wish Rachel Coleman of "Signing Time" would make a series for adults!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Three Blankies and a Pound of Pacifiers

   We now have three identical blankies. We have one for the Nanny's house and two for our house (so we can wash and rotate). It is possible we are indeed crazy, but when E latched on to his blankie, we made good and sure that we would never be in a panic looking for it or trying to get it washed before he missed it. We also have an abundance of pacifiers. I went on a search to round them up today. We find them ALL OVER THE HOUSE. When E was very little, he didn't have that much interest in a paci, but our cat did. Our cat used to steal his paci and take it to her bed. I have no clue why they appealed to her so much other than the fact that she knew that she wasn't supposed to have them. I wish I could have gotten a picture when I caught her heading down the hall with a paci in her mouth. Thank goodness for those microwave sterilization steam bags! We finally broke the cat of stealing them, but that doesn't stop them from going missing like so many matching socks. We would buy more when we once again found ourselves searching for the illusive paci. After rounding them up tonight, I had to snap a pic. This isn't even all of them! There are still about three missing. Any other parents out there paci or blankie hoarders :-) ?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

  Quite a few of the blogs I follow do this thing called, "Ten on Tuesday." I figured I would climb on that band wagon as well :-) It is a 10 point snippet to share a few things about our family. Welcome to my Ten on Tuesday:

1. E can walk, but he doesn't know it. He will take several unassisted steps if he isn't paying attention. As soon as he realizes that he is not holding anything, he will sit down. He walks holding my pinky finger which obviously doesn't actually help him, but he thinks it does and so he walks great!

2. E insists on brushing his own teeth. I am concerned that his teeth are receiving very little actual brushing, but he is so into doing it himself and looks forward to it. I don't want to ruin the good connotations he has with teeth brushing by trying to force it on him.

3. I don't think my house will ever be clean again—at least not until E goes off to college. I will have a messy house, but a happy kid.

4. I am having home improvement withdrawal. I haven't painted or redecorated anything in well over a year. The hideous wallpaper in hubby's bathroom taunts me.

5. I need another vacation. My last one has already worn off. I need regular sand-between-the-toes therapy to function.

6. I am sooooo tired of the every day rain showers we have. My dog has not been able to go to the dog park in months because the ground has no chance to dry.

7. E continues to make me laugh on a regular basis. He picks up on things so quickly and makes connections.   He picked up his brush and brushed his own hair then smiled at me and reached out and brushed my hair as well. It is so much fun to have your hair styled by your one-year-old :-)

8. I am really surprised to see so much of myself in E. When he was born, he had black hair and a dark complexion. I was certain he would be his daddy made over. As he has grown, his hair has lightened until it is almost blond. He has already started to have some of my same habits and preferences. It is common to hear my husband say, "gee...wonder where he get's THAT from" while pointing at me.

9. Our cat will NOT jump over the baby gate. It is much lower than the other places she will commonly perch, but the baby gate is her nemesis. She sits on the other side looking through the bars and crying to be let in. I even placed a chair against it for her to see that she can easily climb over. She sits in the chair, looks over the top of the gate, and whines. So, baby gate = cat forcefield.

10. The random buzz of hearing aid feedback is part of the new sound track of our lives. That left one is turned up so high though that even the feedback manager built into the hearing aid can't handle it all the time.  We really do not notice it much anymore, but we are reminded when we see someone looking around trying to identify the strange sound.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Hope This is a Phase

  For the past seven months, E has been a great bed time baby. We have a set bed time of 8pm and a set bed time routine. It worked very well. No matter how hyper E was, you could actually watch the transformation through his routine as he wound down for bed. At the end, we would give him his sea horse and his blankie and lay him down in his crib fully awake. He would snuggle up to his blankie, flip on his belly, and go to sleep by himself. This was wonderful and amazing to our friends. We really thought we had at least one thing right as parents. Our baby's sleep habits were the envy of our friends. Well, if you've been keeping up with this blog, then you know that he changed the game on us the day he turned one.
  We started with a few nights taking turns sleeping in the recliner. E would go to sleep perfectly like normal, but wake between 1 and 3am and not want to go back to his crib. The only way he would sleep was to hold him in the recliner. He was obviously SO tired and WANTED to be asleep, but it was as if he could feel the aura of the crib. He would be sound asleep and as soon as he crossed the boundary of the top of the crib, he would snap awake and freak out. We tried everything we could think of from teething related things to changing the bedding type to changing the pajama type to adding a blanket, etc. Finally, after about a week, he was suddenly back to normal and we breathed a sigh of relief. We thought it was over.

  It got worse. Suddenly, E wouldn't go to sleep! We would go through the bed time routine. E would yawn and snuggle and seem to be very ready for bed. We would lay him down and he would immediately stand up and start bawling. We went back to square one and started our sleep training methods over again. Yes, he did EVENTUALLY give up and go to bed, but it took a total of three hours of waiting and comforting cycles to accomplish this. We were completely stumped. Why would he suddenly not want to go to bed after so many months of bed time perfection?? Last night, we tried something different. We gave him his paci and stayed at his crib petting his hair until he dropped off to sleep. This worked, but is very much a step backward in his bed time progress. To go from putting himself to sleep easily and soundly to requiring constant soothing and a paci is very confusing to us.  Is this part of the separation anxiety phase? We haven't really noticed much separation anxiety during the day. Anyone have any insight for this?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

E's Tiny Newborn Feet in Daddy's Hands

  Happy Father's Day to my husband and best friend. You were so excited from the moment you knew our little man was on the way. I loved watching you read the Bible each night to my belly and talk to your baby-to-be. When the day came that you held E for the first time, the amazement in your eyes filled my heart with so much love for you both. When we learned that we would face a different journey that the one we had prepared for E, you didn't bat an eye. You firmly decided that we would run straight into the new challenge together. I am so proud when the therapists and doctors remark on how nice it is to see a dad so involved. I know it is hard sometimes with all of the various commitments you have, but you have excelled as a Daddy for E. He thinks you are just the funniest person EVER :-) I love hearing him laugh as the two of you play together. I melt when I see you cuddled together in the recliner for a nap. I am so blessed that you are with me every step of the way in all that we face. I know that E will grow up admiring and loving you and that you will be his hero. I look forward to watching him tag along behind you wanting to be just like Daddy. What an amazing example you will be. We love you so very much and want to wish you a wonderful Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Max Power

  E's hearing aids have been turned up again. The left one is at max power. It is so wide open that any time anything comes near it or if it the ear mold isn't PERFECTLY sealed in, it sounds like a chorus of mechanical crickets in the house. E has started pulling his hearing aids out when he gets sleepy. He knows that we take them out before naps and bed, so he has started signaling that he's tired by taking them out himself. At least the cricket chorus lets me know immediately that one has been removed and where to find it. I am starting to get used to it, but it can be a little strange when we're in public and people are trying to figure out what they are hearing. Oh...that space craft landing sound?....yeah...that's just my baby!
  Another new "thing" for E is somersaults. He puts his head on the ground and then tries his best to push his legs over. He can almost do it, but a little help from mommy is needed. He thinks this is hilarious of course :-) He is wide open all the time. He is very mobile even though he is not walking unassisted yet. He could if he would only realize that he shouldn't lead with his head. He needs to be a little more cautious. He just goes for it full speed and gets ahead of himself...literally. E is extremely independent. He has always insisted on doing everything himself. He will even push your hands away if you try to intervene rather than allowing him to work it out himself.
  In preparation for walking, we bought him a backpack leash thing. Now before you start leaving me nasty comments about freeing the leash kids on here, let me explain. First of all, the backpack is subtle and very cute. Second, I already know he will not be a hold-your-hand type of kid. He is just too independent. Third, and most important, if he ever gets a little out of my reach, I cannot yell for him to get his little booty back to my side. When your toddler is deaf, you can't fuss, yell, or warn if you can't touch. We stomp on the ground to get E's attention when he is out of reach in the house, but this will not work outside or on concrete floors. The backpack will give me peace of mind while still letting E feel like he is getting to be independent. I'm sure I will get a few dirty looks from other parents from time to time, but I will endure them if it means I never have to feel my heart stop as my toddler gets too far ahead of me in a parking lot or wanders away in a store. If you don't like it, we'll team up and close line you with our kid leash ;-)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

1st Year Pics

  We took E for his official one year photos today. He was wonderful as always :-) He was all smiles and non-stop energy. If you could catch him still for a split second, there was always a grin on his little face. Here are a few of my faves:

Good Ol' Classic

Sweet Cheeks

Wanna Be Like Daddy

Who Needs Breaks?

Here Comes Trouble!

Rub A Dub Dub...GIANT Duck in My Tub

Ok, I'm Done...I'll Be in My Dressing Room...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Itemized Bill

  Word of the day...SERIOUSLY??!! The bills have started rolling in. We are requesting itemized bills for everything because we are curious and we just feel that it is a good practice. We saw a charge that just made us laugh: $129 for "removal of impacted ear wax." Because I know that I clean my son's ears on a very regular basis and because I know that at least five people were looking in his ears with otoscopes prior to the procedure, I KNOW that my son's ears were not full of wax. So basically, our insurance was billed $129 for what was probably something you would get on the tip of your Q-tip in the morning. All I can say is that I am obviously in the wrong business if it costs THAT MUCH to get an itty bitty bit of wax out of an infant's ear. We're not talking clogged up Shrek goop here! No wonder insurance premiums are so expensive if this is the type of stuff we're paying for. I had once heard a story from a friend that they were billed $50 for a "surgical bandage" that was just a band-aid. I thought the story must have been greatly exaggerated until this experience. Can someone explain to me how charges like these are justified? What am I missing here?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sleeping in the Recliner

  On the day my baby turned a year old, something changed. E had been a pretty good sleeper. He has a bedtime routine and goes to sleep on his own. He would typically sleep through the night and wake maybe once for a bit of a drink and then go right back to bed. We liked this. Well, beginning the night of his birthday, he changed the game on us. He goes to sleep on his own, but wakes sometime between 12:30 and 3:00am. He acts like he is exhausted and wants to be asleep, but just can't get comfortable. He pitches a wild fit and only calms when we finally take him to the recliner and rock. Once we are holding him, he falls asleep almost immediately, but wallows and wakes off and on the rest of the night about every half hour. We are stumped. He doesn't have a fever. He doesn't act as if he feels bad and is perfectly normal during the day. Teething medicine didn't help. We thought perhaps it was growing pains, but Motrin didn't help. We tried different pajamas, different type of sheets, added a blanket, tried a night light, turned on the ceiling fan, and more. From 8pm until he wakes in the wee hours of the morning, he sleeps fine and everything is as normal. After he wakes that first time, the rest of the night is a circus. Since Thursday night, my husband and I have taken shifts with E and cat naps in the recliner. WHAT is going on?! If any of you have ANY advice, please share!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Birthday Pictures

  We had E's 1st birthday party yesterday. It went surprisingly well :-) We had a beach theme and I made marshmallow fondant for the first time and decorated cupcakes and a cake for the first time. Until now, my decorating had only consisted of smearing icing on a cake with a spatula. Thanks to a very good friend that helped me bake all of the cupcakes and to my step-mom for helping me as well, we ended up with some super cute goodies! E had a great time and received some amazing gifts. I am overwhelmed and so very grateful for all of the people that came to celebrate and show their love for our little E. We are certainly blessed :-)

Sandy Cupcakes (crushed Nilla wafers) and Shark Fin Cupcakes

 E's "Smash Cake"

The Spread

Beach Bum Play Time


The Haul ;-)

First Taste of Cake

Hmmmm....Not So Sure About Cake

BIG Fan of Ice Cram Though!!!

12 Months Old!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday E!

  Happpy birthday my little one! This year went by so fast. One year ago, I kissed your sweet little face for the first time. We made your birth a party complete with a goodie basket for the nurses and music. From the moment you were born, you have always been such a happy and handsome little boy. This has been a very busy year for you full of so many changes. Some of them were unexpected. We discovered your hearing loss and have been on a high speed journey to make sure you have everything you need. You have made me so proud with the way you have taken everything in stride. You took to signing so easily and you are wonderfully attentive as we teach you. You are a ray of sunlight everywhere you go.

3 Days Old

  You love books. You especially love books that have flaps or textures. I hope this is a life long love for you. You are fearless. You launch head first into anything that grabs your attention. You meet every new experience without curiosity. You love sweet much that your nose had an orange glow for several months. You are a good eater, but the very best food in your opinion is anything that comes off of Mommy's plate. You are my cuddle bug. Every morning, we sit in the floor together and just snuggle for a bit. You are the BEST little snuggle baby. You hug me so tightly and jump your little legs excitedly every morning when I pick you up. You think your Daddy is the funniest person EVER. Everything Daddy does sends you into a fit of giggles. You may not be able to hear right now, but it certainly does not stop you from being heard. You are VERY loud! You are vocal from the moment you wake to the moment you drop off to sleep. Your laugh is contagious and it is by far my favorite sound. You love water, your blanket, swinging, being outside, and being naked :-) You are so easy going that there is not much you do not like other than taking a nap. You are Mommy and Daddy's joy and you keep us smiling and laughing all the time. I love you my sweet baby. I look forward to watching you grow, but will always miss the days when you were my tiny little snuggle bug.