Saturday, June 30, 2007

8 Things You Didn't Know About Ethan

Here he is as a little guy, sitting in his Bumbo chair. Ethan was delayed in sitting up, so this chair gave he and I both some much needed independence. There are lots of pics of him as a baby that I've never posted here, since the blog was started after his surgery at 14 months of age. He is wearing a pilot cap (from Hannah Anderson) to help keep his hands from pulling off the hearing aids.

1. Ethan has been walking unassisted for 2 weeks. He is getting really good at corners but still has the zombie gait. The only person happier than his dad and I is E-boy himself, you should see the pride on his face as he tools around the house.

2. Ethan was nursed for the first 22 months of his life. He has only been weened for 3 weeks! Can I get a "Whoop! Whoop!"

3. Ethan has a fascination with ceiling fans that borders on obsession. Yesterday I took him through the ceiling fan section of Lowes and he had a facial expression that can only be compared to something as divine as seeing the Virgin Mary in your tomato soup.

4. Similarly, Ethan has a thing for lights. The first thing he notices when entering a room is the light and corresponding switch. Turning lights on and off is part of our daily routine.

5. Ethan loves his books and can be found several times a day sitting quietly turning their pages. He does much better with books when left alone, there isn't much patience yet for the story line.

6. Ethan can throw a ball, but only over his shoulder. He cannot figure out how to throw it in a forward motion.

7. Ethan had a traumatic birth. He came via C-section after 12 hours of labor, his stats started to drop because the cord (wrapped 3 times around his neck) had him tethered in the womb and wouldn't allow him to descend into the birth canal. Later on the OB told me that she felt he had angels watching over him during the delivery.

8. Ethan loves to ride in the car. This is enormously helpful since we spend a minimum of 5 hours per week traveling to and from therapy appointments.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

In Need of Zzzzzz's

Here's an image that we just don't see enough of around here, Ethan is actually sleeping. Oh, and Neko is testing the limits as to what he can get away with, not only by sleeping on my pillow, but by also risking the chance of waking Ethan.

Most people who know us realize that Ethan is a poor sleeper, but few know just how severe the problem has been, or how my sanity continues to precariously hang on by a thread. Many a time I've said "It's a good thing he's cute", and the scary thing is that I meant it.

I'm going to be honest with myself here. The real reason that I am unable to even consider giving birth to another child is because by the time I get this one to sleep I am going to need a few years of sleep rehab. I fear that I've trained my body to have a sleep disorder and that it could take years to get back to where I once was.

I wasted a great deal of prenatal time reading a whole slew of books on how to have the "happiest baby on the block" or how happy baby's have healthy sleep habits, but Ethan has given the middle finger and then some to any and all theories or strategies.

Wouldn't you think that being DEAF would lend itself to sweet sleep action?


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Man in Motion

Love this photo that Uncle Eric took recently, and not just because it's black and white. This lean that Ethan's doing says it all, he's busy and always on a mission. Look at the grip he's got on my finger, he tugs so hard that it feels like he'll pull it right out of the socket!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Neko - destined for "Cat Fancy"

The other day I spotted these two playing together again. They have long enjoyed one another's company and Neko thinks that all of Ethan's toys are cool.

For the past year, this particular toy has been a favorite of both Ethan and Neko. They play with all the doo-dad's, but they really love that spinner. They actually take turns spinning it!

Then Neko found the slinky. Enough said.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Big Stuff

Ethan is really blossoming these days, I don't even know where to start.

He has added several new foods to his diet, including 2 fruits and a vegetable. As recently as March, Ethan would only eat creamy baby food and no table food whatsoever. Lots of progress in a short time. I'd love to think that the new muscles he's using in his mouth will help him start to make new speech sounds.

We've been on a break for 2 weeks since the university students finished up their clinical work for the quarter. Next week we start going to the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center and we'll work with a therapist who has experience with implanted toddlers. Really looking forward to that!

He has been taking assisted steps for months now and we've been hearing people say "any day he'll be walking" since January. Now it looks like that is actually going to happen. He is starting to gain the confidence to walk short distances around the house without any parental pressure. Yes, I know that this is going to change my life in a big way, and no, I'm not sure I'm ready for that.

Ethan's vision has worsened to the point that after only 4 months he is in need of new lenses. So we ordered the lenses only, then that weekend he broke his frames! The lenses have been in for one week but we can't put them in a broken frame and the new frame is on back-order. In another week or so he'll be in those new lenses and I'll be interested to see how it affects his walking.

Ever since those 7 electrodes were turned off he has been very good about leaving the coil on his head. He also seems to be hearing really well and will turn to his name even if you are down the hall and around a corner speaking to him. Something that really has his father and I excited is the fact that twice this week when his coil and ear piece fell off, he attempted to put it back on himself or handed it to one of us. THAT'S BIG! He must be starting to make the association and is also sending the message that he enjoys hearing.

We start up with a new PT next week and we are really excited to hear what she has to say about his walking. He hasn't been in PT for about 2 months and the timing is just right to get him back into it.

That's all I can think of for sleep deprived brain is especially taxed out today.

Monday, June 04, 2007

"Hearing Pockets" by Grandma

Here is Ethan wearing his hearing pocket shirt from As you can see, it doesn't fit very well. They served us well this winter under his shirts, but he needs a few more months to fill them out in the shoulders.

If you're not sure what I'm talking about, there is a pocket sewn into the back of the shirt that is made specifically for the battery pack that powers the implant. It's a really neat product and I'm so glad these nice people in New York have come up with the idea since I don't sew. We used their shirts all winter.

Since the fit isn't great for summer, Ethan has been wearing his batteries attached to the ear level piece, which is the way big kids and adults wear their implants. The body worn pack was designed for infants and small children since the behind the ear battery pack is really long and heavy. It falls off freqently and what's even more problematic is that Ethan can grab the whole piece and discard it at will. He does this with the body worn as well, but at least that is attached to his body. Last week I spent countless minutes searching the house in a panic for his processor. Luckily he didn't toss it in the toilet or the cats water dish!

Here he is modeling the new pockets that Grandma Innis has made for him. She used a really cute fabric with Mickey Mouse and another with cats. She used an iron on material on the back so now I have a handful of pockets that I can attach to his shirts. We love them!!

And while I'm on the topic of Ethan's head gear, I guess I'll mention that he broke his eye glass frames this weekend. They only lasted for 4 months!

Friday, June 01, 2007

First Popsicle!

Ethan experienced a child's rite of passage recently by enjoying his first popsicle. He made incredible faces during each bite (not good faces per se) but kept going back for more. Eventually the bottom half melted away and I gave him a spork to finish the job.

He is really starting to come out of the eating aversion haze that he's lived in for months. He has tried new foods and even added some to his repertoire. For instance, he now likes chicken nuggets, but only if they are homemade, which is ideal since they are healthier that way. Tonight I sliced sweet potato and fried it in butter to make it crispy (he loves that texture) and he gobbled it right up. That's the first time I can recall seeing him eat a vegetable. He still isn't into fruit unless it's dried or flavoring his yogurt. I've been amazed at his growth given the extreme dietary restrictions that he has placed on himself, with the help of a little acid reflux of course.

I have to hand it to Marylee, Ethan's OT, she is fabulous and a real sweetheart to boot. He wasn't eating like this until she came along and used her magic.

A typical day...

Here in southern Ohi-er it gets to be up in the 90's long before summer officially starts. So we will be doing a lot more skinny-dipping in the months to come. Check out Ethan's cool new picnic table in the background!