Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phrase of the Week

This has become Aiden's FAVORITE thing to say this past week. He says it about E-V-E-R-Y thing, from the toys he's trying to pull apart or push through a hole, to simply putting his hand in his cup holder on his carseat (to which I have to turn around and pretend I'm pulling it out), to turning a page of a book only to leave a hand behind on the previous page (no sense in even reading, he gets more caught up in crunching my hand or his own between the pages). The boy is pure silliness.

We added on, "It's all better" once whatever "IT" is gets unstuck. Within the day he was saying his own version of "all better" and so now we're onto "I fixed it!" We'll see how long this phrase lasts and how much other language I can pull out of him from it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seriously?!? 18 MONTHS!

I looked up at Aiden's time ticker the other morning and was taken aback when I saw it read "18 MONTHS since his FIRST ACTIVATION". Has it really been that long? It seems like yesterday that my little binky boy was being fit for new ear molds or that I gave him a kiss as his daddy followed his CI surgical team into the operating room, or that our little monkey pointed to his ear and smiled as he heard his first sounds with his CI during his activation.

and here we are today, 18 months into his hearing journey, and Aiden continues to amaze me

I know I've mentioned this before, but being one of the best pieces of advice I was given when I found out Aiden was deaf, I found myself thinking of it again. It was from this wonderful mom, whose daughter "Toes" is such a huge inspiration to our family. In her email to me (which I still have) she said,

"... do not let his deafness define who he is, but just as important, do not let it define who you are either."

I get teary eyed every time I quote it as it feels like yesterday that I sat crying, reading her words of encouragement and inspiration.

So 18 months into our journey, I think about this advice, and I look back at how far Aiden has come, how much progress he's made. I think of his expressive and receptive language capabilities, how much of a trooper he is being toted from appointment to appointment, how at any given time in our household you can hear someone saying/explaining something to Aiden and how our house has become such a language rich environment ...

and as I contemplate all this, I realize it's not easy to NOT define who he is with his deafness - with all these appointments, all these therapies, all these language assessments of where his scores fall looking at his chronological age and hearing age, all the planning of what workshops we'll attend next and which preschool he'll go to, etc, etc.; all this constant language and making nearly everything we do a meaningful experience ... all for Aiden.

and sometimes I have to stop myself, and remember this wonderful advice. Because it IS so easy to get caught up in the day to day activities, appointments, therapies, experiences that revolve around Aiden's hearing loss. I have to remind myself, Aiden is my baby, my two and a half year old sweetheart, and just like his sister is not defined through the glasses she wears, Aiden will not be defined through his hearing loss.

So instead of throwing numbers out there of how many words Aiden is speaking, where he falls on the Ski-Hi and the REEL-3 language development scales, I'm going to celebrate his 18 months of hearing on how we define Aiden.


Adorable. Have you seen those baby blues? He is always SMILING and LAUGHING; he is the happiest child, and for this, I am most thankful.
Inquisitive. Which leads him to exploring how things work, which leads to taking them apart, and is a.k.a. getting into every.little.thing.
Daddy's little boy. When dad's around, no one else matters.
Energizer bunny. The boy NEVER stops, he is always on the go, that is unless mom puts on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Never meets a stranger. There's not a shy bone in his body; he's all about high-fives, hugs, and handshakes.

Really SWEET, SILLY, and SASSY, in no particular order, just the right mix of each.
Organizer. As he cleans up or plays, he likes things in the right place. In fact, he can be a little overly sensitive if things aren't sorted correctly, yet this same boy can destroy a room in less than five minutes.
Builder. Our future engineer. He LOVES to tear things apart, figure out how they work, then build them back up.
Eager, engaged, and enlightened in everything he does (including his therapies). He loves to learn and gets so proud of himself when he discovers/learns something new.
Rough houser. There's nothing better than a wrestle match with Ryan and let me tell ya, Aiden's one tough cookie!
Thinks everything out, quietly analyzes situations, and doesn't give up until he figures it out.

This is Aiden. and it is these definitive qualities which make him the boy he is. Yes, he wears bilateral cochlear implants, which are life changing. and yes, every worry, every tear, every skipped heartbeat, every mile driven to appointment after appointment, every moment getting caught up in hearing loss, is worth every milestone he reaches.

It's his vibrant personality, his determination, and will to succeed though that lead him to continue to discover, continue to ask, "Was at?" as he hears a new sound. It is all this that will lead him to success.

and for him, for his wonderful self, AND for cochlear implants I am forever thankful.

Happy 18 months hearing Aiden!

Friday, September 17, 2010

and for him, we will be,


Check out this article on the amazing man who invented cochlear implants. He will always be honored in our household for providing Aiden, among hundreds of thousand others, the chance to hear.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aiden + Naptime = Disaster

Let me paint the picture ...

Aiden's brother and sister are finally back in school; I'm trying to get Aiden back into OUR daily routine - which includes trying to get him back into a nap (more so for me); and while he naps, I of course, try to finish a thousand and one things, including craziness like washing all the bedding and starting dinner in the middle of trying to fill in the blanks on posts I started ages ago yet are still in limbo out in never never land waiting to be finalized and probably never will.


and then, when I think I have him on task, when all is quiet above, I creep up the stairs (as many times as I remind other's he cannot hear without his CIs, I still find myself "creeping" up to his room to "peek" in quietly. Why? Who knows.) just to check, because when it comes to Aiden, "quiet" typically means "trouble".

As in this case.

Most of you know how I've checked on Aiden before during naptime to have every.single piece of clothing pulled out of his drawers, every.single.wipe pulled out (to which I stuffed every one right back in), even a pants full of poo torn off and left in a corner. I thought we were over this and he was back to actually napping instead of destroying.

Apparently not.

I think he's done with naps and even more importantly I think I need grandma closer by. The (not-so) funny thing is, is that I was in the process of deep cleaning his room. Maybe he thought he was helping.

Here is the video I took after I put his CIs back on to talk about what he had done. I sound like mommy dearest, but was honestly trying hard to hold back from laughing and letting him think it was all ok.

(make sure to turn off the music to the right)

The first video has captioning, but for some reason doesn't work on all computers (works on my Mac, but not my desktop), so I added a noncaptioned one directly from YouTube.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

So Much To Say yet So Little Time

I've started several posts lately, as whenever I think about something
I want to write, I run over to my beloved MacBook and start writing.
Problem is, they all sit there unfinished as I haven't really had the time
to sit and put good thought into fixing
my mumbled messes, such as:

Aiden's six month IFSP review was last month, well actually towards
the end of July,along with a few different language evaluations.

It's our time to start looking at preschools since his transition meeting
from the county to the school district will be this November or December -
seriously, did I just write PRESCHOOL? Where does the time go!?!

Our new fall crazy, busy, nonstop schedule

How he's doing with his new "traditional" therapy
(I'll just say we will continue to go)

and then of course my handful of emotional day in and day out
posts of just stuff I think about

With the fall approaching, so does getting used to a busy life in our household.
Ryan and Kailyn started school,

Kailyn kissing Aiden goodbye on her way to the bus.

which comes along with getting into a homework routine,
and with Ryan starting high school
(oh my gosh, did I just write HIGH SCHOOL? DEEP BREATH!)
his homework is NONSTOP; add in the new fall activities/sports/practices
that I'm constantly running to; getting used to EVERYONE'S new
schedule (including Aiden's), and oh, did I mention I now have a high schooler?
Well, any of you who were once in HS or have a HS'er,
know that mom's newest job title to add to the already long list,
is TAXI CAB DRIVER. It's nonstop.

Not to mention none of us are in school mode. We still think it's summer.

aiden performing d.j. duties

a little baseball playing

and knowing the cold weather is on its way, we're spending
every moment we canenjoying the outdoors.
In fact, Aiden's physical therapist asked if we
could meet at the park instead of at my house until it gets cold out,
Ummm, YA!
and she'll be super excited to hear our days outdoors have lead to Aiden
pedaling his tricycle all by himself! HUGE p.t. milestone!

We've had family visiting to help us enjoy
the new firepit my husband built,

and to help us hold on to the final days of summer,
yet bring in the cooler weather and beauty of fall.
We've been traveling a lot and getting in
last minute four day weekends while we can.

and hence, my lack of time and lack of posts.
They're all there ... just waiting for me to fill in the blanks,
and soon enough, I hope to have them cleaned up and cleared out.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Life With Aiden

I've been meaning to jot these stories down in Aiden's baby book,
but then I remembered this blog IS his baby book.

Every night we have the typical bedtime routine to brush teeth, read books, say prayers, I LOVE Yous, kisses, Aiden hands me his CIs, and lights out. Well, actually, there's also the 100 times in and out of his room to stop him from cleaning out his closet or drawers or bookcase, tearing down the blinds (which reminds me I need new ones for his room AND Kailyn's since he tore those down too), but anyway,

last night, as I was saying prayers with him, his left CI was already off and he accidentally knocked the right coil off. He continued to put the coil back on, listen to a couple words, then take it off, put it on, take it off over and over again. He thought it was hilarious. Of course I was laughing too thinking, "Oh my, this is just the beginning of him realizing he doesn't hear my voice when he takes that thing off." I wonder if he thinks maybe I'll shut up if I see his coil is off. Oh my, here we go.

Lately Aiden has been trying to put his CIs on our ears. Then he smiles at us and gives us a high five, like he's proud of himself for sharing. I've even caught him trying to put one on the cat. I wonder if he thinks we can't hear like he does unless we have one on too? I wish I could take a peek inside that nonstop mind of his.

I'm sure I'm missing some other Aiden silliness, but last but not least,

Aiden has become very good at performing and SAYING the Sign of the Cross. I really need to get it on video cause it's too damn cute. He must sense that we know just how cute it is, because when he's been getting in trouble during the day, he'll stop, look me straight in the eye and start the motions as he says, "Da fadder, da son, (something mumbly for Holy and Spirit), AHen!" Then he'll smile this ear to ear (excuse my french, but honestly) shit eating grin that says, okay am I good to go now? Definitely a Catholic boy.
Oh Lord help me.