Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brandon takes a road trip, and girly girls can play with frogs too.

Brandon heads off to Indiana with his girl friend this after noon to help move some of her things up there because she got a job offer working with her step mother. When Brandon graduates high school this semester is over he plans on moving up there with her and finding a job. We have told him he is 18 and can do it if he thinks it is what he wants to do but he must finish out this last semester of school first and get his high school diploma, luckily his girlfriend know this and is constantly helping him with his home work. Lori and I moved out at that age and though we didn’t always have it easy it worked out for us.

Norah has been on an all thing pink and fairy wings trip lately. I use to think before I had a girl that parents just dressed there girls in pink so that was what they wore. Not so much Norah defiantly has her quirks likes and dislikes when it comes to fashion. OnE of the funniest things is her fairy wings she must have on if we leave the house. One thing she did lose was some high heel dress up shoes children’s hospital gave her that came with a crown and scepter. Holly Cow she wanted to where them ever where and they were not safe for walking out side the house. They some how got misplaced. She will want to look in the car mirror to adjust her hair just so, and then other day’s pull her hear bands out and run around the house with some wild hair dos.
But she still likes new advancers like playing with frogs, worms, and bugs, its good to have some balance in your life. Oh we got back to the map Norah’s CI again today and to have a another hearing test hope it is better than the last one even a little step towards our goal would be great


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hearing tests results.

Well Norah had her first hearing test today since her CI activation. It was not the best in the world. Her additude today had more to do with the results than the sound level in the testing booth. She started off the day at speech therapy and did not want to listen there and was just blowing the therapist off. Then we went to the hearing test and she was not interested in listening or paying attention. So we just stopped the test because there was no sense in continuing.
What little she did respond to was at the 50-60 db level. The audiologist told us that, that is typically what she would expect one week after activation. They left Norah's CI settings where they currently are for this week. However because we had seen Norah hear so many more over the week and when doing her listening practice at home she can hear much lower /softer sounds than 50-60 db. She has heard more sound than she has ever heard and keeps telling us to listen when she hears something. Her speech and signing therapist is on vacation next week so she will just have another hearing test and CI mapping with her audiologist on Wedensday. Hopefully she will be more cooperative and we can get a more accurate picture of what she is hearing. Then we can start working od distinguishing different sounds like "aahhhh" is different than "oohhhh" because right now they probably sound the same to her. So if you see us out and I am making strange noises to Norah there is a method to this madness. With hearing, you need to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. The same with speech.

Oh and this is what happens when you are trying not to pop your daughters $12.00 whale kiddy pool with the weedeater so you go into the gravel more then you should, just so you know the kiddy pool is safe the $200.00 picture window, not so much.



Our little future architech and her block set.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Norah first Cochlear Implant Activation video

This is some of the video we took of Norah’s CI activation, she is doing so good just three days after activation she responded to the eeeeeee and the shshshshsssshhhh sound that she has never responded to before. Wile I was watching this video after editing it she was in the kitchen not able to see the computer screen and ever time the beeps would play on the video she would put her Listen sign up and I didn’t have the sound up either this is a really good sign for our Norah. It will be exciting next week when we get her hearing tested to see what level she is at.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

She can hear!

The first day was very good and we are going back this morning to do another tune-up. I have 45 minutes of video that I need to edit down from yesterday. I am taking the video camera with me again today too, so I may have way to much video for the blog, but it will be nice to have for ourselves.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The big day is tomorrow.


Well, tomorrow we find out if Norah will be able to hear sound with her Cochlear Implant. She gets the external device and her first mapping tomorrow. While the results at activation vary from little reaction to sound, to crying because the kids are afraid of the new sound at first, to they are happy to be able to hear again or for the first time.
Just getting a reaction is a good thing. Then the CI Audiologist can work on mapping from there, then they will start off low with Norah giving her about the same amount of sound as she got with her hearing aids. Hopefully, then they will give Lori and I three programs to turn up the cochlear implant during the day if Norah is doing ok. Then we go back the next day for some more fine tuning, and week after week she will be mapped to try to get her as close to that 20-30 DB across the board she needs for speech. This is not an instant fix, it will take a lot of work on the part of Lori and I and Norah’s willingness to work at listening to the world around her, and practicing making many different sounds with her voice. We still have high hopes for Norah to speak more and more words over the coming months. It has taken her six months to learn to say Mamma ,Daddy, up, bye-bye, so we are still going to be using sign language with her for a long time, maybe always, we will have to see what the next year or two brings.
With all she has been through we feel in the last six months she has come a long way already
on many fronts.

19 years today!


Lori & I have been together through thick and thin,
and some how have been lucky in love the whole time.
We got married very young and managed to grow
closer together over the years rather than further apart.
Here is to the next 19 years together,
filled with,
the uncertainty of life,
the love & hope,
pain & sadness,
happiness & joy,
that life brings us all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I learned something new about Norah yesterday.

When we got home from China Love with out boundaries sent us all the information we had on Norah, with that information was two short 2minet videos of Norah with some people from LWB and her foster mom. I tried to view them with Norah at the time we got them but it upset her which surprised me because at the time she would look throw the photo album LWB had given her once a day and it had photo of her foster mom in there too.
Any way here we are just have our six months home study update with Norah and so I got the DVD out again to see if Norah wanted to see it. When I put it into the computer and it started playing she immediately turned to Lori and wanted to be picked up and did not look back at the computer screen. So I watched the video my self but instead and this time looked more at every one in the video not just Norah as I had the first time. There was Norah’s foster mom working with Norah from a note book she had written before to trying to get Norah to say sounds. Then in the second video my eyes were on the foster mom I don’t know how I missed this before but I called Lori to the computer. There was Norah and her foster mom would say the words & signs for mom, dad, eyes, hair. They looked like home signs but I don’t know they could have been Chinese signs I‘m not sure.
But we are grateful to this Norah’s Foster mom for the obvious care and time she spent trying to teach her language.
When Norah is ready she can see the video and maybe after she gets more language and she is ready she can tell us about her life in China.

Part of our family is still missing this year.


Even though we were so busy with Norah this summer I still kept our Annie in the back of my mind. Knowing she would be back for another year of school after visiting her parents and the rest of her friends and family in China for the summer. I was to pick her up on august 12th. As the time I was going to pick her up at the airport grew near I was getting excited to have her in our lives for another school year.
I email her on the 10th to confirm the time she was going to get to the airport. On the 11th I got a call from Sam her unincel. Annie had torn her ACL playing soccer on august 10th and had to go into surgery. Pore girl was in the hospital for weeks because after words she could not bend her leg. So she missed the start of fall semester.
I was able to talk to her parents when she was in the hospital but not her no internet at the hospital. But when Annie got out she emailed me she wants to come back to school this spring semester, but was having a good time eating all the yummy Chinese food…..And being pampered by her parents too I’m sure.
Get well soon Sissy we love you and miss you.
Your American Mom and Dad.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


When we woke up this morning we had a new neighbor. This HUGE spider has taken up residence on our front pourch. Normally we would leave his web alone but he has covered up one of the entrances to the house, so if he is not gone by morning we will have to take down his web and send him on his way.

My brother's fiance gave us a flyer last week showing us about a new park opening in Ward. Kohen's Park.

There was cotton candy, crafts, inflatable jumpers, a horse and buggy ride and many other activities.

Norah especially enjoyed the cotton candy.

Afterwards we had to take a bath to get all the sticky stuff off. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hot pink ear mold, and water works of two kinds.

Norah’s hot pink ear mold just came in and she loves it. She was due for a new pair because the old ones were not fitting very well and ringing a lot. She loves all things pink. We did not push this either, she always has a choice of what clothes to pick out for the day. Sometimes that leads to crazy looking out fits but hey she can pull any look off.


In fact today when we went to speech therapy she wore a pink Sunday dress with her rings and the shoes a nurse at Children’s gave her. She was all to happy with all the ladies that Children’s hospital signing to her how pretty she was. They really care about her well being and future and we are so lucky to live so close to a world class hospital and staff.

It is so different to have a daughter. Now that her sign language comprehension is getting better you can bring her to tears just by signing that she is being bad and needs to stop. Or some days if she thinks you are not going to let her help make a cake or cookies the water works come on until you can make her understand that daddy or mommy needs to do this part of it because she could get hurt.

And to the second water works it is so nice to have a pond. I really enjoy the sound of the water fall. It really helps drowned out the city and neighbors noise (although I don't think anything can drown out these new people). In most states these hyacinth plants (the purple ones) have been outlawed because they breed so fast, they need to stay out of lakes and rivers and be keep in private ponds.




Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Three Days Post-op

It was a long day for Norah with a long wait in the truck at the 24 hour Walgreens to get her pain medications and antibiotics but she needed her pain meds so we waited till 11:00 P.M. to get them filled. They told us at first it was going to be like 3:00A.M. but Lori explained to them that Norah just had surgery and that we needed at least her pain medication because she was due for a dose at 11:00P.M. So two hours later at 11:00 they called me in to pick it up. We need to find another 24 hour pharmacy. They had her head wrapped tight and the poor girl had to look up to see out of her eyes.

Because Norah had a long surgery and a CSF leak, that the surgeon already knew would happen during surgery and so he was prepared for during surgery, she is supposed to limit her activity for the next seven days, and sleep with her head elevated. Ha! Norah is a supper active child so we have been busy trying to limit her activities to things that won’t increase the pressure in her head. So Norah and I got out the colored paper, glue and scissors. This is what we came up with. She cracks me up.



This is three days post -o. She is feeling better and no longer needs her pain medication. She gets her head wrap off today and is so ready so that she can see with her eyes open and take some pressure off her head. Man, she hated to take her pain meds it was a battle every time we had to give it to her. It tasted terrible and we even had them put favoring in it to try to make it better, didn’t work, she likes her antibiotic but the pain meds where bad-bad-bad. Oh and if you can’t tell we got into some stickers that grandma brought us.




Still a beautiful girl, even with her head shaved.