Friday, January 27, 2012

Bean Counter

  I am always trying to find something to entertain E for more than 5 minutes at a time. Tonight, I bought a bag of dried beans from the grocery store and decided they would be a good source of entertainment for E. I gave him two bowls, a scoop, and an empty parmesan cheese container. He spent a good twenty minutes or so transferring beans and using his little fingers to put beans one at a time into the cheese container through the holes in the shaker top. Dried beans + empty containers = 20 min of fine motor skills play (aka mommy time-out!)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Skinit for Cochlear

  When we received our big suitcase of equipment for E's cochlear, it included a voucher for a free Skinit for the processor. We finally ordered it and it arrived yesterday. My husband picked the Clemson Skinit. I have heard that they usually last about six months, so he decided that we would change to maybe Red Sox next :-)

Here is what the sheet of "skins" looks like when it arrives. I am not really sure what the set on the top and the set on the bottom are for. The ones in the middle fit the N5 processor and batteries. Because I only put the stickers on the portion of the processor that faces out, I had enough to put on all four of his batteries. 

TA-DA! E's Clemson Tiger cochlear processor! If you have other brands such as MedEl or Advanced Bionics, you can even put a skin on the coil portion. Obviously, that's not really possible with the open style of the Cochlear brand coil. I'm so excited that E will have options for expressing his style and making his device fun. I look forward to seeing what he picks out for himself when he is older. You can even design your own and being that mommy is a *ahem cough cough* GRAPHIC DESIGNER...he can design his Skinit any way he can imagine ;-) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hot Dog Dance

  I mentioned a little while back that E likes to dance to the "Hot Dog Dance" on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. This morning, he had his back turned playing and when the song came on, he heard it and jumped up to dance. This time, I got it on video. There is a strange moment of zen in the middle lol and then he always waves goodbye to Mickey :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012


  E showed interest in jumping for the first time tonight. He started trying to do it after we read about a kangaroo in one of his books. Our living room has been the victim of a toddler tornado in this video, but he was having a ball! It cracks me up how he is like, "I am doing the same squat and stand thing you do, but my feet aren't leaving the ground...what gives?!" He is already a balancing, climbing, tumbling dare devil so I can only imagine the things he will do when he masters jumping. I find myself on a regular basis asking, "where and HOW did you get THAT bruise?!" He currently has a bruise on the outside edge of his ear. For real. HOW is that even possible??

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Starting Over

  I have officially begun the next chapter of my life. My job of almost six years ended with the end of 2011. I started classes to become an ASL interpreter. It will take approximately two years to complete the course work and obtain certification. I am continuing to work as a graphic designer on a freelance basis, but am unsure how much work I will be able to receive. It is a strange feeling for me to not really have much of an idea of what life will look like for us in the next year. I am clearly a type A personality and I like to feel like I have a good sense of what to expect within reason. I cannot recall ever feeling more adrift than I do at this moment. When people ask me, "what are you gong to do now?" I can only smile and shrug.

  E continues to thrive as always and impress everyone with his intelligence. He has not added any additional verbalized words, but continues to use the five already acquired. E continues to sign and surprise us by signing words we did not even realize he knew. He has mastered signing most of the alphabet and has seemingly decided that his favorite letter is O. I do not know why he loves O, but he seeks it out on his iPad letter apps and it is his favorite to try to write. He is very articulate in telling us what he desires. The other morning, he walked up to my husband and signed, "please more milk" and handed over his sippy cup. I am very pleased with E's ability to communicate and hope that he keeps improving his ASL skills along with his verbalization. Though E is consistently responding to his name, he is also developing the selective hearing common to most toddlers. E is becoming quite the expert at ignoring me both verbally and visually when it suits him to do so. E will even purposely look away if you are telling him to do something or stop doing something that doesn't agree with what he wants. We have a headstrong little boy on our hands and I have no doubt the "terrible twos" are going to be interesting!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New EAR!

  This morning was College Sunday at our church. The college students all come home and lead the worship service. After the service, I went and got E from the nursery and brought him into the worship space. The college students were still on the stage playing music as everyone left. My husband took E and allowed him to go up on stage and see all the instruments. I was chatting with a friend and looked up to see my little boy standing in front of a guitarist, DANCING!!! It was clear that he not only FELT the music, but that he HEARD it too! I suddenly found myself grinning with tears rolling down my face. I am not a crier. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I do not do the tears thing. I am an ugly crier and I always get a headache after, so I have trained myself well to avoid "emotional leakage." The sight of my little boy happily tottering and dancing to the music caught me off guard and a flood of things I have held back over the past year broke through. Afterward, the drummer let E sit on his lap and play the drums. E is surprisingly well coordinated for a toddler and used the drumsticks to test out the various sounds. He seemed to like the cymbals best.

  I just can't describe the feeling of seeing everything we have worked toward for the past nine months manifest in a moment of dancing. It was like digging a tunnel and suddenly breaking through into the fresh air. You all know that getting the CI for us was NEVER about trying to change our baby. We only wanted to give him all the tools and opportunities we could give. My husband and I have always been music lovers and to have my son use his CI to get such obvious enjoyment of music after having it for such a short time was a very unexpected surprise for me. He had started dancing to the "Hot Dog Dance" on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but we were unsure if he was dancing because of the music or if he was mimicking the characters dancing on the screen. There were no other people dancing on that stage today. It was clearly the music. I am so excited to share with you all that my new year started off with tears of delight! Happy New EAR to you all!