Thursday, December 11, 2008

Are we still in Louisiana?

We woke up to quite a shock this morning. It's not uncommon to happen in north Louisiana but I can only remember once or twice in my lifetime that it happened here. The boys are having a ball playing in it. They can't stay out too long - we aren't exactly prepared with the right kind of jackets and gloves. Snow is not a main factor when picking out winter wear down here.

Our house



The boys having a snowball fight (did I really just say that?)

We are used to extended news coverage for hurricanes but today they are staying on with "Snow Coverage 2008". Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed we don't lose power. The lights keep blinking on and off but so far they are staying. Apparently there are a bunch of loose limbs still left over from Hurricane Gustav that are starting to fall under the weight of the ice/snow. What's really strange is on Tuesday we were wearing short sleeve shirts and this weekend they are forecasting temperatures back in the 70's. What a change a day can make.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Buzz's new learning enviroment

What a long but fun journey to get to this point. Landon has progress significantly since his activation and one year ago I decided to design and build a Website for parents with students on a AV curricula path. This task has been one of joy and humbling work. I thank God on a daily bases for allowing me to help my son's development and it is my personal goal to help others in the same situation.

I have built a new Website called The site is designed to be an eLearning environment for students on an AV track. It has been constructed to align instruction with the Auditory Leaning Guide’s learning outcomes. This guide is a four-year curricula path with a specified set of learning outcomes. The results of these outcomes should be the mainstreaming an aided or implanted student into a normal classroom setting. It is also intended to be a social network for people dealing with issues of deafness.

One of the frustrating things about helping Landon in the early days was the lack of information on the outcomes of unilateral vs. bilateral implanted children. I returned to graduate school with this problem in mind and the result is This site will be researching if there are any significant differences in the educational progress of students based on the technology used to aid hearing. (Hearing aids vs. Unilateral CI vs. Bilateral CI children) In the future, Jennifer and I would like for other parents to have all the information available to present research to insurance companies and make decisions about their children’s future.

Landon's Dad

Friday, November 28, 2008

Landon update.

It's been a while since I've updated on words Landon is saying so I thought I'd take a quick second and post a list of a couple I can remember. One of his favorite words - which he says very clearly - is cookie (surprise); yeah; no; yes mam/sir (when you remind him of manners)' thank you; drink; bread; open; sock; shoe; eye; nose; there you go; pancake; apple; shake; all gone; diaper; cooking. He can also count to 6 - this one was a surprise to me. We were playing with some blocks before his therapist came and while I was stacking them he just started counting them. And then he actually did it for her - he doesn't always like to perform on command. I need to set up a running list somewhere on here where I can just add the new ones as he does them. I know there is a lot more he says, just can't think of them right now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Landon's 2nd birthday party

Here's a little slideshow of Landon's party last month.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Okay Val - I got the message:) I know I've been slacking in the update department. I have no clue what I'm going to do with four of them - it is already crazy enough with just three! I don't know how I'm going to add caring for a newborn and sleep deprivation to the mix. October has gone by in a blur. The only thing that saved me is I had gotten Connor 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule in his homeschooling before we left for Disney so we were able to take off while in Florida and last week when we got back. Eric is in grad school so for 3 nights a week he is either at school or working on school at home. He is also teaching 2 classes on top of his regular job so he has 2 nights a week that he is online teaching classes. Add to that me working on weekends, Connor's homeschool, and Landon's therapy - life just never stops.

We are also in the process right now of redoing the bedrooms. We had Landon in one room, Connor and Garrett sharing a room, and the fourth bedroom was Eric's office. With number 4 on the way, Eric decided to give up his office so we've had to combine my work/personal computers to one desk so he could move his computer into our room. We are going to turn his office back into a bedroom for Connor, put Landon and Garrett in the boys room, and then turn Landon's room into the baby's room. Eric's not crazy about all the painting I want to do but after 6 years of blue rooms, I'm excited to get to paint one of them pink finally. On top of all the laundry from being gone for a week and a half, we got back home to find the cool weather is making it's way here so I've been getting bins out of the attic to go through the boys winter clothes to see what will fit for this year.

The boys had a blast at Disney. As soon as I finish downloading all the pictures from the camera I'll make a slide show to post. Landon got to see his favorite - Mickey Mouse. He must have said "Mouse" 5,000 times. On the Mexico ride, when it starts they have a scene with Donald Duck so I pointed to him and just said "Look Landon, Donald Duck." Neither of us said anything for a couple of scenes then when they showed Donald again, Landon said "Momma, duck, quack, quack."

We also had a couple of reasons to celebrate while we were there. The week before, Eric's sister Tammy (who met us there) successfully defended her dissertation and earned her doctorate. CONGRATULATIONS DR. NANNY :) The 29th was Landon's one year hearing birthday. His hearing has become such a normal part of our everyday life the date just seemed to sneak by us. We are having fits with his ears right now - the rechargeable batteries are driving us nuts. Now he tries to put the magnet back on when it falls off or he'll come to us holding his ear for us to fix it. He has also gotten where he doesn't want us to take them off at night. We used to be able to say "Night Night" and he'd say it back and then take them off. Now he fusses when we try to take them off. I'm not sure if it is that he doesn't want to lose hearing or if he doesn't want to go to bed and knows if they come off that's where he is going.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Are you sure?

We got quite a shock today when the ultrasound tech told us Thing 4 is going to be a girl. We figured it was going to be another boy so all I was waiting to hear was everything looked good. After she said everything measured right she asked if we wanted to find out what it was. I had already picked out a couple of names for a boy since I thought that was what it was going to be. Now it's back to square one. I asked if she was sure and she said she had flashed her a couple of times so she had gotten a good look. I still don't think it's sunk in yet. It's going to be weird to look at pink stuff after 6 years of blue.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted. Things have been crazy around here. I was scheduled to work more hours the last few weeks because the census at the hospital has been up. I only work on the weekends - when Eric can watch the kids. I usually work from home (for those who don't know I do medical transcription for the hospital). I had quit working when Connor was born but we needed a way to bring in a little extra money with all the medical bills from Landon so I started doing this. It was working out pretty good since I do it from home. The only problem has been that my cable modem went down with Hurricane Gustav and so I've been having to go up to the hospital to work. It's not bad when it's the first shift but second shift doesn't end until 9:00 p.m. It's pretty spooky up there on a Sunday night - especially since we are located just one set of double doors from the morgue. We stay so busy during the week with the boys homeschooling, Landon's therapy, Eric's graduate classes on top of his job, and then to have to go up there on the weekends - the days are just flying by.

We are having Landon's second birthday party this weekend. It's a combination of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (he loves the show) and Halloween. I've been busy trying to get everything ready for it. We had a wedding this past Saturday that Eric was standing in so trying to get everything ready for both of those plus our trip has also kept us pretty busy. We are leaving for Disney World in 3 weeks. Yes - we are going again. Eric has to go to Orlando for a conference for work so we just added some days to the beginning to stretch it into a family vacation (especially since his work will be paying for a good part of it). His sister Tammy graciously offered to fly in during the middle of the week so she could help me take the boys to the parks. I was going to try and take them myself but I am definitely thankful she's going to come and help. Just the thought of doing it alone was making me tired but I knew the boys wouldn't want to stay cooped up in the hotel room all day. Nanny to the rescue!!!I'm especially glad since yesterday I just found out I'm anemic. Never had it with any of the other pregnancies but we couldn't figure out why I was so exhausted this go around. The boys outlast me at night. I went for my last checkup and found out the lab screwed up the first time around and they had to run the bloodwork again (did I mention I HATE needles?) Anyway, they called yesterday and said it showed I was anemic so the doctor put me on an iron supplement. Hopefully it will start kicking in before we leave for the trip. We pretty much go from sun up to sun down when we are at Disney so maybe I need to take double doses :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Here's a few pictures we took on the way to my parents. These aren't from the worst part of town either.

These are the pilings for a new bridge they are building over the Amite River. It will be high like a normal bridge and you can usually see down to the bottom where they go into the dirt. This is the new threat from Gustav - flooding.

Why there is no power.

This sign is in better shape then most.

This is a common site - the bottom of a tree that was pulled up roots and all.

A church that lost it's steeple.

There's 3 trees in a row that were pulled up at the roots. The front one landed across a truck.

Go away Gustav!!

WE HAVE POWER!!! We are one of a very small few who have power in Louisiana. It came back up last night around 9:00 p.m. 2 1/2 days in Louisiana heat and humidity with no power was miserable and unfourtunately it looks like a lot of people will be in it for a lot longer. My parents and in-laws are both about 40 minutes away from us in opposite directions and they don't have any. There is a chance my in-laws could get it this evening. Their water/sewer is all run on power so they have no water/bathrooms. They were staying at Eric's sister's even though she didn't have power she had water. They came here last night after we got power. My parents could be weeks without it. There are tons of lines down over by them. Luckily they have a generator so they can run a fan and keep the refrigerator cool. We told them they could come here but they don't want to leave the house since they can't set the alarm system.

I have to say this one was 10Xs worse than Katrina. The only one I remember that comes close was Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the destruction from this one is just so much worse. And it wasn't just that a bunch of trees fell over. Massive trees - 50 to 75 years old at least - that looked like they could withstand anything were just ripped out the ground like they were just twigs. They would be laying on their sides with the whole root system pulled up and we saw plenty where the bottom of the tree you see (the dirt and root system) was taller than the house it was laying next to. I'm going to take some pictures to put on here because you can't believe it unless you see it.

Luckily our subdivision is relatively new - when we built here 8 years ago there was only a handful of houses here. There's huge trees around the outer part of the subdivision but no one has really huge trees in their yards so no one had trees falling through their houses here. We lost all the siding facial trim around the back of the house and the roof has a lot of damage but other than that we were very lucky. The wind was amazing - it sounded like it could rip the whole roof off. We're going to brave the store today and replenish what we lost in the refrigerator. We tried to stop yesterday but the only thing open around here is Walmart and the line wrapped around the outside of the building to get in.

We had another bout of bad rain this morning and were worrying about power going off again. Come to find out, it was another band of rain from Gustav. Is he ever going to go away??? On one hand the rain is good because it keeps the temperature down a little but now there is a threat of flooding because of all the rain. It looks like it is going to be a while before things are back to normal around here.

Luckily this time around we had a great governor in office. The media loves to try and blame Katrina on the federal govt and Bush. What they don't publicize is that Bush tried to get our then governor Blanco to evacuate New Orleans days before Katrina hit and she refused. She waited until the day before to do anything. She didn't declare the state of emergency or sign the paperwork that would allow the federal government to come in and help until after Katrina and the levee breaks. We keep hearing how different it was this time, preparation was so much better, communication is better, just totally different. Then comes the unappreciative people. We started hearing this morning some people from New Orleans fussing because they were forced to evacuate and it was for nothing so next time they aren't leaving. Doesn't matter they got lucky this time and it didn't hit as bad there. Doesn't matter that the whole time the storm was going on they were watching the levees thinking they were going to breach again. Just because they got lucky this time and didn't have the devastation like Katrina they think it was a waste to leave. Some people never learn.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav is coming!

Well, it looks like we won't get away from this one. Gustav is breathing down our necks and getting closer every hour. It's kind of spooky that it's happening so close after the third anniversary of Katrina. Let's keep our fingers crossed it doesn't hit us too hard - and we get power back soon after because it is just too hot right now to be without air for long.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thing 4?!

Well, just when we thought we were on the downward track of sleep interrupted nights and diapers God decided to give us a reminder of who was in control. Of course He waited until I sold all of our baby stuff and maternity clothes at a garage sale and I had finally made it back to my pre-kid size and actually bought some new shorts for the summer. We've taken a while to announce it this time because I'm still trying to get used to the idea but it looks like we'll have a new little blessing around the beginning of March. We've got conflicting opinions around here - Garrett wants a sister and Connor wants another brother. I have a feeling Connor may get his wish. When we get together for the kids birthdays, there's 15 kids between both sides and only one is a girl. Now comes the hard part of thinking up names. We were still deciding on Landon's middle name while I was in labor at the hospital. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Terrible 2's already??

The last couple of weeks Landon is starting to show a big stubborn streak. Lately he has wanted nothing to do with his therapy - especially at home. When I try to work with him with some of his toys he'll pick the toy up, put it away where it goes, then grins at me. He gives you this look like "yeah - I know what you want me to do but I'm not in the mood so forget it!" His other thing when I try to do stuff is he'll just leave the room and go into his brothers room. When we see our AVT, he will do a couple of the sounds and then just stops until she moves on to a new activity. He seemed to loose interest very fast. Today he actually had one of his better sessions in a while. He went through three whole activities making all the sounds/words she asked him. After the first activity he did try telling her "bye-bye" and waving - guess he figured he had done enough :) We had talked at his last session (she had taken off last week with school starting for her kiddos) that maybe he was getting bored since we had been doing a lot of the same things over so she came today with new sounds/words and new activities and it seemed to work. Guess I'm going to have to come up with new things to do with his toys here and see if he's just bored with what we've been doing.

He's also started taking his implants apart - especially in the car. We'll look back at him and he'll smile with the battery falling out of his mouth. He knows what he's doing too because if I catch him just starting to take them apart, he says "uh oh" and tries to put it back on his head. Guess we'll have to break out his hats again for in the car. At home if he's playing in the boys room with them they know to watch him. They call out "Ear alert - Ear alert" when he takes them off. He loves wearing the CI's so I think it's just him being bored and it's something to play with. When I show them to him in the morning he climbs in my lap for me to put them on.

The baby gate we had between the living room and kitchen broke 4-5 months ago and we didn't get a new one because he really never went in there unless we were in there. I had to go last week and buy a new one. He discovered he could climb the chairs and get on top of the table. We can't keep the ladder down on the boys bunk beds because he'll climb up to the top bunk. He's definitely keeping us on our toes.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Our AVT did a preschool language scale test on Landon so we could get an idea of where he is at in his progress. The test is just a universal preschool language test that could be given to any child - it does not factor in his hearing loss or anything like that. Here is an idea of where he is at:

**Keep in mind he had a hearing age of 8 mths at the time.

Age at time of test - 1 yr 9 mths
Auditory comprehension - 1 yr 3 mths age equivalent
Expressive communication - 1 yr 10 mths age equivalent
Total language score - 1 yr 6 mths.

He is definitely making up for lost time. Our AVT said she didn't know whether to smile or cry. She was happy he scored so well but sad because she said we wouldn't be with her for a whole lot longer. She said towards the end of the year we would redo it and depending on how he does we may cut back to every other week for therapy. She thinks his comprehension is better than what he tested just from what he does weekly in therapy but he was in one of his stubborn moods that day and wouldn't do stuff that we know he can.

Way to go Buzz!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July

Hope every one had a good 4th of July. It's become a tradition to spend the day at Eric's sisters house. She lives right next to the levee so we can see all the festivities across the river in downtown Baton Rouge without actually having to go fight the crowds. We usually go swimming but the weather didn't cooperate this year. They do a mock battle reenactment with the USS Kidd and luckily the rain decided to stop then so we headed outside to watch. When the first bomber plane flew over head, Connor took off running for the house with his fingers in his ears yelling "They're gonna bomb us!!!" Every time one would pass over Landon would point at it and make the "AAAHHH" sound we do for the airplane. The boys had a blast - spending most of the day playing a new Wii game Nanny had bought. They liked the fireworks show - except for Connor who watched with his fingers in his ears. Landon didn't blink the whole time and then at the end clapped. Last year he didn't hear them - even with his hearing aids. What a difference a year makes.

Landon tries to say most of what you tell him now. He'll say something and if we say the right thing back he gets this big smile on his face and either laughs or gives us a kiss. I keep his listening toys in separate plastic containers - all the fish in one, all the snakes, etc.. He now will pick up one of the containers, look at what is in it, and says the sound for the what is in it. He does the snake, fish, hop (for the bunnies that jump), round and round and round for the tops, cut (for the velcro food and knife), and ducks. The others aren't in see-through containers so I'm going to have to go to the store and get some more clear ones and see if he'll start doing it for more. His favorite thing right now is the Little People house. He loves to put the mom and dad in the chairs, shakes his finger and says "sit down". It's worked out good for us because when he stands up in the tub now we just shake our finger and he sits down.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Don't mess with Texas!

We took a quick trip to Houston, Texas this weekend. Garrett is really into "batter, batter, baseball" and Connor loves anything to do with Space so we decided to take a mini vacation. We went to an Astros game, NASA's Johnson Space Center, the Downtown Aquarium, the Kemah Boardwalk, and the Houston Zoo. We did a lot in just 2 days!!

Landon's language is starting to take off now. It seems like in the last 2-3 weeks he's made a change. He used to just scream when he wanted something but is now trying to say the word for it and is trying to imitate words we tell him. Some of the new words he can now say are thank you, more, bread, and drink. He does more but these are the ones he says on his own and at the right time - and that I can think of off hand. He also says roll 'em up when we do pat-a-cake. I need to sit down and make a list of everything he says and can understand because we've definitely seen an increase in the last few weeks.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Garrett's 4th Birthday Party

Wearing his CI's

I've gotten asked quite a few times about how Landon is wearing his CI's and the setup we use so I figured I'd post the pictures here for everyone. We use the babyworn setup so the part on his ear is smaller and slide the controllers into pockets on the back of some onesies my sister made for him. I'm no seamstress so lucky for us she is.

Once we put his shirt on, it helps hold the cables on and keeps them hidden so they don't catch on stuff and pull his ears off.

We had trouble with the clips that came with the babyworn catching on things or brushing against stuff and they kept popping off. This has worked out great for us.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Disney World Trip

I went to go make a video for Garrett for his birthday and realized I never posted the one I did of our Disney vacation. Better late than never! The picture with the glare on the glass is the cochlear implant display at EPCOT.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm back.

I didn't realize how much I'm on my computer until I lost it. I woke up one morning to find it dead and when I tried to turn the power on all I could smell was something burning - not a good sign. I finally got my new one in last week and got everything hooked back up and working. Now I have to go back and catch up on all the blogs I keep up with. Eric's been in California for a training seminar for work this week so there hasn't been much free time to update the blog. Who am I kidding, there hasn't been ANY free time this week. He calls the kids at night to talk to them, and one of the times Eric was talking to Landon, he said a really good daddy. He has been saying DaDa for a couple of weeks but when I handed him the phone, I said "Say Hi Daddy" and he squealed "DaaDeeee" and then started some ramblings - I'm not sure what he told Eric but he gave him an earful about something. At therapy this week his AVT, Shelley, and I both heard him say what sounded like bubbles when we were blowing them and he also said more when she stopped. I think it caught us both of guard when he said them.
Time to go put the kids to bed - they are pretty wound up knowing that Daddy is coming home tomorrow. They made pictures to bring to the airport for him.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Landon's progress

I realized I hadn't posted an update on the new things Landon has been doing lately so I thought I'd take a second and get everyone up to date with where he is at.

  1. He has started saying "ta-ta" when we have something he wants.
  2. He did "buh-buh-buh-buh" for the bus.
  3. We've been working on learning his body parts. He's pretty much done each part - he just won't do them all at one sitting. Example: one day he'll point to his eyes when we are working on it, the next day he'll hold up his hands when we do it.
  4. He is trying to say brother - it sounds like "bra-ra" He'll hear the boys in the other room playing and I'll say "call your brothers" and he points at the door and says it.
  5. He understands when I say more milk or bites.
  6. He's started saying "Bye-Bye" instead of just waving.
  7. He loves playing with the bubbles. We've been working on 1-2-3-Blooowwww and we wait after counting to try and get him to do the blow part. He started doing it this past week and even did it at therapy this week. He also started saying pop-pop-pop-pop when we pop the bubbles.
  8. We have play food with velcro that we try to get him to say cut (really just expecting him to make a short sound) and then push the knife through to break them apart. He started doing it last week.
  9. After I change him and get him ready for bed at night, the last thing I tell him before I take his ears off is "Night, night". Now when I tell him that, he reaches up and yanks his ears off and hands them to me.

Monday, April 21, 2008


The boys having fun on the slip-n-slide this afternoon. All I kept hearing from Garrett was "I've got water on my face". It only slowed him long enough to go wipe it off then he was back running through it.
Landon loves the bike. Of course I have to walk beside him and steer it so we don't do it for too long - mom's back is too old :)

Trip to the zoo

Nanny brought the boys back some shirts from her trip to Orlando. We have Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3. Now I have to find the Dr. Seuss book with them in it to read to the boys.

The boys had a ball at the zoo yesterday. Here they are checking out the elephants. Gavin, Connor and Garrett
Landon liked the fish. He even said "Sh sh" once (we do swish swish in his therapy for the fish).
He didn't make it to the end. He crashed about 3/4 of the way through. He still had his french fries in his hand from our snack.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I've been tagged.

I got tagged by Leah, Nolan and Matthew's mommy. Here's the rules:

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.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Working as an accountant.

Five snacks I enjoy:
1. Plain M&M's
2. TCBY Chocolate and Vanilla swirl
3. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
4. Double Stuff Oreo's
5. Crushed Ice from Sonic

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Build a dream house - with a huge playroom so I can stop stepping on toys in every room of our house :)
2. Buy a vacation home next to Disney World.
3. Start a foundation so that everyone who wanted CI's for themselves or their child would be able to get them.

Five jobs that I have had:
1. Stay-at-home mom/teacher (we are homeschooling)
2. Accountant
3. Castmember at The Disney Store.
4. & 5. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit. If I like something, then why change?

Three of my habits:
1. Crushed ice - which drives my husband crazy but he does stop and get it for me - must be love.
2. Shopping for bargains.
3. Reading in the tub - with 3 boys under 6 when else would I find the time?

Five place I have lived:
1. Born/raised Baton Rouge, LA
2. Apartment with my husband in Baton Rouge.
3. Townhouse with my husband in Baton Rouge.
4. House with husband in Denham Springs (10 minutes from Baton Rouge)
5. What can I say - I'm a homebody - something my husband is trying to change.

Add one new part (I am copying the question from Leah who copied it from Tina who copied it from Abbie):What do you want others to get from your blog?:
We set up the blog to let our family and friends know where we were at with all of Landon's testing and getting ready for surgery. We also use it to let other families who are just starting out on the same journey to get an idea of what they can expect and share our experiences with them.

Five People I Want to Get to Know Better: (a nice way of saying TAG!) But don't feel obligated! Just do it if you want to. If you've already been tagged, sorry. I tried not to do someone who had already been tagged.
1. Erin's mom
2. Tayten's mom
3. Thomas' mom
4. Brook and Gage's mom
5. Kevin's mom

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Movie coming soon

There is a movie coming on CBS later this month called "Sweet Nothings in My Ear". The story line is basically the mom is deaf, the husband hearing, and their son ends up losing his hearing. The dad(Jeff Bridges) is in favor of getting a CI while the mom (Marlee Matlin) is against it. This link is for a brief summary about it and then there is a place to post comments. There are a lot from people against CI's. From their posts, you can tell they obviously don't know much about them - just their prejudices. There is even one that said they cause brain damage. WHAT? So everyone who knows how great CI's are, please go and add your comments. Maybe if they hear from people who actually have experience with CI's or kids with CI's then they may realize the ignorance in some of their comments.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Belated Easter!! The boys had a ball doing easter egg hunts. Landon even got into it. He got a lot of good listening toys from the Easter Bunny. This past weekend we had Connor's 6th birthday party. He has grown up too fast!! He had it at the movie theater - we saw "Horton Hears A Who". It went great with his Transformer themed party :) The kids all seemed to have a ball. Of course we had to open all his "loot" as soon as we got home. Whoever invented those plastic twist ties could not have been a parent!

We went Wednesday for another mapping and booth test. She didn't change his programs too much, since the others had seemed to bother him. She did give us a new map to try in noisy places, to help take out some of the background noise. He is testing between the 15-25 db. She thinks he is better than what he is showing for some but it's hard to test him. After about a minute he's had enough and is ready to get out. I may see if we can bring some toys in or something next time to try and keep him participating longer.

He did great in therapy today and is picking up some new things in the last week or two.
  1. Made the SSsss for the snake - he was just doing a very high pitched Aahh every time for it but he actually did the S for the first time today.
  2. Did a much closer Moo sound for the cow - usually we just get him copying the duration.
  3. We have bunnies (therapist has frogs) that jump when you push down on the back. We try to get him to cue the sound Hop (or his version of it) first then we make it jump. He started doing it this week - and actually did it for therapy. Usually I tell her what he is doing but he won't "perform" for her.
  4. He had 2 listening toys on his tray and she asked him for one sound and he started to do the wrong one then switched to the correct toy (without any prompting from us) and put it in the bucket. That's one of our goals right now - getting him to pick out the correct toy for the sound.
  5. He did the hands when she started singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider". He also does Pat-a-cake now - but he skips the clapping part. When you start to sing he starts rolling his arms around for the "roll 'em up" part.
  6. Started saying DaDa - he won't do it for Eric but he does it for me and he did it for Eric's sister on Easter.
  7. When I was opening Connor's presents, one was a Hot Wheels car. I handed it to Landon and he immediately starting doing the raspberry we do for the car. Hasn't done the Beep Beep part but it's something.
  8. When I was cooking the other night, I asked him "Where's Connor and Garrett? You want to play with your brothers?" He got down ( he was standing against the fridge playing with magnets) and crawled on out of the kitchen to the boys room. That was the second time I've told him something to that effect and he's stopped what he was doing and goes and finds them.
I know there was more - she had a good list today of stuff - but I can't remember it right now. Too many kids trying to get Mom's attention :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Easter Bunny

Here's Landon's picture with the Easter Bunny. I couldn't get the other boys to take one - I guess they think they are too big for that. The only reason I got one of Connor with Santa Claus is because I told him he had to take a picture so he could tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas.

Landon has started doing his sounds more often when I'm working with him. It used to be a one shot deal - he would make it once and that was all I would get. He also did his whee for the first time during therapy Monday. We do the kids with the slide and go up-up-up whee. He's been doing the up-up-up part but he's never done the wheee and he did it Monday. Me and Shelley (his AVT) were both excited. He did it a couple of times, too. Today when I started singing the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" without the hand motions, he started doing his hands together and up in the air for the first time. I haven' t been able to get him to say DaDa yet. He has MaMa - and knows I'm a sucker for it. If I walk by him and don't pick him up he'll start hollering MaMaMaMa and crawl after me - who can resist that :)

We got his processors back from Cochlear today. We just mailed them the Saturday before last so they are definitely fast on their repairs and shipping. Now we are ready for our mapping next Wednesday. Hopefully he'll cooperate in the booth more this time. He is usually too busy looking at all the lights to give real clear-cut responses. He's only done it twice so I'm sure he'll get better as he gets older.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

He has a voice - and knows how to use it!!

In the last week or two, Landon has developed an extremely LOUD screech that he has been doing all the time. He does it when he's happy and when he is mad. I also don't think it has anything to do with him being deaf. Garrett did the same thing at this age. Luckily he seems to have grown out of it, although it does reappear every once in a while when he doesn't get his way. It was one of the things that clued us in to Landon's hearing loss. He would be sound asleep in the bassinet and Garrett would let one loose right next to him and Landon wouldn't flinch. The only problem is we are so excited for Landon to be using his voice and trying to imitate sounds we hate to have to tell him Shhh. It makes it easy to find him though :

We had a couple of new things in therapy this week. For the most part, we are just listening for him to repeat duration, pitch, that type of thing - we aren't listening for him to repeat what we say exactly. When we did quack, quack, quack with the ducks, he repeated it a couple of times. When we did the whispered PtPtPtPt for the boat at first he would do BuBuBuBu and get the duration then he did it once where he just moved his mouth but didn't make any sound with it - his attempt at a whisper I guess.

We are starting to pick up on words that Landon understands. If you say "Yeah!" he starts clapping. If you say "No No" he'll shake his finger at you - of course he goes right back to what he was doing but most kids do that :) If you say "Shh" he'll put his finger on his mouth. When you say "Bye Bye" he starts waving his hand. He is also saying MaMa and knows it's me. At first I thought he was just getting a new consonant sound but Eric was holding him and I walked through the room and he started calling it and then came after me. We've also heard him put a couple of consonants together when he is babbling instead of just saying one over and over. He just started this week blowing. He's always been good at raspberries but now he'll just blow air. Pretty soon he is going to want to start having a turn with the bubbles too.

On an equipment note, we had to send our first set of processors back. The connection where we hook in either the babyworn cable or the battery pack has gotten loose so if it moved at all when he was wearing them they would cut off. We also had to move his next mapping up. After I bumped him up to his P3 map, I noticed he was starting to do a lot of eye blinking when we would put his ears on and was starting to pull them off a lot more. I asked his audiologist about it and she thinks his maps may be too strong for him. We are going back at the end of this month - to give his processors time to come back in. We had to switch to his backup processors when we sent the others in and these have his old maps on it so he's using those for now. He seems to be back to his old self with these.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

It's working!!

Therapy this week went great - Landon was doing so much his therapist joked she was running out of room to write it on his chart. The day before, I was working with him with the tops - doing "round and around and around" and he imitated the pitch change and duration perfectly. When he does something correct, I'll say "That's right!". Now when I say it he starts clapping yeah. He's also started going "Mmm, Mmm,Mmm" when he is eating. Usually he just sits through therapy playing with all the stuff but doesn't talk very much. I'll tell her all the stuff he has done at home but he won't "perform" any of his tricks for her. Hopefully I can remember everything he did in therapy:

1. He performed his Aaahhh for her with the airplane.
2. When we did the boat he imitated the duration - he didn't whisper it but he got the short bursts right and it was the first time he's tried to copy us on it.
3. When we worked with the animals he did MMmm when we did Moo for the cow and also tried the Baa when we did the sheep. He also started saying it with the hand cue. We put the animal in our hand then put our hand to our mouth and say it and Landon would wait until I put my hand with the animal by his mouth and would then try and say the sound. He did it a couple of times with both animals too.
4. When we did the Ssssss for the snake, he made a much higher pitched sound with it. She said he was definitely trying to do it - he just doesn't know how to make the S yet. She tested him a couple of times doing other sounds in between and every time she would do the Sss he would go to this higher pitch and do it.
5. We did the bunny hopping over two fences saying "hop, hop, hop" and he would tap the bunny over the fence and make three short burst sounds.

He did everything a couple of times so it wasn't a one time fluke - even though Shelley keeps saying we need to give him credit even if he only does it one time. It was definitely his most talkative therapy yet. He did great for about 45 minutes then when we started with the Mr. Potato Head he just wanted to eat the parts and lay his head on my lap. Guess all that hard work wore him out.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Long time no blog.

Okay, it's been a while since we've posted - time has just gotten away from us since we've been dealing with sick kiddos and trying to recover from the trip. We took Landon in the day before we left for Disney. He had been having a runny nose/sneezing and was pulling on his ears a lot so we just wanted to make sure he was fine before we left. He ended up having a lot of wax that they cleaned out and put him on some medicine for the other stuff. By the middle of the trip, he added a nasty sounding cough and would cough up some congestion. In the midst of this Garrett started with the same thing. We got home on a Saturday, I worked Sunday, went to New Orleans for new maps on Monday, and had both boys at the doctors on Tuesday. They both had to start with breathing treatments and Landon got an antibiotic plus had fluid in his ears. As soon as they started feeling better, this weekend Connor started with it and Sunday night was up crying with his ears. After another trip to the doctors, he has double ear infections. We came home from the doctors and all the kids got scrubbed from head to toe. Apparently there is a nasty flu bug going around - there were 3 kids that got sick in the waiting room while we were there. Hopefully that's the last we'll see of the doctor - at least for the next 3 weeks until we have to go back for the recheck on their ears.

The mapping went well. We did a booth test and upped his high frequency maps. We go back at the end of April for his next maps.

Disney World was a blast. I have some pictures to post but I'm waiting for Eric to put the music on the video so hopefully soon we'll have those to share. Garrett asks every morning if he's going to get to ride Buzz Lightyear that day. Connor has decided we need to move to Mickey Mouse's house. When I told him he wouldn't be able to see his grandparents or cousins if we did that - he said that they could all move too so that way everyone could go to Mickey Mouse's house. Gotta love how a 5 year old's mind works. The boys had a ball. We would hit the parks early and stay late and they all did good. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and ended up with a great view - we could sit on our balcony and watch the fireworks over the Castle at night.

Landon is showing a lot more responses to sounds these last few weeks. He loved It's a Small World - he would dance and tap his foot on it. He also started pointing to his ear when he would hear something but wasn't sure where it was. He started making the B sound - will say bah bah bah - the M sound - mah mah mah and the W sound wuh wuh wuh. The other day I was laying in bed trying to get him to fall asleep when the phone rang. He immediately sat up and looked over to my desk where the phone is. He has also got the airplane down. I can put some boats, cars and planes in front of him and without any prompting from me, he picks out all the airplanes and says AAAAhhhhhh with the change in pitch like we do. His progress seems to go in spurts. We'll have a week or two where it seems like he doesn't do anything new than we'll have a couple of weeks where he seems to do a lot of things.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Garrett's first "official" haircut

We took Garrett for his first real haircut by the barber. Up until now I've just been cutting it because we have been dreading bringing him. When I would cut it I was having to hit a moving target . He is never still. We've been trying for a year to get him to agree to let Mr. Barry do it and it's always been NO! For those who don't know him, he is at that age where if he didn't want to have it done, it would have taken all of us to hold his head still to get it done. That's why we've been putting it off. We told him he needed a good haircut before we go see Mickey Mouse and that seemed to work - he said Mr. Barry could do it. Surprisingly, he was a perfect angel. He sat there, didn't move, and smiled the whole time. We were amazed. I guess he really wants to see Mickey Mouse!

ONLY 3 MORE DAYS!! After the roller coaster we've been on the last year and a half, we can definitely use a vacation.We are going with Eric's parents, his sisters, brother-in-law, and nephew. We are celebrating Landon's being able to hear and my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. Connor's been bugging me for the last 2 weeks to start packing. I have a feeling the van is going to be loaded down - there is a lot of stuff for 3 kids.

We got together this weekend and made shirts for the boys to wear. They came out so cute! They have one for Mardi Gras - it says "Throw me something Mickey!" and one with four boys with mickey ears with their names. Landon has one that has a little boy with CI's and mickey ears with Mickey Mouse on it that says "Look Mickey, I have ears too!" His Nanny Tammy is the computer whiz who designed them all. We'll have to take pictures of them wearing them.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Okay, I just had to share this with someone and Eric is in class right now so I can't tell him. I was checking my email with Landon sitting on my lap (his usual place these days). I gave him the boys box with their new vitamins in it to shake to keep him busy. He dropped it on the ground so I said Uh-Oh a couple of times to him then handed it back. He dropped it again - obviously starting a game - and I said it again. The next time he dropped it I said Uh-Oh once then handed it back - Landon smiled at me and said UH-OH!!! He dropped it again and said Uh-Oh! again so I know it wasn't a fluke the first time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Update on therapy

We had speech today and his therapist thinks he is doing great for only being 11 weeks hearing age. Some of his newest tricks are:

1. When I whisper p-p-p-p-p-p (the sound for the boat) he will point to the boys doorway where we have the boat mobile hanging.

2. When I pick him up, I say "you want up? up?up?up?" and he's started copying it sometimes and says Uh-uh-uh.

3. He will imitate the AAaahhhhh with the change in pitch that we do for the airplane. He still does the monotone AAaahhhh that was his first repeat sound but now he will do the pitch change when we do.

4. With a slide we let figures go up and down and say "Up, up, up, wheeeee." He has started saying uh-uh-uh and then lets them slide.

5. He's mimicked the woof-woof for the dog with oo-oo and the sheep's baa with aahh.

6. The other night he was playing in his brother's room while I was in our room and he started fussing and I heard him crawl into the living room looking for me so I just called out once "Landon". He stopped going that way, turned around, and I heard him laughing as he came crawling down the hall into our room.

He's done others but that's the main ones that are coming to mind right now. I really need to get in the habit of updating here when he does stuff but between his therapy, homeschooling Connor, working, and keeping up the house it seems to fall to the back burner. I find that on a daily basis we sometimes start thinking he should be doing more than what he is but then when we stop and think he is only at the hearing age of an 11 week old we realize how far he has really come. We did the whole hearing aid thing from 3mths until his surgery but he really couldn't hear with them. I can remember only two times where he actually showed a reaction to sound. He still tested in the 75-80 db loss range with the aids on so he really had no hearing experience prior to his activation. To think that 2 months ago he couldn't hear a plane take off and now he can mimic sounds we make and hears us whisper sounds - it really is amazing.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sunday, January 6, 2008


In honor of the LSU Tigers National Championship Game tomorrow, here are some pictures of the boys over the years in their Tiger gear.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Is it 2008 already? What happened to 2007? This past year has flown by. This time last year, we had a road full of hurdles ahead of us. Landon had his hearing aids but that was it. We still had the CT scan plus other hearing tests to run to make sure he was a candidate for CI's. We didn't even know what surgeon we were using.

It seems like the first part of the year drug on because we were just waiting to hear from the surgeon that he could get the CI's Then came gathering information to get insurance to approve bilaterals - which surprisingly they did very quickly. Then the year started flying. It seemed like in no time surgery was upon us. It was definitely harder on us and our family than it was on Landon. By the night of the surgery he was back to his old self. I think it took the adults a little longer to get over it. I know the biggest hurdle is ahead of us - teaching him to understand sound and to talk - but it feels like the worst part is behind us. Hopefully 2008 won't be as stressful as 2007 was.

It's amazing to think how much can change with just a little time. If Eric or I would have been born deaf, we would have been raised in a world of silence with limited communication - only being able to talk with those who know sign language. Fastforward to now and we are living in a time where children born deaf are able to learn to hear and speak and have no limitations on who they communicate with. If you check out Rachel and Jessica's blog in the blog list, Rachel is a gifted college student who is also fluent in French. Did I mention she was born deaf? She was in the trial group that received the first CI's and she recently went bilateral. She spends her vacations from school traveling in France. I took 4 years of French in high school and could probably count on both hands the words I can say. It is amazing to see how far these kids can go.

In just the past year the CI world has changed. When Landon was first diagnosed, we met with a CI audiologist (not the one we are using) who showed us the implant and how it worked. When we asked if they would do one or two ears, we were told surgeons only did one ear, that no one did both ears. You had to save an ear for future technology. By the time we learned Landon was for sure a candidate, it was pretty much a given he would be getting bilaterals. The only question was one surgery or two. Now it is getting to be the norm to have simultaneous bilaterals. What a difference a year can make. I'm sure in a few more years the CI technology will probably get to the point where the whole device is fully implantable. It will be interesting to see in 20 years what the norm will be for babies born deaf.

Hope everyone has a great 2008!