Triplet Princes and a Princess

Triplet Princes and a Princess

Our journey to hearing with Cormac while living our life with triplet boys and a baby girl.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fun at Medieval Times

On Saturday we headed to Medieval Times
for the first of the boys' 5th birthday celebrations. Their birthday is on April 6th. This was a gift from my Mom, Richie and Frank's Mom. It was so much fun. Everyone enjoyed it. Colin really liked that you HAD to eat with your hands and were not allowed untensils. We were told to cheer for the red knight and the green knight was our enemy. I had to explain what an enemy was to the boys. At one point Colin yelled "you are going down, green Knight"

Calleigh found the entire show fascinating. She smiled and clapped and cheered not to mention she ate everything in sight. God bless her soul. This girl loves to eat. I guess she is making up for lost time.

Thanks to the grandparents for letting the boys experience one of the greatest night of their lives. They have been talkng about it for hours.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Ciaran and Colin were both sent home from school with notes to follow up on their hearing after a school screening. Most people would not be concerned by this but in our family it is a concern. What was most concerning was two screenings were performed two months apart and they both had issues at the same decibel level. I immediately set up an audiological appointment for both of them. They have had their hearing tested several times before but not recently.

Heading to the appointment I drove the wrong way twice and couldn't concentrate. My Mom asked why I was so nervous. My response " i have never taken any of my kids to a doctors appointment when they said they were ok. I always get bad news and I know this is going to happen today". I was not wrong. We are once again faced with another challenge.

First, here is the good news. Colin passed with flying colors and has a beautiful audiogram.

Ciaran on the other hand did not have the same result. He is showing a moderate hearing loss from 1500 Hz to 4000 Hz. We do not know the cause. We do not know when it happened. He was screened at birth and has had subsequent tests due to our family history (Cormac). he was not sick. He did not have fluid in his ears. Nothing out of the ordinary. He was a very reliable and more than cooperative patient. Our next step is to the ENT and the genetic specialist. We will have him tested for Connexin 26 to see if he also has the gene mutation like Cormac. If he does we will know the cause but really not what the future will hold. We won't know if it's getting progressively worse or anything. He will have to be tested every three months to track him.

I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful people who are experienced with hearing loss and willing to look at Ciaran's audiogram just out of the kindness of their hearts. The professionals who helped Cormac are all amazing and I have the utmost confidence in their abilities. Ciaran is no where in the range of Cormac's hearing loss. Cormac is profoundly deaf. A long time ago someone said "he couldn't hear a jet engine if he was standing next to it.

Ciaran is already way ahead of the game. He has no speech delay and has aquired all the speech sounds. If his loss is progressive he can maintain his speech by having access to sound with hearing aids. He will more than likely get hearing aids. With the technology in existence today with digital hearing aids he can be given gain in the areas where his hearing loss is without an worry of amplifying sound in areas he does not need it. If it continued to decrease along all levels and he was eligible for an implant we would do that as well. Lots of "ifs". Lots of unknowns. Lots of waiting. Lots of stressing.

The audiologist is suggesting he get an FM system for school. This would mean a second child with an IEP. Anyone who has one IEP knows how difficult they are and the thought of a second just plain sucks. Big props to those moms (and I know a couple) who have three children with IEP's. You all are my heros!

I am obviously upset by this news. Not because I am afraid of what needs to be done but because no one wants their child's life to be any harder than it needs to be. They say you only given as much as you can handle. I am trying to figure out how much that will be. I have come to expect things to go wrong and not get upset by these things. I am hoping there is a greater plan for the obstacles and struggles our family faces. I am lucky to have Frank by my side and together we make a good team.

So, that is it for now. We are letting it all sink in. We are going to be playing the waiting game. Waiting for the genetic results, waiting for audiology appointments. Hoping for the best but being prepared for whatever happens.

Here is a look at his audiogram:

And in case you are not familiar. Here is Colin's audiogram to compare. Colin's audiogram is just fine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost wordless. I came across these old pictures on my Mom's computer. These are some of my favorites.

This is the day after Calleigh was born when the boys came to see me

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. I need a vacation. Really. Frank and I have not been on vacation since September 2005. I know it won't happen but I thought I would say it anyway.

2. Yesterday, was exhausting, upsetting and sad and left me wondering about a lot of things in life.

3. I am not the "woe is me" type of person. I roll with the punches. But seems like so many punches sometimes.

4. I am trying my hardest to keep my "no candy" lent diet.

5. Life is not always fair. I have learned this lesson. I would appreciate not being taught any longer.

6. God only gives you what you can handle. (this is what people keep telling me)

7. The snow from yesterday is gone and I am hoping that is the last of it.

8. I have lots of people near and far who I am I lucky to know even if I never have met a few of them.

9. I love my Mom. I can't list all the reasons why but I love her.

10. I miss my Dad. I can't list all the reason why I miss him but I miss him and it still hurts he is gone.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

“May you always walk in sunshine. May you never want for more. May Irish angels rest their wings right beside your door.”

Happy St Patrick's Day from our house to your house.

The corned beef has been cooking for hours along with the potatoes, carrots and cabbage. We have been leprechaun hunting for hours. Some pesky lil leprechaun left green pee pee in the toilet! He also left green bagels and a pot of gold. Try as them might, the boys have yet to find him.

By the way, for those who read the blog...this is The Sweater....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ten ou Tuesday

Now it's Calleigh's turn

1. Calleigh has the most beautiful color red hair I have ever seen. I am not sure a picture can do it justice.

2. Calleigh lives up to the "red headed Irish temper" when she is frustrated. It sort of cracks me up.

3. Calleigh is silly and has a great sense of humor.

4. Calleigh eats anything and everything and ALOT.

5. Calleigh cannot hear music without dancing. She LOVES music.

6. Calleigh can sign "more", "milk", "banana", "crazy", "sunshine"

7. Calleigh is an inspiration.

8. Calleigh loves to come into the boys room when they are going to bed. I think she wants to sleep in their room.

9. Calleigh loves Ciaran almost as much as he loves her.

10. Calleigh might go to college drinking a bottle! All of my attempts to end the bottle have resulted in hmmmm...see #2 on the list!

11. Calleigh has lots of nicknames: Princess Smoocherella, The Smooch, Ruby Red, Sunshine. She actually answers to all of them!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Sweater

Frank has one sweater he has had forever. He rarely wears it bacause it's very heavy and it makes him hot. He usually brings it out every March since it's a nice Irish sweater. I love this sweater because he looks so handsome when he wears it but everytime he puts it on I get a flashback. It only last a minute but I can't get the memory out of my head.

I went into preterm labor with the triplets at 20 weeks. I was in the hopsital for contractions when all hell broke loose. So many doctors and nurses it was hard to comprehend what was happening. It went from contractions to a full blow emergency in a matter of minutes. They wound of bringing me to labor and delivery and I was put on Magnesium Sulfate. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. It's pretty much torture. You basically can't control your muscles. I could barely focus my eyes. It made me vomit. It made me feel like I was on FIRE even though it was not hot.

I kept asking for a fan because I was so hot. Fans are hard to find in a hospital. I remember looking over at Frank standing beside my bed and saying "I am sweating to death. I can't take it". Ths coming from a person who is ALWAYS cold. I look up at Frank and he is wearing this sweater. He was also wearing a hat. He is ALWAYS hot. I remember looking at him and thinking how on Earth could he not me sweating? He looked like he was shivering and I was practically naked begging for a fan!

It was right about then the doctor came in and starting explaining the situation in more detail to us. SHe was NOT my doctor but one of the residents. She starting telling us how if the labor didn't stop "they wouldnt take any life saving measures for the babies because I was too early (20 weeks)" She continued on giving us grim news and Frank said "that is not going to happen. Our babies will be fine". And she responded in a very unsensitive voice "you need to be prepared for the worst". She left shortly after.

I looked over at Frank, all bundled up in his sweater and hat and saw a single tear trickle down his face. Frank never cries and makes a point being OK even if he isn't because it will make me feel better. It broke my heart to see it because I knew how badly he wanted to make it all better but there was nothing he could do. He didn't want me to suffer the effects of the meagnesium but he knew there wasn't any choice. I wound up on Magnesium for over 12 hours and it didn't do much. I wound up taking Indocin which worked it's majic.

When it was all over and they sent me home I made a point to let my OB know the resident who talked to us would not be allowed in our delivery. I don't care what the rules of the hospital were.

So, every time Frank puts on that sweater I am instantly back in the hospital living in that moment. But I LOVE that he still wears that sweater. It is a reminder of what wonderful man I married. It makes me love him more for being who he is and KNOWING our babies would be just fine.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Cormac and I headed into NYC to NYU for a mapping yesterday. I really enjoy getting one on one time with each of the boys. Cormac LOVES going to "his city". He enjoys all the sights and sounds of the city.

Cormac asked me on the way in how they got the implants in his head and what they used to "cut him open". He has never asked these questions before yesterday. I explained to him that a surgeon used special tools (scalpel, drill) to put in his implants. He asked a few more questions and was satisfied with my answers.

When we got to NYU his surgeon just happened to be walking down the hall. We don't see his surgeon any longer and Cormac doesn't remember him. Cormac shook his hand and talked with him for a few minutes. After the surgeon left Cormac was so excited he got to meet him! It was so cute.

His mapping went well. He is always so cooperative it amazes me. He was able to really tell them about what he wanted for the first time. They showed him this chart (it was a little different because it didn't have the numbers but it was "too soft", "too loud" and "good"). He was able to answer each time what he thought about the sound. I was so impressed watching him point and answer. According to his audiologist he wanted more volume. So far, he is doing great on his new map. We went shopping on our way home and he was great in the store. Our audiologist gave him another map with a little less volume just in case when he got into the real world it was too loud.

I asked him today after school how it was and I quote "It was great. Love my map. I could hear really good".

While I was there I scheduled his annual review for August. IT WILL BE FOUR YEARS!!! How on earth did four years fly by so quickly? I cannot believe four years post activation. It doesn't seem possible. I remember his activation like it was yesterday. I remember all the excitement, fear, anticipation and worry. But today at 3 1/2 year post activation I feel all those same emotions but for different reasons. I was excited because he would be hearing and start to talk. Now I am excited to see what his future holds because I KNOW he has no boundaries. I feared for him because I was uncertain and didn't know what to expect. Now I fear only for lost parts to his implants. I used to worry if we were doing all the right things. Were we working with him enough. Was I going to be able to do make it through this journey. Now, I honestly don't worry about him any more than I worry about Ciaran and Colin. I anticipate amazing developments in technology in his future. I cannot even imagine what will be available to him in his lifetime!

We are in such a great place right now. I am so thankful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The thoughts of 4 year olds

I post lots of things the boys say on Facebook but this blog is my record of them so sorry to my FB friends if you are reading them twice!

Colin by far lately has been the king of the quotes to be remembered.

"I want to give this candy to Dad so he knows I appreciate him. Mom, you know I appreciate you."

"Wait, Mom, I have to kiss you on your heart so it will be there forever".

Colin sitting on the toilet and I say "What are you doing? #1 or #2? He says "what's that?" I say "#1 is pee pee and #2 is poop" He says "then what's a #16?

Cormac told me "When I marry Rachel (a girl in his class) she will have to change her name to "Lawrence" Colin says "Mom, since I am marrying you, you won't have to change your name".

Ciaran: Mom, I don't like Cormac's implants. Me: Why, you should love them because he can hear you and talk to you because of his implants. Ciaran: I MEANT I don't like his implants when they turn off because he won't listen to me!"

Colin and Cormac were discussing going to different places. Colin says" Mom, we need to take a plane to get to California and China but not Philadelphia, right?" I say yes. Cormac says "Mom, China is where Panda Bears live. How come we don't go there often?" It's funny how they have no concept of how far away a place it.

Ciaran's latest is he thinks both his brothers are stinkers. He calls them that all day long. But the funniest was when he looked out the window and saw rabbits eating flowers and says "Mom, those stinkin rabbits are eating all our flowers"

We ate at my mother in laws and she made homemade chicken stew. It's the best stew. I make it all the time for the boys and it's Ciaran's favorite meal. However, she adds some seasoning to hers I don't add because I know how picky they can be. Well, we hand Ciaran his bowl of stew and he says "Hey, why did Grandma put fly wings in my stew? I am not eating fly wings" I think it was parsley. He was so mad! The next morning she makes scrambled eggs. I give him eggs and he says "Hey, you said we were having eggs. Why did you give me mashed potatoes?" I swear he is nuts. I make our scrambled eggs very well done. I told him Grandma is going to kick you out soon!

Me: Tonight you are sleeping over Meema's house" Ciaran: "But where are u gonna sleep?" Me: "At our house" Colin: "All by yourself?" Me: "No, Daddy will be with me" Colin: (in a very silly voice)"That sounds a little bit like a date to me. Hey, wait a minute...that sounds like a SLEEPOVER date" LOL!

Me: "Would you like to take Karate?" Ciaran:"what's Karate?" Before I can tell him he says in the wildest voice while doing crazy karate chops "wait,Hi ya ya ya" If that's Karate I wanna do it."

Ciaran: "Mom, what's diareaha?" Me: "Why do you want to know?" Ciaran: "Cause I am pretty sure I have it".

Cormac and Ciaran having a conversation while playing. "Cormac, can you give me some of your play doh?" "Sure, Ciaran." And he breaks off a very small piece. Ciaran: "awww, c'mon, I can't do anything with that little piece" Cormac picks up a rolling pin and says "Ciaran, take the rolling pin and keep rolling it and rolling and it will get bigger and bigger and bigger." Cormac knew he was trying to be slick which I found very amusing.

Colin: "Mom, if I died would you say "I want my boy back and don't want him to be an angel?" Seriously, he said it in a voice I will never forget.

Ciaran calls candy "tandy". He can say candy but always says "tandy". He also says "mapkins" instead of napkins.

They say such funny things all day long. I am never sure what they are going to come out with at any given moment.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Calleigh stood up today without holding onto anything! She did it about 50 times! I, of course, couldn't get a picture of her standing all the way up. But you can see she did it! One of the problems? Everytime she did it the boys got so excited they started yelling and clapping. Calleigh would start to clap and yell and it would make her fall down! She sure has come a long way. If you could see how excited she is when she does it you would laugh or cry.

She even stood up and hugged Ciaran. I am pretty sure we can get her to anything as long as she gets to be by Ciaran.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

This Tuesday it's Cormac's turn.

1. Cormac loves to sleep.

2. Cormac gives the best and most random kisses when you least expect them and always make you feel better.

3. Cormac loves Princess'. Really loves them. We have tons of Princess toys and costumes. But his alltime favorite is Ariel.

4. Cormac has amazing fine motor skills. He has been able to write most of his letters since he was 2 with BOTH HANDS!

5. Cormac makes one face where he puts his tongue in the corner of his mouth and smiles and it melts my heart every time.

6. It drives Cormac nuts that Ciaran says "mapkins" instead of "napkins" and he corrects it every time.

7. Cormac's favorite blanket is called fuzzy. When he was about 13 months he started pulling his hair at night and it was coming out in clumps. Fuzzy was our solution. He sleeps with it every night and defuzzes it instead of his head. (Luckily, we have three of them since we were given one for each baby)

8. Cormac has fits of laughter where he just can't control it. It is priceless to hear.

9. Cormac has the longest attention span of any kid I know. His focus is amazing.

10. Cormac came out of the womb sucking his first two fingers on his right hand. He still does it whenever he is tired.

11. Cormac's zest for life and his thirst for knowledge is unmatched.

12. Cormac is an old soul. Since the day he was born people are just drawn to him. It's very bizarre.