Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Our visit to Santa!


We have a tradition of visiting Santa at Heritage Farms in Hudson, IA.
Although it's nearly a two hour drive for us, the kids have found a lot of magic in it every year! This year my Mom was able to go with us and we really had a great time! Valarie is always the most excited to see the horses, Santa is exciting too, but the horses are her thing! There is a barn with a little pin set up in the middle for the kids to climb in and pet various animals. This year there were piglets, bunnies, sheep, a pony, and kittens. They also had a few different dogs in the barn that were very friendly. Evan was intrigued by the cage with the chickens! He was very vocal about them! We also had the opportunity to ride horses, as I said Valarie's FAVORITE thing! She wanted to ride the Clydesdale, but I encouraged her to ride the much smaller one! It is always a challenge to persuade her to get down! Riding in the sleigh is always so fun for the kids! They have beautiful horses pulling the sleighs through the field and through the trees to the cabin to see Santa! On the way back this year Valarie was brave and rode on a sled pulled behind the sleigh! She was so very proud of herself! Evan was very observant the entire time, a little unsure of the entire thing, but he took it all in! The visit with Santa was scary for Evan! He is at the age that strangers are not so great and one with a red suit and beard is way off the stranger danger metor! So of course he cried and we took a tearful picture and then he was fine. Grandma Wendy took him by Santa later and he did actually touch his beard and check him out as long as Grandma was holding him. Then it was out to check out the snow! He was not a snow lover either! He tolerated it long enough for a quick picture yet again and then back into mommy's arms! The girls loved every minute of everything! The sleds on the snow hills were a blast and having Grandma with was a treat! The kids also loved playing on the swings in the hay loft! As we finished up the trip we were surprised to find presents in each car seat for the kids when we returned! Each one of the girls got a new movie and Evan got a new little tractor. How did Santa know what movies they wanted and that the tractor have to be red at our house they asked...well Santa just knows these things! So the tractor brought the first smile out of Evan for the trip and we headed home. There were a lot of opportunities for listening and learning! Animals sounds, sleigh bells, and of course Santa's "HO, HO, HO!" Christmas is so much fun!

Friday, December 11, 2009

We are not alone...Today show showcases a CI Family

This is a great story that showcases a great example of the miracle of cochlear implants. This mom of these three beautiful children is a member of a fb group I am a member of. It's so exciting to see that these wonderful people I have reached out to and read posts to and about are actual people that I can learn so much from. Our journey has just begun and it's so reassuring to know that we are not alone, there are so many families going through the same thing that we are on a daily basis! The CI kiddos this showcases have a genetic loss, Evan's cause is undermined and probably will remain that way. Occasionally hearing loss just happens, but it's such a small part of who he is and who he will become that I can't imagine him any other way! Take the time to check out this wonderful story!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mapping went working on more speech!

So our last mapping appointment went wonderfully! Evan was a trooper as normal and responded well to sound as they set each processor. For most of the session he played and hummed along with the beeps, but by the end, he had had ENOUGH! It was nap time and so the last few minutes he really could have cared less what we were doing! For a 1 yr old I am amazed at how well he really does do! It actually worked out great, because eletrophisiology was next, perfect nap time~ he slept through the entire appt. and then we were done! Unfortunantely his speech appointment was cancelled at the last minute, so hopefully it will get rescheduled for next time!

After some research and deliberation, we decided to get Evan referred for some additional speech services. For you parents who have been through this already, you know how hard this can be!

We are not located near a school for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing, but we do have great Area Education Resources and distance learning courses available through various schools. So I have signed up for the John Tracy School Distance Learning program and also have started our path towards additional support services through our local outpatient hospital services. Evan's TOD is amazing and will continue to work with him weekly...His AEA speech pathologist is also good with him and has been able to commit to twice a month! We will take as much as we can get, but after some digging and suggestions from his CI team, we had his evaluation for weekly speech as outpatient service in Mason City as well. Although it's a jaunt, it's so worth it! His speech therapist there is Wendy and seemed very excited to work with him. She supported the importance of early intervention and early speech development! I am excited to work with her and to watch Evan as he continues to progress!

I know as parents, Rich and I are his primary educators, but I am not trained to do his therapy! I will do all of our homework, play, and be the best advocate I can be! I vow to be the best mommy I can and seek out as many resources that I can to benefit him! I am really eager to continue this journey, and watch my Deaf baby learn to listen and eventually Speak!