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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weekend Update

This past weekend, my friend Noelle and I went up to NYC for the weekend to meet my friend Brandi who is there for work training for three whole weeks. I couldn't imagine being away from my family for three weeks straight, much less like Brandi, being away from her 3 year old and 3 month old. Brandi has been on a roller coaster ride this past year and a half, as you can read about on her blog about her daughter Avery Kate, who passed away from SIDS in 2011. We were glad to give her something to look forward to and to help pass the time :)

The weekend was filled with lots of laughter, love and even some tears. But most of all it was filled with some deep, some light and some alcohol induced conversations between three of us who have been friends since junior high.... yes, friends for 15+ years, and still remain in very close contact. I feel like I was able to take a real "break" this past weekend. I put the never ending to-do lists on hold for a few days and was able to detach myself from the real world responsibilities of work life and mom life. I was able to just go without any obligations while we were there. A part of me felt a little guilty, but an even bigger part knew that I needed that time away. With tax season already here, I'm pretty sure I fueled up enough to make it through April 15th!

Me, Noelle and Brandi

While we were there, we met up with a sorority sister of mine, Lauren, who has been living in NYC since graduating from UL. She and her husband live in an adorable quaint apartment in downtown Manhattan. They welcomed us to their apartment with open arms and showed us a night out like real New Yorkers!

Noelle, Lauren, Me and Brandi

Then on Sunday, we had the pleasure of having lunch with Sweet Baby Madison and her parents. There is nothing better than having a conversation with someone who has been on the same journey that you have, and who is walking in the same shoes that you are. Madison's parent, Brian and Jennifer, were two of the most inviting and admirable parents I have been able to keep in contact with. They emailed me when they first found out Madison was diagnosed with hearing loss. They were so glad to have found my blog and to have someone to follow on their quest to getting CIs. But little did we know, Madison ended up getting implanted 2 months before Hunter, at 7 1/2 months, even though she is 3 months younger than him. (yes, I am still a little bitter that we had to wait until after 12 months to get implanted) So I was able to follow their story through her surgery and get a close up picture of everything they had gone through before Hunter's turn came. So thank you to Brian, Jennifer and to sweet sweet Madison. It was a real treat to be able to meet you all and to share stories and experiences with you guys. I mean it when I say you guys are admirable, I can see it in your eyes that you are going to give Madison every opportunity to excel in so many ways!

Madison, Jennifer and me. 

Oh, and when I got back home, it seemed as though Hunter was talking leaps and bounds more than he was before I left. It was so rewarding to be able to really see progress after being away for a few days. The normal hum drum of life tends to take over and we don't appreciate the everyday talking as much as we should sometimes. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

3rd Anniversary

Tomorrow marks 3 years that Blair and I have been married. It's kind of crazy to think that we dated for 3 years between high school and college, broke up and went our separate ways for 5 years, then ended up back together after all that time. Went through a lot of up and downs throughout the years, but I think those trials were there to prepare us for what God had planned for our future. I could not have asked for a better person to tackle every card we have been dealt, and those which we haven't even been handed yet. We agree on most, and when we don't, we try to respectively agree to disagree. Hehe.

Without Blair, without our genetic makeup (Usher genes or no Usher genes), we would  not have Hunter. And without Hunter, our lives would not be complete. He may not have a "textbook" genetic makeup, but as my good friend Noelle once said, "Your son is pure perfection, made in the light of God and equal halves of two of the best people I know". He's perfectly made up of the two of us, and that's more than some people will ever be able to say.

Thank you, Blair, I truly admire the husband and father that you have become!


January 16, 2010

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mappings and AV Therapy- 8 Months Post CI Activation

This past Wednesday my friend Lauren and I started out early with Hunter for a mapping appointment in New Orleans followed by an AV therapy appointment in Baton Rouge that afternoon. I have to give a huge shout out to H and an even bigger thank you to Lauren because he did SO well the entire day. (for those of you who don't know or haven't gotten the pleasure of experiencing our long car rides lately, Hunter is just not a huge fan to say the least!) Our ride there was about 2 hours and 20 minutes, and I think it also helped that he had just woken up, we had Barney on the DVD player, his Barney stuffed animal, and iPad in tow! Whatever it takes.... right?

In the picture below is our angel of an audiologist, Ms. Tanya Andrepont from Ochsner's in New Orleans. She was very satisfied with the mapping levels that Hunter is on for now. She hooked his ears up to the computer and did a series of beeps to get him to drop the blocks in the box when he heard the beeps. Of course he just wanted to drop them all in and subsequently pour them all out, but he showed off his ABCs and his numbers, so she was smiles from ear to ear! (Thanks for all the footage, Lauren!)

Waiting to go into the sound booth.

Ms. Tanya did a longer series of beeps and sounds through a microphone on the other side of the window in the sound booth to see if Hunter could localize the sounds and turn in the direction from which the sounds were being permitted. We did this on our last visit and he didn't react up to par, but this time he turned for every single one! I was so excited that he was turning towards everything, but for some reason I had a feeling he would do well. I was telling Ms. Tanya how every time he hears something new or out of the ordinary he points to his ear, perks up and says "Her dat" (I heard that). And he does it even when the refrigerator starts to hum on or when the freezer drops ice. He can be reading a book or playing on the couch and he will always point those things out. Now get ready for it because I'm about to brag.... but Ms. Tanya said Hunter is the posterchild model for Cochlear Implants! I was floored. Music to a CI mother's ears! She is always so sweet to us and loves Hunter, but this was the most amazing news I have heard since he got his ears. She was so impressed by his progress. My little angel, all of his hard work has definitely started to pay off!

Here's a small video from the audiologist to give you an idea of what she was doing.

Now on to AV therapy. As you can see from the pictures below, we have a good ole time every visit. Hunter hasn't seen the student teacher in a while, so basically all he did was make sweet eyes and flirty faces to her the entire time!

Even showing off his abs!

We could not have asked for a better day. I was semi-dreading it, I'm not going to lie. But in the end I know we will always get through it. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

A whole new meaning to Christmas...

This Christmas will go down in the books as one of my most memorable. Not only was it filled with an abundant amount of love from great friends and family, but for one special little guy, it was filled with the joy of sound. 

I could sit back for hours and watch Hunter "dance" around the house, run around in his diaper, "play" with his many many cousins, and rip open presents like there was no tomorrow. I wasn't prepared to enjoy Hunter's reactions as much as I did, simply because I didn't think he would care much for the presents and the toys inside of all the boxes. And every so often when he would hear something new or out of the ordinary he would sharply point to his ear and say "herdat". And we would abruptly respond with yes, I heard that! That was the singing bear, the piano/guitar, etc... it was truly a special time for us all. 

With all of the new vocabulary that comes with the holidays, Hunter's speech and language has really started to soar over the last month. And I have to say, it's one of the most beautiful and rewarding experiences I could ever be a part of. Being Hunter's mother is not only a job and a role, it's a gift. One that keeps on giving back, good days and bad, time after time. 

Enjoy some memories from Christmas 2012- One that will go down in the books forever.