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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A break from Facebook

I just wanted to send an update out there to let everyone know that I will be taking a leave of absence from Facebook...we've got so much going on lately that I am starting to forget the super important things in life, like therapy appointments, diaper bags, medicine, etc. I think my mind has been on information overload lately, so I will continue with my updates about Hunter through the blog, and everyone is welcome to follow us there. I will post pictures and updates as though I were on facebook, but now I will only have one "network" to keep up with. I'm just trying to mentally declutter and get my head on straight again! I have my email address on the blog as well for anyone who needs. Facebook is a great way to stay in touch and I appreciate everyone following Hunter's progress through there, but for now it's just the blog. I'm sure once things slow down we will be back!

Here in the link to the blog for anyone who is interested.

Walking... Baby Steps!

Blair, Hunter and I decided to make our way to my parents' house in New Iberia to weather Isaac. While we were there, we decided to do a little practice walking.

The following video is the very first time Hunter has taken this many steps on his own. I wasn't this far away to start off with, but I kept backing up and backing up because he was doing so well. The following night he was even pivoting and walking on his own. Granted, Blair or myself have to always set him up first and get him on his feet. But we are thrilled that he can do it this far on his own. Is he walking on his own all the time? Not yet. In fact, the following day he wouldn't do it at all until later that night. But it isn't far away, I just know it!

Enjoy this video, because we have watched it over and over, and over and over! My favorite part is the big hug at the end :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

4 Months Post Activation

4 Months.... It's so hard to believe that it's been 4 months since my baby heard for the first time, and what a turn he has taken in just the last month or so. I was watching his activation videos again this past weekend, and it was bone chilling all over again!

I find one of the main differences between now and when he was 1 month post activation is that they don't fall off NEARLY as much as they used to. Granted, Hunter is very active so the magnet does still fall off here and there, but it has gone from what felt like 100 times a day to less than 10 times a day. Although putting his ears on has gotten easier as well, it's still not ideal. In the mornings, we put Hunter in his high chair and start feeding him before trying to put them on. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it really really.... really doesn't. I can safely say he's not to the point where he's asking for them just yet. In fact, sometimes it can get down right ugly. But once they are on, he is usually good to go.... Until you tell him no. He doesn't like being told no. And when he gets mad, he reaches for his ears and throws them off. Even if he's in the tub and gets mad, he reaches for his ears (which aren't even on in the tub) to throw them off.

We have got some definite words that Hunter likes to use without any ques from us:
Dede (dada)
Bye bye
Muh (more)
Un (one)
Keekee (kick)
Sssss (Snake, or even Sssss for rope!)

And we are working on the following, but we know exactly what he's trying to say:

He has been mimicing a lot of things these days as well... or should I say almost everything. When he hears other people laugh, he gives the cutest fake laugh. And the same thing for when someone coughs, he has to get a cough in as well, and then he will pat himself and the other person on the back. Today I sneezed and said Bless Me! And he attempted to say it as well! When he is in the mood to repeat things, there's no stopping him!

Hunter has become the mighty babbler these days. He actually talks and points and we think he's in deep conversation with himself sometimes. It is amazing to witness this transition that is taking place before our eyes with his vocabulary and receptive language skills.

Walking... We are still working very hard and tirelessly. I believe he is over crawling, for the most part, and ready to be on his own and on his feet, at least in hid head he is. His mind and his physical body are there, but the balance is still lagging behind. Although we have graduated to walking assisted with only one hand, his vestibular system is still pretty far behind. Blair and I practice with him and get him to walk back and forth between us but it's more like him leaning into a fall. We still applaud like there's no tomorrow and he is so proud of himself. But we are definitely glad that he likes being on his feet. He has also started more knee crawling/hopping, but its a sure sign that hes gaining control if his balance day by day. With the amount of assisted walking that he does now on a daily basis, we should probably be grateful that he isnt completely on his own just yet because if he were he would be unstoppable.

Here are a few short and sweet videos of Hunter saying Hey, and attempting to say Cheese!

And a few pictures from celebrating Nana's birthday this past weekend in False River:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Semi-Wordless Weekend Update

Mr. Too Cool for School!

Hunter's favorite thing now is to count, and he's trying really hard to say "one"!


H and some of his friends at Baby G's birthday party!

Watching daddy and mommy (trying her best) play ragball!

Hunter has had a few cousins born this month, and we could not be happier for them!

Welcome to the world.....

Kate Conrad McGowan, born 08/10/2012

Sawyer Claire Framel and Greyson Michael Framel, born 08/16/2012

Between work, work conferences, therapy appointments and traveling to see all of our new loves we have been on the run so much lately. I promise to post a better update soon. Mr. Hunter has been babbling up a storm lately!

Friday, August 3, 2012

3 Months Post Activation

Hunter made 3 months since his hearing birthday the Friday that we left for the beach, July 27th. What an exciting milestone for him and he is doing so well already! On our way back from the beach, we timed it right for AV Therapy in Baton Rouge and Hunter napped right before so it worked out well. He was babbling up a storm and being so silly the whole time we were there. It was a great session. I asked Shelley how she thought he was doing, on an overall level. She said his speech development is doing quite well. He has met almost all of his 0-6 month goals for listening/speech. And he's only got 3 months under his belt. I feel like she pushes him, a lot. Which isn't a bad thing, but she always makes me think she is expecting so much more from him. She said at this point she is ecstatic about the babbling that he has been doing the past 3 weeks. She said it starts with noises, turns into babbling, they try to start singing, and then comes words. I guess I was under the impression that he was already supposed to be saying a handful of words by now. (don't ask me why) I guess maybe because some kids are. Granted, Hunter says Mama, he attempts Dada, although most of the time it's Dede. On the trip he was saying LiLi, which we kept trying to turn into Eli :) And he says "all" for ball. But makes the B sound quite often. So we are working on putting it all together! Just yesterday we had an Early Steps meeting at our house, and when they were all leaving he was saying Bye Bye! Whoa, such a new word for him, and Shelley said words don't normally come until 12 months. (in hearing children) Now our goal is to make more than 12 months progress in his first year of hearing, so I heart warmingly believe we are on a roll right now. In the session on Wednesday we would ask Hunter... where's your head? And he would point to his head. Same with ears, eyes, mouth and nose. And Shelley said that he's ahead of the curve on that as well. Nothing like music to my ears!

Here is a video of Hunter being silly with Shelley on Wednesday:

That's it for now. The only other thing I can think of is that we are still working on walking.... OT thinks he will hopefully get it by 19 months. The average is 21 months for Usher babies. Fingers crossed, but we know that once he does he is going to start out running and I don't think he will stop for anything!

Catching Up

I cannot believe I have no posted since July 16th and we are already in August. Looking back on my calendar, I have no good excuse except that we went to the beach for 6 days, packed for 2 days before that, and have been recovering ever since!

First, the beach trip. Man oh man, how a 1 year old can change everything about a “vacation”. I was excited because on past beach trips we usually go for a long weekend, but this time it was 5 nights/6 days and I was very much looking forward to getting away and spending time with good friends and family. Although Hunter didn’t sleep but about 20 minutes on the way there, the ride wasn’t that bad. As long as he was being fully entertained or eating, he was content. (it’s more exhausting than it sounds). The first morning we were all moving pretty slowly trying to get things packed up to bring down to the beach with us. The tents, the umbrellas, the baby pool, the ice chest(s), the toys, the snacks, the sunblock, the cameras, the sunglasses, the floaties…. I’m sure I could go on and on. Since we didn’t make it down there till mid-morning, Hunter wasn’t very impressed. After 20 minutes of him pouting on my lap, I decided it was probably time for a nap. One great thing about Hunter is that we take his ears off when he naps, so he doesn’t wake up for much except a nunie that was flung across the room or a new tooth coming in. So while he napped, I decided to do the same while everyone else was on the beach. In the afternoon, we tackled the baby pool and he really liked it, but wanted to walk around and around and around in non-stop circles. Or random patterns I should say. And he only walks while holding someone’s hand… so what do you know, Blair and I were walking around the baby pool crouched down or on our knees. Haha, there was no just sitting there and playing with the toys like John Parker and Eli were doing. We have one little busy bee on our hands. We were glad to have willing family and friends there to help walk Hunter, haha!

I played the next few days a little better. Sunday we did mass in the morning so I waited until after lunch and his nap to attempt anything. And on Monday we went down super early so as not to interfere with nap time. He did better the second time on the beach, but only left Mommy and Nana’s laps for a split second. Every time he got sand on his feet he would just stare at them. He couldn’t understand what it was or why it was there. Totally understandable, it was his first beach trip J

Although the trip was a little overwhelming, once we got a routine (and moved the coffee table out of the living room/dance floor) it got a lot better. I think he enjoyed crawling and jumping around the living room even more than being in the water. We had Mommy/Hunter dance parties, and Hunter played a lot with his two buddies who were there. Here are a few of the pictures from the trip!

 Blair reading to Hunter and Eli

 Brandon, Eli, Hunter and Blair

Family Pic

Hunter on the beach

Wess reading to John Parker and Hunter