Wednesday, April 30

Ma Ma! Shoes!

I have a name! I am so excited to finally have a name. Ma Ma! Sure, Drew has been able to say Ma Ma since November, but has he said it meaning me? No! Sure, he can say, with meaning, Da Da, Pa Paw, Aunt An-ie, Eddie (the dog), his sister, etc., but Ma Ma? It was music to my ears to hear him say, "Ma Ma," while walking into the grocery store on Friday night. Drew's Dad was holding him at the time, when Drew said, "Ma Ma" and held his arms out for me. (I have to add, Drew has said "Ma Ma" about one billion times now. I keep telling myself that it is beautiful.)

In other news, Drew has become obsessed with shoes. Seriously. He starts saying "shoe" from the second I walk into his room in the morning and doesn't stop until I have placed the second shoe on his foot. He will even put TWO. WORDS. TOGETHER. "Shoe," he says, holding it in the air, "on," moving it toward his foot. It has gotten to the point that I have to hide his shoes while I change his diaper and get him dressed, otherwise he has, what I like to affectionately call, a meltdown.

Drew also likes to make sure that everyone around him is wearing their shoes as well. If I take my shoes off, he picks them up, walks over to me and says, "shoe...on." He won't stop until I put my shoes on. Really, it is quite cute, but after a long day of work...

I would like to mention how well Drew is saying his words. He is actually saying the word "shoe." I remember when my daughter first said the word shoe. It sounded like "foo." She said it that way for months. Drew said "shoe," with the /sh/ sound right from the beginning. For some reason, Drew's Dad and I found that rather amazing.

Wednesday, April 23

Thank You, Drew

For giving me moments daily to stop and give thanks for the gift of hearing:

While driving a few days ago, I noticed an ambulance pulling out of a fire station. It turned to come down the road toward us, so I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. Drew's Sister was listening to the Doodlebops, Drew's Dad and I were talking, and all of the noise in the car continued as we watched the ambulance speed by. After is passed, I began to pull back onto the road when I heard a beautiful noise coming from the back seat. Drew was mimicking, nearly perfectly, the sound of the siren that had just gone roaring by.

While blowing bubbles on the porch before dinner last night Drew heard an airplane in the sky. Looking up, he saw it, pointed to it and said, "ahhhh." It is the first time he has actually been able to find the source of the sound. We do not live close to the airport, but for some reason all commercial jets were flying over our house last night. Drew's Dad, Drew's Sister and I sat on the porch, rejoicing each time Drew heard an airplane, pointed to the sky and said, "ahhh."

I'm not sure that there will ever be a day where I take Drew's hearing for granted. Thank you, Drew, for allowing me to have an appreciation for something I used to (and so many others) take for granted.

Sunday, April 20

Dancing With the Stars

I was watching Dancing with the Stars last Monday night. (Well, not really watching, just listening to it in the background as I worked). When Marlee Matlin's turn came, I glanced toward the television to find that she visited Mexico over the past week and witnessed children having their hearing aids turned on for the first time with help from The Starkey Hearing Foundation.

I am not a Marlee Matlin fan. (Although I respect her work). I know nothing about The Starkey Hearing Foundation. (But I am going to learn more). Watching as these children heard their parents voices for the first time brought back the flood of emotions I had watching Drew hear for the first time. Thank you Marlee, Fabian and The Starkey Hearing Foundation for not only helping children around the world to hear, but for bringing awareness to hearing loss.

As a side note, Marlee Matlin will star tonight on CBS in the Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie, Sweet Nothing in My Ear, about a couple's struggle on whether or not to give their son a cochlear implant. (My guess is that the couple ends up not in favor of the cochlear implant for their son, but I'll have to watch to find out!) I've set my DVR and plan on watching it tomorrow and will post my thoughts once I have watched the movie.

Mooo! Baaa! Oink! Quack!

Working on animal names? Try this book:

We are really enjoying Mooo! Baaa! Oink! Quack! with Drew. Drew is fairly good with knowing his animal sounds; he can say a handful of them on demand. While we are continuing to work on the animal sounds, we are also encouraging Drew to name the animal based on the sound. Instead of saying, "What does a duck say?" and waiting for him to say, "Quack," we're saying, "What animal says 'quack, quack, quack'?" He isn't able to say any animal names as of yet, but we're working on it.

This book has been excellent for working on his expressive language, plus it incorporates fun pictures and has flaps to lift, which always help to keep Drew entertained while reading. We hope you enjoy it too!

Friday, April 18


Drew is loving the spring weather because he loves to blow bubbles! We blow bubbles on the porch each night before dinner. He enjoys it so much so that we have a hard time getting him to go inside when it's time to eat. He's even learned to say "bubble":

Drew will now walk to the front door and say "bubble" over and over again in hopes that we can go outside. The weather has not cooperated the last few days, but hopefully spring will be here for good soon so Drew can blow bubbles anytime he would like!

Wednesday, April 16

Happy 3rd Birthday, Sis!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Sis! Thank you for being such an excellent language model for me, helping me put my coils back on and for practicing my learning to listen sounds with me. You are a huge part of my success. Love, Drew

Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday that I was (enormously) pregnant, anxiously anticipating her arrival. Now I'm celebrating her birthday...for the third time.

Tuesday, April 15

I'm It!

Christian's Mommy tagged me for a fun little "get to know you" game. So, I'm it! Here goes...

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.

I have to answer questions and people I tag have to answer the same questions.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago, boy that seems like forever ago. I was a junior at The Ohio State University majoring in Marketing. Since today is a nice, warm spring day, I probably would have attempted to attend my classes, only to be stopped by friends at Zig's (it has since changed names to Panini's; I hope they still have the same drinks!) for a "quick" frozen beverage, only to end up skipping class and staying out way to late. (As a side note, I didn't spend all of my time in college skipping classes and drinking, just a few really nice spring days. And I did graduate.)

Five Snacks I enjoy, in a perfect, non weight-gaining world:

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies (still warm from the oven, maybe even with some vanilla ice cream)
2. Chocolate Covered Peanuts
3. Sno Caps
4. Oreo Cookies
5. Chips & Salsa

In the real world:

1. Chips & Salsa
2. Chex Mix
3. Chocolate Covered Peanuts
4. Chocolate Chip Cookies
5. Sno Caps

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. Buy a new house immediately. Something that isn't in constant need of repair. It's too hard with kids.
2. I would attend all major sporting events in the country with Drew's Dad (and Drew and his sister as they get older) including the Masters, a Super Bowl, Game 7 of NBA/NHL/MLB finals, the US Open, etc.. After that, we'd venture to those outside the country, like the Olympics, Wimbledon, Dubai Open, etc. I would also like to see Ohio State in the National Championship again (but only if they are actually going to win).
3. Buy a new car - one that isn't for work. I've had a company vehicle for nine years, which is WONDERFUL, but it would be nice to have a car that isn't filled with samples (and the mess that comes with them) for work.

Five jobs that I have had:

1. Tabbing marble for trophies at my Dad's business
2. Sales person at Macy's
3. Waitress at Perkins (for 1 day)
4. Sales Representative for a kitchen cabinet manufacturer (which includes learning all about kitchen design - pretty cool)
5. Mommy

Three of my habits:

1. Chocolate Covered Peanuts
2. Shopping: I don't even have to buy anything, I just like to shop! When I was on maternity leave with both babies, I don't think a day went by that we didn't walk the malls. So fun to window shop, and people watch!
3. Cleaning: I am a very organized, neat person. Although having kids has challenged my ability to keep things in as tip-top shape they once were.

Five place I have lived:

I have never lived outside of OHIO!
1. Columbus, Ohio
2. Upper Arlington, Ohio
3. Oxford, Ohio (while at Miami University)
4. Ohio State University - in my sorority house - LOVED it!
5. Hilliard, Ohio

Add one new part:

What is the one thing you would tell the parent of a child recently diagnosed with profound hearing loss?:

The brightest light you can imagine is at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Now, I get to tag five people. I'm trying to choose ones that I don't think have been tagged yet, as this little game is quickly spreading through our CI friends:

Kevin's Mom
Kauan's Mom
Logan's Mom
Isaac's Mom

Monday, April 14

CI Dilemma #2

What do you do on Sunday morning when your CI child is constantly crying because he keeps letting go of his balloon and can not reach it himself?

A. Put your Sunday paper away and follow him around for hours, constantly handing the balloon back time after time. You haven't read the Sunday paper since you had kids anyway, right?

B. Throw said balloon away.

C. Tie a loop in the string and hook it to your child's coil. That way when he lets go the balloon it is still attached to him.

Saturday, April 12

Walk4Hearing Kick Off Lunch

We attended the Hearing Loss Association of America's kick-off luncheon for the First Annual Walk4Hearing in Columbus today. We all had a wonderful time. We met so many individuals affected by hearing loss and enjoyed talking with them about their experiences. We met the 400th person implanted with a cochlear implant. We even met the national President of HLAA, Anne Pope. Everyone enjoyed meeting Drew. He even said "hi" a few times, and everyone heard him scream "more" during Anne Pope's speech, as he wanted more applesauce!

We would like to remind you about the Walk4Hearing and Team Turn On My Ears! We are really excited about our team and would like for you to join us! You can make a monetary donation, but we would really like to have a lot of people participate in the walk with us. Even if you can only walk a few steps, join us. Every dollar raised helps a great organization. Please support HLAA, but also support the coolest boy we know, Drew!

Wednesday, April 9

How Much Did that Cost?

We've been out and about a lot now that the winter weather is finally breaking. It looks like spring has finally sprung, hopefully for good. I mentioned to Drew's Dad the other day as we ate lunch how I felt like people were staring at Drew's ears less and less. He quickly told me that I just don't notice the staring anymore. As I sat in the restaurant, I looked around and realized he was right. People were staring, but I just didn't notice. Nor did I care. Drew can hear. Drew can talk. And that is all that matters.

On that note, I really appreciate the people that talk to me about Drew's ears. They will ask questions. And I don't mind answering, no matter how silly they are. The interesting thing is that it is mostly children that ask questions. And the questions are so heartfelt and sincere. We were playing in the mall play area the other day when a couple of boys, who looked to be about six or seven years old, came up to me and said, "What's on his ears?" I explained that Drew was deaf and that those little "things" on his ears allowed him to hear. They said, in the nicest tone, "Oh, we're sorry. That's sad that he can't hear." They were so genuine. I went on to tell them that while he can not hear without his "ears" on, it is a blessing that he can hear at all. They were hooked on every word I said, and were genuinely interested in Drew. They followed Drew around the entire time we played, helping him climb on the rocket ship and crawl through the tunnels. They thoroughly enjoyed playing with Drew. They loved hearing Drew say "Hi," and asked him to say it on a number of occasions. I wish that adults had the innocence of children, and as we left, I told the boys' Mother's just how nice they were to Drew and that I wished more people we like their sons.

On a separate occasion we were playing on the playground at Graeter's Ice Cream (which, by the way, if you are ever in the Columbus area, you must have dessert at Graeter's!). A boy, about eight years old, came up to Drew and I and asked if he was wearing hearing aids. I told him that they were a "kind of hearing aid" that helps deaf people hear. The little boy looked at me and said, "Cool. How much did that cost?" I laughed. It was such an innocent question, and as I was laughing I heard his Mother say, in that embarrassed motherly voice, "Conner, we don't ask those kinds of questions." It was so funny. I explained that it cost a lot, "more than some houses. But we are just thankful that Drew can hear." The boy talked and played with Drew. He had so much fun rolling a ball with Drew and hearing Drew say "ball" over and over again.

I really don't recognize Drew without his ears on and I don't notice people staring, unless I'm looking for it. I've grown, because I really don't care anymore. You can stare all you want, but my little boy can hear! And that is what matters.

Wednesday, April 2

Video at Nine Months Post Activation

I've been trying (with little success) to capture Drew saying some of his words on video. Drew will only perform when he chooses to do so, and that is usually anytime the camera is not in his face! Here is a little taste of some of the words Drew can say. In the video he is simply repeating what I am saying, but he will use these words spontaneously. He actually says, "Eddie" spontaneously in the video and then I lose his attention. (He loves the dog!)

One thing I find really exciting about this video is that he really is not paying attention to me but is able to repeat the words auditorally (meaning he is receiving no visual cues, either by sign or voice).