Thursday, August 30, 2012

Emily's Cochlear implant journey...

Phase #1 

  Emily lost more hearing this past year. She went to school for about 7 months with no hearing aids; getting by with hearing about 20% of what everyone was saying. (lets just say it was a rough year!)

With more hearing loss she is finally a candidate for cochlear implants! The first step to getting them however, was doing a Tympanoplasty in both ears to fix the holes in her eardrums caused from so many ear infections and ear tubes! 
 Patiently waiting 5 hours to go into surgery!

It was a pretty intense surgery where they had to pull her whole earlobe back and cover the hole in the eardrum with fascia (underneath skin) and then pack it tight for a month. They did the first surgery June 3rd. Emily came out of anesthesia so SWEET! The first thing she wanted to do was color! She could hardly even hole her hand steady and she said the cutest things that of course I can't remember now! 
 Emily was in a lot of pain for the first week or 2 but recovered quickly.
She hated not being able to get wet all summer or doing her favorite activity; jumping on the trampoline for 3 weeks. Luckily we have great neighbors who brought us lot's of fun movies :) 
It healed up nicely and the shaving damage wasn't too bad ;)

Phase #2
Tympanoplasty in left ear AND Cochlear implant in right ear!
Testing her hearing one last time...
Emily LOVES waiting at the hospital :)
 Trying to be so brave AGAIN!!!
We told her she would get a prize if she was brave..."like an ICEE?" she asked.
 LDS Hospital is so awesome! They could see that Emily needed her mom so they actually let me go back into the surgical room and help put her to sleep...I look pretty SWEEET don't you think? :)

 5 hours...lot's of pain!
The first thing she said when she woke up was "I want out of here!" She had to go to the bathroom so bad she couldn't relax! Finally when we got her back to her room she fell asleep for about 3 hours and we had a very hard time waking her up. When we did get her to wake up, she just wanted to go home and get an Icee! I think she deserved one for sure! Oh and she wanted to stop by Toys r us to get a birthday gift for Gracie...crazy girl (ironically, we took her!)
 Matt and I are so mean! Emily was trying very hard to be a good sport. 
We had a very LONG first night. She was in SO MUCH PAIN! I felt so bad for our little girl! She kept telling me how sorry she was for keeping me awake; "My head feels like it's going to explode!"
 one week after surgery

 Phase #3
Turning the cochlear ON!
We have heard that the BEST audiologist for Cochlear implants is Cache Pitt. OK, let's have him work with Emily then...just one catch; he is at Utah State! Who doesn't LOVE a road trip every few weeks right?
We were so lucky that Dad was able to come along AND Emily's speech therapist and of course WONDERFUL family friend, Carrie Pereyra who actually hooked us up with her sweet sister so we could stay the night for our appointment the next day.

 Emily with her new friend Ellie the elephant who has cochlear implants too!
 Emily is the first person in the United states to get this particular model of implant. There was a representative from Med-el waiting to be part of this exiting day.
 First signs that she is hearing something...
 Realizing that she can hear things...
It was amazing to watch her as she could hear things she has never heard before like Matt's whistle or a bag of crackers being opened. She was overwhelmed with how loud everything was.
This is what is looks like. She can change the bottom color with 6 different colors...she likes that!
It has been one week and she is doing amazing! Her brain is learning quickly to recognize the things she is hearing as sounds, as words!
It is a work in progress and highly stressful with all the changes and adjustments that come with cochlear implants AND starting a new school year with a new teacher but we are so proud of Emily for doing HARD THINGS!!
Someday we will all look back on this as the beautiful life changing experience that it truly is! 
For now we are taking it one day at a time :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Justin and Beth's Wedding

Their wedding was in Bethesda Maryland just outside of the DC area.

It's been almost 8 months since seeing my parents! What a wonderful reason to take a little break from their mission in the Philippines. You should have seen us running to each other!

We had a wonderful time meeting Beth's family the night we arrived and visiting at the wedding dinner the night before the wedding.

We are so excited to have Beth in our family! She is perfect for Justin ;)
My beautiful, wonderful, inspiring, FANTASTIC parents!

You can't visit Maryland and not go sightseeing...

Monica, Amber, Mom, me, Jolyn, Meg

Jer was such a trooper. A lot of the elevators were broken on the metro so he braved the escalators...our hero!
Monica and I enjoyed running the Lincoln memorial steps...we are SO tough!

The bride and groom...
Beth did an amazing job planning; right down to the very last detail. We learned not to ask Justin any questions... he was leaving this one up to the pro! There were ONLY 58 dentist's at the wedding! I guess that's what you get when Beth is a pediatric dentist and Justin is going to be an Oral surgeon. Our kids have it made...if we can just get them to move to Utah :)

Jeremy, Lou, Jolyn, Monica, Wade, Justin, Beth, Mom, Dad, me, Amber

Who say's mormons can't have fun?

One last day of sightseeing...just 12 hours of walking around! No one wanted it to end! 
We had such a wonderful, priceless weekend we will never forget!
Thanks Justin and Beth for bringing us all together. We love you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lehi vs. Westlake

The first XC meet of the year...and all 3 get to race it!

The girls went first...

It's going to be fun to see what these girls can do this year!

Jac had a strong lead coming in 1st place...great way to start the season I'd say :)

The boys (and old men) were next...

Thomas LOVES racing with high school kids! 

Matt was strong but didn't even try to keep up with Thomas!

Thomas finished in 5th place overall! He was the 2nd Lehi boy to cross the finish line!
Coach Rowe said, "It's going to be a long year waiting for you Thomas!"

I love this kids face when he realized Matt is about to beat him! 

It was a fight to the finish :)

We love having Grandpa cheering for the Heaps!
Some of Thomas' great friends...
Austin Hinckley, Thomas, Michael Hinckley and BJ Madsen