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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Summer is in full swing for us. I love Summer. Wait, did I say I love Summer. We just returned from a long weekend in Wildwood, NJ. We are blessed to have some really great family friends. We were away with Frank's neighbors from where he grew up. There are 6 siblings in the family. Frank has always kept in touch with two of them but he hadn't seen the rest in a really long time. They were all there with all their kids. I think there were about 40 of us all together. I don't think I have ever met a nicer family. Old friends of Frank's and new friends for me and people we will always stay in touch with.

2. I am preparing for another trip this weekend. We are leaving for Vermont on Saturday. My uncle and aunt have a beautiful home in Killington. We have spent all our 4th of Julys in Vermont for so many years I can't remember. Both my sisters go along with their children so it's an awesome time for all of us to be together.

3. We will be attending the Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention from July 8th to 10th. It is held is Sturbridge.. This will be our first time attending. I am really looking forward to seeing some friends and meeting some new families. The convention has some great speakers and tons of stuff for the kids to do while they are there.

4. We made our own sidewalk chalk today. It is hardening over night. I am hoping it works. This was a science project of the day. I am hoping to do a few a week. Keep their little brains stimulated over the summer.

5. Three more days until we pick up Ciaran's hearing aids!

6. The house is DONE!! (well, except for the new light fixture and mailbox) but it looks AWESOME. It's so hard to make such a huge decision. One you have to live with for a long time. I am thrilled with the color. I love the window we chose. I will upload a before and after if I can.

7. Ciaran and Cormac are now swimming without any floaties as long as they can stand on their tippy toes. I am confident they could swim in deeper water but they still are not ready to try. Colin is close to doing it as well but he is my nervous nelly. All three of them will jump off a diving board and go down a slide into the deep end.

8. Calleigh is a fish. She gets so excited when she sees water. I can put her totally under water and she thinks it's the best thing ever. If I sit her on the edge of the pool she just leans off he side and plops into the water to whoever is waiting.

9. Wants to fully enjoy "fun drinks of the deck" while in Vermont. I have to come up with a new drink.

10. I have realized I am mildly addicted the ID network (Investigation Discovery). I am not sure why I watch this channel all the time.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Such a typical moment...

We just returned from an amazing couple of days away with some really awesome people. I plan to post pictures and all about it but I wanted to write this down.

You see the picture above? Those were most of the "kids". I know some of them are older but they all sat at the kid table when we went out to dinner. (except for Calleigh LOL) I sat at the adult table with about 16 adults. We had two very long tables. I had my back to the kids table. We were lucky because the older girls totally took care of the boys. All that to say, I always have the worry in my head. "It's so noisy in here, will Cormac be able to hear and follow the conversation?, will everyone understand him? will he be overwhelmed?"

So, I am sitting with my back to him but I could hear him. And I was also able to just observe him. And you know what? He was just another kid sitting at the kid table talking to everyone around him. He ordered his own food. (ravioli and meatballs) He asked for a glass of water when the waitress asked him what he wanted to drink. He talked the ENTIRE time to the people around him. He told them he wanted to be a dentist. He told them about constellations and outer space. He told them the school he goes to where he lives.

This weekend was the first time he had ever met ANY of the kids at the table. Not once did anyone NOT understand him. Not once did he seem out of his element. He was just, well, he was just "Cormac". Even after four years some things still never get old and still amaze me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

July 1st

That is the date we FINALLY pick up Ciaran's hearing aids. Took some time and searching but we found an absolutely awesome audiologist. Ciaran's hearing loss is not typical. I guess some audiologists were just not experienced enough to handle his loss. Since he only has loss in the mid frequencies you don't want to aid the high and the low. By putting in an ear mold you have to be careful to not take away his access to the frequencies he can hear.

Of course, we are picking up the hearing aids the day we leave for vacation for 10 days. Not the ideal situation but it is what it is. We need him to be really comfortable with them before school starts. I already showed him what they will look like and he seems like he is really good with it. I am not sure how he is going to react to the ear molds. The ear molds are by far my biggest concern. He gets bothered by stuff. Things sometime bother him but we will see how it goes.

After much consideration, we went with
Phonak Nios. It was the best fit for his loss. The audiologist ran his audiogram through the various software programs for Oticon and Phonak. Phonak is owned by Sonova which also owns Advanced Bionics. So, we are staying in the same family of companies. Phonak is the leader in the miniaturization of hearing aids. They are bringing their knowledge together with Advanced Bionics to create much smaller processors for implants. Cormac will benefit greatly from this merger.

You can see it in the picture below. It looks much bigger in this picture. It is so tiny especially compared to Cormac's processors. It will only take up about 1/4 of his ear. We went with a neutral color hearing aid and mold. He wants green because it is favorite color. We will use stickers to decorate. With the cost of these little suckers I don't want to be locked into one color only to have him decide he doesn't like it any longer. With him starting Kindergarten in the fall who knows how he will feel when September rolls around.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day 2011

It was a great day all around. Only thing that would have made it better would have been to be able to be with my father. I still miss him every day. I struggle with the knowledge my boys will forget him and it breaks my heart. Calleigh never met him since he passed away while I was pregnant. He passed away two years ago on the boys' 3rd birthday. I have never been to the cemetery because it was always simply overwhelming for me to go.

Yesterday, I finally forced myself to go. Frank and I went with the kids. And while it was sad and I cried it also made me feel OK. The boys asked lots of questions and I was happy to answer them. It was an opportunity to tell them great things about him. They all "talked" to him and said very sweet things. Colin said "how come I can't hear him answer me?" I told him you have to listen with your heart and not your ears.

Calleigh sat in the grass (something she doesn't like too much) and placed flowers all on her own and "talked" away. It was like she was at peace while she was there. Almost eerie. She was just playing and smiling.

After that we headed up to Frank's brother's house to celebrate his birthday and Father's Day. My kids love seeing their cousins, Corinne and Gavin. Great food, great company and alot of fun.

I couldn't ask for a better Dad for my children. Frank loves our children so much. He is great with them and loves to play with them. Notice his shirt? They picked it out for him and he had to wear on Father's Day. Calleigh, on the other hand, has Frank wrapped around her finger. She totally knows it already. We are headed for big trouble in her teenage years if he can't stop spoiling her!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Christening of Aunt Trisha's pool by the Lawrence Family!

My sister and her husband got a pool. This is the first summer with it and we made our first trip to try it out! When we aren't at the beach we will have some good times at the pool. Calleigh is apparently a water bug. She literally was going under and would not get out of the pool. She was kicking and just loving it. The boys, well, they are just fish. They will spend every second in the water. Cormac didn't want to hear in the water today so he went without his cap. He is just as happy with or without it. What's even funnier is how you can have a whole converstation with him and he just talks back. We had to remind his cousins he couldn't hear!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Sigh of relief

We have finally found an audiologist for Ciaran! She is the third person we have seen (on top of the two hearing tests). I was hoping to find someone in NJ so we didn't have to go into the city more often than necessary. The first place was not capable at all. I won't even get into the details but due to them we were delayed over two weeks only to find out we would have to go somewhere else. The next place took our appointment and we had another two week wait. Two days before the appointment the audiologist herself called me to tell me she reviewed his records and didn't think she was the right person for him. I am glad she was honest but wish it didn't take another two weeks.

Yesterday, we went to Summit Hearing Aid. I was not full of confidence when I arrived but went with an open mind. She was so awesome. She asked all the questions I thought she would ask. She was already contacting his school to confirm which FM system would be in place so it would be a good match with the hearing aid she chose. She said his hearing loss "is uncommon and very hard to aid" and requres an aid that is more high end (just our luck). She wants him to have an aid that "he can grow with him" (ie, Ipods, cell phones, etc) so he can keep those little expensive suckers longer. I really felt great when we left.

We will make the final decision on Monday on which hearing aid he will wear. She is waiting to talk to his school. It looks like we will be going with a Phonak. At least we will keep it in the family. Sonova is the parent company for Phonak and Advanced Bionics (Cormac's implant compay).

I am so happy I kept searching for the right person. I am so thankful for Summit Speech School and in particular, Ellen, their audiologist who helped me so much. And not because she had to help but because that is the kind of person she is and the type of place Summit Speech School is.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The other day I noticed Cormac was only wearing one implant while playing on the front lawn. My usual panic set in and I asked him where it was. He is usually pretty great about putting them in his pocket if one falls off but he is still only 5 years old. So, he says, don't worry Mom. I put it right here....

It is stuck to the door of my truck. He says "the truck is metal so the magnet will stick to it and I won't lose it" He tests everything to see if it's metal by sticking his magnet to it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Our house in nearly 1/2 done with the new siding :) I am so excited and can't wait until it finished. We have waited 7 1/2 years to do it. New roof and new siding, new front window!

2. Having your step father doing the siding is priceless. The boys spent 5 hours outside today with Pop Pop and Phil (Pop Pop's employee) and they helped the enitre time. I swear it was just awesome. They loved it. They only came inside to use the bathroom. They also learned so much. God bless Phil, he was on the ground the whole day so had to answer the brunt of the questions! I on the other hand, put away 5 loads of laundry, cleaned one bathroom, got rid of all of the boys clothes they outgrew, organized Calleigh's room and made a nice dinner... did I say PRICELESS????

3. I have one of the busiest weeks ahead. Three appointments tomorrow. Two on Wednesday, four on Thursday and two on Friday. I am exhausted just thinking about it!

4. Looking forward to a fun weekend. Some good kiddie time but also some time out with just some big kids!

5. Calleigh is so darn close to taking steps. She can stand for so long and do squats but she just wont take a step.

6. Calleigh is also turning out to be a really great signer. She isn't talking much yet but if you show her a sign she can do it immediately. It is really helping in our communication.

7. Is very happy this week is not going to be so hot since we won't be able to get down the shore.

8. Very happy with our summer reading program from school. Boys are already loving it and can't find out enough about Rainforests! We have been reading even more than usual and I just love it.

9. We are heading to
Wildwood Crest
the end of next week and am really looking forward to it!

10. Can't wait for the
Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention. I booked our room already and am very excited. The whole family will be there with lots to do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A very nice compliment

I was at the mall Tuesday on the search for some beach hats for the boys with no success. We sat down to have some lunch. While we were eating pizza we were talking about synonyms, antonyms and similes. It was such a very normal converstation. The kids were just naming examples of each. "Fast as a rocket, sleeping like a log, hard as a rock, up/down, above/below, toss/throw, jump/hop, twirl/twist" They had some really good ones I can't remember.

Two ladies sitting near us approached and said "are they triplets?" I said yes. I was thinking I was going to get some silly comment made to me because that seems to be the norm. She says "are you homeschooling them?" I say "oh, no. we just finished preschool for the summer". She says "I overheard you talking to them and I assumed you must be homeschooling. The things they are talking about and asking are amazing for their ages." She also said she was a retired teacher. I explained to her Cormac has implants and our family is very focused on language and listening. She said "well, it sure is working!"

So nice to hear from a complete stranger!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. We are officially on Summer break as of June 1st! I LOVE IT ALREADY! We have been down the shore for lots of days already.

2. We attended Kindergarten orientation at St. Catherine's. It was mostly for the kids to meet their future teacher and they got a tour of their new classroom along with all the other rooms they will now get to use in the fall.

3. The theme for our Summer Reading Program is "Let's Explore the Rainforest". I am very excited for this theme because the boys will love it. If we complete all our reading the boys get a NUD day at school. (No uniform day)

4. I seriously love the beach. It is by far my favorite place to be. I am so happy and blessed that Maggie (my mother in law)lives at the beach. We are always welcome and the kids love going there.

5. Finds it annoying Spring no longer exists. It goes from 45 degrees to 90+ in a week.

6. Cormac will have two only 3 more therapy sessions and be done for the Summer. Two days when I won't have to be up and out of the house by 8:15am! YIPPEE!!! He will resume services in the Fall and it will only be one hour per week.

7. Calleigh has CLIMBED THE STAIRS!! Yep. Last week she did it for the first time. She was so damn proud of herself it was adorable. The is really making some great progress the last two weeks. She is getting UCJB's (I think those are the intitals) for her ankles to give her a little extra support. I think she will be walking in no time. She doesn't want to crawl any longer and is spending more time cruising. She is also knee walking which means she wants to be mobile without her hands being on the ground so it's a great sign.

8. Calleigh turns TWO on Friday!! Two already. WOW

9. Signing the boys up for Summer tennis again. They loved it the last two years.

10. My blog might be slightly neglected in the Summer because I will be too busy enjoying my time with the family! Hoping I can keep up with it though since i now can update the blog from my phone (I think I can anyway)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A new Chapter...

Yep. We did it. We graduated PreK 4 and are moving on to Kindergarten. It was a joyous moment. It was a sad moment. It was a memorable moment. Sad because I am losing my babies. Five years flew by in the blink of an eye. I am blessed to have been able to stay home with them for five years. I didn't miss a minute of their lives. I tried to be always hands on and guide them. I ignored lots of laundry and messes to just play with them. And you know what? I still feel like it wasn't enough time.

That said, it's been an incredible five years. The best five years of my life. To say this is an accomplishment is an understatement. Some thought it wasn't possible. Some thought Cormac might have to be in a different school from his brothers. I never thought it for one moment. If it was for his best interest I would have done it but I knew in my heart my three would be together. My heart used to break when Ciaran and Colin would crawl off and play together and Cormac didn't realize they left because he could not hear. That all came to a griding hault once Cormac got his implants and could hear. He became a natural leader.

What amazes me the most is how Cormac appears to do it all so effortlessly. To anyone watching they have no idea how much hard work and concentration it takes for him to achieve "effortless". But I know. I know how tiring it can be. I know he LOVES being up there. I know he is bound to miss something in such a loud gymnasium with so many people but from where I am sitting it is not apparent. I know his brothers next to him give him support and love and understanding. And if he does miss something I know they will help him.

They have learned so much. They have grown so much. From September to June they are different kids. They have made friends. They have developed so many different interests. Some of the interests are the same and some are different. I love how they are so different from each other and yet can still come together and work so well as a team. They are so happy all the time. They love to talk. (I mean, it's actually overwhelming at times LOL) They are in no way shy AT ALL. They love to learn new things. They ask questions I would not expect from preschoolers. They show real interest in new subjects. Their attention spans have really expanded.

I am so pleased with our decison to send them to their Preschool. Their teacher was the most loving teacher. She was so great with the boys. They honestly love her. We will miss her next year. Luckily, they will see her because they are stying in the same school.

I am so comfortable with my decision to keep them in their current school. It really seems like the right place for our family. I look forwarrd to many years of happiness while our children attend school.

It's hard to write this post because I in no way want to make it all about Cormac because it is not. Make no mistake, I am just as proud of Colin and Ciaran. They are superb students and so very smart. I owe so much to Ciaran and Colin. They are by far the best speech models. We are so lucky to have built in speech models living with us! Although I write this blog about our whole family I started doing to so other parents could see what is possible for their children and see how amazing a child born deaf can do with cochlear implants so I feel it's necessary to point out certain things about Cormac.

This could not have been said better....

Please take the time to read this great post by a fellow blogging Mom whose son also has implants. It's perfect and could not have been said any better.

OUR JOURNEY: just saying ...: "... most of the time it's fine. In fact, more than most of the time you don't think twice about it. second nature like. Get up in the mornin..."