Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Time!

Santa brought a climbing castle, a pop-up tent and tunnel, clothes, videos, etc.
(we didn't attach the slide because it wouldn't fit in the room!)

Checking it all out

Quickly got the idea

Watching TV in the crow's nest

Investigating the contents of the stocking

Aquadoodle time! Mommy loves that it is only water :-)

Tee Ball time

My very own digital camera!

Four wheeler fun (and the blankie of course)

What do you mean, "that's not how it goes"??

  E had a very big Christmas. He is one very loved little boy and he really racked up on the gifts! Thank goodness most of his gifts this year are for outdoor play because we have no more room in the house :-) Between his parents, grandparents, and family friends, he had a VERY blessed Christmas. 

  We had a hard time this year trying to find "cochlear friendly" gifts. We were not very successful. As you know, static is the enemy now. We debated for quite a while on getting the climbing castle because plastic = static, but E loves climbing so much that we decided to just go for it. He will just have to learn that playing on plastic means he has to take off his cochlear. He can still wear his hearing aid, so it's not a big deal and of course we still sign, so he can still communicate just fine. Being that pretty much EVERY playground is a plastic palace, this is probably a good lesson learn anyway. We keep static spray and Bounce sheets with us everywhere we go. We even wipe or spray down his winter gear since the fleece and nylon are on the enemy list too. I am sure we are being overly sensitive, but we got the statement just before Christmas showing the cost of the surgery and the device. Wow kid! you are wearing a small house on your head! I think it is going to take a while before we get used to the idea and aren't so super careful about it all. What do you other CI parents do to guard your little one against the static monster??

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Pictures

This is one of the "out-takes" after he stuck his finger in the milk and found out it wasn't real. That face says it all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


  This past weekend, we stayed a couple of nights with my husband's sister and family because my husband was asked to perform the wedding of one of his former youth. E decided this was a good time to use his new hearing skills and bust out a few words to surprise us all. We wait until he says something repeatedly and usually with accompanying sign before we count it as a real, intentional spoken word and not just babble that happened to sound like something. We have THREE honest-to-goodness words! E said DAD, HOT and DUCK repeatedly, in context, and usually with the matching sign.

  E has only had his cochlear turned on for about three weeks, so this is pretty amazing! There are new letter sounds showing up in his babbling as well. His new favorite is "tut-tut-tut." The t sound is one that he did not seem to register before. Now, we are getting t's loud and clear! E is still wearing his processor well and even attempts to put his coil back on if it disconnects. I am so proud of my little man and the amazing things he has already accomplished. I firmly believe that he is advancing well due to the great language base he already had through ASL. I look forward to keeping you all updated on his progress with both new signs and new verbalization :-)  The other, non-confirmed words so far are MAMA, DRINK, BYE-BYE, and UH-OH. Stay tuned to see if these become confirmed with certainty!

  In other news, we have added another sea horsey to our home. We had our bases covered by purchasing three identical blankies once he showed an attachment, but we only had one singing sea horse that E sleeps with every night. Well, sure enough, we left the beloved sea horsey at his aunt's house. Daddy to the rescue with an emergency Walmart run! In 18 months, this is our first emergency Wally World trip, so I guess we've been lucky. My sweet baby E in snuggling with Sea Horsey the Sequel tonight. Don't worry Sea Horsey Part One....not toy left behind! We will recover you and there will be a nice trip to the washer and dryer in your future ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hair Cut Time

  We had another cochlear mapping appointment today. Since we were going to be traveling for the appointment, we also found a salon specializing in children near the cochlear office. We had let E's hair grow pretty long because we were uncertain if any would have to be shaved when he had his surgery. We really like the shaggy/surfer look for him, but it was getting out of control. It wasn't just long; there was a TON of it. My kid has a lot of hair! Thank goodness it is stick straight like mine or we definitely would have reached "Fro" status. Since his hair only looked as if it had been brushed for the first 30 seconds after I fixed it, we decided it was time for a trim.

I present for your viewing pleasure the "BEFORE" pic:

E picked out the plane to sit in and was very content to steer his plane and watch Monsters Inc. on the television. This place really has the right idea! With the exception of the cape, he was very easy going and perfectly behaved. The cape was NOT happening. Once he made that clear and we consented to do the cut cape-free, life was good.

Now, thanks to a quick and skilled stylist, here is the "AFTER":

Instant transformation occurred from baby to little boy. The chubby, rosy cheeks aren't going anywhere though :-) 

Just hanging out, getting a trim, flying his plane, and watching the in-flight movie!

  The mapping was quick and went well. They were pleased with his progress so far. He was given another set of increases to work through and an appointment for the next mapping. We are noticing small changes. He is interested in some of his toys that make sound that went unnoticed before. He is adding new letters to his babbling. He has said two different words, but we are unsure if they were intentional or understood. E turns when we call his name. We are pretty sure he recognizes his name. E has already started to indicate that his cochlear needs to be put on or that the coil has disconnected. He already makes an attempt to put the coil back on by himself. I am pleased that he seems to like wearing it and recognizes what it does for him. We are still using sign language with him and plan to continue to do so. We both sign and verbalize the things we say to him. He is great at sign language and loves it. We feel it will be very important for him to maintain his signing communication and not rely solely on the device.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


  I have a very active toddler. He is a happy boy though. He chatters constantly. It is not whining or crying, just chatter. We had a very long day yesterday with driving, waiting rooms, and doctor's offices. At one point, my husband took E and let him just do a few laps around the hall while we were trying to adjust the program on his hearing aids. The chatter in the room was interfering with the computer reading, so the audiologist suggested just letting him stretch his legs a little outside of the room. E ducked his head into a sound booth that was not being used. This apparently annoyed the doctor in the booth's office. He gave a dirty look and shut the door. REALLY?! A giggling toddler bothers you that much?! He didn't touch anything and the room was not in use and he recognized it because he has been in a sound booth quite a few times. Maybe it is just me, but I think a person that gives a nasty look to a happy toddler is just a miserable human being anyway.

  We stopped for dinner on the way home. When we were seated, an older lady beside us clearly was not happy to see that a toddler was going to be placed at the table beside hers. Maybe she has had bad experiences before, but do not pre-judge my kid. She was obviously a regular at the restaurant and continued to have a kind of scowl on her face as she finished her dinner. E was not doing anything wrong. He was chattering as usual, but he was happy. He was not throwing a fit or screaming or anything like that. I guess the constant chatter could be annoying. Maybe she just doesn't like kids.

  Don't get me wrong, I am all for parents being parents and keeping control of their little ones. I think any person that takes a toddler to a movie theater or a fine dining restaurant should be slapped. There are definitely places that should remain kid-free. We were not at one of those places. We were at Cracker Barrel. The place has a peg game to entertain adults on the table. As for Dr. Sourpuss, I am going to guess that he A: has no children and B: does not work with children and C: should switch to boxers because he obviously has his "panties in a bunch" if a giggling, happy little boy poking his head into an empty sound booth upsets him that much! Kids can be annoying and I will admit that I do not like every child I meet. Some kids are truly just out of control. My child is least not yet. If he ever gets that way, I pray that I have the good sense not to subject the public to him until I work out the discipline at home. In the meantime, PLEASE give parents a break and realize that children are a blessing and that you USED TO BE ONE! If my little boy smiles and waves at you and you do not smile back, be aware that I will assume that you are a complete and total jerk. I just want to give the heads up on that. My message this Christmas season to all of you GRINCHES out there that cannot enjoy the twinkle of discovery in a child's eye or the music that is made when a little one giggles is simple:


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas and Clemson

Playing Outside and Supporting Our Team (Go Tigers!)

E and His Best Friend Touching Heads (mutual adoration)

E Helps Decorate the Tree
(I love the blue blankie...makes me think of Linus)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cochlear Cuteness

  Well, I know you all want an update on how E has taken to his new accessory. The first few days, he kept taking it off. He didn't take it off because it bothered him, but because he wanted to examine it. He kept pressing the magnet obviously convinced that it was a button and should cause something to happen. We had to downgrade the magnet strength so it wouldn't irritate his skin. We were a little unsure about lessening the magnet strength because we didn't want the coil to come off too easily. Basically though, it IS going to come off. The way E cuddles and plays, it gets knocked off frequently. The good news is that in the past couple of days, E has accepted his new "ear" and does not mess with it. He also has started to come to me and alert me if it disconnects. This seems to indicate to me that he is benefitting from wearing it AND that he likes having it connected. It is a great relief to me to see that he seems to enjoy his new world of sound. As many of you know, it was tough for me to make the decision to get E a cochlear implant. It is very reassuring to see him enjoy it and feel like I actually made a good decision.

  As part of the package of stuff that we received with E's implant, we were given a stuffed koala that wears a Cochlear brand shirt and has two plastic CIs on the ears. The plastic processors attach with velcro to the koala's head and are actual size. E removed one of the koala's processors last night and insisted that I wear it. Thanks to the velcro, it stuck to my hair and sat behind my ear just like E's actual processor. He seemed to be very satisfied and convinced that I was missing something by not having a CI like him. My husband came home to a good laugh when he saw me wearing the koala processor on my head.

  Our cat used to be a paci thief. When E was very small, he would take only passing interest in his pacifiers, but the cat would go to great lengths to steal them and play with them. We would often find them in our bedroom where she had made her stash. We steam sanitized pacis ALL THE TIME. Well, now she has figured out that his sippy cups contain milk. She stalks the sippy cup for the perfect, unattended moment and then we find her licking the spout. Now we are sanitizing sippy cups ALL THE TIME. No matter how diligent we try to be in putting the cup where she cannot get it, she seems to still catch that perfect opportunity. No amount of fussing or scolding deters her. She lies in wait for her precious sippy cup of liquid gold to be placed within reach.

  In other news, I applied to school to pursue a certification in ASL interpreting. I have always wanted to get a masters degree or just take more classes. I'm a dork like that. My perfect job would be having someone pay me to be a full time student. I always said that I did not have time because I worked full time. Well, now that I am being laid-off at the end of the year, my job is no longer an excuse. I still plan to work freelance or maybe part time, but it seems that I will be undergoing a personal re-invention. Maybe I'm crazy? Yeah. Probably.