Things are good here. It's freezing cold here, but now that we're all outfitted in boots and coats and doing well, although loading into and out of the car has gotten completely ridiculous. We've finally settled into a groove as far as school goes, and the kids are all just doing great.
Ava is home schooling with a public charter school here. I love it for her because it's mastery based, so she can jump ahead in the subjects she's strongest in and slow down to work on new or exciting things she wants to understand better in other subjects. She loves it because she feels really in control of her schooling and she doesn't have to "wait around for all the other kids." (Her words, hah!) She just finished her soccer season and will be starting basket ball in the next couple of weeks. Her crazy height is finally going to work out to her advantage! The director of the program is very excited about having her on the team and the rest of my family is really excited she's playing, too...they're all a little obsessed with basketball. She has made a bunch of friends around our complex and church and is super social, as always, although Ella is still her one and only best friend, according to her.
Jace is attending kindergarten at our local school and totally loving it. He just got his first report card and got 4's, which is like an A, I'm guessing. It's the best you can get, at least. The numbers are so different than what I'm used to! He's made friends with our next door neighbors, and one of the kids', Neil, is in his class at school and on his new basketball team so he is totally over the moon. They really like each other and he's really missed his friends in Florida, so I'm so glad to see him making friends. He also just lost his top front tooth, and so he's reached that transitional stage from little kid to big kid. It's bittersweet.
Seth is just exploding. It's amazing. He's attending a mainstream pre-school here in town four days a week and he just lights up when we pull into the parking lot everyday. He's writing his name, reciting the alphabet, and counting to ten, which are all really new developments. He's using a lot more phrases and sentences and having more real conversations instead of just imitating words. As of his last booth test, his hearing with his cochlear implants is comparable to normal natural hearing and he hasn't needed any special accommodations at school. His teachers say he is really interacting with the kids and chatting with them and he just comes barreling out of class every day, so excited to show me what he did in school. It makes my heart so happy to see him do so well.
Evany is the most adorable nearly two year old around, basically. She is just so sweet and happy all the time and she's a great joy to be around. Until recently, she wasn't talking much, and we had her evaluated for early intervention because of her prematurity and her risk factors because of Seth. She qualified for speech therapy and we were lucky enough to get the same therapist that Seth had, who I just love. Seth was pretty terrible to her, so I think she's really enjoyed having sessions with Evany, who is much less of a pill than Seth. It has been really entertaining to see Seth as we've gone through the EI process with Evany...all the same evaluators and therapists have come to see her than saw him last spring and as soon as he realized they're here to mess with Evany instead of him, he's about ten times as friendly. It blows them all away. He even loves sitting in on Evany's therapy sessions now, which cracks our therapist up.
Back to Viv, though...both her therapist and I noticed some odd behaviors from her, and we both suspected she might have Auditory Neuropathy like Seth has, which is a problem that affects the clarity of what someone hears. We had an ABR done a couple of months ago and thankfully, her hearing is normal, which was a huge relief. We followed up with a booth test, however, and she didn't perform as well. We chalked it up to toddler hood and scheduled her for a follow up test to double check. Well, she didn't do any better on that test. Thing is, she passed her ABR, which means she can hear. But on her second booth test, one of the audiologists sitting in happened to specialize in auditory processing disorders, and after we got done with the test she said that she noticed the same delay and zoning out that Evany's therapist and I had been noticing, and that she say several red flags for auditory processing disorder. She's at a pretty high risk for something like it because of her prematurity, so it's not a huge surprise. Problem is, it's not something that can really be diagnosed until she's school aged, so we're just watching, documenting, and waiting right now. She has started talking a lot more and talks about as much as Seth now, which is both exciting and a little depressing for me, but I'm so proud of her and how well she's doing.
And just a quick sidebar here to say how much I LOVE our new audiologist office. I never thought I would love a place as much as our All Children's and our old Audiologist, but this place is so different and so great. It's a tiny office and every time we go in they block all the appointments out so we're the only ones there, and they love having the other kids there and are just so sweet to them every time. Seth's issues aren't exactly typical for CI kids, and they have never even batted an eyelash or questioned anything I've said. They already feel like family and they're awesome about calling when they have an idea about something to try for Seth or Vivi.
And finally, Coen. He's amazing. I love him so much. I'm kind of head over heels for him. He's really smiley now and cooing a lot. He'll be five months old on the third of December, and I cannot believe how fast the time is flying. He's rolling over both ways and doing all the things he should be but truthfully, I'm not really worried about his milestones...I'm just trying to make the most of his babyhood because I know how fast it will go by. He sleeps about eight hours a night and is drooling up a storm, so I'm guessing teeth will be coming before long. But more than anything else, he's just precious and he totally kills me with his cuteness.
Basically, I am ridiculously blessed. Don't get me wrong. My kids throw world caliber tantrums and aren't above kicking, biting, and hitting one another. They also have a penchant for drawing on the walls. But even so, they're pretty awesome. This stage of life is pretty great, even if it is equally hard. I'm so excited about the turns our life is taking, but I'm scared, too. I've been on my own for nearly two and a half years and adjusting to life with another person again is going to be a challenge. What a great problem to have, though!
John is currently looking for a job here, and he hopes to get one soon. He'll be flying in tomorrow for Thanksgiving, so we're hoping to be able to stop by a few places in person while he's here. Our first counseling appointment is Monday, and I'm really looking forward to it. If you feel like praying, prayers for him to find a suitable job that will meet our needs quickly and for our appointment to go well on Monday, I'd really appreciate it! I kind of feel the way I feel at the beginning of each semester...excited anticipation for the work ahead, even though I know it will get harder before it gets easier.
And that's a not-so-quick and dirty recap of what's been going on here!