- Can verbally identify the names of the basic colors and shapes
- Can name most common animals and knows the sounds they make
- Knows the names of our family members and friends
- Asks questions, such as "What are you doing?" " Where did Daddy go?" "Where is my Jacket?"
- Requests items such as Barbie Movie, Hot dog, Purple Tutu and Cookies.
- Uses adjectives regularly in her speech (empty pocket, scary movie, mean car, funny Daddy)
- Tries to count on her own from 1 - 10 (the order is unpredictable at this point)
- Will say "I'm sorry, Are you okay?"
- Learned the language of rural Kansas, i.e. Combines, Tractors, Cows, Horses, Boots, etc.
- Developed an appreciation for music, including lots of singing and dancing.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Ahhhh, immunizations. Is there anything less enjoyable for a parent? For both kids, I've taken them to the vast majority of their immunizations. Dad's turn! This past week, Jon had an afternoon open and decided to take the kids in for their flu shots. Derek also needed another immunization, for a total of two shots.
Jon takes the kids in together to the shot room. Three nurses come in. Two have syringes; the other is there to help hold Derek. Jon and that nurse are holding Derek down, with him screaming his little head off. Right as the other nurses try to give Derek his shots, Taylor decides to take action. She screams "NOOOOO" and rips one of the syringes out of his leg. Derek got a 3-inch scratch on his leg and we're not entirely sure if he got the flu shot as intended. Jon had to go after Taylor and attempt to confiscate the syringe and needle, which she somehow bent and did not want to relinquish. Needless to say, Taylor had to get her own flu shot after that and I'm sure she didn't go quietly. Derek was too busy nursing his own wounds to attempt to rescue her. Dad was a little frazzled when he called me to tell me the story.
Last April (2009), we began having issues with a particular customer in Miami, Florida. Since then, my business travel has really picked up. Here is a list of the travel that I've had since April 2009. A few of these are personal; most of them are business... and interspersed with these trips are the weekly trips to Oklahoma City for Taylor's therapy.
Sacramento, San Francisco, Napa, Carmel
Miami (4 times in 5 weeks)
Canon City & Breckenridge
And this week, I am headed to Detroit.
Good thing I broke down and ordered a Samsonite Spinner. I have calluses on my hands from dragging my suitcase and laptop bag through the airport.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Taylor's expressive language is exploding right now, as Derek's did after his second birthday. She is getting pronouns - will look at a picture of herself and say "me." She will hold the camera and say "cheese!" I can get her to "parrot" me. For example, when reading an alphabet book recently, I would say a letter and she would attempt to repeat it before I went on to read the dialogue associated with that letter. She can point out almost all colors when we name them, and can say most of them herself. A recent shopping trip went like this -- "Look! Yellow! Blue, Green, Red, White." She identified the colors to me as she found them. She will ask for a bath before bedtime and a hot dog if she is hungry (her favorite food). She is also into counting still, and now she makes it to about six.
We can have conversations, which is really fun. On Saturday, I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie. She said "Tutu movie" --translation - her ballerina movie. I looked in the cabinet and it wasn't there so I asked her where it was. She said, "Right here, Come on" and then walked into my bedroom to show me it.
Here are some recent vacation pictures.
|Helping Daddy Drive the Boat|
|A good place for a nap|
|I love to Swing!|
|Derek Loves to Swing too!|
|Check out my Barbie fishing pole.|
Sunday, August 15, 2010
What's it mean to be a good Mom? Or a good Dad? What determines "Success"? One of my most important parenting goals is to raise children who can go out into the world with confidence.
I had a great teacher of confidence and self-esteem - my Mom. From my earliest memories, I remember that if I ever expressed any self-doubt, my Mom would reassure me and not let me put myself down. As we drove down the road when I was 3 or so, I was reading the Speed Limit signs, Stop signs, etc. My mom said something about me "reading". I said "I can't read!" She said, "Yes, you can! You're reading the signs right now!" And I realized, sure enough, Mom was right. That was the beginning of how my Mom taught me to have confidence. From water-skiing at age seven, to entering spelling bees and track meets, taking gymnastics, and playing softball, any time I thought I couldn't do it, wasn't good enough, or that someone else was better, my mom would let me know that I could do anything I wanted to. Somewhere along the way, it worked. My sisters and I are all doing pretty well now. Thanks MOM!
|Taylor swimming at Papa and Grandma's House|
do you coddle them in case they fail and get hurt? or do you encourage them and let them know that you have confidence in them to be successful?
Derek swimming at Papa and Grandma's house
In early life, these are usually physical challenges... the first steps, first climbs, sitting in a big chair rather than the high chair, going down stairs, riding a tricycle, swimming, riding a bicycle with training wheels, doing a somersault. Every single one of these is an opportunity to instill confidence in your child. Mastering physical challenges in early childhood helps a child gain self-esteem that will translate across all of life's greater challenges.
|Derek on the trampoline|
|Derek & Taylor in the airplane to Taylor's therapy appt|
|Taylor doing the Trampoline Bungee at A Grape Event, Hearts for Hearing fundraiser at Plymouth Valley Cellars|
Taylor's surgery was one year ago this week. That was the scariest, most exciting day in my life. If it's possible to feel a mix of accomplishment, dread, worry, elation, agony, and anticipation, all rolled up into one big ball of nerves, that was surgery day for me. Taylor's Dad, on the other hand, was pretty calm, all things considered. He does surgery for his profession, so it wasn't as intimidating for him as it was for me.
Some friends of ours have a surgery day coming up soon for their little guy. They came to visit us recently and we tried to prepare them and reassure them of the good things in store for them and their son. Thinking of how far we have come in this past year brings tears of joy to my eyes. Sharing Taylor's successes with another family was so wonderful. If we helped them in any way worry less, hurt less, or know that their son will have an amazing life, then we are thrilled to be able to do that.
These are some of Taylor's recent accomplishments:
Burp, saying "excuse me" (She must have gotten that from her father.)
Sneeze, babysitter says "bless you", Taylor replies "thank you!"
At a drive-in restaurant, a guy walks by and she says "Who's that?" followed by "Where's my Hot Dog?"
She is doing lots of requesting, mainly around food. "Hot dog, apple juice, candy, drink"
Last night, she smelled my glass of wine and said "Mommy juice." Exactly right and stay away, please!
There are also many questions. "Where'd Daddy go?" "Where's Derek" "What's that?"
I'm waiting for the "Why"'s to begin. No hurry there. We're in a stage of "MINE"! If Derek or any other child touches Taylor's food, toys, chair, shoes, etc. (on down the list), there are a flurry of MINE's that come out of her mouth. Pretty typical of a 2-year old.
I have to admit that we as parents have been a little softer on Taylor than we were on Derek for that kind of behavior. Let's face it... if she didn't hear until she was 15 months, we had to give her some catch-up time before we felt like she understood at her appropriate age level what we were saying. Then, we went through a period of feeling glad she could say anything, even if it was "No" and "Mine" over and over again. Now, Taylor Kay, I have to warn you -- Mommy and Daddy know you know what we're saying and and we are going to be tough critics from now on!! Love, Your MOM and DAD (not softies)
Monday, July 12, 2010
We got the rechargeable battery packs for Taylor’s Nucleus 5 processors. They are the exact same size as the regular battery packs, so – good news – all of the decorative covers and headbands still fit with them. Saturday was the best day! We got to let Taylor go swimming/splashing in a small pool for hours and hours with our neighbor’s grandkids, with her ears on! No problem, no (well, minimal) worries. With the new rechargeable batteries, they are approved to be water-submersible. At this point, Taylor doesn’t go under water. She runs and splashes around in the pool. Being able to have her “ears” on puts us both more at ease.
We did swimming lessons the week before the 4th of July. Both Derek and Taylor did really well. Derek, at 3.5 years, is swimming around really well with his life jacket on. Taylor, at just over 2, is really brave and will jump off the diving board or into the pool from the side. She has a harder time controlling her swimming movements with only the life jacket on if no one is holding the jacket. But the best part is, they both love swimming and playing in the water.
We went to see my parents for the 4th of July. I have 3 sisters and they were all there with their husbands, kids and Yorkies… we are a Yorkie family. One of my sisters just got a new puppy. Her name is Kona and she is adorable.
Taylor has had so many new cool experiences this summer. She spent the weekend at Papa's farm and got to help feed the cows. She has ridden in a tractor and a combine. Loved that. She has gone to Tanganika wildlife park near Wichita, where she fed lemurs and climbed to (I'm told) the tallest slide ever. I'm hoping to add some pictures of that soon. Our family is pretty active and outdoorsy in general, and we seem to never be indoors during the summer. But when we are, Taylor has mastered riding her tricycle. It is so cute. Of course, as with all of her toys, they are old news for big brother Derek until she likes them... then he wants to fight to get them back. However, with all of this outdoor fun, maybe we should be reading more with Taylor... but I know that all of the outdoor experiences -- watering flowers/spraying our dog Maverick, ant-stomping, flower picking -- create learning opportunities as well. As always, we are thankful to have Derek as her big brother and role model. We hope that she continues to learn from him, just not every little thing he does. You'll see what I mean....
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Speaking of swimming, Taylor is becoming more of a swimmer. She is in swimming lessons this week. She really likes playing in the water, but it is going to be a challenge to help her learn how to swim until she can wear her ears in the water. She is sooooo observant though - she already does a pretty good job of moving herself around wearing her infant life jacket. Last weekend, we swam all weekend in the grandparents' pool. She got a lot of practice.
Taylor had her 4th mapping appointment last Thursday. It went really well. The audiologist was able to map 7 electrodes on the right side and 5 electrodes on the left, interpolating to the other electrodes (there are 22 on each side.) After her mapping, we went in the soundbooth. Taylor was able to respond to sounds at 10 dB. A normal hearing person begins to hear sound between 0 and 20 dB. From a noise level perspective, she can hear very quiet sounds.
Taylor's latest skill is counting -- sometimes we say "one, two" and she adds the "three." Sometimes she says "one, two, three" with us. When we ask her how old she is, sometimes she says "two" while holding up four fingers. Other times, she says "three!" She just likes saying Three. Usually it's followed by a jump or somersault. One, two, three - Jump! One, two, three - somersault! There's always a lot of physical activity happening in our house.
We have been doing Y week for the last couple of weeks.
I find it interesting that y and qu sounds are both included in the Y week. Some good ones: Yum-yum, Vacuum, Tortilla, Quesadilla. Currently, hot dogs are out of favor and quesadillas are Taylor's current fave. She even tries to say it. I'd say she gets the number of syllables right, but that's it.
She has started saying more words, including Me, Mine, Tay (as she points at herself). One, Two, Three.
Cookie, Pizza, a lot of these she has been saying for a while. There is more and more every day.
At every therapy appointment, the therapist goes through the Ling sounds and asks Taylor to let us know if she heard them. Aa, ee, oo, mm, ss, and sh.
Taylor has started imitating the sounds back to the therapist. She even covers her mouth to the hide the lip position and movement. It is too cute!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wow! is a favorite word of Taylor's.
Some of her new words and phrases are:
Where are you?
Choo choo train
Did you notice that? She's adding more verbs! Yeah!
We had her second birthday party this past weekend. It was a wonderful time. She got a Barbie bike with training wheels, dancing tutu's and outfits, a Bitty Baby American Girl doll, and several other outfits and toys.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of when we found out that Taylor was profoundly deaf. I look back on the past year with amazement of the journey that our family has been on. From sorrow, grief and guilt to joy, gratitude, and determination, we have experienced it all this year.
How can you not love this kid? Streaking around the house naked and busting into a bag of Daylight Donuts, she is so full of life, energy, enthusiasm, intelligence and affection, I am nothing but thankful for getting to be her mom.
Monday, May 24, 2010
This is the link for last week's G lesson.
For the current week, we are doing K. Taylor loves kitties! They are her favorite animal. We are going to try to focus on helping her learn verbs. Right now, she uses many nouns, but the only real verb she says is Go. We are going to try to expand that list, and hopefully using kitties in some role play with help us keep her engaged.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I found this on another blog and thought it was great for Mother's Day.
HERE’S TO THE MOMS
Here’s to the Moms who may not have “signed up” to parent a deaf or hard of hearing child, but do so anyway with grace and love.
Here’s to the Moms who narrate every second of every day, not caring what others may think.
Here’s to the Moms who put miles on their cars driving back and forth to countless therapy sessions, doctor’s appointments, hearing aid fittings, cochlear implant mappings, and more.
Here’s to the Moms who work hard to be their child’s best advocate and primary language role model.
Here’s to the Moms who have had to learn a new language too fast full of Auditory Verbal/Auditory Oral terms and audiological jargon.
Here’s to the Moms who face the “experts” and fight for their child’s best interest in IFSP/IEP meetings and in those meetings where you are just trying to make the system better.
Here’s to the Moms who can wrestle two CIs or HAs onto a squirming toddler… and replace it 20-40 times each day, even in the car, without loosing their cool.
Here’s to the Moms who can cook dinner, answer the phone, and change a CI/HA battery without breaking a sweat.
Here’s to the Moms who constantly have to explain their child’s “equipment” and answer the question "are those forever?"
Here’s to the Moms who have ever felt the pain of having a child who is “different”.
Here’s to the Moms who never take a single word for granted.
Here’s to the Moms who never fail to astound me with their capacity to persevere… and to love.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Even with the illness, Taylor has said so many new things.
It seems like she is adding multiple new words every day and it's harder for us to keep track. That's a good problem to have! Today, we are 8 months post-activation. Happy Mother's Day!
Monday, April 26, 2010
She helped Daddy mow the yard. I can't believe she tolerates riding on the mower with her "ears" on, but I guess it doesn't bother her. Last week, my husband took her to the grocery store and she said "hi" to everyone she saw. Several people said hi back. It's amazing... you just want to say -- hello, my deaf daughter just said hi to you. and she's not even two yet! It is so cool to witness her truly enjoying her own ability to communicate.
There are some times as a parent when it is really nice that she can communicate verbally. It is still weird to me, but Taylor makes the same sounds and words now with and without her ears on. Sometimes, she talks to herself quite a bit and we can listen to her through the baby monitor without her realizing it. Last weekend, we put her down for her nap around 2:30... didn't want it to be much later and have her up until 10 p.m. She just wouldn't give it up and fall asleep though. We were puzzled until I heard her go "Eeewwww. Peee Youuuu. Eeewwww." I looked at her Dad and said "she's poopy." Sure enough, I run up there -- Poop up her back, on her sheets, blankets and bumpy. I'm just glad she hadn't gotten to the point of sticking her hands in it and wiping it on something else. And so it goes...
I always have to throw in a little story on Derek too. He's the 3-year-old ruler of the universe, if you ask him. As of two weeks ago, Derek is a champion pooper on the toilet, after 10 months of #1 on the toilet, and no #2, we have total success!
We were taking the kids out and about one evening and offered to go to a park close to home. The other option was to go Home. Derek says "well, I don't like my choices!" He's THREE! Welcome to the real world. One life lesson down, one million to go.
He is so funny... a great big brother in some many ways. I hope Taylor keeps learning from him, just not quite in every way.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
For starters, Derek stepped in a big pile of this bull mastiff's sh** (I mean, poop.)
We washed our hair with shampoo and applied lotion. We put on our shirts, shoes, and shorts, and brushed our teeth. It finally was warm enough for some shorts.
We got to look at our shadows outside and Shake our whole bodies to the tune of Little Einsteins. We tried to encourage sharing as we toasted marshmallows. We took out the trash and washed the cars.
We finally finished all of Taylor's immunzations. (Don't forget that the words with "tion" are also SH words.) We still had a few 12-18 months shots left, but they are all done as of Friday. Yeah! No more until kindergarten.
We visited to local Wildlife and Parks museum to get up close and personal with some fish. Today's Sunday; maybe we can go get a milkshake later.
I have to say, there are a lot more words with SH than I ever realized. It was a fun week. Taylor is talking more and making more sounds all the time. She had one great day filled with "Dada" this weekend. Maybe D week is paying off a couple weeks later.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Here is the link to the Speech Sounds D week. It is fun!
We played with dolls, talked about dirty diapers, watched the ducks, and fed the dog. I think Taylor spent half of the weekend chasing my mom's dog. She had a great time with him. We have a dog who is around five years old. My mom's dog is still a puppy, and he had the best time running from Derek and Taylor.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Well, it started with the kids on Sunday before I had even announced it was "P" Week.
Taylor is really good at fighting while getting her diaper changed, and a poopy diaper fight resulted in my getting a poopy bottom flipping over in my face and getting poop smeared on my chin. As I'm finishing the cleanup from that, Derek wants me to assist him in the bathroom because he has decided to start peeing standing up, rather than sitting, and has peed all over the seat and floor. I had rushed away from Taylor before getting a fresh diaper on her, and when I came back to her, she had peed on my bed. Later that day, Derek peed on the floor in the bathroom two more times while trying to figure out how to pee standing. Why he decided to start it on that day when his dad was at work is beyond me. And this was all in one afternoon.
The next day, we annouced it was "P" Week. The Cochlear website has some really helpful educational materials, including Speech Sounds. Please see the attached link:
It has a weekly/bi-weekly instruction guide for various consonants, complete with associated activities, words, books, songs, foods, etc. It is great! We are going to cover a consonant per week. It is working double-duty for both Taylor and Derek (age 3).
As I said, this is P week. Our dog Maverick celebrated on Monday by eating a mouse/rat/baby rabbit and then PUKING in our house. The P's continue...
On Tuesday, Derek started at Pre-school. He was terrified when getting dropped off, but perfectly happy about preschool when I picked him up.
We are loving P week and all of the language learning opportunities and ideas that it is giving us. Check it out! 19 weeks to go!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
Taylor LOVED the MANATEES!
Taylor and Derek with the Dolphins
I’m sure that any of you with little ones know what it’s like to ride elevators with two little kids, both so excited and wanting to be the one privileged button-pusher. We were on the third floor at our resort, so there were a lot of elevator rides for the kids to practice. Taylor tried to say “elevator”; she got out the right number of syllables and you could tell that was what she was trying to say.Every time we take a little vacation, I’m reminded of why they are so needed. It reminds you that there’s a world out there besides the mundane work of daily life. While it’s winter now, we have sunshine and spring coming our way. For children, it provides chances for expansion of the mind, as well as an opportunity for family togetherness and bonding. This was our first trip since we found out that Taylor was deaf and began this CI journey, and it was much needed.
For Taylor, I think she might have been a little worn out by the end of the trip. On the third evening in Orlando, we were seated by a waterfall at RainForest Cafe, enjoying the aquariums and views. Of course, this was after a very long day at Magic Kingdom. I was holding her and walking around the restaurant to give her better views of the aquariums when I noticed that she was missing an "ear". I retraced my steps and ended up back at the table -- no CI. We started looking under the table. A couple seated next to us noticed the commotion and panic, and kindly mentioned that they had seen Taylor throw something into the waterfall. WHAT?!?! Jon and I both had our arms in the waterfall, digging around everywhere. It was kind of bubbly so difficult to see. I asked the waiter to get the waterfall turned off. It took them a little bit, but finally, it went off and we were able to pluck the CI right out. We let it dry out and it worked fine the next day! Here's the waterfall!