Sunday, June 24, 2012

Eventful Day

Friday we went to the audiologist for Olivia's hearing test. We were running late (shocker I know!) so Josh was speeding a bit. I saw a trooper in the distance and I warned him but it was too late. Sure enough the trooper turned around and came after us. It was 2 minutes until 10:00 and our appointment was at 10:00.  However by the grace of God the trooper only gave us a warning ticket! We told him we were on our way to Olivia's appointment at Brenner's and he was very nice. He actually gave us directions and tips on getting there.. he has a 22 month old that gets speech at the exact place.

When we arrived we met the audiologist Rachel, and she started with a tympanogram to check the middle ear function. We saw 2 normal curves just as they should be.  I actually do these at school with my school audiologist during our mass hearing screens so I knew what to look for. For the next test the ABR (Automatic Brain Stem Response) Olivia had to be alseep. I changed her and nursed her and finally after fighting sleep for about 10 minutes she gave it up. I held her in my arms for over 2/1/2 hours during the test. I couldn't see the computer from where I was sitting holding her but Josh could. As the test continued I could tell that she was going to have loss just from the time it was taking.. then I glimpsed the audiogram that Rachel was filling out as she was testing and I knew... we were looking at a loss. I texted Josh and told him that I thought Olivia would have a loss because I wanted to prepare him. He texted back that she was responding to the stimuli. As I sat there I started trying to wrap my head around what this would mean for Olivia and for us. I told myself I would not get upset that we could handle this and it wasn't the end of the world. I even told myself that I wouldn't cry or get upset and made up my mind that I would help her, teach her and give her all she needed. If I needed to stay home with her until she started school I would. We would go to Kindermusik class, do language enrich activities daily, I could find aural rehab refresher classes to brush up on my skills and we could get through this. 

Then came the results...

Yes, Olivia does have a mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. For those of you other than my fellow SLP friends, this means it is permanent. Try as I might for all the intentions I had above I did cry. I have been on the other side giving parents results that their child has a language disorder, a speech disorder, a learning disability, low IQ... but I had yet to be on the opposite side where there is something wrong with my child.  Every parent wants their child to be perfect. We want them to be the smartest, sweetest, healthiest, strongest, most handsome/beautiful child out there. You know what.. Olivia is still perfect whether she can hear or not... whether she is going to have to wear hearing aids behind her sweet ears or not... no matter what happens she is my perfect baby girl! 

Oh it could be soo much worse. We could be looking at childhood cancer, heart disease, an awful syndrome, that horrible condition of EB that poor baby Tripp had. As I sat there wrapping my head around this... I thought about all these things that we were not dealing with and I was thankful to God! I thank God that so far it's a mild to moderate loss and hearing aids will bring the sound up enough for her to hear speech sounds. I thank God that I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and have training to help her develop speech and language.  Isn't God good!

Most people have asked, "What caused this?". Well, we don't know.  I had a perfect pregnancy and normal delivery. Even her brief 2 hour stay in the NICU wasn't a factor. Josh and I neither one have a family history of hearing loss.  We will be doing more tests trying to figure this out. 

Olivia was fitted for ear molds and we will go back in several weeks to get her hearing aids and see an ENT as well. For a pair of entry level hearing aids we are looking around $ 3000.00, and they should last 3-5 years. Luckily if our insurance doesn't cover it North Carolina has a grant where the first pair is covered for children under 3. She will have to have new ear molds made every 6 weeks or so because she will grow so much so fast as a baby. She will also have hearing tests as well very often to make sure her hearing isn't changing and so the hearing aids can be set appropriately. 

Please pray for our family. Pray that Olivia's hearing will not worsen and that I will have the knowledge and wisdom to know how to help her best. Fellow SLPs if you guys have any knowledge or know of any CEU classes that would help me please let me know. I feel like even though I do have knowledge of hearing loss because Speech and Audiology are sister fields there is a lot I don't know. I haven't had a lot of hearing impaired kids on my caseload over the years.  I am very thankful for my sweet daughter and I trust that God knows exactly what He is doing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I showered today!

Haha for real it has been 2 days and I was stinky! I'm surprised Olivia even wanted to nurse. I've cleaned out my car, shampooed the mats, and helped Isaac mulch a bank which all added to the stink. I always think I will just wait on Josh to get home but it seems the evenings get too busy. So today I put Olivia in the bouncy seat near the shower and Eli got in with me. Then I bathed the baby, and instructed Isaac to shower so now we are all officially clean. Sometimes that it hard enough you just want to blog about it ;)

Here is Livi sleeping in the swing in the garage while I worked outside

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's day to Josh... a wonderful husband and father to my children! I am thankful that they have a Daddy that loves, provides, and takes time for each of them.  This is his first Father's day with our new daughter. There is something special about a daddy and his daughter and I am excited Josh gets that experience. I've heard it said, "every mother needs a son, and every daddy a daughter."

Today is always bittersweet because I can't share today with my Daddy. This is my second Father's Day without him. I was awake last night thinking about him and all he taught me so I thought I would start a list.

1. He taught me to care for my family. He took care of my grandmother for years and was so loyal and faithful to her.
2. Laughter- he could make a joke all the time. I still laugh at non appropriate times- I blame it on him :)
3. He tried to teach me to be a good driver- He was an excellent driver but I think I took after my Aunt!
4. He taught me how to hold a golf club- even though I don't golf I know how to hold the club properly.
5. He taught me to to give 'nicknames'. He had a nickname for everyone. I was Sumarie, Mo-randy, and may more.
6. He taught me to be there for my children. He was always there for me!
7. He taught me generosity. He was generous to his church, family, friends and strangers. People still come up to me and talk about how much my dad helped them and what a wonderful man he was.
8. He taught me to 'tighten up my belt'..  I spent way to much on our wedding, and we got raked through the coals when we bought a car for the first time as a married couple. He could have bailed me out but he wanted me to learn to make it on my own and I appreciate that so much!
9. He gave me a love of traveling. He took my sister and I so many wonderful places... road trips up North and out West, Canada, Prince Edward Island, Bermuda, Bahamas, Alaska, and Hawaii.
10. He taught me to love... he loved us and his grandest-babies so much!

I miss you Daddy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summertime fun!

We went night swimming at Mom's last night. I swam 5 laps, Eli jumped off the side of the pool underwater to Daddy, and Isaac played the color dunking game. Olivia snoozed peacefully inside on Nana. Lots of fun! Notice no pictures of the Mommy :) I still have 10 lbs to go!

Eli said, "Papa, get your swimmie diaper on and come out here!" We got a laugh out of that one!

Fun on the Greenway!

I took the kids to the Greenway this morning... sweet brothers :)

Where I want to go:

Okay.. I am going to start a list of vacation spots when the kiddos get bigger. I always start itching to travel when I have a newborn... I guess it's because I can't. I am so very thankful I have a precious, sweet newborn and it's so worth it not to be able to leave to go anywhere... but hey I still get a hankerin' :)

1. Some where tropical... like a all inclusive resort where you can kick back on the beach and relax. The Virgin Islands would do

Toddler bed challenges

Okay, can it really be that awful. I mean it's the same blasted bed... without ONE rail!! We have been fighting Eli for 2 days now with this toddler bed. After he learned to spring out of the crib in point 2 seconds we took the rail off to transition to a toddler bed. Since the move I can't find the conversion kit to put the side rail up so right now it doesn't have a rail.

Night one:

We played up the whole "big boy bed" all day.  We both took him to bed.. we read books, played with his turtle toy, rubbed his back, laid in the bed with him, etc.. for 3 HOURS! He finally went to sleep. That night he woke up at 2 am screaming and I was upstairs with him from 2-4 am when I finally passed out on the floor beside his bed. Josh came in to get me at 5:30 because Olivia needed to be nursed.  I think I may have had 3 hours total sleep (not in a row) that night.

Day 2:

Exhausted toddler and a cranky mama = no fun! I tried to get him to nap around 10:45 because he was soooo incredibly tired. I took him upstairs, laid down with him on the bed, read books, loved on him, petted him, and tried to bribe him with something 'fun' when he woke up. Finally I shut the door (we put a child proof lock on his door knob) and watched him on the monitor for a while. He got quiet so I closed my eyes for a few minutes. When I opened them he was standing in the dresser drawer climbing on top of his dresser. I went upstairs and the child had reached the powder and lotion and preceded to plaster the rocking chair, crib and himself with the entire bottle of powder and lotion. At this point I am soo tired and out of patience. I tell him if he gets out of the bed again he is going to get a spanking. After two 'pops' on the leg he stays in his bed and goes to sleep. We also gave him positive reinforcement and by bragging on him and taking him to doing his favorite thing when he woke up... a four wheeler ride.

Night 2:

Yay! He sleeps through the night!

Day 3:
After taking an hour to go to sleep for his nap he finally gives it up!

I hope this continues to get easier!
Giving Mommy kisses goodnight
Here's your turtle Mommy

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Eli can get into

Take all the flashlights apart
Color all over his face and our recliner
Pour RainX on Daddy's new grass
Smear scratch remover all over the garage
Confiscate Daddy's tools

Guess who is moving to a toddler bed.....

Mommy and Olivia

Lots of people say Olivia looks like me. I see both myself and Josh in her sweet little face. What do you think? This is her dressed in my baby dress. We are the same age in these pictures....I think I look constipated ;)

Olivia is 1 month

Weight: 10 lbs 1 oz
Height: 22 inches

Wow! This month has flown by! I can't believe my little sweet daughter is 1 month old. Olivia nurses every 3 hours. Occasionally she has gone 4-5 but I can usually set my watch to her appetite. I did try a bottle just to make sure she would take it and she sucked it down. She eats like her big brothers! She loves to be held and cuddled; she is not a big fan of being rocked and bounced but does like it occasionally. Usually she will just go to sleep if I lay her on my chest or snuggle her in my arm. She gets fussy if she is sleepy or hungry but really is a laid back baby. She has decided she likes the passy just a bit and will take it some. We are loving watching her grow and having a bit of 'pink' in the house :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Aunt Jane meets Olivia Jane

These aren't the best pictures but we were thrilled Aunt Jane and Uncle Richard came in to visit. Friday  night we had dinner at Napoles, Saturday we had dinner at Audra's, and Sunday we had a brunch at our house. Aunt Jane left Monday but... we have booked a beach house at Pawley's Island for a week in August! 

Livi's ears

I am beyond frustrated!! We were supposed to go to the audiologist for a diagnostic test on Tuesday.. Well I took Eli to his grandparent's house, got Olivia and I ready and journeyed to Asheville to the doctor only to find out that they don't even have an audiologist in Asheville that sees babies. Her pediatrician's office called around and found out that Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem was the closest; so they set up an appointment for Friday. Well, I set up a baby sitter for Eli, and I am ready to walk out the door to drive 1 1/2 hours when Baptist calls to reschedule her appointment. Now we have to wait until the 22nd and Josh is going to have to take off work. Grrr .... incompetence frustrates me!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You see all this hair....

Olivia hasn't lost any in the back because it would require being laid down! This is her favorite position... My arm crook :) Hey, they are only little once, right!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Isaac's headed to Junior High....

Sniff sniff! I can't believe my first baby is headed to 7th grade....Junior high! He graduated from elementary school tonight and I am so very proud of him. It doesn't seem like long ago I held him in my arms for the first time and never knew I could love anything so much! He's my pride and joy and I'm thrilled God picked me to be his mom 11 years ago. He has been at Glenwood since preschool and I've been so glad to be with him the last 4 years. He received many awards tonight, including...A Honor Roll, Citizenship Award ( for outstanding behavior and leadership) and he was one of the four students to receive the highest academic award, the Presidential Award! He made all 4's again this year on the EOG's and has all 4 years. Dad and I are so proud of you Isaac Ryan and expect great things from you!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eli's artwork

Luckily it was chalk...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Play date with the babes

Elizabeth, Heather and I were all three pregnant at the same time. Kason was born in January, Camden in March and Olivia in May. We have a picture of all 3 of us pregnant at Heather's shower and now we have a pic of the three babies together. Olivia wasn't a happy girl having her picture with 2 boys!
Me (due May), Elizabeth (due March), Heather (due January)
Kason, Olivia, Camden
Olivia fencing the boys