1. It's hard to believe, but this Friday we are celebrating 3 years of Christian hearing with his Cochlear Implant. How has it been 3 years already?
2. I still remember Christian's activation appointments like it was yesterday. I was barely pregnant with Lily Grace, and it was sticky humid day but I had the chills from nerves. I had a pit in my stomach, but at the same time I was full of hope.
3. On Day 1 of his activation, he immediately responded, and my heart immediately jumped. He imitated 2 Ling Sounds. 14 months old. A baby. He was JUST a baby.
4. I remember bringing home this huge box of wires, manuals, batteries, spare parts, and just sitting on my bed thinking that I would never know what to do with all of it. And now I can pretty much troubleshoot the processor with my eyes closed.
5. I'm sitting here typing this blog on the same table that I used day in and day out that first year or so with my little boy working on our Mommy Speech Therapy. My kitchen table (which was my Grandmother's kitchen table) became our family therapy center. So many milestones and memories were made at this table. I swear it has magic in it. Will someone please make sure that this table doesn't end up in a garage sale when Chuck and I are long and gone?
6. Speaking of garage sales, isn't it funny how us Moms can really make ANYTHING into a therapy tool. So far, my favorite find were Chinese Handcuffs to work on the initial /P/ sound "PULL, PULL, PULL, Christian".
7. It's funny when I look back to see how Christian's progress never was gradual. It was warp speed, and there was never any gradual let down of our therapy, but it also didn't stop. It evolved as Christian did, and we just followed his lead. His teachers continued to challenge him daily in school and we would celebrate each new milestone with complete joy. The day he correctly produced /sh/ is up there with seeing my babies on their ultrasound pictures for the first time. Seriously.
8. This journey hasn't been all fuzzy blankets and rainbows. It tested our marriage hard in the beginning, and still creeps up on us at times when we don't expect it. I hate the saying that "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle" because quite honestly, at times I had a hard time handling all of this. However, the hard times did make us grow-up much faster. By our 3rd wedding anniversary, we were dealing with things that couples married for 30 years never even touched. It's hard. Thank goodness for our faith, our family, and our friends.
9. My friends and family always compliment me on the advocacy work I do for Christian, and I am so touched. It feels good to know that people notice my hard work and commitment. What they don't know is that Chuck is our behind the scenes guy. I may be doing the insurance claims, tracking appointments, monitoring new MAPs, and ordering new parts, but he's the one really keeping us TOGETHER. He is our glue.
10. Christian is set to have a dance party and Rice Krispie treats on Friday to celebrate in his classroom. He's requested Laurie Berkner, Mumford and Sons and Gaga. Chuck and I are going to continue our tradition of drinking ridiculously good and fancy wine with our best friends on Friday night and toasting to our amazing little dude's progress and to each other for getting through another year relatively unscathed.