Monday, December 22, 2008

K sound is here!!!

Yea, just in time for a great Christmas present for us, Kevin can say 'k'! He actually can say his name if he really concentrates and thinks about, otherwise it still sounds like 'Devin'. The ending 'k' sound is coming pretty easily now. He says things like 'lock', 'book', etc with complete ease. It is strange how all of a sudden, just one day he can now say 'k'. Has he been holding out on me just so I would get a nice Christmas present? :) I have noticed that his tongue is moving a lot more now. He has some oral-motor issues and we have been working on his tongue movement a lot in therapy, and I guess it is starting to pay off.

What fun that my boy can now officially say his name!!! Now for our last name.... well that will be a while! Talk about a HARD name for a deaf child!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

new sounds and Happy Holidays!

Wow, what a difference a year or two makes in someone's life! 2 years ago, we had recently found out about Kevin's deafness and were going through the CI evaluation process. I remember Dec. 23 clearly... that is when Dr. Roberson walked in the room and said Kevin had 'a date with hardware'. He meant that all checked out well with Kevin's anatomy and that his surgery would be scheduled for a few weeks later! That Christmas was filled with sorrow, anticipation, and worry about Kevin and the whole unknown.

Last year, Kevin was well on his road with his CI and was a little over 18 months old and talking like an 18 month old. We did have that bump in the road when Kevin fell in October and knocked the internal magnet out and he had to have another surgery to fix that. That was a month of unexpected drama, but a blip in the road in the long run. He was doing great, but 18 month olds still don't really 'talk' like a person yet. I felt no more sorrow, but still had anticipation about him really talking, and, of course, worry about Kevin and the whole unknown.

Ahhh, this year! This year has been pure bliss with respect to Kevin's CIs. He is now talking like a regular natural hearing 2.5 year old and won't ever be quiet! He is processing information and returning thoughtful answers to questions, not just regurgitating words. In other words, he is REALLY talking!!! It has been so much fun watching him learn new sounds and new vocabulary. So, now I don't have any sorrow, no anticipation about him talking, but of course, I still have worry because I am a Mother and I think I always will. Part of the job description of being a Mom is being able to worry for your children because they shouldn't be burdened with that.

On to the new sound... Kevin can finally say 'G'. He says it very good at the end of words (pig, dog, hug) but just today started a word with a G sound. He said 'goat'. Up until now it was 'doat', but now he has 'goat'! Yea!!!! Now, the only sound that he hasn't really mastered is 'k'. Ironically, his name starts with that, but it will make it that much sweeter when he finally gets it! He can say it in isolation, just not in words yet.

I know that many more fun times await us in the next year!
Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My real name

Kevin has called me Mommy for about a year now. I would expect him to call me this (or at least, Mom) for the rest of my life. Yesterday, he was taking a shower with his Dad and wanted to get my attention and said, "Kristen, please get me my boat". I thought I was going to split a seam! I didn't even know he knew my real name, and he said it without even being able to hear (in the shower)! He has said it various times today, and I know it is a phase and he is testing out the sound of my real name, but I think it is one of the funniest things I have heard him say.

Kevin has quite the personality! He already is starting to crack his own jokes. His favorite is when we are all sitting around the dinner table and he says something that he knows is a joke (for a 2 year old) and gets this big grin on his face. Watch out teachers.... he will keep you on your toes!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Mommy

My birthday was last weekend and I captured the boys singing Happy Birthday to me. I love how Kevin is just a few seconds delayed in singing, but it also shows what a great language model his older brother is! Enjoy...

Monday, November 3, 2008

You're not listening!

Today I realized that Kevin has been listening to me all along, even when I don't think he is. I think all of his training, both formal speech therapy and informal family training, has paid off with Kevin's ability to really listen. Remember, listening is very different than hearing. We all know that we can hear something, but not really listen it, and therefore not process it. When we are in noisy situations, I often tell Kevin to 'listen to me' or 'you're not listening' if that is what is going on. I guess I have said that enough to Kevin. Today, we were playing play-doh and I was zoning and staring off in space thinking of all the things I had to get done that day, and Kevin said something to me about looking at his sculpture. The next thing I heard was, 'Mom, you're not listening'. I had to try hard not to laugh because the way he said it was just like I say it! I guess we all just hear sometimes, deaf or hearing, but don't listen!

On a side note, one of Kevin's new words that he picked up incidentally is weird. I was telling him that his old therapist was going to be a party and he said, 'that's weird'. He had the right context and everything! It's so nice to hear him really start to use incidental language like that!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

auditory memory

I feel that Kevin has had a huge bump in his language the past few weeks! I am sure it directly correlates to his last mapping, but it is so much fun to hear him talk up a storm using proper grammer, syntax, and clear(er) articulation! Something very exciting happened today, though, that brought tears to my eyes! This was one of those true 'CI moments' for me, as a Mom.

Kevin was in music class this morning and, as usual, was walking around the room rather than sitting in my lap. The teacher was talking about auditory memory and she wanted to show us this through the use of singing 'Itsy Bitsy Spider'. She would have us sing a phrase and then hold her hands to her mouth during the next phrase instead of singing it so that the kids would hear the song in the head rather than hear us singing it. I wasn't sure how much Kevin was paying attention because at that time he was more focused on things in the room rather than the teacher, but when she put her hands to her mouth, Kevin waited for the next phrase and then filled in the blank for her! For instance, we would sing, 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider' and Kevin would conclude with 'Ran up the water spout' once he realized no one was singing it. His auditory memory seems to be great! Also, I was impressed with how much he was paying attention without seeming like he was. It was great, my little boy who is deaf was helping fill in the blanks to the song!

He also did a very good rendition of 'Wheels on the bus' tonight. At his school, they were singing the verse about the baby crying and saying 'wah, wah, wah' to work on 'w' sound. He perfected it in his song tonight and actually said the entire verse perfectly clear.

I know that their language comes in peaks and then levels off and then peaks and levels off.... and we are really enjoying this climbing to a peak. I feel like Kevin is on his way to a completely different level right now!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Swtiching to BTEs? Maybe not now...

So, the skelaton earmolds arrived in the mail and I was anxious to try them out with the BTE setup. I just used the earmolds (not the wigtape) with his BTEs and they stayed on 'OK'. I feel like they flop off easier then when I use the babyworn setup and a huggie. It was a little discouraging because I don't seem to have any problems with the babyworn set-up. Maybe I'll go back to having my Mom sew pockets on his undershirts for the Fall and Winter and revisit the BTE in the Spring. It is so easy to just have a small earpiece on his head, so maybe I'll keep to that for a while. I just thought it would be nice to have him hear while being naked and not have to rely on special shirts. He is potty trained now, so I don't want him in a onesie... maybe a regular undershirt will work ok.
Kevin, however, LOVED the new earmolds! He wanted to take them to bed because he felt like he got a new toy. He was so sad when we told him he couldn't sleep with them. I wasn't expecting that reaction!!!

His speech is getting better and better each day! His language is just amazing, and the clarity is getting improving. He hit his head and said 'ouch' just as I would. I looked at my husband with eyes of disbelief and he smiled (thinking I was amazed he hit his head) and then it dawned on him how well he said 'ouch'. Yes... we will never take speech for granted with him!

Monday, September 29, 2008

latest mapping

Kevin had his latest mapping appointments last Wednesday and Thursday. We split the appointment up into 2 days (one day for each ear) just to make it easier on Kevin. Sitting still for 3 hours and concentrating the entire time just doesn't do it for him! It works out so much nicer to only map one ear each day. He did awesome! He was consistently hearing across the board between 15-20db on each ear. The higher frequencies jumped to 25db, but with the new mapping, hopefully those will go down too. We didn't do a hearing test with both ears due to my wiggly boy, but we can assume it would be better than the individual ear tests. The great news is that Kevin's ears have stabilized enough to have the next mapping session 6 months out. We have been going every 3 months, but now we can start going every 6 months. I feel like Kevin is getting to be one of those 'older kids' that I always looked to when we went to the implant center. I used to be the parent with confusion on my face, fear in my eyes, and a little baby struggling to keep his implants on. Now, Kevin walks in the office like he owns it, talks non-stop to the audi and the staff there, and I feel so much more at peace with everything. I love being on this side of things! If anyone is reading this blog who is just starting their journey.... you will be at this place before you know it! Trust me!!!

Anyway, Kevin continues to do great! He said a 10 word sentence tonight. 'Teacher stop reading her book, so we go in class now?' He was referring to his gymnastics teacher who was reading a paper before his class started. He said this immediately after she put the paper down. Nothing gets by this kid anymore!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Baseball

Tonight, Kevin said baseball! He has been omitting his initial and mid-word 's' sound for a while, and we have been working with him on saying them. He can get them if he really works at it. For some reason, the ending 's' sound comes much more naturally to him. He is even saying some plurals.

Well, tonight he was looking at a baseball and he kept calling it a bay-ball. I worked with him to get him to say bay-s-ball and finally he was able to say baseball so perfectly well! It flows off of his tongue very naturally now! Hooray! Maybe this will be a start of the 's' sounds...! Let's hope every 's' word doesn't take as much work... but at least he is starting to say them!

It is very fun conversing with him now. I understand him most of the time and he is a little chatterbox! He has a lot to say and he uses full sentences to speak. He is turning into a big boy right in front of me!

Monday, September 8, 2008

banana

I haven't posted in a while, but things are going well these days. Each day, Kevin's clarity seems to be improving. He has started some patterns of omitting initial or final sounds, but even that is getting better. Today, we were looking at a book and he saw a picture of a banana and said the word as clear as day! He didn't say 'nana' or 'bana' or anything else he was previously saying, he said 'BANANA'. I made him repeat it about 10 times! To me, this means that his tongue is really starting to work in his mouth. I am very encouraged by this.

Now, if we can only get those 's' sounds when he talks in sentences!!! That will be our next breakthrough..... :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Talking in bed

I used to comment that my older son (hearing) learned to talk in his crib. He would stay up for a long time just talking and 'reading' to himself after we put him to bed. That is where he would try out different expressions and words. Kevin never did that. I figured that he just thought bedtime was silent time.

Today, however, he figured out that bedtime is a time for talking too! Remember, Kevin can't hear while in his bed, but he has decided to take up talking himself to sleep too. We always leave a few books in his crib and today, while trying to take a nap, I heard him 'reading' Go Dogs Go. He would say, 'Big Dog, Little dog, Go Dog Go, etc'. It was really cute!

I don't know if his auditory memory is getting better or he has just decided to talk to himself in his crib, but either way it is fun to hear. I figure, the more he talks, the more practice he gets, and the better his language skills will be. (not that he needs to talk any more than he already does.....! He is NEVER quiet!)

Anyway, I just had to share how fun it is to hear your deaf child read to himself in bed!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kevin can hear while swimming!

Kevin swam with his ears on for the first time today! We 'waterproofed' them using the Aloksak bag and a lycra swim cap. Kevin hasn't been interested in using this technique for a while, but I just bought a lycra swim cap today and thought I would give it another try. He initially didn't want it on, but his brother tried on the whole get-up first. Kevin decided that it wasn't so bad and he liked it! He actually heard while swimming!!! I was sooooo excited!

I sang 'motorboat, motorboat' and 'Sally the camel' and played 'marco polo' with him. I never thought I would be able to communicate with him like this while he was swimming. This has now opened up so many doors for Kevin in regards to water activity. It will make our trips to water parks more enjoyable, going to the beach (lake, ocean, etc) easier, and of course, swimming much more fun! Not to mention how much easier his swim lessons will be!!!

I guess I should really enjoy this because I know there will be a time when he doesn't want to look different from everyone else. Being that he is only 2, he doesn't really care right now. Hopefully, by the time he does care, hearing in the water will outweigh his self consciousness about his look.

I don't think I have been this happy about anything related to his cochlear implant since he was activated. This was a breakthrough day!!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

'K' is for Kevin

Well, as luck would have it, we ended up naming our son a hard name for a deaf child. Kevin can't say the sound 'k'. He can't get that back of the throat hard consonant. We should have named him 'Bobby' or something like that which he can say perfectly! Anyway, today, he said the sound 'k' makes. We wasn't able to use it with a word yet, but he could say 'kuh' 'Dedin' for Kevin. (He doesn't put the 'v' in there either, but can say that in isolation too...). Anyway, I was jumping off my chair when he actually said the hard consonant 'k'. Hopefully it will be a matter of time before he can say his name!!!

The oral-motor therapy seems to be working well. His tongue movement is much stronger than it was a few months ago. I am also noticing a big leap in his articulation. This may be just due to his developmental age, but I think the oral-motor therapy is helping.

Hooray for the letter K!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

cute expressions

Kevin has started saying some cute expressions, which just puts smiles on my face all day long! He really sounds like an ordinary little kid these days! One of his favorite new words is 'maybe'. I ask a question and he answers, 'Maybe....'. For instance, I ask 'where is Grandma and Grandpa'. He answers, 'maybe they went on an airplane'. or 'maybe they at home'. or 'Maybe they come here'. You get the idea. He says it with this cute little inflection and I just it so sweet!

Another one it 'Oh my goodness'. He sees something out of the ordinary and starts running around saying 'Oh my goodness, oh my goodness'. He almost shouts this one because he is so excited!

The last one is 'all right'. When he doesn't want to do something and he finally 'agrees', he says 'All right' with a little sigh. I know he gets all of these from either his brother or me, and maybe that is why I find them so funny, but I just love hearing him start to say normal everyday expressions. These weren't 'taught' expressions, but rather just ones that he picked up in ordinary conversation. I don't think I will ever NOT be amazed by the way he talks!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

WALL-E

Kevin saw his first movie today! We took him and his older brother to see WALL-E. He actually managed to sit through the entire movie (while wiggling on my husband's lap) and seemed to enjoy it. He tried to repeat the sounds of all the robots, which I found quite amusing. It was a good thing the theater was pretty empty, because otherwise the people might have been annoyed with him. I, of course, found it amazing that he could make the robotic squiggle voice (I have no idea how to describe it, but if you have seen the movie, then you know what I am talking about.)

Other than that, things are just progressing along here. Kevin has really enjoyed school these past few weeks, which is a huge relief! I am still in his classroom, but he does so well when I am in there that I have no desire to leave and make him all upset again. He is such a good listener and follows the teacher's directions really well. I am quite amazed at how much he does at just 2 years old. I hope this is setting the stage for a good academic career!

Friday, July 11, 2008

7 word sentence

Things have really seemed to 'click' with Kevin this week. His pronounciation is improving and he is creating more sentences without prompting. Yesterday, he told me a 7 word sentence! 'I get Ethan a blue M&M too.' I feel his speech is really starting to improve and just in the last few days too!

He also decided to do some potty training this week all on his own.... hence the m&m's!!! My little boy is growing up!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Good Day

Ahhh, the power of prayer! At least, I'll think that is what saved me today.

Kevin has been quite a stinker about putting his processors on after they are off (when he wakes up in the am, after nap, after swimming, etc) If they are on and it falls off, he replaces it right away, but if they are taken off, then he won't put them on. It is a real struggle for me! I have ignored him, bribed him, punished him, but nothing works. When HE finally decides it is time, they go on without any struggle and all is fine. Unfortunately, his time schedule isn't always the same as mine and that is where the issues come in. I am confident this is a 2 year old issue and he is just trying to exert his control, but it drives me bonkers!

So, this morning, we had to head out to his first day of summer school at his deaf school. The last few days of his school, he decided he hated it and cried the whole time. I was hoping a month off would change things. So, after really struggling with his processors, they were finally on and he was happy. Then I told him we had to go to school, and he lost it. He cried frantically! My husband and I straight-jacketed him in the carseat with him still wailing. After about 15 minutes of crying and me trying to reason with him, I just lost it! While driving, I looked up and just prayed to God that I needed a break and please give me the strength to deal with this. WHY, why, why????? I didn't know what else I could do!

So, he calmed down, clung to me for the first 5 minutes, and then realized that this school was FUN! He joined in, played with other kids, participated in everything, behaved during therapy, everything I could have hoped for. (or prayed for). Something just clicked! Maybe God heard my prayers. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but for now, I feel like we are headed uphill again instead of spiraling down at a fast rate!

Ahhh, the fun we have with toddlers!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wisconsin study

We came back last week from the Wisconsin study for bilateral CI toddlers. It was really interesting to have Kevin participate in the study. They are comparing bilateral children to single CI children in 2 areas. The first test was to see how well the child can detect directional hearing. Kevin sat in a soundbooth with multiple speakers arched in front of him. He was supposed to look at the speaker that the sound came from. Only 2 words were ever spoken, so after time, Kevin 'habituated' and became bored with the test. They repeated this test numerous times throughout the 2 days... needless to say, Kevin became very tired of this test!
The second test was to see how well a bilateral child can understand sound with background noise. Kevin watched a movie and eventually they started to add background sound while having Kevin point to the object they said. This test interested Kevin much more than the other one!

I was very pleased with how well Kevin did with these tests. It was also nice to see Madison, WI. The weather was great and we got to explore the city. Overall, it was a very good experience for all of us!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Off to Wisconsin

Well, we are off to Wisconsin tomorrow to take part in a study for children who received bilateral implants at a young age. I am excited that Kevin is going to be a part of this study. I will help out in any way I can to show the benefits of receiving bilateral implants at a young age. I'm really excited about this trip... I just hope that Kevin cooperates during it. It is a long trip for a short amount of time, but it will be exciting, none-the-less.

I'll update when I get back and will tell you all about the study. I don't know too much about it right now.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Go Dog Go and O'Tootles

Kevin continues to talk and talk and talk! He just loves the fact that he can say so much! The other day, my husband and I were talking about the books that we read Kevin versus the ones that we read our other (hearing) son at the same age. Our other son was very advanced verbally for his age, so the books he enjoyed were more advanced. Kevin still reads mainly simple 'board' books, but the length of the books are increasing. He loves 'Mr. Brown can Moo', 'There's a wocket in my pocket', and 'ABC book'. (He is almost 27 months) So, I decided to read him one of my other son's favorites when he was 2 years old, 'Go Dogs Go'. This is somewhat simple book, but lengthy. Kevin loved it wanted to read it again! I was so excited because up until recently, he could hardly sit still for a book and how he wants to read long ones! He seemed to understand the book too! I was very encouraged by this!

Today, my kids were watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on tv. I was in the other room and I heard Mickey tell the kids to say 'O'Tootles' and then I heard Kevin yell 'O'Tootles'! I got such a kick out of him getting so into the tv. This is one show that really seems to capture his attention. It is nice to know that he hears and understands what the tv says! Yes, life is pretty normal for us right now!!! I couldn't be happier! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kevin had his mapping appts last Wednesday and Thursday. We split his mapping into 2 days now because he just has a hard time sitting still for all the tests for 3 hours. I love having the appointments on 2 days. It was soooo much less stressful on everyone. It also allowed Kevin to perform like a star because he wasn't so exhausted. You know how some days your kids just make you soooo proud? Well, these were 2 of those days. Kevin performed beautifully during the sound booth tests and dropped the ball in the basket when he heard the 'birdy'. He also said 'birdy' when he heard the sound. He was so reliable! This was the first time we got accurate individual ear tests. I was amazed at the results! He is hearing about 15-20db across the board for the left and 20-25db across the board on the right. With both ears he hears better than that! So, we are able now to start really fine tuning each ear to give him his optimal hearing. This is such an exciting time for him. He is just really starting to blossom and talks constantly! Actually, that was one of the hardest parts of the test. He can't stop talking for a minute and he needs to be silent during the test. It was quite amusing trying to keep him quiet so we could test his hearing. He was born to talk!!!

4 word sentences are now becoming the norm for him. The night of his mapping, I was laying in bed across from his crib trying to get him to sleep (we were staying out of town for the mapping, so I was in the same room as him). He knew I was there and looked up and said 'more juice please, Mommy'. He didn't even have his ears on at the time. As adorable and amazing as that was, I had to still say no. :)

As I was sitting with him in the sound booth trying to keep his attention so that he would do the test I was thinking how hard these kids really do have to work. I mean, how many 2 year olds are expected to sit still, be quiet, and drop a ball when they hear a sound. I know he has been doing these tests all of his life, but it still amazes me that he cooperates so much. I can see why many hearing impaired kids do so well in school. They have been 'trained' to sit still when you need them to!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Kevin's first song

Kevin learned how to sing 'Happy Birthday' yesterday at his deaf school. He had a bad day there and I didn't think he was getting anything out of the day, but I guess I was wrong! Today, he brought out the microphone and started belting out 'Happy Birthday'. I couldn't get enough of it!!! It wasn't anyone's birthday in our house, but it is still fun for him to sing! This is his first song that he has ever really sung!!! Enjoy!

Some things to take notice of are: 1. his clarity is getting much better, 2. He actually gets some intonation in his singing 3. when Dad prompts him in the background, Kevin is doing something else, but still hears it and responds.

For some reason, I can't seem to upload a video to my blog, so you will have to click to youtube to view it. Sorry...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIbjTmzkXzc

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hawaii

We were in Hawaii last week and the boys had a great time! This was the first time that Kevin really liked swimming and going on the beach. Maybe some of his sensory issues are lessening? He never liked different textures on his feet before, but this time he didn't seem to care about the sand. I was really happy that he liked swimming so much because we spend a lot of time in the pool during the Summer. I didn't try the Food Saver idea for water proofing the ears because I didn't want to lug it all the way there, but will definitely try that this Summer.

Kevin's language seems to be increasing daily. His clarity is getting better and better too. Yesterday he came up with a 4 word sentence that we all understood. 'Get my shoes off'. He wanted them off in the car and so he said that.

As a funny story, he learned a new word in Hawaii. We have been trying for a long time to get his 'p' sound to not sound like 'b'. He has been getting better at it, but he mastered it in Hawaii. I guess I have been teaching him the wrong words! Somehow he learned the word 'nipple'. He came running out of a room and pointed to his nipples and said 'nipple' clear as day! (I think his brother taught him that). Anyway, I guess he can say the 'p' sound. He then pointed to everyone's nipples and said it. He was very proud!!! :)

He also says 'open' very clear now. That was a word we have been working on FOREVER! He used to say 'oden', then it went to 'opesh', and now finally we have 'open'!!! It is amazing how mastering a single word can seem like such a victory!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sprinkler fun

It has been sooo incredibly hot here this week that we have been having quite a bit of water fun. Last year, the CIs were still new to me and I was paranoid about getting any amount of water on them. This year, I have learned to mellow out a bit. I just don't have the capacity to be nervous over every little thing! So, I am letting Kevin play with squirt bottles, hoses, and yes, even run through the sprinklers. He has enjoyed it and I love the fact that he can hear while getting in a water fight with his brother. The ears never get drenched, but they do get misted. I faithfully put them in the dry-and-store at night, but I just not stressing about it. According to the marketing material from Cochlear, the kids can 'run through the sprinklers', so that is exactly what I am letting Kevin do! So far, so good, and most important... Kevin is having a blast!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

'ing'

Kevin started to say 'ing' at the end of words today. I was really excited because it means that he is really hearing the ending of words. For example, we were working on saying 'sliding' and 'swinging' and he actually said the 'ing'.

Our therapy sessions are getting increasingly more difficult as he is getting more and more '2', but we still seem to be making progress, so I can't be too concerned about it. Everyone assures me that he is very typical, but his strong-will personality doesn't make doing 'therapy' for 45 minutes easy. Just when I think he isn't getting anything out of a session, he goes and says 'ing'. Go figure!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone! This video should say it all as to what type of Mother's Day I had. What a wonderful day!!! By the way, you will notice that Kevin says 'Happy Mommy's Day' instead of Happy Mother's Day. We didn't tell him to say that, he just created that on his own.

video

Friday, May 9, 2008

ooop....wrong ear!

Well, this really fascinates me! Kevin is now putting his ear on by himself 100% of the time. (Just the coil, not the ear piece). Because Kevin received his implant in Feb 2007, they did not yet have the id chip installed that will lock the processor if it is put on the wrong ear. I was always afraid of what would happen if he put the coil on the wrong ear. Would he be in pain, would he cry, what would happen? Well, this morning, he took one of his 'ears' and put it on his head. He looked at me, smiled and said, 'other ear', and put it on the correct ear. Wow! First off, I am so thankful that he didn't cry! Second, I guess it didn't cause him any pain. And finally, how in the world did he even know that the coil belonged on the other ear????? That just amazes me! There must be some kind of natural intuition that made him realize he needed to switch ears. I wish I could ask him what it sounds like. I can't wait for that explanation!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Boys will be boys

I just have to share how cute Kevin was in music class today. He really LOVES his music class and he was dancing around and singing with his new friend. There was a song that everyone was in a circle singing and the next thing I saw was Kevin, his friend, and 2 other boys sitting in their own circle just playing and singing to the music. It was so cute to see Kevin join in this music group and be so happy there. He is just a happy little boy enjoying all the things that a little boy should!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

a normal life

Kevin is at a point where little accomplishments happen daily it seems. It is so fun to see him becoming a little kid. Things are somewhat normal for us now. After living with a deaf baby for 2 years, I don't remember well what my old 'normal' was, but with the whirlwind and chaotic life of the past two years, I think I can safely say that things are normal again. Yesterday, Kevin ran out of his room and said, 'Ethan, where are you?" (more like ee-an, where-r-ooooo?), but he said it and all 3 of us understood him! Ethan, told him where he was and Kevin ran there. They then proceeded to have a little conversation (mainly Ethan talking and Kevin saying 'yes' a lot) but it was happening. It seemed like such a normal sibling interaction. Can this possibly be happening???

This morning, the boys were watching tv while I was getting ready and Kevin was singing very loudly near Ethan's ear. Ethan said, 'not so loud Kevin' and the next thing I knew, Kevin was singing softly. The communication is really there!!!

Another 'normal' experience happened today on the way to his preschool. We listen obsessively to the Music Together CD in the car because both boys like it so much. I knew Ethan loved it and knew all the songs by heart, but I didn't exactly know how much Kevin got it. Well, I was driving and the last song came on that says 'good-bye everyone'. Kevin immediately said, 'uh-oh, bye-bye'. When I asked him if he wanted me to play it again, he said, 'hello', meaning he wanted the hello song which is the first one.

All of these experiences are normal interactions with a toddler! I can't believe it! I really hoped we would get to this point, but to finally get here is amazing. Now, I am not kidding myself. We still have a long way to go with full comprehension and speaking, but hey, this is a first step!

The crazy thing is that while I seem to try to do 'therapy' all day with Kevin and his progress is going well, I still find myself questioning if I am doing enough. I think that is something that all parents of CI kids feel. Can I be doing more? I don't ever want to regret that because I was lazy or tired, he didn't progress as quickly as he could have. I know that parents are only human and have to take a breath once in a while too, but until he has truly mastered the language, I think I will feel this way.

Oh well, for now I will enjoy this bit of encouragement that the boys seems to have quite a normal relationship!

Friday, April 25, 2008

A natural therapist

I think I have crossed the line into the world of forever being a speech therapist! Yesterday, I was watching my friend's kids for a while and Kevin was still sleeping and my older son was out. So, it was just me and a 4 and 2 year old who aren't my own. We were playing with toys and the 4 year old was pushing a car up a ramp and I instinctively said, 'up, up, up' with the correct intonation. They just kind of looked at me like I was a very bizarre person. I realized that I was doing this with everything they did. The 2 year old picked up an animal and I instinctively said the name, asked what sound it made, and talked obsessively about it. I think it is so ingrained in me that I will forever be like this. It is kind of crazy how easy it is now to just talk about everything and I can't just say 'up', I have to say, 'up, up, up' raising my voice each time. CIs haven't just changed Kevin's world, they have changed mine as well!!! It was a pretty amusing realization yesterday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Preschool and Wisconsin

Kevin is growing up! Today he moved from his 'baby and me' class at his oral-deaf school into the preschool classroom. He probably should have done this a while ago, but I have been hesitant to have him be with the 'big' kids. Well, he is now one of those big kids. He fit right in and did great! I stayed in the room today and will slowly leave him over the next few weeks. He doesn't like being too far from me and so I think this might be a gradual process. We only go to the school once a week, so he isn't there all the time to really get comfortable with it. I was so proud of Kevin of how well he did today! I think he is really going to excel in this class!

We also got confirmation that Kevin is going to Madison, Wisconsin for a CI study. I know a lot of kids from the CICircle have attended this research project and I am happy that Kevin is going to be able to participate. I want him to help with CI research as much as possible to help further the technology and help other children benefit from CIs. I am so thankful that he has the opportunity to do this. We don't leave until June, but I think it will be a fun trip.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

amazing words!

Kevin brought tears of joy to my eyes twice today! Maybe I am just emotional because it is my other son's 4th birthday tomorrow (and I feel like he is getting to be such a big boy!), but Kevin's articulation just amazed me today. We were at the haircut place getting my son's haircut and they give lollypops to the kids. Kevin picked his out of the lollypop tree, walked up to me and said 'lollypah'. I asked him to repeat it and he said it exactly the same 'lollypah'. I have never heard an 'L' sound from him before, but he concentrated on it and you could tell he was trying so hard to make it. His tongue was sticking out between his teeth as he said it. My eyes welled up right then and there. I had no idea he knew how to make that sound!!!

Then, to top it off, later today, we were going for a walk with the boys in the wagon. We pretended it was a train and I said 'all aboard' just like a conductor says it. My older son mimicked me and then Kevin said it completely clearly, 'All Aboard'. I asked him to repeat it many times because it was sooooo clear, and those sounds and syllables just rolled off of his tongue. What a fun day!

Now I have to go get ready for the big birthday boys day tomorrow!!!

I've been tagged

I got tagged! Here's the rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Working as a consultant at Accenture (was Andersen Consulting at the time)

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. yogurt
2. granola bars
3. ice cream
4. cookies
5. fruit salad

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Buy a couple of vacation homes and have someone be able to maintain them
2. Start a foundation to help people receive cochlear implants

Five jobs that I have had:
1. Stay-at-home mom (my favorite!!!)
2. Director of Center for Internet research at Purdue University
3. Sales Engineer, Aligo (small start-up)
4. Director of Western States Sales Engineers at Net Perceptions
5. Consultant, Andersen Consulting

Three of my habits:
1. Dancing around the house
2. Singing out of tune
3. Being outside for any activity I can find (I would rather be outside anyday...)

Five place I have lived:
I actually was born and raised in the same house. All of my moving took place after college. Yes, I HATE moving!
1. Rocklin, CA
2. San Francisco, CA
3. West Lafayette, IN
4. Minneapolis, MN
5. Boston, MA

Add one new part (I am copying the question from Landon's Mom who copied it from Leah who copied it from Tina who copied it from Abbie):What do you want others to get from your blog?:
I want others to see the true progress of a child born with a profound hearing loss who received cochlear implants at a young age. This includes the ups and downs. I also want Kevin to be able to read this when he is older to understand everything he has accomplished with his language development! The last thing I want this blog to do is to give newly diagnosed children's parents hope. Being deaf doesn't mean their child can't live a very happy and 'normal' life and be a productive member of society in the hearing world.

I think just about everyone in 'my' CI circle has been tagged. If you haven't been, then consider yourself tagged by me! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

plurals

Kevin is starting to add 's' to the end of words. I can't believe I can actually hear and understand it, but he is starting to do it! Today, before naptime he wanted to read the book 'Doggies'. He usually just calls it 'doggie', but he actually said 'doggies'. Wow! I was blown away. He also said the 's' on another word, but I forget which one it was. What is more exciting is that I can understand the entire word, not just the first part of it. This tells me that his clarity is getting better and better!

Also, he is now putting his coil on his head about 80% of the time by himself. He is especially good at it when he has toupe tape on the processor, because that holds the processor to his ear. If there isn't tape on that part, then it usually comes off of his ear and he can't put the processor on by himself yet. But, if it stays on his ear, then he can slap that coil on and resume his activities! It is so cute to see him stop, put the ear on, and then go on playing like nothing happened. It is just the way of life with him and he doesn't seem bothered by it at all!

I am really enjoying these small milestones. I took the fact that my other son would talk for granted and never paused for a minute when he had these milestones (like adding an 's' to make a plural), but I will NEVER take for granted what Kevin can do. I also am trying to not take for granted anything with my other son anymore. I realize that hearing or not, it is God's miracle that any of us can talk and communicate like we do!

Friday, April 11, 2008

All playing together

My sister-in-law and Nephew are visiting this week and they haven't seen Kevin since New Years. I know that Kevin has progressed a lot in his language since then, but it has been fun seeing the reaction of them to his language. They are blown away! My Nephew is the same age as my other son, 4 years old. They have played together the entire visit and talked to each other. If Kevin says something incorrectly, my nephew gently corrects him and Kevin tries the correct way of pronouncing a word. It is really cute to witness. But, I think the best part is that despite Kevin being 2 years younger and deaf, he is not left out at all! He is right in the middle of all the action and many times takes charge and commands people to follow him. His favorite phrase is 'Kevin Do'. I think this take-charge and can-do attitude will help him overcome any obstacles that he faces. So far, his hearing loss isn't affecting him at all!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Another breakthrough

I forgot to mention another breakthrough that happened today. We were driving to Kevin's oral-deaf school and for some reason the batteries didn't charge correctly the night before. I already replaced one of them and consequently, was running late. On the way to school, Kevin said 'ear off'. I turned around and noticed that the light was blinking, but the coil was still on his head. I told him that I would fix it when we get to school and just to hang tight. He put his ear up to the coil, realized that it was still on his head and said, 'battery' (more like 'batt-y'). He knew he needed a new battery. Very exciting! He has been replacing the coil more and more when it falls off now, so I think since he realized it was still on his head, there had to be a broken battery in it. Also, since I just replaced one of them, he knew that was what was wrong. I was excited about the language he used and the correlation of events he put together. He is growing up more and more everyday!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Push and Mommy

2 new exciting words recently! First of all, I now have a new name. I am no longer 'mama' and am now officially 'Mommy'. I LOVE it!!! Of course, I was thrilled when Kevin started calling me 'mama'. I couldn't have been happier! But, I never really thought of me as a mama type. I always wanted to be 'Mommy'. But, I let Kevin decide and he seemed content to call me 'mama'. Well, as of a couple of days ago, I am offically 'Mommy'. I love the way he says it!!! He can finally say my 'official' name! :)

Another breakthrough was today at therapy. We have started doing more oral-motor therapy because he has the tendency to not move his mouth much when he talks. His 'b' and 'p' sounds at the beginning of words (big, pull, etc) sound like 'd' because he doesn't close his lips when he says them. Therefore, he has a lot of 'di, da, dah' words that all mean something different. He can say the sound in isolation and in the middle of a word (purple, apple), but gets lazy about the beginning of the word. Well, today we worked on 'p' and he finally said 'push'! Push!!! Wow! I was so thrilled!!! We are supposed to pick a letter of the week and work on that, so this week is all about 'p'. I think I will serve pears, peas, pizza, and other fun 'p' letters for dinner this week!

We're on a roll!!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

A child's perspective

I had an interesting conversation with my older (hearing) son tonight. He is almost 4 and very mature for his age both developmentally and linguistically. (I mention that because I think it adds emphasis to his comments). We were talking about something he heard that was loud and I said that he has sensitive ears. (He really does and I swear he makes up for Kevin's lack of hearing by how good his ears are.) He hears me say that he has sensitive ears often. He told me that is why he didn't need to wear implants. I told him that Kevin needed to wear them because his ears 'were born broken'. He then told me that he used to wear them and now he doesn't need to. I'm not sure if he really thought he used to wear them or was just testing or what, but I proceeded to tell him that he never wore them because his ears were born just fine. He then asked me when Kevin could take them off and his ears would be fine. I realized that by telling him his ears were broken, he thought this was like a cast and would 'fix' them. I explained to him that he would always need his implants to hear. We haven't talked at length with our son about deafness, partially because I thought it was too much of an abstract idea for a little kid to comprehend and partially because he had such a hard time dealing with everything when we were all going to the process of diagnosis, surgery, activation, etc. I think it is time to be more open with him and talk more freely about it. It was just a very interesting to me that he thought these were temporary. Wouldn't that be wonderful!?!?!??!

On another note, Kevin is really comprehending well these days. We took our son up skiing last weekend and Kevin hates the snow, so he stayed behind. When I got back, I asked him about the snow and where we find it and he told me 'at Lake Tahoe' in a very clear response. He stunned all of us!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

2 years old!

My little baby is 2 years old today. It is hard to believe that he is already 2. He seems like such a little boy now. 2 years ago today, my husband and I were ignorant of the deaf world. We had no idea how much our life would change when Kevin was born. Everyone said things would be different with 2 children, but no one had any idea how much different. This birthday marks a big milestone for us. This is a very happy occasion. Not that his first birthday wasn't happy, but Kevin was activated 2 months prior that and we were still getting used to the equipment. We were still experimenting with saying his name to him. This birthday, Kevin essentially will say anything you ask of him and we carry on conversations with him as we do with any hearing 2 year old. Basically, he is a normal 2 year old boy. He had a train party, lots of friends, loved his cake, and got very messy from the paint at his party. He is a normal 2 year old boy! He will even tell you he is 'two years old' while holding up 2 fingers. We couldn't be prouder of him.

So much has happened since my last post. We went to Hawaii for a week and everyone had a great time. It wasn't really an issue with Kevin's CIs. That is probably due to the fact that he really didn't want to get in the water, but still, it wasn't an issue. Everything just seems to be getting easier these days.... He also seemed to have a language explosion in Hawaii. His clarity is getting better and his vocabulary is increasing daily! He learned how to say 'yes' instead of 'yeah' over there. He will tell you that he saw '2 whales' very clearly and a whole host of other words that are Hawaii specific (sting ray, shark, big boat, etc). It is just getting so much easier to talk to him.

We are finding that while things are getting easier, we still put in a lot of extra work with him for speech, equipment maintenance, and other things that go along with CIs. This will never end for us. But, to our friends and distant family, they don't see the extra work we do, they just see Kevin doing really well and seeming to be hearing and talking like a hearing child. They don't treat us any different anymore. It is strange because in a way, I liked to have people feel bad that we had to go through all this extra work and ask us about it and now that it isn't as noticable, I miss it. There are times that I still get frustrated with everything related to CIs and people have seemed to forgotten that this is an ongoing condition and we still do need to be 'checked in' on to see how everything is going. It is just strange to have gotten to this point. I guess that is why it is so important to have friends with kids with CIs because they are the only ones who can really relate with everything we are going through. I don't know if this last paragraph was worded as I was thinking it, but hopefully the gist will come across.

Anyway, our little angel is 2 and is doing incredible. What a great year this will be.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Latest testing scores

We just got back from Kevin's Dr. appts yesterday. He had a 1 hour language eval, his bilateral mapping session, and an appt. with the surgeon for a routine follow-up. Whew! We were all exhausted last night, especially after the 2.5 hour drive home!!! Well, drum roll please, the results are in for his language tests!

The test was taken from a normal hearing child language test (as opposed to a DHOH test that is usually used). That means that this is the same test that is given to hearing peers, not just DHOH peers. He scored between 3.5 and 3.11 years for receptive language!!! He scored between 2 and 2.5 years for expressive language. Kevin is currently 23 months!!! Wooo hoooo! Can you even believe it! It is utterly amazing that he caught up so quickly and is doing so well after just 1 year of hearing. I always knew he was a smart cookie!!! :) He was even amazing me during the testing. What a fun way to start the day! Hopefully he will close the gap between expressive and receptive language sooner rather than later, because I think that is causing him some frustration as he knows what is going on, but can't express it fully yet.

His mapping was the most difficult yet, as expected. He is very much a 2 year old and didn't like being without his hearing during the neural testing. He didn't want to cooperate during the behavior testing (listening game), but was finally able to give us some results. The map didn't change much, as expected. He pretty much gave us nothing during the sound booth test, but mind you that was after 3 hours of solid tests (including the language test). I think he hears pretty well though, because he mimicked the sound of air coming out of a rubber ducky after he squeezed it. Even the audi was impressed with that!

So, our little angel is doing great and seems to be on track for mainstream into preschool. We do need to start some more emphasis on articulation now that his vocab and understanding is doing well. The work never ends!!! :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A new sound

Kevin started making a new sound today. It seems like the past week or so, he has really started to have clearer speech and tries to copy everything we say, but his sounds are the same. A lot of 'dee, dah, da, doh' etc. Today, he started saying the hard 'g' sound (like gut). He was saying it almost all day! It is fun to hear him say a new sound!!! His 'c' sounds were also clearer today.

I also took him to the zoo and he was saying all the animal names after I said them. He even said 'coyote'. That sounded like 'di-oh-tay', but he did it! It is funny how a new sound just brightens your day and really gives you a lift. I know Kevin is doing well and will be talking before we know it, but things like this are helpful confirmations!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Happy Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to Kevin. Happy Birthday to Kevin. Happy Birthday to Keeevvvvviiiinnnn, Happy birthday to Kevin!

Yea.... he made it! We all made it! We survived the first year with bilateral cochlear implants in an infant. There were many days when I thought I would go nuts, but we did make it and to see Kevin communicate so well, it is all worth it.

I remember reading posts from people who were at least a year further down the road than us when were getting ready for the implantation and I thought they were so informed and knew all the answers. Now I know, they aren't any more informed than us, just a little more experienced, but it is still pretty much trial and error with most situations.

This is our past year post-activation in a summary: 1 unexpected surgery, 4 defective processors, 1 cracked controller, 3-4 (I forget) cables, my son who can say 'I love you'. All the headache is completely worth it for him to hear! Everyday I am in awe of this amazing technology that can allow my deaf baby to hear me. Thank you!

Here is the video update of Kevin's 1st year progress: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-oToiei6e8
Enjoy!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Almost a year...

I can't believe that it has almost been a year since Kevin's activation! One week from today will be one year exactly! This Valentine's Day, Kevin can actually say 'I love you' (comes out like I uh you and I have to prompt him with each word, but he DOES it!) I find myself reflecting a lot these days about how all of our lives have changed since Kevin was activated. Obviously, Kevin went from a completely silent world to a hearing world and I can only imagine all of the changes he experienced last year. But, I also know that my world changed. When Kevin was first diagnosed, after the initial devastation I had complete fear. I had given birth to a child that I had NO means to communicate effectively with. If I wanted to hold meaningful conversations, I had to learn a new language. This is like someone giving you a baby and saying that the baby will ONLY speak Chinese and you better learn Chinese if you want to communicate with him. Of course, I was willing to learn a new language, but knowing that I HAD to was completely terrifying to me! Allowing Kevin to be implanted has given us the ability to effectively communicate at a much deeper level much earlier than if he didn't get an implant. He and his brother have a completely normal relationship and they communicate very well for an almost 2 and almost 4 year old. The day Kevin was activated last year was the first day I wasn't terrified of everything. I knew Kevin would be able to hear in this world and he would be able to hear me whisper all the sweet nothings in his ear. The last year year and just gotten sweeter and sweeter as Kevin has acquired his basic language skills and I know year #2 will be even better! I can't believe it has been almost a year!

Monday, February 11, 2008

incidental language acquisition

Today we were sitting in the family room and playing with a talking cookie jar where you put a cookie in the jar and it says something back. We were working on the listening game, which is how we perform sound tests in the sound booth. Basically, Kevin holds a cookie to his ear, I say 'oo' or another ling sound covering my mouth, and when he hears it, he repeats it and puts the cookie in the jar. He is very good at this game and we were just dusting off his skills since he is going in for another mapping in a month. The cookie jar talks in a cartoon voice and says things such as, 'do you want to play with me?', 'Let's count cookies', etc. Well, Kevin got bored of the game and moved over and started playing with an etch-a-sketch. All of a sudden, the cookie jar said, 'Can I have another?' in the funny cartoon voice, and Kevin said 'yes' and immediately put a cookie in the jar! I was amazed that he tuned in to the jar, understood the words, and then performed the action! Sometimes I wonder how much language he is getting from other sources, and this confirms that he clearly hears and understands from a lot of different sources.

He is putting more and more 2 word sentences together too. Today he said 'off shoe' for 'take my shoe off'. It is fun to see him explore more sentences. His comprehension is also getting better and better. In therapy last week, the therapist was hiding objects in a box and Kevin would have to say what the object was. At one point, she just said 'I have something that you can roll and throw' and Kevin immediately said 'ball'. We just looked at each other in amazement.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

more vocab and a great compliment

Kevin really seems to be having a language explosion these days and he tries to say just about everything we ask of him. It is really fun to witness! He pointed at a goose in a book and for months he has called it 'duck' and I correct him and say 'goose'. Well today he said 'goose' very clearly! Yea!!! He is also putting many 2 word sentences together. His new favorite is 'doggy pillow' for his pillow, but it sounds more like 'dogee pilbow'. It is really cute! We were at a superbowl party today and the family had an alphabet chart up and I couldn't believe how many of the pictures on the chart he knew! I would say about 60% he knew and could tell me. I am so proud of him!

I also got a great compliment about him tonight. The person didn't know it was a compliment, but it brought tears to my eyes to hear her say it. She is a mom in Kevin's playgroup and I have only known her for about 3 months. She has a little girl Kevin's age and she was telling me her daughter said a 4 word sentence today and she couldn't believe the length of it! I was saying that Kevin was just getting to 2 words and joking that he was behind. She, very seriously, said that because her daughter is a girl, she is an early talker and Kevin isn't behind. I looked at her and said, 'yea, and he is deaf too'. She just paused and said that she completely forgot about that and never even remembers it because it is so 'normal' with him. I know that I feel the same way, but to have an outsider say that to me and mean it just made me stop and think about how grateful I am for the technology that has allowed Kevin to function like a hearing person. It is truly remarkable!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Step Toward Independence

Kevin made huge progress today! While driving in the car, he knocked his coil off of his head and he managed to put it back on his head! Yea!!! This is the first time he has put the coil back on his head. He did this numerous times today, so it wasn't just a fluke. He can't get the ear-piece yet, but the fact that he can put the coil on by himself means he is one step closer to not having to have me be right by him in case it falls off. I am so proud of him!

He also did something really cute in the car today. We have been working on legs apart and legs together in gymnastics, so we were driving and all of a sudden I hear 'open... close, open... close' and I look back and he is moving his legs apart and saying 'open' and then closing them and saying 'close'. Now, it sounded more like 'oden...dooze', but I understood him and he was so proud of himself. He is really making huge strides these days. He even said 'help me' today too. I feel like he is making a lot of progress on expressive language right now.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

made my day

Kevin sure does know how to put a smile on my face. He also knows how to get me frustrated, and that is how this story starts...
He is getting over a cold and is getting his last molars in, so this past week he has been particularly fussy. I also think he is starting to get frustrated with not being able to communicate as well as he wants to, but hopefully that will just continue to get better. Anyway, I was getting pretty tired of his whining and crying this morning and trying to get the kids ready to go out and all of a sudden, clear as a bell, he said 'more ice'. We all stopped and looked and he was looking at us holding up his mesh thing that I put ice in to help with his teething. I was so excited and completely forgot about the fussing. I gladly gave him more ice! His speech seems to be coming along really well right now. He also said 'doll' really well tonight too. I even got him to say 'I love you' having him repeat each word after I said it. Now, that sounded more like 'I da uuu', but he did know what I was trying to have him say and he got a big smile afterwards. At least he is really trying to say everything I ask of him.
More ice.... his first 'prefect speech' 2 word sentence! He really does know how to put a smile on my face after a long day! :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

An auditory child

Kevin is starting to do something that only someone with CIs can do. He has quite a personality and he is really starting to crack me up! Let me first give you some background information on this story:
We are huge fans of the Supernanny. We use the 'naughty corner' with both of our children and it has proven to be extremely effective. If either one of the kids are misbehaving, we give them a warning and if the behavior continues, we put them in the naughty corner. Well, Kevin has always been a huge challenge to diaper and dress. He fusses and throws fits all the time. He has gotten better, but there are times when it is still difficult. The hardest time to change Kevin is right after his bath, because his ears are off and he can't hear me. I have become very impatient with this behavior, so I have started to grab the processor, put it on his head, tell him he is going to go to the naughty corner if this continues, and then remove the processor, get him dressed, and be done with it.

Well, now everytime he acts up without his ears on, I just move to grab the processor and he immediately lays down and behaves. I don't even have to put them to his head, I just reach for them! He even did this in the bath tonight when he was starting to act up over something. It just cracks me up that Kevin acts like he doesn't understand me without his hearing. Trust me, there are plenty of gestures, facial expressions, and mouthing of words for him to get the gist, but he cleverly acts as if he has no idea what is going on until he gets his sound input. I know I shouldn't get a smile on my face for this, but I really do. He is truly an auditory child!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The future American Idol

Ever since Kevin started hearing with his CIs, he has always loved music! He seems to enjoy music much more than our hearing son. I was always told that CI patients couldn't fully embrace music because of the finite number of pitches they hear. They said CI patients wouldn't truly be able to appreciate it. It doesn't seem to be true for Kevin. I added a video clip of him singing a few weeks ago. Now, he actually does sing and say the exact words to Patty-cake and he know about 3 other songs by heart, but he will never let me get those on film. In this clip, he is just belting out his rock and roll voice while 'playing' the guitar. I think it is very funny because he is in his own little world thinking he is a rock star! You never know, maybe he will be on American Idol. When we brought him home from the hospital, Elliot Yamin was still on AI. I remember thinking, well he is deaf in one ear and he is doing ok. Maybe this won't be so bad after all. Indeed, it isn't! Enjoy.

video

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy 2008

I can't believe that Christmas is over and it is already 2008!!! The boys had a great time on Christmas morning and enjoyed opening all the gifts. Actually, Kevin got stuck playing with the kitchen, so Ethan happily opened up the rest of his gifts.

And now it is 2008. I can't believe we made it to this year!!! While 2007 was a miracle year for us, it was also a very challenging year and I am looking forward to seeing what 2008 will bring. I am hoping to hear the words 'I love you' in 2008. I am hoping Kevin will be able to put his own coil back on his head when it falls off in 2008. Basically, I am looking forward to witnessing the huge progress in Kevin's language development that any typical child does between the ages of 1 and 2. He is pretty much caught up with his age in language development, but the speech is still somewhat unclear. I feel like he is on the verge of a break-through and it will be coming soon. I can't wait!!!

Happy 2008 and may this year be the best one yet!!!