Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Bachelor

Yes, I admit I watch reality TV. For no other purpose than pure entertainment. Josh usually just retreats to his man cave when I turn it on.  Kelly's Korner had a guest blogger so I did a big of blog reading and got sucked into these two blogs.. Mix and Match Family which is the sister of the Bachelor Sean and Pinterest Told Me To... which has really fun takes of each Bachelor episode and is full of fun clothing style info and outfit suggestions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chick chick

My mama got 8 baby chicks yesterday so we brought the kiddos to see the new pets. I have this thing about chickens. I'm not a fan. It has something to do with the beaks and legs. However I embraced my chicken fear today and held two of the little peeps. They actually fell asleep while I was holding them.

Carter the old pro chick handler
Look at E's face... he kept saying, "You're so sweet!"
Even Livi Lou liked the chicks

Microwave a vegetable?

Wait.. I've done this! I've even microwaved minute rice.. maybe I shouldn't type this. One evening I was trying to throw something together for dinner because Josh was almost home, so I put minute rice in the microwave. He got a hunk on his plate and started chewing... and chewing... and chewing. I think he spit it out. Ooops. Guess I won't try that again. 

I did this!

Josh told me that as he dropped Isaac off at Jr High this morning one of Isaac's teachers said, "This boy makes my class!" and bragged on him. So after I told Isaac how proud I was of him I said, "You are destined for greatness!" Even pre-teens smile when they hear these words. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Catawba falls

Isaac was out of school Friday so we used the day to go on a hike. Since we had rain for a solid week the river was up and the falls were huge. We did have to ford the creek 3 times since all the bridges were washed out. No worries...We left the babies with their grandparents because we knew it would be a little dangerous with the high water.  Somehow I was the only one dry at the end of our adventure and I don't know how.. I'm usually the clumsy one!
Trying to cross
Isaac at the dam- the pre-teens loved the pun on words with the word 'dam'
The falls- we have never seen them this full
Lots of water
A quick no make-up kinda day pic
Braedon, Bryce and Isaac

Livi is learning to make messes too

Friday, January 18, 2013

A healthy treat

One of my goals this year is to cook more, eat out less, and eat more healthy. Eli and I made these frozen 'Popsicles' yesterday and he's loving them. We blended frozen strawberries, black berries, and blue berries with Greek yogurt and then put in Popsicle cups and froze.

Downton Abbey

My sis has been trying to get me to watch Downton Abbey starting with season 1. I decided to try one episode last night after the kids were gone to bed and the house was quiet... and I watched 5!! What a crazy thing to do for a mommy that doesn't get to sleep through the night. Oh well.. she was right.. it was good!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I would never...

Run through my husband's precious grass :) I'm such a great driver!

Would text my 12 year old, "I can't pick you up today the baby is sleeping... it's not raining THAT hard," as I'm driving down the hill to pick him up from the bus!

Livi babbling

Testing updates

Well I received the call this morning that we've been waiting for. It's taken 6 months to get the genetic testing back from Olivia's newborn blood spot and it was negative for CMV and for Connexin 26.  So now we are just left wondering what could have caused her hearing loss. We know that her inner ear anatomy is completely normal (via the MRI) and now we know she wasn't exposed to CMV in utero and that she doesn't have the recessive Connexin 26 gene. I am going to have to have faith that everything will be okay and that we may never know what caused this sweet baby's hearing loss.  She is such a sweet and smart girl and I am proud to be her mama. She's not going to let a little hearing loss get in her way!

Wearing her Hanna Annderson Pilot Cap- My sis calls her 'Baby Alive' whens he wears her cap

This is her new audiogram. The horizontal line shows frequencies. The lower frequencies are on the left  (think bass drum, tuba, vowel sound 'oo' as in 'who') and the frequencies get higher (bird chirp, signal on your car, the sound /s/) as you move to the right. On the vertical axis you have loudness or intensity which is measured in decibels. At the top you have softer sounds such as leaves rustling and at the bottom are the louder sounds like a lawn mower and jet plane. 

Miss Olivia has better hearing in the lower frequencies but as you move into the higher frequencies her hearing worsens. A lot of people, even family, ask "Can she hear at all." Or I get, "Can she hear me at all without her hearing aids?" The answer is "Yes, she can. She has a lot of residual hearing."  I like to give this example that Beginnings gave me.

Normal Hearing:
One bear has a chair, but I have a hat
two ducks have trucks, but I have a hat
Three trees have bees, but I have a hat
Four stores have doors, but I have a hat
five pigs have wigs, but I have a hat
six bugs have rugs, but I have a hat
seven goats have coats, but I have a hat
eight crabs have cabs, but I have a hat
nine snails have trails, but I have a hat
ten cats have hats.. just like me!

What you would hear with a moderate hearing loss:
One bear a a air, but I ave a at
Two du ave tru, but I ave a at
Ree tree ave bee, but I ave a at
our tore ave door, but I ave a at
ive I ave wi, but I ave a at
i bu ave ru, but i ave a at
even oat ave oat, but I ave a at
eight rab have ab, but i ave a at
nine nail ave trail, but i ave a at
ten at ave at.. jut lie me!

Olivia hears you but she may not be able to get all the meaning or hear all the sounds you make without her hearing aids. The pilot cap has been a sanity saver for me and Livi doesn't seem to mind it too much. Our oral/deaf educator, Kristin told me about the hearing halo headband and I'm going to order one to see if that works. They have lots of colors.. I think I like this purple flower one.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gotta have a bath picture

Bath time fun!

Country ride

Today I was a country gal and we took the middle rascal (he needed some special Mommy/Daddy time) for a long trail blazin' four wheeler ride. We donned the Carhart and camo (well Josh did) .. I was dressed in his old long sleeve shirt, too tight workout pants, pink fuzzy socks, along with my glasses and a scrunchie from the 80's.  There was no way I was taking my picture but I snapped this one of Josh and Eli after our ride. We rode around our land, made new trails, enjoyed the warm day and even saw a red fox.  It started to rain during our ride but we kept on. The smell of gas, wind blowing on my face, and being outside made me happy to be in the country. 

Little E has been a pill this week. We left him with Josh's parents Sunday night to take Olivia to Chapel Hill for her audiologist appointment on Monday and since we've been back he's been out of sorts. I don't know if the poor child thought he was abandoned (even though we explained what was going on) or if he is hitting a new developmental phase, but I'm about out of patience. He has had meltdowns over every little thing, hasn't listened to a word I've said, and been completely unruly.  I have adopted a new calming down song from some PBS show.. it goes like this and works like a charm. "If you feel like you're going to ROAR, let's count to four...1..2...3..4."  Josh looked at me with an open mouth the first time he heard me sing because Eli immediately de-esclated from his tantrum. So yes, it works like a charm, but let me tell you there is only so many times you can handle singing about roaring before you are about to roar. So we decided to give E a little special time and there is nothing he likes more than to go ride something with a motor. Four-wheelers, lawn mowers, and tractors are at the top of the list. He was so happy and kept talking about riding through the woods. Hopefully this new phase he is going through is going to be short lived.

We try to make sure we spend time with each of the kids individually. Isaac had all the attention for 9 lovely years and has done superb adapting to the big brother role. He helps out a lot and I believe in the long run it's going to make him more patient, more loving, and a better father one day. We try to do special things with him such as movie nights, and daddy/son video game evenings. I really want to start 'date' nights where we can take each kiddo out one-on-one, especially as little ones get older. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Olivia is 8 months

I'm guessing Olivia's around 18 lbs because she has been 17 lbs at 7 months, 16 at 6 months, 15 at five months and so on. She is in 6-12 month clothes and 9 month sleepers. Size 3 diapers still fit really well. We've tried a month supply of diapers from the Honest company and I like them. At first I wasn't sure because we had two leaks but I think it was because she was in between sizes. I like the diapers because they have less chemicals than normal diapers, are more biodegradable, not too costly, the company donates diapers to those in need, they deliver to your door step, and they have pretty designs :) I would love to use cloth diapers but that would be unrealistic for me. I do good to get the clothes washed for this crew. I probably should be doing laundry right now instead of blogging because Josh is out of white undershirts and I have a huge pile of clothes. 

What can Livi do now?  She is able to solider crawl all over the house, stand while holding on to things, and wave 'hey'... it's really cute.. not a dainty princess wave but a whole arm wave. She is also trying to say hey "eey", and will say "dada", "ma",  and I've heard 'bu' when playing with the ball. She loves to imitate growing noises and will imitate some vowel sounds back. We've been working on choosing  between the airplane (Ahhh) and the Bus (buh, buh, buh) for her learning to listen sounds. She is nursing less frequently and eating more solid food. She has figured out the sippy cup and can drink from a straw. The girl loves food.. especially table food. She picks finger foods up with her finger and thumb or sometimes uses the whole hand to cram food in her little mouth.  We need a dog to get the left overs because she sure makes a mess.  It was harder to take these pictures than before because Miss Squirm-a-lot decided she wanted to grab the light on her nightstand and didn't want to sit for the picture. As you can see most of the pictures are of her squirming away. 

I'm not going to hold still for this picture.
Mommy is a sucker for cute little baby dresses
I'm crawling outta here folks!
"Really Mom!" "Another picture?"
Watching Eli take a bath... notice the Pilot cap which she's been wearing to keep from eating her hearing aids.

Here is the link to Eli's 8 month stats. He was already cruising one handed. Oh well. I'm doing much better now having patience and letting this one meet her milestones when she meets them. Isaac and Eli met milestones pretty much the same and this little princess has her own way of doing things.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sound booth testing

Livi had her first test in the sound booth today. We were told not to be disappointed if we didn't get an audiogram on the first attempt because usually on the first couple of times the child is just learning how to be conditioned. Remember back to Pavlov's dogs in psychology... Well that's classical conditioning, the same type of learned response they use to get babies to respond on hearing tests.

Most people want to know how they test a 7 month old. Well, during testing Olivia sat in a high chair; when sounds were presented from the loud speaker she turned and was rewarded with toys lighting up and dancing. After using the loud speaker, her audiologist then presented the sounds via her ear mold.

Her middle ear was checked prior to testing to make sure she didn't have fluid in the middle ear space. When I do hearing screenings at school, if a child fails a screen the most of the time it's due to a flat tempanogram, being that there is fluid behind the ear drum.  Flat tempanograms can be pretty common during the winter season when colds, allergies and ear infections are prevalent.  Sure enough, Olivia's left ear showed a flat line.. indicating fluid behind her ear drum. This is most likely from the pesky cold that has lingered. Since she hasn't had fever, signs of infection or a bulgy ear drum it will most likely resolve without antibiotics.

We checked on the genetics testing that was sent off from her newborn Guthrie card and found that Olivia tested negative for CMV. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that looks like the common cold...however if contracted during pregnancy it can cause a wide range of developmental problems including hearing loss. Josh and I both thought that it was highly unlikely CMV was the cause, because our sweet girl seems to be meeting all her milestones appropriately. However, we were thankful to mark that one off the list. We both want an answer and want  to know a reason for her hearing loss but we know that we may never know. We are still waiting to find out if she has Connexin 26, which is a recessive gene that causes only hearing loss.

So back to her testing... She did great! That little bug turned her head and was such a good listener. We were able to get a good audiogram. Her new audiogram showed a moderate loss in both ears. Of course I was hoping we would get in there and her hearing would have improved to a mild loss, but I'm thankful it's not severe or profound. Her audiologist explained the discrepancy between her last ABR and today's sound booth test is related to the fact that the ABR speculates the loss and that behavioral testing is much more accurate.

Today we took new ear mold impressions (new pink sparkles of course) and her hearing aids were re-programmed. Josh and I both noticed a big difference in the sound volume- they are so much louder!

Mommy and Olivia in the sound booth
Leaving the hospital

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Take a hike

Goodness, I feel so much better when I get outside and walk. We took the kids up to a pretty waterfall not far from our house on Saturday afternoon. Isaac is at the age where he takes his knives and whittles dead trees, Eli jumps off all the high precipices, and Olivia is happy as a lark in the backpack carrier.

Ever blamed one on your kid??

Josh, Olivia and I stopped at CVS to pick up wipes. The young male cashier said, "Smells like the baby needs a diaper." To which I replied, " Yes, she does!" Josh gave me grief but I bet he would have done the same.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Baby bath

Usually Livi is in the big tub now that she is sitting good and can take baths with Eli... However today we had a blow out and pulled out the baby tub. She melts my heart with that smile!

Oh can you see the little white nub on bottom? We have a tooth!