Monday, April 26, 2010

Back In Action

Jackson's BCHA returned from Oticon this afternoon and we were able to drive and pick it up before the office closed.  Apparently the amplifier inside the hearing aid itself stopped working.

We ordered a new cord to keep as a spare because, typically, that is the first to break, if anything.  That arrived, too, and Oticon threw that in for free!

When Jadon was telling Jackson that we were going to get his hearing aid, Jadon signed "hearing aid" and Jackson got THE BIGGEST smile on his face!  He tried really hard to get the box out of my hands when we were leaving the office.

Once we were home, I attached the aid to one of the new soft headbands I had purchased online.  The first one that I tried was purchased at Me and My Bow . It took a few times to train Jackson again not to take it off.  I really like the fabric of the headband, it is a softer cotton material, much like the Goody headbands that I buy for Sydney.  The only problem was that the width of it was not quite deep enough to hold the hearing aid portion of the BCHA.  It seemed to be really soft on Jackson's head and THAT I like!  Before Kurt came home, I switched it to another band that I had purchased from Huggie Aids.  This one is made from a suede material and is even thinner.  It is designed similar to the BAHA softband.  I really liked this one.  Although our favorite has been the Adidas Sweatband that was adapted by a sweet family I met on our Microtia/Atresia Yahoo Group that was so kind to send us 2 of her son's extras!!!  Thanks, Dianne!!!!!!!  We'll see how Jackson does with the Huggie Aid headband tomorrow.

We jumped right back into the routine of Jackson wearing the aid until he was put to bed.  When I took it off to put his PJs on he was not too happy with me.  After PJs were on, I began to put it on him and he leaned forward to let me do it!  He said his "GoodNights" to everyone and gave them kisses and we headed off to his bedroom to rock in the rocking chair.  Usually I would have taken it off at this point because the old style of head band would hurt him to lay back in it, but I left it on.  I turned his "Night-Night" music on and began to rock him!  He did not move a muscle!  He has never really fallen asleep when we rocked him, but I think he was almost there!  I tried to sit up to take the aid off and he grabbed my arm to let me know not to move ANYWHERE!  I rocked a bit more and decided I had to because my arm was falling asleep!  He started to get upset and cry that I had taken it off and was trying to reach for it on the side table.  I rocked him a little bit more to calm him down and then he pointed to the crib!


I am sad for Jackson and all that he has missed for almost 3 years!  But so thankful that God stirred our hearts to adopt and took us on this Journey to Jackson!
headband from Me and My Bows

Not-so-great attempt at a group picture

softband from Huggie Aids

Monday, April 19, 2010

One Week, 2 Days...

and it just stopped working! 

We're baffled!

Kathy, our audiologist, is baffled!

So off to Oticon it goes!

Jackson's bone conduction hearing aid is an Oticon Classic 380P.  It is a traditional air conduction aid that has been modified on the inside, minus the ear mold, attached to a wire on one end with an Oticon oscillator on the other end.

We are still waiting to have Jackson's report sent from the Pediatric ENT at Shands to our pediatrician.  Once they receive it, we will find out what needs to be done to request our insurance to pay for a Softband BAHA.

So, until then, Jackson sits, unaided and a little off his game!  (We really think he was starting to actually like it!)

We sit waiting for the first bill to pay for it!

We are praying it will be back by the end of the week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time for Reinforcements

I mentioned that we will be adapting sweatbands to accomodate Jackson's BCHA so that he doesn't have to wear the metal headband.  But until we get our sample, we've come up with the next best thing.  It actually has worked out quite nicely.  It's only a temporary fix.  We are going to order an extra cord for the hearing aid, so that we don't have to take apart this original headband.  While Jackson had on the BCHA Kurt just tried on the sweatband over part of it.  We think it has done the trick...for the most part!

Jackson is still able to take it off, but not as frequently.  He wore it for almost 2 hours at the soccer field before he ever messed with it. 

I have found a white headband, which is not our color of choice.  And I have found a black headband, which is what we prefer.  Somewhere, here at the house, in a bag, and put in a place where I won't forget where it is, is a really snazzy FSU sweatband that I picked up for him when the big kids and I drove to Tallahassee to the Secretary of State's office.  Maybe soon I'll find it.  Who knows, maybe I'll find some other things while lookin' for it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Time!

We waited as long as we could to cut Jackson's hair REALLY short!  It's beginning to grow on me.

I don't know if I've ever seen that much hair come off of a 2 1/2 year old...come to think of it, Sydney didn't have any hair for a couple of years and I think I took her to have her "hair cut" just so I could finish the page in her baby album.

It has actually kept his hearing aid on just a little bit better.

The haircut may only be for the summer.  Or we may keep it that short.  Or we may let the top grow just a smidgin' more.

We'll see...

"It's all good, Mom!"

It's Still Working

Well, we have managed to survive our first weekend with Jackson's hearing aid!!!  Such a big accomplishment, if I must say so myself.

He really is doing remarkably well keeping his hearing aid on, but there are times when he's had just about enough of it.  Jackson is so fast!  It is a at our never know where you might find the hearing aid next!

We've found it...


and here...(minus water)

and here!

Otherwise, it's usually on his head!  He has learned how to shake his head "no" to make it fall off!  It falls off when he's rough-housin'...which he LOVES to play rough!  It falls off when he's tryin' to snuggle up to you in bed, or on the couch, or just in your arms when you're holdin' him!  He has even asked for it a couple of times!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Me and My Edamame

Jackson has been teaching us the art of eating Edamame!  We first discovered that he possessed this skill when we first arrived home.  We were eating green beans and he picked every single bean open and ate all of the little beans inside.  It took me awhile, but then I realized that he must have eaten edamame in China.  I did find some edamame at Publix that hadn't been shelled yet.  And sure enough, he picked one up, bit down on the stem and pulled if off down the center and opened it up to get the soy beans!  Then later he would just squeeze them and the little soy beans would pop right out!  He's a barrel of laughs!!!

Day 2: Jackson and Mr. Basil

Today was the 2nd day (or rather first full day) of Jackson having his BCHA.  We really didn't expect much today, but when I called home at lunchtime, my mom began to tell me how WONDERFULLY he had been doing with it all morning!  We decided that it would just be an expectation and routine for him that when he woke up, before we would take him out of his crib, his BCHA would go on.  No fusses with it this morning!  As soon as we got home, we were greeted by our sweet little man.  He SO loves to be outside and he was quite taken by Mr. Basil and a pinecone.  Mr. Basil is very special to our family.  He was a beautiful plant that has been around for a couple of years now, but we just can't seem to part with him.  Although he might be replaced with Mrs. Basil that now sits in our kitchen!  Sydney has volunteered to take care of her since Mommy didn't do such a great job with Mr. Basil (who by the way was named by Jadon a few years ago).

Jackson is already starting to show a response to our speech.  Just tonight, we were leaving my parents house and Kurt asked Jackson, "Jackson, are you ready to go home?"  Jackson then looked at my dad and waived bye-bye and started to walk towards the door.  We also began to notice this just a day or two before getting his BCHA...we will say to Jackson, "I Love You!"  and he tries sooo hard to say it back to is definitely 3 words that he's trying to say and it does sound like the first word is a close approximation to "I". 

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I'm not quite sure exactly what or how I expected the first few moments to be when Jackson heard our voices in the "normal hearing" range.  But I can tell you that it wasn't what we got.  I wish now I would have taken a picture of it.  It was heartbreaking, but it was a good thing.  He was hearing us and HE-DIDN'T-LIKE-IT...ONE BIT!  Between the crocodile tears, the nose running, the drool just dripping from his mouth and the sweat coming off of both of us, we were a soggy mess! 

This lasted for about 25 or 30 minutes as we adjusted volume levels and sweet talked him.  All to no avail...until...the receptionist ran to the office next door and brought back a DUM-DUM pop!  We had brought dum dum pops to China with us on Gotcha Day but never gave him any because we just felt like he wasn't ready for them yet.  Well, today I was ready to try anything! 

It settled him down enough to tolerate the bone conduction aid for another 30 minutes while Kathy gave me a refresher course on all of the parts and we discussed options we could try to alter the headband.  This headband CLEARLY is not going to work. It might be ok if he is sitting ABSOLUTELY still...and I can tell you...that AIN'T happenin'!  I'm thinking that silver duct tape might do the trick!  I was able to get a picture of Jackson sitting with Kathy. 

I think that by the time we left, we were both covered in a pretty sticky pink color!  He wore the hearing aid on the drive to the soccer field for about 10-15 minutes and then I had to pull over to get out and get it from the back seat since he pulled it off.  I was able to coax Jackson to wear it on the soccer field and he managed another 45 minutes with it on.  After soccer practice and dinner, we went to Wal-Mart for reinforcers...DUM-DUM pops and jelly beans.  I figured I would get the dum dums first and give him one (I know I'm not supposed to open the bag before paying for it, but we have a 2 year old here and it didn't need to be weighed).  I told Jackson that if he wanted the lollipop, that he would have to wear his hearing aid.  He pointed his finger at that bag of lollipops and I put his hearing aid on and opened up the dum dums and we were two happy campers!  I think we walked around for 30 minutes while he sucked on that pop.  I sang the "Lollipop,Lollipop" song to him while he had his BCHA on and he would just laugh and laugh and laugh!  I did manage to get a few pictures of him in Walmart!  Which will be a great reminder to NOT give him the BLUE dum-dum pops!

We'll see what tomorrow holds.  My mom will be with him all day.  We'll see how many jelly beans are left when I get home!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jackson's Even Bigger Day

Tomorrow will be an even bigger day for Jackson.  After school, the big kids and I will go pick him up and take him to get his new Bone Conduction Aid.  I received a phone call today from Kathy that Jackson's BCHA (Bone Conduction Hearing Aid) had come in!  I was so suprised!!  We weren't expecting anything until next week.  After meeting with Kathy on Monday, we decided to go ahead and purchase a less expensive BCHA while we wait for the dictation and referral to come back from Dr. Antonelli at Shands.  (As of today, Dr. Ahmed's office-our pediatrician-has not received it.)  This will allow Jackson to have hearing after 2 1/2 years!  We are praying that because Jackson's microtia/atresia is a congenital defect that insurance will cover a Softband Baha.  If they don't then we will go from there.  The hearing aid that was purchased was made by Oticon.  I do not know yet which one it is, but will be sure to find out when we go.  Kurt and I have received many tips from fellow parents of children with microtia/atresia on how to adapt various headbands (sweatbands, cloth headbands, etc) to fit and hold an BCHA.  We will be working on that this weekend. 

Please pray that Jackson will adjust to the new sounds he will be hearing for the first time!  Please pray that he will have a desire to wear his new headband and aid.  Please pray that our voices are comforting to him!

Sydney will be getting a crash course in using the video camera tomorrow.  I want to at least have something on video of Jackson hearing my voice for the first time!  I can't wait for him to hear the words, "I love you!"

Thank you for lifting our sweet little man up in prayer!  Thank you for continuing to follow our journey!

Easter Sunday

What a beautiful day it was here on Easter Sunday.  Jadon was the first to get up and find the Easter baskets and even snuck a bite off the "hiney" of his chocolate animal.  (I found a cute 3 pack of miniature chocolates...1 owl, 1 porcupine and 1 squirrel)  Next up was Sydney and then Jackson.  After the others took a quick peek at their baskets, we hurried and got our Easter Sunday Best on...and LO AND BEHOLD!!!!  we were ON TIME for church!!!!
After church we headed to Cracker Barrel for lunch.  We decided not to cook this year and to just relax because everyone on my side of the family was going in all different directions.  Sydney and Jadon were great sports to agree to wait until after Jackson's nap to begin the egg hunt.  It was a grand time!!!
I'm thankful that with every passing day, Jackson will learn more and more about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Jadon (6 years old), Sydney ( 8 years old), Jackson (2 1/2 years old)

Stacy and Jackson

Jackson waiting ever-so-patiently

Jackson and Kurt

The Three Musketeers

Jackson and his 1st Easter Basket

Jackson kissing his Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Egg

Jackson decided to dump out the Easter grass and make a new hat for himself...

and for me!!!

Let the games begin!!!

Such a serious Easter Egg Hunter!

Now he's got the hang of it!


Taken a break!

Could he be ANY cuter???