Saturday, October 31, 2009

then and now

10 months

22 months
Happy Halloween! Although we didn't take him trick-or-treating, our little monkey certainly enjoyed handing out candy last night! That is, until he figured out what he was giving out. Then he wanted to keep it for himself. HAHAHA!
We had fun decorating pumpkins with this really cool pumpkin decorating set. The little kids who came to the house were really enthralled by them. The cat is my favorite, of course.

Yesterday we had him dressed in his pumpkin sweatsuit too, complete with stem and everything. So cute!

Hope you had a spooky Halloween too!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

the great imitator

So, it's been a while. And it's certainly not because I don't have things to post about. I also don't like the "I don't have any time" excuse, because I believe you make time for what you want to make time for. Nonetheless, work has been really stressful for me the past couple of weeks, and by the time I put Lucas to bed, tidy up a bit, check my email and do some grading or planning, I'm exhausted. I fell asleep on the couch Thursday night with my computer on my lap at 9:00. I'm also about 2 weeks behind on my blog reading, in case you're wondering where my comments are. I feel totally disconnected.

Lucas continues to increase his spoken vocabulary daily. I've pretty much stopped keeping track, because it's gotten to be too hard to do! I think he's at about 80 words. His speech therapist says she'd expect sentences pretty soon, because he has all the necessary parts down: nouns, verbs, polite words, greetings, pronouns, and directional words. I still marvel every day at his progress.

Last Wednesday, he had his 9-month post-activation mapping appointment and speech evaluation. His map was tweaked a little bit, and speech was not surprisingly really pleased with his progress! Nate and I left CHOP commenting about what a good day it was for a change. We don't go back until the beginning of January for his ANNUAL evaluation. Wow. It's almost been a year.

So, I decided that a funny Lucas video would do for today. Master Lucas has become the great imitator, especially of his daddy. It is now time for us to start to censor what we do and say around him. Enjoy the following video of Lucas imitating his daddy blowing his nose. I promise you, that's not exactly what it sounds like. Lucas thinks so though.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

riding in the car

Riding in the car has always been a challenging environment for Lucas to keep his processor on (and for all young CI kids). And, although he has his moments, he generally has been leaving it alone, yay! Even on the way to and from toddler group (20 minutes each way), he doesn't touch it. I hope it's a new trend.

I noticed today in the car that he was falling asleep, and I really wanted him to wait until we got home. So I decided to try and verbally engage him, which usually isn't possible, and I didn't think would work anyway, because of the noise of the car, etc. Surprise, surprise.

I sang "if you're happy and you know it," and he perked up to clap his hands, stomp his feet, and shout hurray. Then I sang "the wheels on the bus" and he did some of the motions too. For the last part of the trip, until we got home, I asked him to do different things, like "say hi to mommy," and "point to the trees."

Needless to say, we made it home without him falling asleep, and I just realized that my baby can understand me in the car. Talk about exciting! It's no longer wasted time. That is, if he continues to leave his ear on. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

sharing his story

My school district runs an extensive United Way campaign each year. I always sit and admire the strength of the presenter to share how this organization has impacted their life.

This year, I got to be that presenter.

Lucas has received services from 2 local agencies that are funded by the United Way. I've traveled to each of our district's building's faculty meetings to share Lucas's story and talk about how the early intervention services he has received have impacted his outcome immensely.

At the first meeting I attended, I couldn't hold it together. I cried almost the whole time. I don't know if that will ever change, although I've held it together much better at the other meetings so far. Lucas came along, and everyone got to see him in person. He was so great, and really helped my little presentation. Yesterday was my own building's faculty meeting, but Lucas was sleeping, so he couldn't come. Instead, I made the following video to share. I think it made just as much of an impact, if not more. It's a slightly different version from the one that I showed, for privacy sake. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

exciting news

I'm so excited to announce that we will be spending July 2010 in Los Angeles at the John Tracy Clinic!

Here's a little bit of background about the clinic from their website: "After Spencer and Louise Tracy's infant son was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in 1925, Louise Treadwell Tracy devoted her time and energy to studying how deaf children could be taught to communicate with the hearing and speaking world. She patiently guided her son, John, into an understanding of language and lip-reading. With her encouragement, he learned to speak. In 1942, Mrs. Tracy responded to a desperate call for help from twelve other mothers of young deaf children by founding John Tracy Clinic."

Every summer they offer 3, free 3-week international summer sessions. We are attending summer session 3, July 11-30. Lucas will attend a spoken language preschool designed to identify his strengths and needs. Nate & I will participate in an education program to learn about hearing loss, auditory-verbal techniques, emotional support for families and educational services for Lucas. Specialists will provide audiology, counseling and consultation services. Amazing, huh?

This program is seriously a dream come true. I have heard nothing but awesome stories. Over the summer, I intently read about experiences from Miss Kat, Mari, Tayten and Logan.

We will get to meet Nolan and his family there this summer too! Yay!

If you can't tell yet, I'm excited. Really excited.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

night and day

Wednesday at toddler group, it was like I had an entirely different child with me. He played with toys for more than 30 seconds each, he sat for circle time, and he even participated in the craft pretty well. Some of the mommies talked to me, and i even ran into a classmate from high school, who was there with her daughter. It was really fun, and I'm glad we went. We will definitely continue to go.

I think there were a couple of factors that affected his behavior. First, he took a much longer nap this week, so he wasn't running on empty. I also think the room wasn't quite as brand new and exciting, so he just played with what he wanted to, as opposed to every.single.toy.

Next week's task: teaching him not to let the older girls push him around and take toys out of his hands. If he keeps that up, he's in a lot of trouble. :)