Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Airplane noises

I just wanted to quick share a fun thing that happened with Ellie's class today! Her teacher, Kelly, always brings different toys each week for Ellie to play with. Today she had the cars, trucks, helicopters, and airplanes (and many others!) :) Kelly was making the airplane noise (ahhhhhhhh)--start low pitch, go higher, and come back down again. Then she showed Ellie the airplane and Ellie did the same noise! This is so awesome to see Ellie copy a noise that she has actually heard!

Ellie has been experimenting with her "soprano" voice for the past few days. It sounds like she is whining all day--Kelly calls it singing. :) She is just constantly making high-pitched noises! The only problem is that we can't really tell when she is actually whining...we just figure that she experimenting with her voice. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Music :)

This past weekend, Ellie started dancing to music! It is difficult to tell when she is actually dancing to the sound of music because she dances all the time. We have a CD player that lights up when it spins, so Ellie learned early on (when she couldn't hear anything) that when it lights up, we dance. However, I have a CD that first has some talking for about 10-15 seconds, then the music begins. This past Saturday, Ellie didn't do anything during the talking part, but she started dancing when the music began! Then she did the same thing a little later in the day! It was fun to see, and to know that she is distinguishing between music and talking. :) I'll try to get it on video sometime!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hearing Test

Ellie had her hearing test yesterday. She showed reactions starting around 35 dB, which would be like normal talking volume. Yay! It was kind of a difficult hearing test for us to get through because she kept on having meltdowns...I'm not sure why...we thought maybe she didn't like Jack's voice coming through the speaker, but at the same time, she didn't always react negatively to his voice. But we will do another one for sure before school gets out for the summer! I'm very happy with these results!

I'm not sure if I explained this before, but when we go to the audiologist for reprogramming Ellie's processor, she sets 3 different programs with program 1 being the softest. We had the processors reprogrammed last week Wednesday, but we haven't been able to get past program 1. Every time I try to turn it up a little bit, Ellie starts to get fussy and clingy to me. So I guess we will take it very slowly! :) We definitely don't want to scare her!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I have been trying to get a reaction out of Ellie to the sound, "shhhh." Tonight, while she was playing very quietly at her kitchen, I said "shhh" behind her back and she jumped a mile!! She was all excited and came running to me. :) The other day, we were playing outside and she started to walk down the driveway (away from me.) I said, "Ellie," and she turned around and came back! It's so convenient that I can just say her name instead of running down the driveway to get her. :) So we definitely can tell that she is hearing quite a bit. Even though she doesn't always pay attention to us, at least we know that she is hearing us. This Wednesday, we are going to Shawnee Park to have a hearing will be interesting to see what she is actually able to hear!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ellie's Appointment

We had Ellie's appointment today. Darcy was very happy with how great Ellie has been accepting new sounds! She reprogrammed Ellie's processor so that we can continue to increase the volume. I asked her when the volume will be a "normal" hearing volume, and she said it should only take another 3-4 weeks. At that point, we will stop increasing the volume and give Ellie a chance to listen and learn. She is hearing all these words and sounds for the first time, so she needs some time to process everything.

Friday, April 9, 2010

More Sounds--Day 3

It has been another fun day of watching Ellie react to different sounds. I went on a walk with her and she turned her head to the bark of a dog...a first! I blew raspberries while her back was turned to me and she looked back at me and smiled and came running to me. :) This evening, I turned the volume up even more and she was reacted many times to our voices! However, when she gets tired or bored (especially in the evening), she takes her implants off. This can get VERY frustrating because we will sit by her for 15 or 20 minutes just putting her implants back on and then she tears them off, we put them on, she tears them off, we put them on, etc...

Here are some pictures of her wearing her implants and the harness that hold the body processors...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A New World--Day 2!

We had such a fun day today, so I wanted to share it with you all! I put Ellie's implants on this morning and she kept on wanting to take them off...we battled for a good 20 minutes, but after that, she just forgot about them and was fine. I brought her to Joe's mom's house so that I could teach some piano lessons this morning. Before I left, I turned the volume up a little bit. She looked up right away and got a huge grin on her face and started running back and forth from me to the toys. It was hilarious! I was gone for a couple of hours, and when I got back, I turned up the volume a little bit more. She smiled really big again and ran around the circle of people giving hugs to everybody. So funny! :) I'm just so happy that she likes to hear the sound. I was kind of imagining her always wanting to pull them off of her head, but she just loves them!

This evening I went with my parents to get a swing set that I bought off of Craigslist. My dad was taking it apart and hammering some screws out. Ellie was walking around when he started hammering and her eyes blinked really fast and she looked up and smiled "wow, that was weird, but I liked it!"

I'm just seeing so many reactions that I have never seen from her before, and it's so fun to watch her as she is experiencing this new world of hearing. I'm still not so sure how much she can really hear, but she really enjoys what she does hear! I have been trying to call her name when she is facing away from me, and she doesn't really acknowledge me yet...but I'm sure we'll get there soon enough. Who knows, maybe she already has "selective hearing," and chooses not to listen to me. :)

Links to the videos

They are 2 different for the right ear activation and one for the left ear. The first 6 minutes of each video is "prep work"--just getting ready to turn it on.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

some pictures...different reactions

She had lots of smiles today!

This was the end when we had hooked up both was a little overwhelming for her at first. :(

I will try to get the videos posted tomorrow at some computer is giving me some troubles with that!


We had Ellie's activation today!!! It went really well! The audiologist (Darcy) first activated the left ear. First she sent a series of internal clicks through, and then turned it on very softly so that Ellie could hear a little bit. When that ear was done, Darcy activated the right ear--first with the internal clicks, then turned it on completely. Ellie had a series of reactions...she was in such a great mood today, so she was super smiley already, but she smiled really big a couple of times when she heard some noises. It was so cute! :) When she heard some of the "clicking" noises, she got really serious one time and just stared at Darcy like, "What in the world is that????"

Finally, when we were getting ready to leave, we turned both of the implants on at the same time. She bawled! Joe was holding her and she just clung to him and cried so hard! It was so sad/happy for us to see that. That means she's definitely getting some hearing, but at the same time, you hate to see your baby cry like that. :(

The rest of the day we just hung out and experimented with different sounds. Tonight, we went over to Joe's sister's (Annelise) house so that Ellie could play with Logan. I turned Ellie's implants up a little bit and it was so clear that she could hear...she was just giddy and smiling and blinking her eyes. Darcy told us that if Ellie is blinking all the time, the implants need to be turned down. But tonight, after about 30 seconds of a lot of blinking, she seemed to settle in to the higher volume and really appeared to enjoy the sound!

All in all, it has been a GREAT day over here! We're so thankful that Ellie can finally hear us (even if it is very soft right now). We will continue to turn up the volume little by little throughout the week. Next Wednesday we will go back and reprogram her cochlear implants and continue to gradually increase the volume.

***I am uploading a couple of videos to "youtube" right now. As soon as that is done, I will post the link on the blog!