Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Owen Update

Ok, I know this is overdue. Things have been a little busy around here :)

Owen has had all of his evaluations. The results of his hearing test revealed that he has a moderately-severe to severe hearing loss. With this degree of hearing loss, normal conversational speech is inaudible to him. No wonder he has no speech! Can't hear it, can't say it. He is scheduled to see an ENT this Thursday. He has a little bit of wax in his ears that we need to have removed before we can take impressions of his ears for new hearing aids. He will be wearing two, behind the ear style, hearing aids. I've been researching several brands and haven't yet decided what we'll go with. Things have changed a lot in the four years that I haven't been practicing, and hearing aid technology has evolved greatly. So much to think about! Then there's the little decisions like do I get beige to match his skin, or do we make it a little fun and go with a set of blue HA's????

All of Owen's evaluations for services through the school district have been completed. Everyone was very impressed with how appropriately he plays, how smart he is, and how friendly he is. He will mostly likely be attending a full time preschool program for hearing impaired children. I had the chance to tour the school and meet many staff members. Everyone seemed wonderful. The school is very nice and in addition to the classrooms has a full gymnasium, full kitchen, and computer lab with brand new computers, all of which the preschool children have use of. The classes are very small, about 7 kids, with two teachers in each class. The school uses an Auditory Verbal approach in which the children are taught spoken language auditorily. I CAN NOT WAIT to see how Owen does once he's properly aided and getting the help he needs. We are waiting for state approval for school placement and his CPSE meeting is probably going to be next week. He can start school immediately after that.

As excited as I am that he will be getting the help that he otherwise never would have received, I am so worried about him adjusting once again to a new situation. I know it will only take him a few days to realize that he goes to school and then comes home, but it makes me sad to think about how worried he'll be in the beginning. I see it every time we do something that's not quite our regular routine. For example yesterday I took him and Jason for haircuts. Well, we have never left the house with just the three of us. When he realized that just the three of us were leaving he went and sat at his little table, looked at me and shook his head "no". I kept waving for him to come and he started to pout :( Poor little guy was so scared and confused. Leaving with just me and Jason was unpredictable, and he couldn't predict what would happen next.

Things still continue to get easier and easier everyday as we get to know each other better and he learns whats expected and acceptable. We have had far less whining, and no tantrums. He no longer cries at bedtime, but instead fully participates in the routine. He helps pick up the toys in the living room, and shuts off the television. When we get upstairs I usually let Ella watch a little television while I sit with Owen until he falls asleep. He now turns the T.V on for her when we get upstairs! When we're all washed up and ready for bed they both sit on Owen's bed and I read a book or two. He then kisses Ella goodnight and takes his hearing aid out. The other night he even tried to open the battery door like I do each night! No more crying, no more pouting, no more self soothing behaviors while he falls asleep.

What amazes me most is that he's only been here about a month! Most people can't believe how very little time he's been home. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Birthday Boys!!

On March 14th we celebrated both Jason and Owen's birthdays. I am so grateful that we were able to have Owen home before this day. We celebrated with some family and a couple of close friends who may as well be family :)
Jason turned 13!!!! WOW, it sounds weird just saying that! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time goes by. That day thirteen years ago seems like yesterday, and at the same time so long ago. And for thirteen years I have never stopped being so proud to be his mom. I love my big guy :)
Owen turned 3!!! I am so grateful that we didn't miss this birthday! I am glad we were able to celebrate his birth, but at the same time could not stop thinking about his birth mother the entire day. Honestly, I don't think there has been a day that I haven't thought about her and wondered. I wish she could somehow see his smile :)
This post has taken me all week to get published!!! Could someone please request that just a couple of hours be added onto the day??? There just isn't enough time to get everything done in 24! I do have more to tell you....about his evaluations.....another day. For now I'll let the birthdays get a little attention!!
Enjoy the pictures. Of course now I wish I would have taken more. And one day, hopefully one day soon, I really do want to learn how to use my camera a little know in my spare time!
Good morning little birthday boy!
Birthday kisses
Birthday hugs :)
Can you stand how cute these two are????
Owen takes Ella to show her the Happy Birthday sign above the door. I love this picture, it just does something to my heart :)
Ella loves her the big Birthday Boy too!
It was a Y*nkee birthday for J, complete with opening day tickets at the new stadium!
Owen quickly became very good at getting the wrapping paper off his gifts!

A new bike! No more riding Ella's princess bike!
B with Uncle Angelo--with their cane and crutches, both recovering from there injuries, and both enjoying being waited on! (Angelo broke his leg in three places after falling on the ice--OUCH!)
Owen showing off his skills with chopsticks
Ella and Sophia having dinner together. Sophia's mommy Dina and I have been friends for over 23 years!! That makes me feel really old!
The boys hang out and have dinner

Ella, Sophia, and Nikki. I've been friends with Nikki's mom Dana since H.S. Next month we go to our 20th reunion! Again, felling REALLY old!!! It warms my heart to see Ella with Dina and Dana's daughters :)
Owen really loved Nikki! Who could blame him?
More presents!

Happy Birthday!!!!!!

New scooter from Meme and Poppy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just because.......

Just because........ I know there are some of you (not gonna mention any names) who are needing a "blog fix"! I really don't have much to say. Things are continuing to go well and continue to get easier each day. It just happens to be my favorite time of the day. The time when the light coming in the living room makes it such an inviting room. It is my favorite room in the house (now that the novelty of the laundry room has worn off that is!). Some of you (again, not gonna mention any names) would say that it lacks color.....yes, it is "monochromatic".....and I LOVE it that way! Did I mention it's my favorite room in the house????? I love to sit in here, I love the way it "feels"......peaceful, warm.....especially this time of day. So, needing an excuse to sit in here today, I decided to take my laptop and do a little blogging in my-----colorless room. By the way, beige does happen to be a color ya know!
The view from where I'm sitting.....I could sit here all day with the sunlight pouring in. Who needs color????
OK now for some pictures of the kids!
"Best friends" Last weekend was beautiful here and perfect for a little outdoor play!
Owen and Meg pose for a picture together. Please ignore the fact the Owen is riding Ella's princess bike. Notice the snow in the background---I wasn't quite prepared for bike riding whether considering last week we got over a foot of snow. Rest assured, some little someone will be getting a new bike for his birthday!
Ella has already taught her new brother that the view of the T.V while sitting on the COFFEE TABLE is quite good!
Over the weekend Owen met Poppy. They were instant friends!
Ella also introduced Owen to Slurp**s! Once he figured out what it was, he liked it!
Handsome little devil--thank you Aunt Dana and Nikki for the cute shirt!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Difference a Week Makes

Oh boy, what a week!! A pretty exhausting one at that! Slowly, we are making our way into what is our "new normal". Bringing a new child into your family, who already has his own formed personality and ideas, and figuring out where he fits into that family, is no easy task. But a week has already made such a difference. He has already learned how to play nicely with Ella, he doesn't whine half as much as he used to, he has only had one tantrum all week, he's not falling apart every time I tell him "no", he's sleeping at night from 8pm-6am now, and he's eating just about anything we put in front of him!! He's has eaten oatmeal twice for breakfast, ate chicken nuggets for lunch the other day, and last night joined us for Friday night pizza! Ella said "he's NEVER going to eat pizza", and I agreed. So I had the noodles all ready to go, but when he walked into the kitchen decided that I would break a piece of pizza off and let him taste it. It didn't get spit out, so I let him take a bite, and another, and another. Then, when he saw Ella and B sitting at the table he decided that he and his slice of pizza would join them. He ended up feeding himself...the WHOLE slice! I guess I shouldn't be happy and doing a dance of joy that my new child has now added chicken nuggets and pizza to his diet, but it sure does make life a lot easier not to have him push away everything you offer him. Today for lunch we had sandwiches and he ate his whole ham and cheese sandwich. Ahhh.....the little things, like having everyone eating the same meal--it makes life so much easier. Life in general has gotten a little easier each day and for the most part Wen is very happy, smiley, friendly, and easygoing. I just exhausted!!Here's lookin' forward to next week!!!
We also got a lot accomplished this week as far as getting Owen set up with all his medical appointments, and evaluations. We were at the pediatrician yesterday. Things went well especially considering his last encounter with a doctor was not a pleasant one! His pediatrician thinks he looks great and gave us all the necessary referrals for specialists and lab work. I am going to have him seen by an opthamologist. I'm just not convinced that he doesn't have a little something going on with his eyes. I also got him registered with the school district the other day so that we can start having him evaluated for services. I was very pleased with my meeting with the special ed coordinator. To my advantage, she is a speech pathologist and has a love for working with the deaf and hard of hearing population. I truly felt like he would end up getting everything he needed, and I wouldn't have to fight for anything. She has already started looking into preschool programs for him. We are going to be taking him to the local school for the deaf to have his evaluations done. Both she and I felt this was a good place to have him evaluated as they are very familiar with this population. They do have a preschool program there that is for hearing impaired children with hearing aids and cochlear implants. I am really hoping that this is where he will be placed. Considering that his auditory system has basically been unstimulated for three years, he will not only need to learn how to talk, but he'll need to learn how to hear and make sense of all these new sounds he's hearing. I think that a program where they are familiar specifically with the needs of hearing impaired kids, not just speech delayed kids, is probably the best place for him right now. It'll take a few weeks before we have everything figured out, but at least we're on our way!
Here are some pictures from the week :)
Ella being goofy in her "big sister" shirt
Owen....LOVING his big sister!
Playing rough with the big brother!
Poor Jason!
Handsome with his new haircut
Friday night pizza
Who would have's eating pizza!!! Definitely not noodles!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day!

Just when I was ready to get back into a routine---SNOW DAY!!! We got hit with about 14 inches of the white stuff. Ella was asking all morning to go out and play. We were all wondering what Owen's reaction would be. Here's how it went:
We're all ready to go out!
Ella LOVES the snow!
Wen would only walk on the path that Brian shoveled!
Jason convinces him to stop whining and go play in the snow. For a minute he's having fun.
OK, maybe it's not so bad
OK, it's kinda fun
I'm starting to remember that I really don't like this.
A little snow in my mouth....I really don't like this very much!
Ella in the meantime is having a GREAT time! My angel making a snow angel.
Having fun with big brother, who shares Ella's love for snow play.
Owen enjoys the snow a lot more from inside the house! He laughs while he and B watch Ella and Jason play outside!
In case you couldn't tell from the pictures, Owen did not really like the snow. First, he wouldn't come out of the garage. Then, he only would walk on the path Brian shoveled. He finally found some fun in throwing the snow...for about 2 minutes. Then the whining began again. I was just fine with taking him back in. I am not a fan of being wet and cold either!