Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Activation Day

The long awaited day is here -- activation day for Cece's left ear.  She was cracking us up in the waiting room.  She loves to go see Dr Cordingley.

This is the chair she sits on every time.  Cece was showing Daddy what a big girl she is and how she knows the routine at the audiologist.

Signing "doctor."

Getting all wired up.

Cece did great, but was a little overwhelmed at first.  

She did a lot better after we put the right ear back on.

Walking out, I couldn't get over the fact that she had two implants on now.  I tried to get a picture of the back of her ears, but it doesn't show up very well.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 25 - 29

While I was shopping with my friends on Black Friday, Greg won the Best Dad Ever award and let the girls sleep on an air mattress in the family room, while watching Star Wars.  And he texted me pictures.  This awesome pink and green quilt was given to us by Greg's Grandma Lil for our wedding.

Cece turns 3 in January, which means she ages out of Early Intervention and into the Alpine School District umbrella of services.  Because of that, we got to go 5 different days to have her tested and evaluated on various aspects of speech, language, ASL, and overall communication.  This was our first visit.  

Everyone was super nice every time we went, but I kept on thinking there had to be a better way to link up the ASD services with the USDB (Utah School for the Deaf and Blind) services.  From the very first phone call to set up this first meeting, ASD knew that I was planning on enrolling Cece in the USDB preschool.  ASD did all of the evaulations and had an IEP meeting with Greg, Cece, and I, and 7 professionals (administrator from ASD, the head of the Orem USDB programs, a speech therapist, an ASL specialist, an LSL specialist, a speech therapist, and the ASD preschool teacher).  At the IEP, we declined all of the ASD services, and only then we could opt in to the USDB services.  It was pretty much a giant wasted of time for all of those people who met with us to evaluate Cece, and then did IEP paperwork, and then came to the IEP meeting, when they knew we would be declining ASD services.  I don't know what the answer is, but it seemed very inefficient.

 Sweet love notes in Ellie's great handwriting, from a game she was playing with Lynlee.

Cece (obviously) wears the Snow White dress almost every day.  It was her favorite princess for a while, mostly, I think, because she could sign SNOW WHITE and I knew exactly what she meant.

We got the house all decorated for Christmas, and then we practiced signing "Christmas" and other Christmas words.

Lynlee picked a dolphin ukulele for her reward for sleeping in her bed all night.  We ordered it from Amazon and anxiously waited for it to come.  I looked up a couple of chords, and she quickly learned the C chord and F chord.  She had a great time playing a bunch of her LPM songs, like Good-bye Old Paint and Turtle Shells, that use those chords.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


We have hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the past few years, and I am getting better at doing more work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, leaving Thursday morning for making pies and cooking turkeys and heating the food up.  This year I didn't remember to take a picture until it was pie time.  And what a good time that is!  We had something like 12 different types of pies this year.

We have so many blessings and so many things to be grateful for.  I love Thanksgiving and the chance to count my blessings, again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 13 - 22

Cece's new favorite food is over easy eggs.  She likes to break the yolks herself, and then lets me give her bites.

Starting to feel better -- wearing a fancy dress and playing with Lynlee's birthday gift from Grandma Camp.

This was Lynlee's first picture using the projector art kit from Albert & Kanisha.  She had me help her trace the image, and then she colored it.  Pretty cool stuff!

Some antics at gymnastics.  Lynlee tolerates going to class, but free time is never fun for her.  This day was funny to me -- she just perched on the pommel horse (is it still called that if there are no "pommels"?) and watched the other girls play.

Ellie loves everything about gymnastics, including free play.

We ventured out of the house today, and checked out the new Harmon's grocery store.  Cece was soooo excited to see a giant Christmas tree and all of the decorations (we've watching a lot of the Signing Time Christmas DVD lately).  She signed CHRISTMAS and TREE and GIFT and SANTA and many more.  All while saying, "tree, tree, tree, wow!"  It was super cute.

Follow-up check-up with Dr Chaffin.  Everything is healing great!

After our appointment, we loved playing in the first snow of the year!

Cece loves the Fisher Price nativity set.  I love that you can see the steri-strips and how well her head is healing.

The girls' school was putting on Annie, Jr, and we took Hannah and Rachel along with us to watch.  They sat right up front on the floor.

We hung out on the side where we could see them, on the fabulously comfortable lunch tables.

Cece abandoned us and ran up front to sit on Ellie's lap.

And then she came back.

Lynlee liked it for about 30 minutes, and the last hour was painful.  It started at 7 and she likes to be in bed and asleep before 8.

Ellie's class had a pie party.  Daddy and Tammy even came to it.

Cece is signing Tammy's name sign (which is aunt).

Everything was super fun until Cece ran full speed into a table and got a bump on her forehead.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cochlear Implant Surgery - Left Side

We have struggled with the decision all year, whether to implant Cece's 2nd ear or not.  There was an immediate improvement with her first ear, with hearing sounds as well as improved temperament.  Cece was so much happier after she adjusted to her implant -- friendlier to people, more willing to branch out from mommy.  But we were not seeing any gains in speech.  About September, Cece had a few breakthroughs, and she was making gains and a little bit of progress.  So we decided to give it a go.  We knew we needed to schedule her before the end of the year (since we had already met our max out of pocket with our insurance), along with every other parent scheduling final things before the end of the year.  Dr Chaffin could get us in December 19.  I wasn't too happy with that window, since if Cece is sick we have to reschedule, and that didn't give us any leeway.  But what are you going to do?

Then we found out that our insurance was changing, effective December 1.  This started a flurry of calls to Dr Chaffin's scheduler.  There was no guarantee that our new carrier would approve the surgery (and the old one already had).  "Hello, new insurance, we have just started with you.  Will you pay for a $60,000 procedure?"

The scheduler managed to get us in on November 11.

{R} came by the night before and brought Cece some gifts.  Cece soaked up her love.  It is one of may favorite things to watch them together.  I love that this picture has Ellie showing off one of Lynlee's birthday presents, wearing her adoption t-shirt for her pajamas.

I was better prepared emotionally this time, but it is still a nerve-wracking day.  There are so many "what ifs" and it is hard to see your baby in pain.  We managed our clear liquids better this time, and Cece was happier giving up breakfast because she had something to drink.

I can't tell if she is signing CRY or CAT here.  I wonder what she was looking at? 

Cece was hesitant and resigned with all of the paperwork and initial tests (height, weight, temperature, etc).

Still clingy, but cute in her hospital gear.

Once she was given Versed, she got so giggly and goosey.  She was cracking us up.

And then she was whisked away.  She willingly went with the nurse, and I cried a little.

It was good to hear the report that everything had gone well.  But it is hard to watch your baby in the recovery room.

She was pretty inconsolable at first.  Putting her right side implant on helped a lot in getting her to settle down and get some more sleep.

The standard for being able to go home was to eat and drink.  After Cece woke up enough, she drank some apple juice and ate some applesauce & yogurt.  Then she was cleared to leave.

My mom played with Ellie and Lynnie, and it was nice to get cute update pictures like these.

They went to grandma's house for a few hours and were in heaven holding baby Addie.

The recovery at home was harder on Cece this time.  Her pain management was a prescribed pain killer alternated with ibuprofen.  Last time, I think I gave her the prescription once and the rest of the time was ibuprofen.  This time, I had to carefully watch the clock and give her alternating doses every three hours, for a few days.


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