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, May 29, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1.  Calleigh had her last day of physical therapy through early intervention today.  She has her last Speech and DI therapy this week too.  It will be the first time in six years we will not be in Early Intervention. 

2.  I am a volunteer for the boys Carnival Day tomorrow.  It is going to be so much fun.

3.  The boys are pretty much done with school.  Thursday and Friday are it.  Monday is beach day and Tuesday is graduation.

4.  We had a beyond amazing Memorial Day weekend.  Perfect weather.  Lots of family and friends. 

5.  Cormac used his Neptunes for the first time in the ocean.... it was a really cool experience.  To see him splashing and playing, belly boarding and swimming while hearing... no words to describe how I felt.  He loved it.  Not to mention how much calmer I felt about his safety. 

6.  A total stranger starting talking to us on the beach.  She saw Cormac's implants and wanted to know what they were.  Turns out she has a son who lost his hearing in one ear just recently and they are exploring their options to see what is possible for him.  I love when people see him and I can help in any way.

7.  As I type this I am sitting on the porch smelling the ocean and enjoying the cool breeze.  The boys are painting at the table.  It's such a relaxing place to be. 

8.  Frank and I are planning on putting the babysitter to use again for us to enjoy an evening out with some cousins.  Drinks...on a deck...overlooking the I need to say more???

9.  I love we can ride our bikes anywhere.  Some much easier to get around.

10.  I hope you all are planning to enjoy every little bit of Summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The unofficial start of the summer....

Memorial Day weekend is the real kick off of Summer.  (At least in NJ)  I cannot remember a Memorial Day weekend when I did not  go down the shore for the weekend.  It was all about who was going and when they were leaving and how much traffic you might hit on the way down.  But it didn't matter.  Once you arrived...all was good.  It's always colder in the evenings and we never seemed prepared for the cold.  Someone ALWAYS got sunburned pretty bad and many, many cocktails were always part of the weekend.  Most of those weekends were spent with my sisters and we made some serious memories at the Jersey Shore.  Both of them met their husbands down the shore as a matter of fact!

It hit me today...I don't need to get ready...we are already here!  We will be preparing for the crowds this weekend. Parking will be more difficult but I just love it!  Summer is just such a great time.  We have some fun plans for the long weekend.

Friday morning the band Train is playing a free show walking distance from our house!  Since the boys LOVE Train we are going to try our hardest to get in to see them.  Wish us luck.  To see their faces when the band sings their favorite words.  It will be beyond cute to see their reaction.

We are planning to go to a Memorial Day Parade to honor those who gave their lives so we could live the wonderful life we live now.The rest of the weekend will be filled with beach, BBQ's, family, friends and fun.  I am hoping the weather cooperates. 

It will be our first Summer with The Neptunes....
We had a little preview of Summe weather last weekend...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

                                   Practicing their pyramid building skills.

                                                    Colin adn his BFF
                   A little TV before bed means we all sit in one chair.
               Calleigh never sleeps without her ladybug pillow pet.

What is there to say about these two???  They are wearing my  wedding tiara....It might actually look better on Cormac than it did on me. LOL

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

Ten TOTALLY unrelated rambling thoughts for Tuesday.

1. Driving in the truck and Cormac asked to have his window down.  He has his head  leaning part way out the window and his hair is blowing.  I turn on the radio and Adele is on.  He starts singing along with the song!  Thank you Clearvoice!

2. Colin told me "Mom, I will never stop loving you.  Even when I am 100 years old... I will still love you".
3. Cormac and Ciaran talking in the car.  Cormac :"So, Ciaran, let's talk about Unicorns".  Ciaran: "Really, Cormac, I hate Unicorns."  Insert Cormac laughing hysterically because he totally knew how Ciaran would react to the question.
4.  Calleigh's newest thing to say is "where's ? (whatever or whoever she is looking for) and then when she finds it's "Oh, there it is."  She does it a hundred times a day and it's adorable every time.

5.  Feeding giraffes at the Safari at Great Adventure today was so exciting!  I had never done it before so it was just as thrilling for me as the kids.  I am so happy I was able to make the class trip.  Thanks to my Mom for coming down to watch Calleigh.

6.  Two quickies about Cormac related to his implants:  At school the kids get there name on the board if the are not being good listeners.  Cormac told me yesterday he was put on the board once.  I was shocked to hear this and asked why??  He said" because I just can't stop talking to my best friend Mia."  So, as a parent you never want your child to get in trouble but as the parent of a deaf kid you secretly smile because he got in trouble for talking :)  On the school trip we were in an outdoor auditorium.  They were bringing out different animals for the kids to see.  They asked if anyone had any questions.  I swear, Cormac had a question after every animal.  He is always the FIRST kid to have a question or volunteer to talk.  He was allowed to pet the pot belly pig because "he asked such great questions". LOVE LOVE LOVE

7. Calleigh has perfected the temper tantrum.  Seriously.  My boys never did this.  Ever.  It is a whole new experience for me.  One I am not enjoying too much.  I keep thinking "Can you imagine if all three boys did this???"  I understand she is frustrated because of her language delay.  She gets so aggravated when we don't know what she wants.  BUT I know she can use her words.  She sometimes chooses  not to.  I am being tough on her lately and not giving in to her unless she talks.  Hopefully, this will pass quickly.

8.  One month of school left!!!

9.  I am looking forward to Summer!  Really looking forward to Summer.  I am counting the days.

10.  The countdown has begun to going to AG Bell in excited. 

Friday, May 4, 2012


Cormac received Clearvoice yesterday on his sound processors.  Clearvoice is a new processing strategy that works with already existing HiRes 120 fidelity processing.  Below is a description from Advanced Bionics website:

Clinically Proven to Help You Hear Speech Significantly Better in Noise

Advanced Bionics proudly offers ClearVoice™*, the industry’s first and only sound processing innovation that enhances speech understanding. ClearVoice is also the industry's only sound processing technology that has been clinically proven to deliver superior hearing performance in noise.

The clear choice for confident communication, ClearVoice provides you with the unique opportunity to converse more effortlessly in noisy settings, understand your favorite song lyrics, enjoy the world around you, and hear your best at any moment and any place your day takes you.
Built on AB’s proprietary HiRes Fidelity 120™* technology, ClearVoice has been designed to automatically analyze and adapt to each listening situation that you encounter throughout the day, separating the distracting noises from what you want to hear most—speech.

This sophisticated technology has been developed to help you communicate clearly and easily in challenging listening situations, including restaurants, cars and classrooms—without making adjustments to your sound processor.

What was Cormac's first reaction to Clearvoice after walking out onto First Avenue in Manhattan? (I didn't say anything to him first.  I just wanted to see how he reacted)  He says "Wait, Mommy, I don't hear the cars so loud anymore but I can hear you really good"

I think the best way it was described to me is to use the car as an example. Driving in the car is a noisy experience.  Those of us with typical hearing can even have a hard time hearing in the car with all the competing noise.  The wind, the tires.  What Clearvoice does is analyze the situation.  After three seconds it picks out what constant (static) sounds are taking away from the ability to hear speech.  It suppresses the constant noise so speech is so much easier to hear.  So, in the car it will suppress the noise of the car tires, the window open and Cormac can hear me talking to him.  It does not suppress it completely. 

Normally, in the car I always talk a bit louder than you would think.  With Clearvoice I can just talk in a normal voice!  I drive a Suburban.  (with four kids in car seats you options are limited)  Before Clearvoice I noticed a HUGE difference in how well he could hear me from the second row to the third row.  Now, it's a level playing field wherever he sits!

Our audiologist was very conservative with how she programmed Cormac.  She said sometimes younger kids react strangely to new programming with such dramatic results.  Clearvoice is available in three levels; high, medium and low.  Here is where it gets a little technical and I'm sorry if I lose any of you who are not as familiar with all the programming details.

On a daily basis Cormac wears his T-mic and is on a 100% t-mic program.  What this means is he get 100% of his input from his T-mic microphone and it doesn't use the ear level microphone at all.  This creates the most natural hearing for Cormac.  Our audiologist didn't put Clearvoice on this program.  She wanted to leave him one program without it in case he didn't like it. 

Cormac can have three maps on his processors.  So, we left one in the old program.  Cormac wears a personal FM system when he goes to school.  Our audiologist also didn't put it on his FM program he wears to school.   I wanted her to put it on this program but she said she wanted to see his reaction first.  Since we only have four weeks left of school it's not really an issues.  So, program two is his FM program.

The third program we added Clearvoice medium on a 50/50 spilt.  It' s 50% t-mic and 50% ear level with Clearvoice.  Cormac doesn't usually wear a 50/50 split but this is where she wanted to try it.  I trust my audiologist and went with her recommendations.  We go back in 8 weeks instead of the usual 3-4 months and will make adjustments from there.  I  am pretty sure we will add it to all his programs when we go back. 

I should add this was all on his Harmonies (behind the ear processors).  On his Neptunes he doesn't have the option for a T-mic until it is released this summer.  On his Neptunes es has it on two programs and not on one because he has an FM program on his Neptunes in case he wants to wear them to school.

So far, we have seen I very positive reaction.  The car ride home from NYC was a little over an hour of driving.  Talking with him was much easier.  I didn't have to repeat myself.  He drove with the window down for a while and was able to hear my voice with the window down as well. 

Just a few quick notes.  Even though it suppresses the background noise it does not eliminate it totally.  I think that would seem very unnatural for him.  It only suppresses constant noise so if a car is zooming by or an ambulance he would hear it like normal.  My personal opinion is it will be awesome for school and compliment the FM system.  Classes are noisy.  Most people don't realize how much constant background noise is going on in a classroom. ( a computer running, a fan, the lawnmower outside the window can think of plenty of ideas)  It will not suppress voices of friends in the room since that are not static.  When we go back in a few weeks I will add it to his FM program as long as he continues to like it.  School will be out for the summer but we can start trying it out over the summer is classroom like situations.  (the boys are going to a Mad Science camp for one week. Just mornings.)

So far, this has been my take on Clearvoice.  It's only been less than 24 hours so I am sure I will have more to report as the days go on.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Just for today...

Just for today I wish I didn't have to worry about charging implants , replacing hearing aid batteries, charging FM systems and neck loops.  Making sure FM and neckloops are working properly. 

Just for today I wish I didn't have to think about  three IEP meetings. 

Just for today I  wish I didn't have three therapy appointments this week along with two doctors appointments and a PT evaluation.

Just for today I wish I had all the answers to Calleigh's medical mysteries.

Just for today I wish things could be a little simpler in our lives.

 But that's just for tomorrow it will all just be our normal again.....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1.  The boys were off from school yesterday.  We were supposed to go the the Intrepid Museum in NYC.  Calleigh woke up at 3:30am for the day and was running a fever by morning.  Needless to say our plans changed.  I was disappointed but we will go another day.

2.  We did take some time to go up to the beach and playground today.  I figure the sea air would be good for Calleigh and the boys couldn't spend the day in the house.

3.  We took our training wheels off our bikes!  Two out of three are doing it and the third (Cormac) can do it just fine but freaks out when he realizes I am no longer holding him.  It took all of five minutes for the them to do it.  I am pretty sure they could have had them off a while ago.

4.  I find my job to be so rewarding.  I love to see the looks on the customer's faces when they are able to have a phone conversation.  I have really been enjoying my job and look forward to going to my appointments.  Having a paycheck is kinda of nice too!

5.  Cormac is getting Clearvoice on Thursday.  I am very excited for him.  He doesn't really understand it but I have been explaining it to him.  I think he is going to really like it.

6.  I have another meeting with the school district next week about Calleigh.  We need to get her IEP worked out in the next month.

7.  Calleigh ages out of early intervention on 6/10/12.  This will be the FIRST time in SIX years I will not have early intervention coming to our house.  Cormac started when he was only about two months old  since he didn't pass his newborn hearing screening. 

8.  The boys will be graduating Kindergarten in a month!  I cannot believe it.  I know I will emotional when they graduate.  I am so proud of them.  They have grown so much this year.

9.  Summer vacation starts in a month!  WOO HOOO!! I can't wait to spend some time on the beach and in the ocean.  I signed the boys up to a week of Mad Science camp.  It's for 3 hours and I know they will love it.

10.  We are scheduled to see a different ENT and another audiologist at Columbia in NYC.  It's the same doctore Ciaran saw when we were told about his hearing loss.  After this testing we will see where we stand with Calleigh's possible hearing loss.