Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: a year of no regrets


As 2009 draws to a close today, I find it appropriate to reflect on the year, just like I did last year. In a nutshell, 2009 has been a year of no regrets. Although Lucas was implanted in 2008, all of his progress occurred in 2009. He was activated on January 9, and there has been no turning back.

I have NO REGRETS about deciding to have Lucas implanted. It has been a life altering experience for our family, and all of the hours of therapy this year were well worth it.

I have NO REGRETS about taking a leave of absence from my teaching job for 7 months. I believe that it affected Lucas's outcome immeasurably. I will always cherish those months, when I was able to experience so many fun Lucas hearing and language firsts.

I have NO REGRETS about following my heart and starting a support group for families of hearing impaired children in our area. I look forward to helping expand the group in 2010!

I have NO REGRETS about spending hours upon hours on the Internet researching hearing loss, working on the John Tracy Clinic correspondence course, reading blogs, and finding resources to help Lucas listen and speak.

I have NO REGRETS about meeting up with other CI families last summer in DC and Ohio and networking with other CI families around the globe on Facebook!

I have NO REGRETS about maintaining this blog, and I wish to continue it in 2010. Not only is it therapeutic, fun, and helpful to other families, but it is also a great record of Lucas's accomplishments and activities!

I'm looking forward to what 2010 will bring! I'm certain there will be many new adventures, including 3 weeks at the John Tracy Clinic in July! And who knows, maybe Lucas will get that baby he so badly wants too. (no hints, just starting to think about the possibility!)

Now I'm off to use the "blog to book" function from Blurb to create a book of all of my blog posts from 2009! Check it out! (thanks for pointing that out to me last year, Landry's Mommy!)

Wishing you and yours a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

linga ling ling

Linga ling ling, three cheers for the lings. It's official, Lucas can repeat all 6 ling sounds. It's always been kind of a frustrating point for me, because Lucas couldn't repeat them all, and wouldn't even play along with the ones he did know. It was not an accurate depiction of whether or not he was hearing across all frequencies... until now. It's a pretty major breakthrough, in my opinion.

The other night in the car, while I was trying to engage him from the driver's seat, I thought I would try the lings. He was able to repeat all 6 successfully, with the noise of the car, and me facing the opposite direction. I was pretty excited!

Hopefully he doesn't get too bored, and decide to tune them out. We'll have to come up with new conditioning games to keep it exciting. His hearing therapist is really great at that! For now, he likes to please and play along. I'm confident now that he's hearing across all frequencies! YAY!

Monday, December 28, 2009

attached to his ear

Lucas is attached to his ear... both literally and figuratively! It has really become obvious in the past few weeks how much his CI has become a part of him. When he wakes up in the morning, he asks for it by making the sign. If the whole processor comes off, he brings it to me to put back on. If the coil comes off, he will even try to put it back on himself. It's an understatement to say that I'm ecstatic that he has embraced it and not rejected it.

Sometimes when he doesn't want to go to bed, he insists on keeping it on. So much so, that I'm afraid he's going to poke a hole in his head while signing "CI". Most of the time though, he hands it right over, as it's an integral part of his bedtime routine. When I ask for his "ear" before nap time, bath time or swim time, he happily hands it over. But, when we were at his cousin's house a few weeks ago, he was not too keen on the idea of giving it to me before going down a slide. I can't blame him, but he will have to learn in time.

He leaves it pretty well alone in the car these days, unless the coil gets knocked off, then he just pulls the whole thing off and gently puts it into the cup holder in his car seat until we reach our destination. Once in a while, he pulls it off if he's really mad. I've been told that that will only get worse...

It's such a part of him now. It's as routine as putting on his shoes, only so much more magical. I really hope it stays that way. Here he is, asking for his processor. Right after that, he got giddy with excitement as I put it on. PRICELESS.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Joy

This Christmas has been filled with lots of JOY. Christmastime has become a very emotional time for me, as it's associated with lots of memories from the past couple of years. Lucas made his unexpected worldly debut in 2007 and spent time in the NICU. I was discharged without him on Christmas Day that year. That was REALLY TOUGH, to say the least. During that week between Christmas and New Year's, we learned of his probable hearing loss (failed newborn hearing screen) and heart defect. That Christmas was JOYFUL and sorrowful at the same time.

Last Christmas was great, but stressful, with CI surgery scheduled for the day after Christmas! We were at CHOP by 6 AM on 12.26! We certainly enjoyed Christmas, but with an elevated level of anxiety. We didn't take Lucas to Christmas Eve service last year, one of the reasons being that he couldn't hear it anyway. But what JOY we had, knowing that he might soon hear. We never knew that he would hear so well though.

This year we've been able to sit back, relax and enjoy Christmas. Lucas is a great age, and he can HEAR this year. I couldn't help but be teary through Christmas Eve service, as he pointed to his ear as he heard the hand bells, the organ, and the hymns being sung. I might add that he was excited by the camel costume during the children's sermon too. I felt such JOY as I watched him light up with excitement as he took in the sights and the SOUNDS.

Every time I hear him say HO, HO, HO, or listen to him name the ornaments on the Christmas tree, I am reminded that he is my CHRISTMAS MIRACLE in so many ways.

JOY to the world!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I just had to get this one on video. He reminded me when he asked for a cracker this morning... and you know what kind of crackers he always wants? Just plain old ritz-type crackers. He's easy to please, most of the time. Enjoy the chuckle!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Happy Birthday, baby boy! You're 2 today! Mommy's so proud of you! You've become such a big boy!

* You weigh about 24 pounds.
* You've just started to wear size 4 diapers.
* You wear size 12 month pants, although you're almost ready to wear 18 month ones.
* You wear size 18-24 months shirts.
* You love your blanket, although most of the time, if it's out of site, it's out of mind.
* You love Elmo!
* You can run now! (Mommy waited a long time for that...).
* You love the water, both during bath time and aquatic therapy.
* Your favorite toys are your play kitchen and your doll-, I mean play-house.
* You like to eat fun foods like sushi, egg rolls, enchiladas and anything with rice or pasta.
* Your favorite drink is milk, followed closely by yoohoo and caffeine free diet orange tea.
* You like to go bye-bye, pretty much anywhere, as long as we go bye-bye.
* Going home to "see the cats" gets you to leave almost anywhere.
* You have about 100 spoken words, but you can't make the /k/ sound yet (that's okay!).
* You refuse to say the word "cracker", and instead choose to sign it, in Lucas fashion, which looks like you're asking for drugs.
* You've started to play games, like hiding your spoon behind your back and saying "I don't know" until we find it.
* You're learning your colors, and can identify blue and yellow pretty consistently.
* You're willing to repeat almost anything we ask you to - my favorite is cocka-doodle-doo.
* You like to turn things on and off, especially the lights on the Christmas tree. But, everything is "off", and never "on" to you!
* You like to dump things and transfer items from one container to another.
* You think the word "ouch" is hilarious, including the action that causes the word "ouch". You like to repeat the action to hear the word "ouch" again.
* You have the most contagious laugh I have ever heard. I hope it never goes away!
* You still love to read books, but you don't insist on the same ones all the time, which is great!
* You still love to nap, and I hope it doesn't go away anytime soon.
* You continue to amaze me with your determination and joyful personality. You will achieve great things one day!

I really look forward to watching you grow this next year! I hope that it is as memorable as this year.

Thanks for the post format idea, baby k!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

dreaming of a white christmas...

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, and it might just come true! With a foot of snow on the ground, it's not going anywhere. After all the snow had fallen, we took Lucas out to experience it! For the record, Lucas has the coolest Daddy who loves to play with him in the snow, make snow angels, and take him for some wild sled rides. Enjoy the pics!

Let is snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

snowy birthday party

Although Lucas's birthday is not for a few days, yesterday was supposed to be his birthday party, scheduled for 4:30 PM. Mother nature had other plans. Snow, and lots of it, was in the forecast, so we re-scheduled for 9:30 AM, hoping that a few might venture out. We still lost 5 adults and 2 kids in the count, but we had fun at Lucas's snowy birthday brunch! We liked it so much, we might do it again next year, minus the snow!

playing with his cousins...
getting ready to pin the tail on the donkey...
trying to blow out the candle!
The best part of this year's party? Lucas got to hear us sing "happy birthday" to him! Priceless. Last year's party was a few days before implantation. Enjoy the video!