Mommy had to learn to "listen"...

The title is catchy huh?   Ever since with our son's CI experience, I had to learn to listen for certain things he is asking..and has been noticing "new" (not so new..really) sounds that I never noticed before surrounding our home, environment and socially places.   It's a real eye opener, to say at the least.  I don't know it's just something that I was used to not having those sounds around me or was it because no one tells me.  I know one thing that ever since I had my digital hearing aids, I do have noticed more sounds and things that I never knew before.   Its not exactly perfect as it is with CI..I know that Cory hears more than I do.  That is a fact.  Today, he heard the phone rang..I didn't.  Just one of the examples..

We went to IGA..and we were near a frozen section freezer.  He stopped and put his finger to his ear. (it means what is that sounds?) with a cute face expression, eyes wide and mouth slightly open.   At first, I wasn't sure what he heard, immediate sound or on going type?  We both were standing there going ..ummm.  A clerk came by and asked if anything is ok?  IMAO!!!  We must have looked pretty funny, doing it.   Anyway, I told Cory.."nothing..I don't hear anything"...thinking maybe he hear the announcement like they do at food store from time to time.  I don't remember hearing it.   He insisted it though..kept on pointing to his ear and he did bit of sleuthing of his own..walking around.  A man walked by and I had to ask him.   Would it be weird to ask you something?  I explained that my son is deaf and he is learning to hear with his CI..and he is really fascinated with this "so called" sound he is "hearing"..and I am wondering if you could tell me what do you hear?  anything?   The man looked at me blankly..I had to giggled.  "I'm deaf too" but I'm not hearing anything.   I swear that this old man is probably really confused or think we are playing poor joke on him or something..by the look on his face.  He ran away quickly..    I was kinda of feeling like..yikes I will not ask any strangers that again.   Pretty embarrasssing.
Needless, Cory figured it out after walking down the aisle, he put his hands against the glass door and felt it humming.  Then he pointed to his ear..and was like a light bulb going off his head.  that what it was!!!  I couldn't really hear it unless I got closer enough to hear it.   the humming of the freezer...it is quite loud.  I couldn't really noticed that before.  Yes I knew it does that, what every child does, touch it right?   But I just to think harder about sounds around us that we just taken granted for.   We tend to tune it out..it's important for Cory to learn it but also to tune it out when it's not important. 
Like at preschool, during circle time or discussion time, I find that if something is distracting him beside him, or someone talking behind him or making noises.  Cory will have a hard time focusing on the teachers because he hasn't learn to "tune out" those unimportant sounds and tune in directly with teacher's.   And because he is very observant, it is also hard for him...so he does noticed things that others wouldn't.  
I would have to sit behind him and tell him to "watch" teacher over and over again.  like teaching him to ignore the "distractions" surrounding him.  Its all part of learning with when to listen and not to listen.

Another thing, when we were in IGA..I was kinda of in a rush. Cory got kid's shopping cart.  We just wanted to grab few things and headed for home in time for bit of outside play before his nap.   He tried to say something..I couldn't catch it.  It was spoken..I look right at hime and said "what?"  He said a word again?  im thinking umm what is he want?  I told him to sign to me..but he didn't.  So I couldn't figured it out.  But we had to go..come on.  
When we got home..we put the groceries away..I found two cans of soup that I didn't "buy" ..I have no idea where that came from?!!!!   I was thinking..was it someone's else bag? I checked my bill..apparently I did pay for those soups.   huh?   Cory picked it up and said that word!!!!!!! "soup?"  it sounds like "op"  LOL..he must have put in the cart and tried to ask me!!!  I learned two things today..pay real attention to what he said AND pay real attention to what he do or will do!   Oh well, I know what we are having for lunch today! "op"!


Terrible Twos and Testing Threes..it's harder with deaf child than hearing one.

I have to admit it..it is really harder. I have been having a taste of it lately.  Whewww.  Cory is really either very stubborn or spoiled.  Not sure...   I really have to put my foot down and follow through what I mean and say.   He does not like it..he get into fits. Sometimes, push me, hit me, screamed at me with claws out or just plain stubborness.   We try to allow some leverages with him because we want him to be settled with us and be happy.  NOT totally change in things so he adjusted to.  AND I don't know if I shouldn't have let things go as they were or should have been more strict and have him get to used to our ways in the first place.  Its a different situation when there's adoption, it was just that we are trying to make him feel comfortable and at ease with our home.  It's a huge change for him.   Sean thought we should have been straight up from the get go like a band-aid effect, thinks that Cory has to learn our rules under our home.  And I, on the other hand, are more take my time, allow him room and experiences things slower.   But now, we are dealing with a lot of temper tantrums, and I'm like wheeeew.  (but before I go on..I noticed that Cory is more cooperative with Sean than me, tough love thing works? )    I don't know if its something he is not understand or do understand.  But I had to do a lot of role playing and show him that is not acceptable or not appropriated.  Repeat repeat...  Even it's a simple thing, he still get temper tantrums.  And I'm like ??  is that a behaviour thing or was it being "spoiled" or doesn't understand?   whewww..it's harder than I thought.  I know that with my daughter, it was easy to give her options and she gets it fast.  And she rarely had temper tantrums now that she can express how she feels through sign language at age 1, 2, 3.  It made a difference for babies to be able to communicate through sign language so they can feel at content.  I would thought it would be the same for Cory.   Not really..but firstmost, we have to remember he was delay in language by 2 years so ideally he is age 1 for us to understand where he is at.     Yesterday, it was bit of a rough day..he was so grumpy that I was like okkkkk..I need some air and sat outside on the steps and can hear him banging on the door/window at me.   I am dealing with lots of things lately..this just top it.   AND it doesn't help that Sean is working 24 hours a day this week as his partner is in Mexico.  We are unable to go this year because of Cory.   That was ok..we may miss a vacation but we gain a son!   They sent photos from Mexico to our blackberry..I was like..I don't want to see it.   LOL.
Today, we went ice skating..(my bad..I thought it was at 1030am but it was at 930am) so we were late and only went on for 20 minutes left.  oh well.   I have a lot on my mind these days, and I went home and checked the calendar.  I looked at the wrong day!!! and it was written "Ice Skating 10:30" but that is for my daughter's next week!!!!  Anyway, I was a little sad today because I tried to be helpful, but got bit of "heck" for something.   And basically, we skated on our own for awhile, but thanks to one family who helped bit to get Cory bit of ice time while I get my skates on.  (LOL, I had no idea that this father didn't know how to skate!  opps) I just literally dumped Cory on him.   But thank you from the bottom of my heart..for that little task.   and when it's time to go one family took their  time to say good bye to him whereas others just took off.  It was like...whoa..where are you going???  but they were gone.
Anyway, I'm not gonna talk about this right now.  Or I'll get upset all over again.  
So we had our little snack..and I bought chocolate layer Krispie Square.  And I told him half for me and half for you.  And showed it to him.  This is mine, this is yours. etc. I was going to eat it in the car on the way home.  So he seem to understand that and start munching happily with it.  And we walked to the truck and then he was finished with it.   And then I tell him, come on, get into the truck.  He started to get mad and asked for "more?"   I told him more what?   He sign "eat, more?" I say to him no ..we got to go home and then we'll have some lunch.  He of course, got into a fit and I was like???   (one thing that I know he knows and understands that I don't allow eating in the vehicle. It always has been my rule because one thing I can't hear kids choking on food while I focus on driving and I can't focus driving when I have to watch them eat.  So its a moot point and common sense on my part.  NO eating in the vehicle. Period.  plus Im a fricky when it comes to keeping it clean and eating is at the table. period.    Even at home or else where.  It's a good way to promote healthy happy eating at the table where communication is happening the most.  
Anyway, I had to grab him and put Cory in carseat.  He was so mad and screaming and tried to push my hands away...I just keep on trying to tell him that half is mine.  Yours is finished.  He wanted the Chocolate..wow he learned the word "Chocolate"..yay!  Not sure if he say it right with speech.  (too noise outside plus his screaming on top of it).  So I then told him, we will go home and have lunch.  Have some noodles and grapes and then cookie.   He said "chocolate, chocolate" over again.  I just ignored him and went on to get into the truck and headed for home.  HE then started to kick the seat and whacking his hand on the car door over and over.  I usually ignore this if its NOT in the car while I drive but it is not safe to drive when he is like this.     I had to pull over and  try not  to look  at him.   Finally, when he calm down, I finally look at him and say "you ready to go home? done being mad?"  He said "done"..good then he said "chocolate?"  I said no..that is mine.  I'm  tempted to finish and eat that piece just to show and prove a point that is mine.  I thought twice of it ..  would that be mean? or something I have to do so he understand?  oh boy.  I just hide it away. He saw that I put it away.  He got even more upset..great.  wow.  Ok. I just have to tune out on his behaviour and get home.
It took my strong will not to get angry because the ride home wasn't acceptable because he was screaming and kicking.  Normally, if this was my daughter.  I would pull over and walk over to get her side and calmly  to her face and say "if you don't stop this right now, when you get home, You will stay in your room until supper time.  This behaviour is not acceptable, I get that you're mad but what you are doing is endangering everyone's lives.   I need to focus on driving. Understand?"  she would and it's simple. 
When I got home..he was screaming and kicking.  So I went around to let him out. Try my best to ignore him and get into the house.  HE wouldn't let me take the seatbelt off and was kicking me.  I said ok fine and decide to go into the house and leave him there.  (with garage closed of course)   I am sitting by the door and listening to his screaming.  Im thinking..is this is gonna help him or this is tough love?    but only for few minutes,the minute he calm down, I went to him.   He said "sorry"  ahhh now we are getting somewhere.  
We then went into the house, I started on lunch and he then ask me for cookie. duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh   Here we go again.   I said to him "what did I say, what are we having for lunch first?  "noodle, grapes and THEN cookie." I m standing there thinking he doesn't understand.?  its like master and dog.. master talk talk talk but dog only got one word out of it?  I did the evitable thing..I just stood there and say nothing, staring him down.   Then he said "noodle?"    so he does understand.  He is just use to having things his way.  
Oh it's so much fun with a toddler..I can say it's never dull around here these days.  LOL.  I had to laugh, vent, and cry.


Going back to work next year??? or stay home mom?

I thought about going back to work next year..it's because I'm so restless..I miss teaching and being busy.  Don't get me wrong..I am busy at home..but its a different kind of "busy" and I'm not really enjoying it.  Does that means I'm a bad mom?   I blamed the chemical balance in my brain. IMAO!!   I wonder if I could do this..with Cory in daycare and hopefully in preschool  part time?   Go back to my old job?  OR do I find a different job?  I have some potential ones that has been asking me to come to work for them..    Or put Cory in different preschool  now..so he get used to it and work for Burnaby program for a year or so.  I have a feeling that they don't want me and Cory at same center where he goes to preschool and I work there.   Normally, I would support it if it's a hearing child like my daughter..I totally get it.  It wouldn't be right.  Buttttt, the problem is where do Cory go? and it has to be appropriate center for his hearing loss with proper trainings etc.   We talk about me not going back to work, I could do daycare at my home.  I used to do that before, but this time it would be only part time and after schools.   I will never go back to full time/ long hours daycare again.   Or not.....
It is tough..I'm not sure at this time.  But I do have to start looking for daycare now in order to get him enrollment for this Fall coming.  You think it's too early..trust me it's NOT..I learn the hard way with my daughter before.  So I feel better when the time comes..and I can always withdraw..if I change my mind.    I wish I have some magic vision that would tell me what I should do..so I can follow it along as it set its course.    Today we tried a preschool, and it was ok.  Not far from my home, the problem was that the teacher has to be "trained" about hearing loss and such.   She seems not really motivated..or was it too annoying for her?   I don't know.  But I was there to help and guide along the way...the only problem is that it's only a center that for parents to stay on and they don't have "daycare" hours.  I dont want him to move to one place to another.  So that's why I'm looking for something NOW..and for this Fall.  Good time for him to get used to the teachers and train them too etc.  So I will feel better leaving him there when I go (if I go)     Tomorrow we are going to try another center which it's further away but it has preschool and daycare together.  So I m curious about it so it seems something that might work for Cory..he'll have the preschool "setting" plus after hours daycare.  So he'll have that structure he needs and then go to daycare until I pick him up after work. It's not far from work.   ummmm.   I wonder if there's any other childcare.  Sean thought about getting a "nanny" style ..take Cory to preschool..then pick him up when it's finished (or stay there as one to one support if have to) and bring him back home for nap until I get home?   She, this "nanny" won't live with us or anything.  It will be only from Monday to Thursday.  830 to 200.   Would it be expensive?  is it worthwhile for my income to pay for her?  lots of things to think about.   It is tough to decide.   I think my decision would be a LOT easier if its a hearing child.   


SPORTS vs Cochlear Implant????

I learned something serious lately..it has been weighted heavily on my mind these days.  Something that it bothers me greatly.   Kids with CI can't do "contact" sports...I can't IMAGINE not having that for Cory. Or any other kids!!!!!  Sports is the greatest thing in my life!!!  Its something I can't do without.  It's good for social skills, self esteem, sportmanship, leadership skills, coordinations etc.   It made me who I am today.  I was involved in almost EVERYTHING (except Basketball).  If you saw my high school jacket..LOL. 
I did admitted that I heard about that before..but I easily dismissed that thought about not doing sports just because you have CI..ppptttt!   I can understand if you are careful and don't go too crazy in sense not going overboard sort of thing..and can't go swimming with it (can't get wet).  The only thing I get it was..no scuba diving.  OH well..its a little minor thing. 
Cory is going for his appointment soon about following up on second CI..and I did some reading beforehand.  I want to be 100 percent sure about it and find out the pros and cons.  And the biggest con was "contact" sports.  Im kinda of not supporting with this.   I strongly encourage families over the years to get their children in involved with team sports, or any sporting events.  It was a huge thing in my life, I would like to hear other parents feedback about this.  Do any of their CI children get involved with sports???  I would like to know.   We are such a hardcore in sports in our family.   My daughter does swimming, soccer, fastball, kickboxing, skiing, ice skating etc.   We want Cory to do the same.   And we have the best park across our street, Cory loves to watch BC Lion or football games/practice there at CAP.  
How could we not allow Cory to play or get involved sports if he wants???  


what's new?

I know it has been awhile since.  Christmas has been wonderful and busy!  We have been in and out all last two and half weeks!  AND then after that we had few more friends and families gathering in the New Year. Cory seems to enjoy getting to know people and even said their names too!  We encouraged everyone to introduce themselves because from a deaf child it's confusing to say and point their name.  So I found that it's easier to say "Hi Cory, I'm ___" He tried so hard to repeat their names if its more complicated.   He can say my nieces' names now.  That was a shocker..we were having dinner and the kids of course, were finished first.  They excused themselves.  Cory was sitting at the table and he called out "Sarah!" ..suddenly everyone stopped eating and I did noticed the suddenly change and they told me.  I was like..wow..that's good.   He is saying more words these days..or at least he is trying.   I figured it out..he is slow eater because he is REALLY listening.  I guess it's hard to eat and listen at the same time.  The sounds of crunchy foods, swallowing etc. He is responding to the sounds of strange things..even I didn't know it makes sounds so obvious.  Like shaking the salad dressings, stiring of coffee cup, me eating chips...even peeing.   He tells me! LOL.   It made me more awareness with sounds too. 
I had bunch of deaf and hard of hearing ladies over my house during the holidays.  Sean took the kids out for awhile but they came back later so they could see my family .  Everyone were curious to meet Cory.  Cory was so adorable!..he went to each of the lady and point.  They would tell him their name (sign name and voice it if they can)  Cory imiated it with right alphabet letter.  Then he went around to each of us!  I was impressed...he is trying to know all their names.   I think the best part is that he went around to give them a hug before bedtime.  hee hee.   Sweet little boy.  I am so lucky and blessed to have him..it was a wonderful Christmas (first time together as a family!) 
We also went to another party, its all deaf New Year Eve..except few children who were CODA (Children of Deaf Adults)..I haven't been to those for long time.  The adults were sitting at the table having dinner and chatting.  The children didn't really want to eat, were running around and playing.  Cory sat with us, all growups and he was taking in all their sign language.  HE LOVES it..I can see he is over the moon with their beautiful language, the way they use facial expresssions, and body languages.  I wouldn't ever take that way from him.  No way siree!   He did the same thing, pointing to each adult..for their names.  And I know they were careful not to talk about certain things..so I told him to go play with the kids.  He didn't want to.  LOL.   It was hard for me to go deaf party because I was bracing myself for the Deaf Community and their strong opinions about Cochlear Implants.   But I'm so glad I did it..it was a big step for me and I need to help for them to understand and explain our stands/reasons for Cory.  I just had to be confident and don't let anyone tell us anything what we decided to do.  Surprisedly, they seem to be respectful enough and supported us with our decision.  I think the easiest part that Cory already has the CI prior to adoption.   But the hardest part is that he is getting a second one.  

He started preschool full time this week, oy..I was pretty exhausted and tiring just having to go there, try to help..observe, and even doing nothing.  I was pretty restless!  AND I know Cory was exhausted too, the minute we get home, he go straight to nap.  Within minutes, he is out cold.  I also, noticed his big difference at bedtime now, therefore, I only allowed to let him nap for a hour and half.  He does have a hard time waking up and doesn't want to.  I just had to take him off the bed and make him go to potty.  He then would wake up pretty quick.   Then bedtime, he just go to sleep easily now.   yay!!!   We also noticed his language and spoken words, has increased during the week.  What a difference it makes by having him in a preschool on a regular basis, sometimes we may not realized that because sometime it seems like they are just playing or not doing much as you would think at first.  But THEY ARE!!!  He learned few words, like curious, idea, song "clean up clean up" in tunes.  Gingerbread story,  Hot, Cold, concepts..all that in three days.  Cory's mind is like a big sponge and he just aborbed it all.  If all goes well, I may try going to local preschool on other days near our home to allow more auditory listening envirnoment IF its appropriate.  That is the hardest part..I have been to about 6 different ones before Christmas, and unfortunately it wasn't the best placement for him.  Several reasons:  too much space/poor listening environment, one was in a gym..ugh! lots of noise bouncing off the walls, it was too much for me even!!  One placement was strange..it seems not enough structure in sense that its all drop ins only...so it comes varieties.  Too many kids in one place, (too noisy) and the best one..one place, (Its a really nice lady) but she has a very strong accent, I couldn't really understand her and it's NOT ideal for Cory.   I didn't realized how frustrating it was to have to go places and try to find a best place/program for deaf/hh children. UGH.. it was not easy.   I had enough of "shopping" for now..so I am hoping to try again in few weeks once Cory (and I) settled down at preschool.   I'll keep my eyes open if I see anything good and let you know.  Its so important to have a program like BCF who knows the best for our deaf./hh children.