Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cheerio, mate

I was taking Ryan to daycare one morning. We were in the car and I heard something fall.

"What was that, bud?"

"I dropped my Cheerios."

I pulled into the daycare, looked at the floor behind my seat and, well, there was a lot of Cheerios.

"That's ok, pal. I'll clean it up later."

That was three weeks ago. The Cheerios are still there.

The point of this story? It's cold outside, I ain't cleaning up no fucking Cheerios.

Monday, January 24, 2011


In the past few weeks, my kids have reached pivotal birthdays -- Ryan turned 3 and Emma is 6 months -- and the changes that came with those key celebrations are just plain adorable.

Six months. Sure, Emma is still an infant, one who eats, poops and sleeps most of her life. I'll be honest -- babies are cute and all, but damn, they are boring. There is no personality, no joy in their lives, no purpose. But now, at 6 months, the kid is pure sunshine. Her recently discovered laughter is nothing short of infectious. All you want to do is make her laugh, all day and everyday. She even knows when you try to make her laugh -- she'll laugh in anticipation of your efforts. And even if you are not funny (it happens -- babies are notoriously tough critics), Emma will shoot you one of those half-smiles that is basically saying, "Alright, I'll smile, but please, for the love of all things holy, just stop." See, that's love.

I was cleaning the house the other day and had her strapped onto my chest in the Baby Bjorn. She was a willing student, soaking up every cleaning task I was doing. Hell, she was reaching for the mop more times than I can count. She looked in amazement how much pet hair was picked up with the swiffer. She was practically salivating at the mouth. Most would say she is teething, but no, she was just aghast at how much of a mess Parker leaves behind. Five years from now, that little girl will be on Parker's ass, making sure he cleans up after himself. Yep, that would be my daughter.

And Ryan, coming out of his terrible twos and heading straight into the even-more-terrible threes, has all of a sudden turned into this adorable, heartbreaking, affectionate little man. Of course, he still has his whiny breakdowns and temper tantrums, which comes with the territory, but suddenly, he's morphed into this mushball who will give his mother a good night kiss, walk away, and then stop, turn around, and decide that he wants a hug too. How do you not melt when something like that happens?

A couple months ago, we used to say, "I love you", and he would repeat it back verbatim. It was almost like he was imitating you. But now, he personalizes his affections. I'll say, "I love you, buddy," and he'll reply with, "Daddy, I love you, too." That sound you hear is my heart breaking into pieces.

He's finally wrapping his head around the potty-training, becoming a willing participant as opposed to a stubborn toddler who collapses on the floor at the mere sound of "going potty." There's still a ways to go, but he's finally learning how to relieve himself in the toilet. Just last night, he peed as he should have for the second time that day, and he was truly and utterly thrilled. You know that look little kids have when they come across something so awesome, that so-amazing-I've-got-to-have-it-now look? His whole face transformed into a euphoric freeze-frame. "Yaaaaaaay!!! I went pee-pee in the potty!"

These are the things that make the little ones happy. It just goes to show that we adults take things for granted. Really, wouldn't it be great if we stepped away from the urinal/stall, with a grin from ear-to-ear, and exclaim with absolute glee, "Yay, I just went pee-pee!" Your co-worker at the sink would give you a funny look, but who cares? Dammit, you went pee-pee in the potty, and that. is. awesome. You deserve a treat.

I'm telling you, peeing has never been so beautiful.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm not dead

Wow, it's been almost 2 months since I have last posted. Well, no worries, you haven't missed anything. I'm making progress with the CI, albeit very, very slowly. I think I may have underestimated the pacing of this adventure. The first month or so were filled with surprising revelations about my new hearing. As noted in earlier entries of the blog, I was picking up new sounds left and right -- some clear, some not -- and the power and sophistication of the device was instantaneously recognized.

After my last post, things have cooled down considerably. I'm not going backwards, but more like going uphill. The incline is higher, so to speak. The path to better hearing is getting harder and harder to climb, and for a while, I was beginning to resist the effort. Maybe I was resisting because I didn't expect it to be so challenging; I didn't realize that I needed to make this many sacrifices to get where I need to go.

See, in order for me to hear voices more clearly, I need to hear less. Sounds contradictory, I know. My hearing aid allows me to communicate with others more than the CI. Voices are clear with the HA. Not so much with the CI. In order to hear voices better with the CI, I need to take away the HA, to lean on that CI so that it's being used. My brain needs to figure it out. Like a puzzle, you need to work at it until it all finally makes sense. Puzzle pieces don't fall into place automatically. Once voices make sense to me with the CI alone, I can go back to using the HA and the two can work together to create better hearing.

The CI device itself is primed for optimal hearing. My mappings are occuring less frequently because my brain needs to begin to picking up the slack. It's ideal to get mapped every 3 to 4 months at this stage, and eventually, it becomes an annual visit. My brain will continue to adjust to new sounds so mappings are always very much relevant to a CI user.

I had a 3 month evaluation last week. I will post the results once I get the paperwork, but I am definitely progressing. It doesn't seem like it, but I'm actually hearing more now than I was pre-CI. The actual numbers will be interesting to see.

For now, it's time to roll up my sleeves and take the hits. We've still got a ways to go.