Friday, August 31, 2012


I ate this whole pint last night! I don't think I've ever ate that much ice cream. That was probably 700+ calories....eeek!
This is awesome ice cream btw.. PF Changs has some that is similar and it's is quite delicious

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hearing or not?

We ran to town to pick up hot wings and pizza for dinner tonight and because we were only going to be gone 5 minutes, I didn't bother to bring the diaper bag. It never fails when you don't bring the bag the blowout happens! Luckily I had stashed Eli a spare diaper in the console of the car. So Miss Piggy that usually wears size 2 graduated to a size 6 tonight. 

I never ever would have wanted my sweet daughter to have a hearing impairment and I so wish she had perfectly good ears but here are a few perks to having a child with a hearing impairment. 

1. You can go to the movie theater and she will sleep right through the show. (We took her with us to see the Dark Knight and she slept so peacefully in my arms)
2. She can take naps without her 2 year old brother's screams waking her up. (This happens quite often--I was kicking myself today because I left them in during a nap and of course Eli screamed and there went the nap.)
3. She can sleep through Isaac's squeals of practicing the saxophone (he just started Jr high band--imagine how lovely that sounds).
4. Oh she gets tired while eating at a restaurant... out go the hearing aids and tada.. time to sleep!
5. Mommy and Daddy are having a disagreement... (What?? I didn't hear any yelling or fussing.) Not that that would ever happen ;) 

Love you Livi

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jr high

Today was Isaac's first day of 7th grade and for our county that means he started Junior High! It seems unreal that he is that old. He is such a outgoing, smart, remarkable young man. I told him I was nervous and he said, "Mom... why are you nervous. You aren't starting school." I would have been nervous in his shoes.. starting a new school and not knowing many people. Since we moved we are in a different district so his friends from elementary school are headed to the other Junior high. But Isaac.. no.. he is excited. He really never meets a stranger and has always been one to make a friend. I am hoping and praying he has a wonderful year in Junior high and that he stays a leader and makes good choices. I love this picture below. Eli had taken a 10 minute car ride today and was unbelievably grumpy. Isaac picked E up and he fell asleep in his arms.

I know everyone says 'time flies'  but it is so true. So fast, so fleeting. Usually I would be heading back to work and seeing the little faces of my speech kids but today I was home with my babies. It was honestly hard for me because I do love my job and my co-workers. I have had moments this week where I miss going back,  but when I capture Livi with her little hands clasped together snoozing and kiss those cheeks, or Eli tries to poo poo in the potty and it lands on the floor; I am thankful. I am thankful that I am spending these moments at home; loving on my babies and watching them grow.

Isaac holding sleeping Eli
I thought this was precious.... love her little hands together

Friday, August 17, 2012


Today a parent educator from Beginnings came out to give us information on Olivia's hearing loss. Beverly Elwell came to our house and was so sweet and helpful. She gave me a copy of Olivia's hearing loss plotted on a speech banana audiogram and gave us lots of helpful information. Beginnings is a non-profit agency that provides support to parents of children who are hard of hearing or deaf from birth until age 22. North Carolina has so many resources right now for the hard of hearing/deaf and so I am very thankful we are able to tap into these. North Carolina also has adopted the  1-3-6 objective which means a hearing screen by 1 month, diagnosis by 3 months, and amplification and early intervention by 6 months. I am thrilled we are ahead of the game.. Olivia already has her hearing aids and we have started intervention. We have more appointments next week! The pink line (red, right, round) is her right ear and the X or blue line is her left ear. You can see her loss is pretty symmetrical. Without her hearing aids she misses the sounds above the line ( /p/, /h/, /g/, /ch/, /sh/, /k/, /f/, /s/, /th/). 

She also gave me this story by Emily Perl Kingsley: Welcome to Holland

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Olivia has her hearing aids!

Monday, Olivia was fitted for her hearing aids. We met with Dr. Buchman the neuro-otolaryngologist as well as her audiologist, Pat Roush. Her fitting went great.. I was able to get her hearing aids in on the first try and Josh did equally as well when he tried. When we turned them on she just smiled so big and laughed so hard! We both teared up just watching her coo, grin, smile and laugh. It was priceless to see her reaction. After her fitting we met Dr. Buchman and were very pleased with him as well. We will have a MRI done at 6 months to check out her inner ear structure. She will have to be sedated for the MRI and they will also do a EKG to check out her heart during the same appointment. He wants us to have her vision checked after 6 months of age because sometimes hearing and vision problems occur together. We also sent off a release to have her heel stick blood spot from birth analyzed for the most common genetic form of hearing loss, Connexin 26 as well as CMV (cytomeglavirus). I am so hoping and praying that it is not CMV because that can cause a wide spread of developmental problems; evidently pregnant women can be exposed to CMV without ever knowing. The blood test could take months to get back so I am trying not to be anxious. Dr. Buchman did not recommend genetic testing because he said that the companies that do the testing are not very good at it right now and often they come back with mixed results. We did ask about progression of the loss and basically if the cause of her hearing impairment is CMV or enlarged vestibular aqueducts (which we could find out during MRI) then the odds of the loss progressing is much higher. So it sounds like we will be making frequent trips to Chapel Hill this first year. Besides the testing Dr. Buchman recommended, she will start behavioral testing in the sound booth to try to plot out her audiogram at 7 months and every 6 weeks thereafter until they can get an accurate audiogram that matches the ABR. We will have frequent ear molds made as well.. hopefully we can find somewhere local to make the ear molds so we can limit some driving. 

How am I doing? Truthfully most of the time I am okay..I can talk about it pretty freely and I wasn't even upset when I saw people talking about her hearing aids when we went to the mall. I do hope that people will look at her sweet little face before they look at the hearing aids but I know it's also very unusual to see a tiny baby with hearing aids. I want her to be okay. I feel like I can handle her hearing loss but I am hoping and praying that EVERYTHING else is okay. In my field because I have worked with so many children with disabilities I analyze everything and that is driving me crazy. However nothing will change the love I have for my sweet, sweet baby girl!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A few more pics from Pawley's

Aunt Jane and Carter rescuing starfish (see all of them washed up?)

Front view of house
Our bedroom ( I put the pack-n-play in between the beds)
The house elevator! Worked great for lugging stuff up 3 stories
Upstairs living room
Jammin' out to Daddy's music
the 12 year old playing Xbox
It's blurry.. but it was a quick date night sans kiddos! Aunt Jane, Nana and Isaac watched all four of the little ones
Nana on the deck
Cam Cam
Livi rocking with Nana
Look at those hunka hunka legs

Cam trying on Olivia's headbands
Add caption

Olivia hanging out on the way to dinner

For more details on our trip from my sister's point of view check out her blog post

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olivia is 3 months

I turned 3 months old today at Pawley's Island. I really like the beach and the pool... I lay on my soft blanket or in my swing in the shade and the breeze lulls me right to sleep. I am nursing every 3-4 hours during the day and I still have to have a snack most nights. I like to fall asleep on my own in my sleep sack.. Mommy just lays me down and swaddles me and it makes me feel so secure. I like to look around and I am getting more head control. I am not really good at reaching for toys yet but I can touch and grab a few things especially Mommy's hair. I almost rolled over.. I can get on my side but I haven't quite figured out how to flip on over. I may not be able to hear the rustle of the breeze or birdies tweet but I turn when people talk to me and I grin really big when I hear my Mommy's voice. I know I am loved because Eli tells me he loves me all day and my Mommy kisses my cheeks all the time. My Daddy and big brother Isaac also love to watch me and talk to me; it makes me grin. I think I like this world I am living in!

Umm I like this finger
Maybe my whole fist will do
Ohh my thumb is okay too!
                                  Hey Mommy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pawley's island

Nana and Olivia
Aunt Jane
Isaac with Josh and Eli in the distance
View from the beach
Daddy and his girl
Isaac, Olivia and I
This smile melts my heart
I tried to take a self portrait of Olivia and I .... not so much!
A little better except she's sticking out her tongue and saying "I'm done Mom."
Nana, Josh and Eli
Eli says, "Let me bite you Daddy"
So relaxing.. we even found live starfish
Isaac and his sis
Hey everyone!
The babes... Olivia was not happy
Josh, Liv and I
Sweet 12 year old!

Rainy watercolor

Aunt Jane has been taking a watercolor class and brought her supplies to our beach trip for just as day as today. It's raining and we're lazy! We gathered around the dining room table, listened to music and painted. Even Carter had a go. He's a modern artist. Audra's painting was great.. she has always had artistic talent. Me.. not so much. I had fun trying though :) We stayed in our pj's all day!

Nana sketching
Isaac trying his hand at it
Carter's little modern painting
Audra's sea turtles.. isn't this good!
Audra starting her picture
Carter painting with Aunt Jane mixing colors
A pizza box always works!
Our artwork: My beach pic (orange=wrong sand color), Mom's seashell, Isaac's pot of gold, and Carter's blob