Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Although we did not have a white Christmas this year, we still made memories.  It has been nice to have the kids off school and to be able to enjoy some relaxing days.  I am getting use to this sleeping in and am really not looking forward to the 6:00 am mornings that will come next week.  We enjoyed going to the Columbus zoo to see the lights, my Dad and step-mom spending time with us, Christmas Eve service at our church, Christmas day with Bill's family and a family Christmas party last night with Bill's extended family.
We are looking forward to finally taking a family vacation in 2012, we are still working on the details, but needless to say, we are all pretty excited about it.
We wish you and yours a very blessed New Year!

                                                                      Christmas Before
                                                          Christmas After
                                                             Our best gifts of all!

Friday, November 25, 2011

So much to be thankful for.

At this time of year, I like to reflect on what I am thankful for.  This year, I think I will just make a list.

1.  My wonderful husband, Bill-  We were married 12 years on Nov 20th.  You are my rock and my best friend.  I can always count on you.  I love you, babe

2.  Jared William-  My wonderful 1st born.  You are creative, funny and so loving.  Even at 10 years of age, I can count on you to give me a hug goodnight.  I hope you never get too old to hug your mom.

3.  Allison Elizabeth- My precious little girl, although you are not so little anymore.  You are a fighter in every sense of the word.  You have overcome so much in your life, from being born 10 weeks early, spending 9 weeks in the hospital and 6 surgeries in your 9 years.  Through it all you never lost your sweet spirit.

4.  Jordan Matthew- My surprise child.  Even though you were not planned by mommy and daddy, you were most defiantly planned by God.  You are independent and oh so smart.  You amaze me everyday with how your mind works.  I look forward to watching you grow.

5.  Technology-  Hearing aid and Cochlear implants are a vital part of our lives.  I enjoy watching Jared and Allison blossom because of their hearing aids and CI's.  I took Allison to get her new Nucleus 5's this week, she did a booth test and is now hearing at 20 dcB in BOTH ears!  AMAZING!!!!!!  Both Jared and Allison will be singing in our church's Christmas program.  They may never be professional singers and win a Grammy, but they can enjoy the sounds of the seasons because of modern technology

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How Ironic

How ironic is it that the child that we got cochlear implants for because we didn't want her to use sign language( we wanted her to be oral)  is now wanting to learn sign language and in fact is already learning some sign language.
That is the wonder of cochlear implants.........Allison can learn sign language not because she has to, but because she wants to.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall 2011

I apologize for my lack of blog entries, but this is the wonderful time in a CI family when there is nothing new to report. Life is so normal that you sometimes forget that your child has a hearing loss, although I am reminded every night when I see the hearing aides and CI's on the TV stand waiting for the next day.

The kids are doing great in school, just finished the 1st nine weeks and we are looking forward to getting their report cards.

Allison is anxiously waiting for her new Nucleus 5's to come in. We finally got the insurance issues taken care of, so she should be getting them soon. Her new FM is waiting for her at school, for once it is there before she needs it.

Jared is once again playing basketball for Upwards. We love the program, it is wonderful to allow him to play and have a positive spin on things. It is not all about winning and who can be a superstar, it is more about building character and sportsmanship while learning the game of basketball.

Jordan loves preschool and I love the fact that I am his teacher. We do about 15-20 min 3x's a week. which is enough to get him through the letter of the week, his numbers and a simple math page. I am going to do some theme weeks especially with the holidays coming up. We also do story time at the local library, I love the fact that they also do a craft, which allows him to get his art time in as well. He gets to get messy and I don't have to clean up-the best of both worlds. :-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Allison's 9th and Jordan's 4th Birthday

Jordan's Cake

Allison's cake

Allison's "big girl" duffle bag, she has out grown her princess one.

Lung Power

Our beautiful 9 year old

Our handsome 4 year old

Here are just some of the pictures from this past weekends parties.

Kiddos to Allison for being willing to share her birthday party with Jordan. She has never complained once about not having her own party. Next year she will get her big one....10 years old is a big deal in our house.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

9 Years

9 years ago today our world was turn upside down when Allison decided that she didn't need to wait 10 more weeks to be born. What a roller coaster of emotions we were on, but God was faithful and after 9 weeks in the hospital, we brought home out beautiful little girl.

Happy Birthday, Allison! You are an amazing young lady.

Monday, September 12, 2011

4 Years

4 years ago at this very minute, I was holding our new born son. It is amazing how fast these past 4 years have gone.

Oh the things he has learned and the things he has taught us.

Happy Birthday, Jordan. You are a gift from God.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer Time, Sum, Sum, Summertime

The kids have been out of school for over a month and are enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer. My cousin, Jeff gave us their old swimming pool( which they outgrew, but is a perfect size for us). The kids would live in it if we let them.

Our days have been filled with 2 weeks of Vacation Bible School, playing with friends, a trip to the zoo with Grandpa and Grandma Krull, and swimming. Bill and I get a vacation of our own when my Dad and Step-Mom take all 3 of the kids to NY for 7 days!

OH and the biggest news of all!!! Jordan is 100% potty trained!! Can I get a Woo, Hoo!?!? He finally figured it out, just in time for the NY trip.

Enjoy the last month of summer, before we know it the buses will hit the road again and it will be back to lunch boxes and backpacks.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Allison's Poem

This is what Cochlear Implants have done for Allison!! I will not write anything else, I will let Allison speak for herself, because that is what she can do.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

End of the Year

Yesterday I had the 3 year reevaluation/IEP meetings for Jared and Allison. Wow! It is bad enough sitting through 1 of those, but I had the joy of sitting through 2. I know it is probably the law, but do they have to read all 44 pages to me word for word?
Both kids are doing great! We are really pleased with their progress. Of course they both have areas that they need to work on, but what kids doesn't? I am sure they would have the same areas if they where not HOH.
Here are the highlights:

Jared has made great progress in the area of reading. He is reading at a DRA level 34. He has mastered all of his reading goals on his IEP this year.
His phonemic awareness and word attack skills have improved a great deal.
He is reading 100% of the high frequency words on the UA district high frequency word list.
Jared enjoys writing and loves to express himself. He does need work on encoding unknown words and increasing his knowledge of affixes.
Like his mother, he struggles in math. It took me a long time to get those stinking multiplication facts down. I guess you know what we will be working on over the summer. :-)

Allison is reading at a DRA level of 28, which is at grade level. She can read 198/200 of the K-2nd grade sight words. She is a great reader. Allison has improved her attitude when writing. She still needs assistance to write with correct verb tense, spelling, transition words and to extend her opening and closings.
Allison can identify 21/21 consonant sounds, 5/5 short vowel sounds and 5/5 long vowel sounds.

This next part is a BIG improvement for Allison. This has to do with her newer ear, the one that has been giving me many sleepless nights worrying that she will never be able to use it, BUT..........Allison is 100% accurate with "ah,ee, oo,mm" She is 90-100% accurate with "s" verses "sh". She is identifying among closed sets of 6 to 7 words in length with 90-100% accuracy. She is also repeating these sentences verbatim with the same performance level. She has mastered all of her goals in this section of her IEP. YAY, Allison! All your hard work is finally paying off. Thank you for not giving up when it was hard, you did it!!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Little Girl is Growing Up!

I knew this day would come and I have been waiting for it......the day when Allison could advocate for herself, when she could explain to someone "what those funny things on your ears" are. It happened yesterday. There is a new girl in our neighborhood, she came over to play with Allison. While they were playing, Allison was having a hard time understanding her, so Allison spoke up, she said "I am deaf, I hear with Cochlear Implants and I can't understand you, would you speak up please." It flowed so easy, no embarrassment on Allison's part, just stating the facts.
I just sat on our deck and watched the whole thing, I didn't have to explain why Allison couldn't hear her, I did not have to explain what a Cochlear Implant was, my wonderful hearing, talking daughter did it herself. I couldn't have been prouder

Sunday, May 8, 2011

How to have a Happy Mother's Day!

Here is the 1st line of the note Allison gave me for Mother's Day.........Dear Mom, I really love you. Thank you for buying my Cochlear implants so I can hear........Can you say tears of joy? :-)
I am so grateful that Allison sees the benefits of having CI's. That is what Bill and I have wanted, for her to appreciate the gift that she has been given, I think she does!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

I had to add a video of our family "ham", Jordan. He got a doggie towel, so we taught him the famous song,now every time he takes a bath, he has to sing the song. He even wants me to hold him up to the mirror so he can see himself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We are the Hawks! Jared's School Program 4-18-11

, I figured it out, so enjoy Jared's version of We are the Hawks.....the school song of Windermere Elementary School!

Jared's school program

Monday was Jared's turn for the beloved school program. He did great considering he really does not like to get up in front of people.

I have been trying to upload a couple of videos, but so far no luck. I will keep work on it. Hopefully my computer will let me, until then, enjoy some pictures.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Break

Last week was Jared and Allison's spring break, I know kind of early, but what can you do?

We finally took the kids to the indoor waterpark that we have been trying to get to since last summer. One thing or another always got in our way. Last summer was all of Allison's surgeries and then when we tried to go in Oct( even had the reservations and everything) I ruined it by having surgery for kidney stones.

We prayed really hard that nothing would happen, loaded up the van and headed out for the weekend. It was really fun, well for the kids anyway, mom and dad not so much. It is times like this that the full extent of Jared and Allison's hearing loss comes to light. One of us had to be with them at all times, making sure that they knew what the lifeguard was trying to tell them even if they could not hear them. There was many times that we had to point out our children and tell the lifeguard...."see that boy in the brown swim trunk and the girl in the purple bathing suit? Well they can't hear, so make sure you are looking at them when you are talking to them." Most of the lifeguards shook their heads at us and said "ok" like they knew what we were talking about, but then went right on blowing their whistles and expecting Jared and Allison to understand. Then there was Jordan, who is 3 going on 13. He thought he could do anything that his older brother and sister could do. Boy was that hard to explain that he had to stay in the smaller pool. At least it had water slides for younger kids, he didn't feel so left out.

All in all, it was a great weekend of making great memories together!

Sorry about the double picture....anyone care to share how to delete a picture once it has been published?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A note from the teacher

This is the kind of note that you want to get from your child's teacher. We are so pleased with how well Allison is finally doing with her new ear! :-)
Sorry about how the picture is, it is hard to copy green ink. If you click on the picture it will enlarge and you will be able to read the note.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Allison's School Program 3/3/11

Last night was Allison's school program/open house. She did an amazing job( of course you would expect me to say that, right?)
It is moments like last night that we are truly thankful for the wonderful gift of Cochlear Implants. She sang right along with her hearing peers. She may not have gotten all of the words correct, but she sang!! There were a few tears shed by this proud mommy! I will never get tired of watching my daughter shine in life!
Oh, in case you don't know, Allison is on the top, white shirt, glasses, next to the 2 boys.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Nothing new to report

These are the moments as a parent of a child with a hearing loss that you dream about! When life is so normal that there is nothing new to write about, no appointments to the audiologist for new mappings of their CI, no weekly trips to the SLP or AV therapist because they are doing so well, of course with Jared and Allison being in school full time they get their therapy there. Even there, they are working on ordinary things, like writing sentences and putting thoughts on paper, not the 6 ling sounds. It is just an ordinary every day miracle of hearing kind of day and it is wonderful!
Allison's school program is on Thursday, I am sure there will be tears shed as I hear her sing her song with her classmates. I will post pictures and videos soon

Monday, January 31, 2011

IEP Report

This year Allison's SLP is really focusing on working with her on hearing with just her right implant only. This is the implant that has been given me sleepless nights( should we have done it, will she ever hear as well with this one as she does with her left one?)
We got her IEP progress report last week. I must admit I was kind of dreading reading this, but Allison surprised us with how well she is doing. Here is a recap of her progress

Goal 1: Using her right implant only, Allison will identify all six Ling sounds(o, oo, ee, s sh, m) by repeating them with 90% accuracy during 4 out of 5 opportunities.
Progress: She is 100% acc, with ah, ee, oo, m and 60% acc. with s verses sh

Goal 2: Using her right implant only, Allison will identify differences in vocal length( sentences, phrases and single words when presented with 2 picture paired with print choices with 90% accuracy during 4 out of 5 opportunities.
Progress: She is 100% acc. with 3 choices during 2 out of 5 opportunities.

Goal 3: Using her right implant only, Allison will identify differences in number of syllables in words( 1, 2 and 3 syllables) when presented with 2 pictures paired with print choices with 90% accuracy during 4 out of 5 opportunities.
Progress: She 100% acc. identifying between 1 and 2 syllables during 4 out of 5 opportunities.

Goal 4: Using her right implant only, Allison will identify among 2 monosyllabic words with different distinct vowel when presented with 2 pictures paired with print choices with 90% accuracy during 4 out of 5 opportunities.
Progress: Strong progress. Initially she was 50% accurate. Currently she is 90% to 100% accurate during 2 out of 5 opportunities.

Goal 5: Using her right implant only, Allison will identify among 2 monosyllabic words with different distinct initial position consonants when presented with 2 pictures paired with print choices with 90 % accuracy during 4 out of 5 opportunities.
Progress: She is 100% accurate during 2 out of 5 opportunities. Hearing differences between similar consonant sounds is difficult.

Based on her progress so far, Allison should be able to exceed these objectives. She will be given more advanced objectives as she masters these.

Way to hear Allison! Keep up the great work. We are so proud of you!!! Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CI Mapping 1/18/11

I took Allison for a CI mapping of her right ear or as she likes to call it.....her "new" ear. This is the one that has been causing us so much frustration since she was implanted almost 3 years ago. This ear just never seemed to be doing as well as the 1st implant, at times we wondered if she would be able to get any noticeable gain with it or would she always have to rely on just her left CI. We mapped it, remapped it and still nothing worked. Maybe we just hit on the better ear the 1st time around and we would have to be happy with that. Allison was making wonderful progress with it, she was hearing at 15-20 dB across the frequency range and recognizing voices at 15 dB, she was reading above grade level and doing great in school. But there was that lingering question...what if the left CI failed at some point, she would be without sound until we could get if fixed. That was not acceptable, she had to start hearing with the right one. Finally, yesterday she heard the beeps in the sound booth at 15-20 dB and her voice recognition was at 45 dB. Now this is no where near where it needs to be for her to be able to make it with just her right CI, but by jolly it is progress. At least she is hearing and recognizing voices and not just beeps from a machine. They added new maps and we will keep bumping her up. Our goal is to get her as close to the left CI as possible......wish us luck.