Monday, September 28, 2009

Unexpected Surprise!

AVA SAYS "APPLE"!!!!!!!!

Please let me tell you the story of our unexpected surprise at about 5:30pm tonight. I was cooking dinner. As usual, Ava was impatient because by 5pm she is a starving green eyed monster who MUST EAT at 5pm (like her daddy lol!) Well, as usual, dinner is not ready at 5pm, so poor little Ava has to WAIT and wait and wait......So, she starts to whine a little. The pasta is boiling away. I decide to pick up my hungry child and bounce her on my hip while I stir the pasta. I move over to the kitchen window and stare outside, watching the leaves fall from the trees and thinking how autumn has arrived and we should close the pool soon. And out of nowhere, without warning, Ava leans over from my hip, points to the apple on the window sill and says "a-pple" just. like.that. "a-pple". As clear as it could ever be. As clear as if I had said it. Two concise clear syllables; pronouncing each vowel and consonant "a-pple" just. like. that. I pause and just stare.....totally disbeliving....what.I.just.heard. I scream for my husband...."DID YOU HEAR THAT? SHE SAID APPLE!!!!!" Ava has never, ever said apple. Ava has never even had a word approximation for apple. Nada, never,zilch. HOLY CRAP i just about fainted. It was the most unexpected yet sweet surprise I have ever had IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! It was beautiful and insane at the same time. I said to my husband, "do you think she will say it again?" I grab the apple out of Ava's hands (already half devoured by her!). My husband positions the video button on his i-Phone......and here is the precious video....

So, I dedicate this video for all my friends who have precious children who are blessed to have (or are about to receive) cochlear implants. Ava is 14 months old and has been hearing for just under five months. And today, without warning or expectation, she said apple. Just.Like.That. I am so HAPPY! She is the "ap-ple" of my eye.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ava's Song

Ever since I started writing this blog, it really has been all about...well, Ava of course. But just as important are the members of Ava's family who all play a fundamental role in her journey. Ava is very fortunate to have Markus as her daddy (and I as his wife). Markus is a children's singer/songwriter. He has appeared on Treehouse Tv and wrote and performed the live stage show for Bob the Builder , which has toured all across Canada. Markus also wrote a live stage show for Toopy and Binoo, which is currently touring across Canada. Ava's daddy wrote her a song, which was performed for the first time at Union Hearing Aid Centre's annual "Hear Here" fundraiser. I am proud to post the "unplugged" version of the song, along with the lyrics. To hear the song, click on "Ava's Song" on the sidebar to hear the song OR scroll down to the very bottom of the page and there's a music player with a video montage of the song. The song is currently being mastered at the studio and the mastered version will be posted in time. So grab some tissues, hold your beautiful child and enjoy......

Ava's Song - Words and Music by Markus 2009 all rights reserved

I listen to the wind in the trees
I understand when you talk to me
All the sounds that are part of me
I hear the love of my family

My life is filled with sounds to enjoy
I sing with Daddy when we play with toys
I laugh with Mommy and the girls and boys
All I hear brings me love and joy

It's the words I hear when you talk to me
It's the songs I sing when you sing with me
All the world is opening up for me
When I listen and I hear

I listen to the wind in the trees
I understand when you talk to me
All the sounds that are part of me
I hear the love of my family

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Where has the summer gone?

I can't believe it's September! School starts in a few days as well as hockey, gymnastics, dance lessons, homework, school least if the weather holds up we should still get in another month of swimming.

Ava resumed her AVT about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Boy does it feel good to have that therapy back. Ava has been hearing for 4 months now and she is 14 months old. She is now at the stage where she is using jargon and sounds like she has her own language. It can be quite amusing, especially when she is angry. If her older sister takes a toy away from her, she will use this really angry jargon at her sister. I can only imagine what the real interpretation is.

Ava's receptive language has really exploded. She seems to understand everything. She can point to 7 body parts when asked. She can do the actions to 3 different songs on verbal cues alone. She can pick the correct object out of a group of 3 or 4 objects when asked "give me the ______" She turns to her name consistently. She understands (but doesn't obey) "no" (she thinks its a funny game instead). Her favourite thing to do is to go upside down on all fours. Here is a video of her doing it on my verbal cue alone.

She still isn't walking yet. She is so close but really not that interested. She can stand alone and hold her balance really well and cruise all over but she would rather crawl - and she does this at lightening speed! Anyone else out there have late walkers?

We spent a weekend in August at the annual VOICE camp. It was held at Bark Lake in Irondale, Ontario. It was our first time there and my husband Markus was asked to do a concert for the kids. It was the most fantastic time ever. We met so many really wonderful families and it was great to swap stories and tips with other parents of kids with CI's and hearing aids. It was really well organized with activities for the babies and kids of all ages - canoeing, fishing, hiking, high ropes, beach and great food. We are looking forward to coming back year after year. Thank you to Rhonda and Shawna for making us feel so welcome. Here are a few pictures.

I will close with a quote from a VOICE poster. I read it a couple weeks ago and it had quite an effect on me and sums up how right we were in our decision to have Ava implanted.
"I am 5 years old. I like school, especially gym. I talk to my daddy when he calls me from work. I tell my dog Scooter stories. I listen to music. I am deaf, I can speak and I have a voice."