Monday, October 31, 2011

Lots of Pictures

  There have been some fun events recently and that means lots of pictures! First, in preparation for E's upcoming surgery, they threw him a little party at preschool. E has really wonderful preschool teachers that love him so much!

CI cake (I blurred the name, not little fingers)

Party time!


Next up: Sailor suit pics! E's daddy wore this little suit when he was E's age. Grandma gave it to us and requested that we have E's photo taken. I wish I had the original pic of his Daddy to show you, but here is E sporting his daddy's baby outfit:

Finally, we of course have Halloween! My little E was Yoda this year. He played games, tried out his first bouncy house, and went on a little hay ride. All of that activity was followed by an early bed time :-)

"Cute I Am"

Playing Ring Toss

First Bouncy House Experience

Mommy and E with the Prize E Picked Out

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Turning the Tables

  Each week, E spends an hour with a therapist to work on his listening skills and communication with his hearing aids and in preparation for his CIs. One of the skills consists of us making a series of sounds and E responding if he heard them by placing a ball into a toy. In an effort to make sure he was really responding to the sound and not to the visual, the therapist would cover her mouth and make the noise. E suddenly started covering his mouth and making the same noise. Next, E turned the tables and wanted to be the one making the sound. He then wanted his daddy and the therapist to be his students and place the ball when he made his sound.
  Another exercise is for us to be able to ask E to identify images when we ask for them by sign and sound. In the bathtub, we have foam flash cards. We would float the cards and ask E to give us this or that. When he found the one we requested, we would clap and reward him with a tickle. Last night, E spread his cards out in the water then swirled his finger above them. He looked at me expectantly and signed for me to "find the crab." When I realized what he was doing, I picked up the picture of the crab and stuck it to the tile. He signed "crab" then clapped for me :-) My husband and I laughed so hard while E insisted we be his students again and again. The student has become the teacher!

  In preparation for E's surgery, we have been purchasing button-up or zip front shirts. After the surgery, it will be a few days before we will be able to comfortably put anything over his head. The most difficult to find were pajamas that didn't have to slip over the head. The zip footie pajamas are not acceptable to E anymore. They are made to fit closely to the body and E seems to feel too constrained in them. We finally had success when we found some pajama sets that I call the "old man style." They are so super cute on E and they seem to do the trick without making him feel trapped. We gave them a test run. Here are the results of a good night's sleep in his new jammies:

Monday, October 17, 2011

  Our little boy has become a tornado of activity. There are grins, giggles, tickles, and cuddles. There are new signs, new sounds, and discoveries every day. I sit in the floor with my little family and think, "THIS is what is it all about."

Tickle Monster Time!!!

Telling Mommy all about Blue's Clues

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jump in With Both Feet

  We had E's pre-op appointment yesterday. The surgery is not until November 4th, but a pre-op is valid for 30 days so we went ahead and grouped it with his other appointment. The second appointment was to discuss the MRI results and make final choice of implant device. It was a good day, but an exhausting one. We made the decision to go with the Cochlear Freedom implant and the N5 external processor. As excited as we are about the promise of a waterproof, swimming approved neptune processor, we couldn't argue with the reliability of the Freedom. In the end we chose proven reliability over future promises. It is not our ideal solution, but it is the best we have.

  Our latest exciting news is that E has been approved to receive an iPad to assist with his communication therapy. We will hopefully receive it mid November. It will be a great post-surgery surprise! It is not actually here yet and so we are continuing to be cautiously excited, but it will be fantastic if/when he gets it. E loves our smart phone and the toddler apps. They have been so great while waiting in doctors' offices and to prompt him in his sound therapy. I can't wait until he has his own iPad and can stop killing the battery on my phone!

  We continue to meet new deaf friends and many of them have started visiting our church. I continue to improve in my signing ability, but I am still far from being fluent or even "good". I can carry on a conversation, but I still have much to learn. I teach an adult Sunday School class. I was excited to find that our deaf visitors wanted to stay for Sunday School this past Sunday. We do not yet have a deaf Sunday School class in place yet and so I went in search of our interpreter. Unfortunately, our interpreter was not available. I grabbed our secondary interpreter and invited the visitors into my class. I proceeded to try to teach by signing as I talked. I was TERRIFIED! I am so grateful that our guests were willing to hang in there with me and I am excited that they desired to attend so much that they were willing to accept this very improvised situation. We all made it through and I am proud to have forced myself so far outside of my comfort zone. I would not call it a success, but I think that there is a lot of great things to be said about the patience, determination, and understanding of everyone involved.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Surgery Date

  We have been given a new surgery date. The new date is November 4th. The good thing about the new date is that it is a Friday and will allow my husband and I to both be with E during the weekend to just hold and snuggle him. It's hard to believe that we are now only a month away!