Sunday, December 14, 2008

All the little things


Hey folks,

I don't know about you guys , but we are in the middle of a winter wonderland up here in the Haliburton Highlands, so this being the holiday season , there really is no better place to be if you want to get into the whole holiday spirit.

As always I made my usual trip home from the big city this past Friday night , and as usual I had plenty of time to reflect on life, and I started to think about all the little things that our little A.K is doing since she had her surgery and activation earlier this year. Amelia is a real social butterfly , she loves people , she loves to laugh, and I know she loves making people laugh and smile. She has a real knack at reading the room and is always game to make some one bust there gut.
One of the little things you can take for granted with your children when there growing up ,is the first time they try and talk you into something. You find it to be awesome yet expected.
Our family for a little while never thought Amelia would ever be able to verbally talk with us, but Amelia now is starting to do all the stuff a talkative 2 year old does.

This past Saturday morning was a morning I wont ever forget!!!!! As I was trying to come to in bed, I heard the sound of two children galloping though the house.. Then I heard it... " Daddy .... DaaaaaaaDyyyyyyy" Amelia said Daddy !!!!! I was thrown for a bit of a emotional loop... I know she has tried so hard to form words, and she is doing the most amazing job, but that morning it was so clear, so crystal clear, that at that very moment, again I realized that we as a family made the right decision to go on this journey with Amelia.

Life is pretty mean at times , and its so easy to lose perspective. The hard ships in your life make it to easy to forget whats important and what really matters most. Its the little things, some of the un assuming things your child does or any child does is what matters most.. A small cry, a soft smile, and a child looking for you , by calling your name, those are the little things you need to remember and enjoy the most.

Everyone enjoy your self this Holiday season , and enjoy those little things, they really do matter most, when they bring a smile to your face .

Till next time, show love , feel love, make love.. its all that really counts!!!!

Amelia's Daddy

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A long awaited update

Hello everyone,

For those you have read this blog from time to time , I just want to let you know , I have seem to come down with a bad case of some sort of writers block. ( I use that term loosely hehe )

Amelia has now had her C.I's activated for a little more than 6 months , and from all that has happened , we here in Amelia's family are just amazed at the way Amelia has adapted to the hearing world via cochlear implants. At this time Amelia uses about 15 different words, words that Amelia had never attempted to use before her Activation back in May of 08.

3 weeks ago , Amelia had another visit to The Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, for a hearing test and her results were about as good as it could get. When the staff at Sick Kids tested Amelia with before her surgery , she scored 4 out of 40, . Now Amelia has scored a amazing 36 out of 40!!!! How Frikken cool is that!

As any parent knows , sometimes all you want to do is to protect your child from let downs and hurtful times, and the worse feeling you can have is the feeling of helplessness when you cant make everything better for your child, I and Amelia's Mom very much felt all those agonizing feelings 12 months ago. Now as Amelia's parents we get to feel a overwhelming sense of happiness and pride when we watch our little A.K and how far she has come, it can be a little emotional for me, cause being the always gone dad I miss so much and she changes so much in my eyes , I sometimes lack the same pace of growth that Amelia is on , but I continue to learn from her , and I can say I feel better as a man , and as a father, having being able to go on this journey beside Amelia .

Life can deal you many low blows and can continue to kick when your already down, but I can tell you from experience , the road you take back to your feet, can be and always will be, your greatest personal accomplishment , cause you become more complete as a person, and it can bless you with a great ability of compassion and forgiveness.

till next time,

Hug a loved one... Cause you need it!

Always gone Dad.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A beautiful new day ..A even more beautiful begining for Amelia

Good day everyone.

Today was a very special day for Amelia. This morning she started pre-school. As usual I was not there physically today , but my head and heart was with Amelia and her Mom.
For a while now Amelia's mom has noticed more and more how much Amelia enjoys people and really enjoys kids close to her in age. More and more the feeling that maybe it was time for her and to a extent Mommy that maybe Amelia should start going to school. I on the other hand get a little protective when it comes to my little Amelia, and I sometimes worry if we are moving way to fast and other times I think its all way too slow. When I think back to 6 or 7 months ago, all we had to communicate was sight, touch and a little sign language. Now she knows her name, say's hi to everyone she sees, and always makes sure everyone hears her say goodbye when she is leaving somewhere. Her biggest verbal ability so far , is saying " Goooood girl" Sonya has been training our 6 month old great dane , and I guess Amelia has "heard" that so much as of late , that she is now managing to say it!

From time to time , I sometimes reflect on Amelia's journey so far, from confirming her hearing disability , to meeting the Dr's at sick kids , to her surgery , to her activation day, and now to today. I have had many doubts, but the truth is I have been gone for 2 years now , and if you have read any of these blogs, you will know I have had very little to do with Amelias progress. All her sucess is from her hard work ,and the help and support from her big brother and Mom .
I am trully amazed by all that they do everyday.

I owe so much thanks to my wife. She has so much to do , from looking after the kids, the dog, the house, and helping run a family buissness , I can not understand how she does it all, and does it all with such grace. She is in my mind the ultimate mom , and the greatest wife and best friend someone could have. Every day I miss my beautiful kids. I have missed more than 2/3 of Amelia's life and am approaching half of Ethans . At the very least I can take solice in the fact I managed to find the best , most capable person , to look after my two children, since I am a "Always gone Dad"

Till next time, Love yourself, no one can love you , if you dont

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

End of summer

Hi everyone,

I can not grasp that summer has come and gone again. I guess after a long winter like we had , the nice weather couldn't be here long enough to enjoy. Summer always seems to fly by!

Amelia just had her second birthday last week, and as per usual I missed the day , but I did get to spend some special time with both Amelia and Ethan this past weekend.

Amelia's has been progressing very well. She has a few words in her vocabulary now.. Hi ... bye... More ( she uses sigh for that as well) She will also sign Mommy and Daddy as she tries to say it.
This is just so special learning with Amelia , and watching her big brother pitch in and try and teach her what to say and how to say it. We really do have a great son who is very special to all of us here, and he never complains about his sister which for a 5 year old is amazing.

I know I have said this before is previous blogs, but I must say it again.

I miss my family a lot , and as time goes by it can get harder to be away, and I end up missing so much , like a attempt at a word , or even watching her put her Cokies on her self . I do find my self being depressed at times, and I have learned that looking at pictures or video's of Ethan and Amelia help me. I have started making my own clips as a way to feel a little closer, and last week I made Amelia , Ethan and there Mom a slide show. It turned out nice and hopefully it will be up on the page soon :)


Till we meet again

Amelia's Daddy

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amelia's moving right along!!

Hi everyone,

I hope where ever you live , you are enjoying your summer.

Amelia 's weekly therapy sessions have started again this week, and today was her first visit in about a month and a half. As usual I don't get to be there , but Mom does her very best to keep me in the loop .

As usual Amelia was full of fire today!!! She marched on in to her appointment today , like she owned the joint and in Amelia's world, she owns most places she goes lol . Her therapy session went great , and her AVT is very very happy with Amelia's progress!!! Amelia has developed so many verbal skills in a very short time that she figures she is months ahead of where she should be. This past weekend she managed to say the word "More" . As a family , we could not be happier about all of this. We really are blessed as a family to have Amelia come to us , to teach us about growing, learning , teaching, and most importantly caring... All those aspects factor in Amelia's growth , and has helped teach our family the simple joy in being able to talk, hear , and really listen!

I will end this by saying thank you to Sonya... With out your love to our little girl , and your great ability to manage the house, the kids, and a marriage from a far most days , all of Amelia's gains would never have happened with such great results so far.

You are Amazing!!!!

Amelia's Daddy

Monday, July 28, 2008

Amelia's speech development !

Hello everyone ,

Hope fully you all had a great weekend.


Amelia has started to talk!!!! Yes thats right ...2 months after her activation, she has started to verbalize herself. " uh oh" " Thank you" and " Dirty" are now another apart of Amelia's verbal life !!

We can not begin to tell you all how happy we all are in this latest mountain that Amelia has climbed . She truly is Amazing!!!

At the end of Aug well the 27th to be exact will be Amelia's 2nd birthday and when I think back to a year ago , and all that has happened in the last 365 days, I have to kinda pinch myself. Amelia is so smart , and her Big brother Ethan is maturing in to the most amazing young man.. He has played a huge role in his little sister's development . He truly has been a the biggest teacher for her , and we all just love him so much for all he does for for her and us.

Well thats all for now, Till the next update :)

Amelia's Daddy

Monday, July 21, 2008

A end of weekend update!!

Good Monday to one and all,

I hope you all had a great mid July weekend. It was another great weekend up here in the southern edge of the great white north .

I have read some of the blogs in Amelia's cochlear posse and we here in Amelia's family , are glad to hear that Drew (turnonmyears.blogspot.com) is feeling better . It is a real downer being under the weather, and we are glad that Drew is back to being himself again.. Amelia and her family are happy your feeling your energetic self again Drew ! !!!!!

Amelia did a first this weekend. It was not verbal , nor was it something she heard. It was something she has learned with out Mom and Dad noticing . Amelia put her Cokies ( Her cochlear implants) on by herself Sunday. How amazing is that. For the last couple of weeks she has shown a lot more interest in her Cokies and what there all about. I am positive before we know it, she wont need our help at all when putting them on . What great work Mom and Grandma Howe have been doing with Amelia, she is catching on to so many things now , that it gets scary sometimes..... ie. Driving her ATV with 1 hand !!!! lol

I made a small video of pictures .. A picture history of the 2 greatest kids parents could have. There are no words just pictures and music, so with that said I hope you all enjoy it .

Take care

Amelia's Daddy
video

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Fun!

Hello all. We hope your all enjoying the summer weather where ever you may be .

It's been a little while since I updated Amelia's blog, but the truth is we have been so busy fixing things around the house and enjoying the sunshine that I just have not got myself in front of this computer much. :)

Now on to the latest in Amelia's journey .

This past Saturday, Amelia once again made another step towards verbalizing her thoughts and feelings. While traveling to town with her Mom , She motioned for her juice. Her Mom past her the juice and said "Amelia thank you... You say thank you Amelia" At that point Amelia's Mom looked in her rear view and watched for a signed response from Amelia. Instead she got not only a signed response but also verbal... "Baaa Ouuuu " Amelia said and then smiled.

That truly is a miracle in so many way's . It's enough to make me shake my head sometimes in amazement and yet when I look at all she does...Nothing amazes me about her!!!!

Here are some pics . One of Amelia and one of Amelia and her Big Brother Ethan .

Till next time..

Amelia's Daddy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A letter to Amelia from Daddy

My dear Lemon Drop,

I want you to know how very proud I am of you, You have done the most amazing things in your life , that all I can do sometimes is lie awake at night wondering how you figure it all out.

Like most people I have lived my life with a good ability to hear whats going on around me, You have lived most of your life so far in silence, yet I know you have heard and felt this world with more meaning and a sense of what really matters than I ever could.

Your beautiful face , and wonderful smile is what has kept me going most nights when I am alone and away from all of you. If I didn't have you and your brothers pictures to look at during the night I really feel like I might have never made it this long with out the two of you.

Anyone who has met you knows how aware you are of all the things around you, Your sense of touch, your sight , and now your ability to hear but most importantly your ability to love , is only going to intensify as you grow older. Your so smart Amelia, truly amazing is what you are!!!!


This week Amelia, you pointed to the stairs and tried to say "Up" . Thats awesome sweetheart..you really are special, and you will always be special no matter where I am or what I am doing. Please don't ever stop going up, don't ever stop climbing , ask anyone its always best when you continue to reach for the top, and touch a star.

I miss you sweet heart , and I am so glad you don't have the time to miss me, cause missing people you love can hurt and it can hurt a lot!

I cant wait to hug you again real soon, Daddy misses you too much!

Love always

Daddy

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New Video

I managed to put together a short 4 min video of Amelia , with her Avt .

I am sure you all will especially enjoy the last 7 seconds :)

Hope you all had a great weekend .

Amelia's Daddy

ttp://www.youtube.com/AmeliasJourney

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A tweak here and a yell there!!!!

Good day everyone,

As all parents of children with C.I's know there are many trips to the hospital , so with that being said, Amelia has a trip to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for a Cochlear check- up and to have a 6 more electrodes turned on. Woo Hoo !!!!! :)

Amelia continues to expand her verbal horizons on what seems like a daily basis. She now is trying to copy what ever you might say is she finds it funny. For example, I sometimes play this silly little game with my son , I will yell out "Whaa?? ( with a horrible British accent) my son of course will yell it back. Well now it has become trio .. Amelia belly laughs then yells out " WHA!!!!!!! and then continues to giggle uncontrollably . I really find that to be pretty cool, considering 9 months ago we didn't know if Amelia would ever be able to verbalize her feelings at all.

Like most every family in the C.I world at some point you have to deal with your government for a ton of educational issue's , and at the moment we are trying to get the subsidies needed to put Amelia in to daycare this coming in September, and we expect there will be some big bumps in the road ahead . Hopefully this will not be to infuriating !! lol

Well thats all for now ,

Take care of yourselves

Amelia's Daddy

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hats....and Dogs!

I am so happy right now , I felt like I needed to blog about Amelia's latest attempts at communication.

2 weeks ago Amelia's Mom brought home a new addition to our family... " Jazz " The Great Dane.
Jazz is only 10 weeks old , so you can imagine how wild its getting around our house with a 5 year old, 20 month Amelia and now a 10 week old Great Dane.

Tuesday morning , Amelia was getting ready for her therapy session in Haliburton , when Amelia's Mom asked her where the dog was .. Amelia replied " Woof Woof" .. My wife was beside herself after that, but quickly Amelia decided she was going to do another amazing thing.. Before they were going to go out the door.. Mommy remembered Amelia needed her hat... Mommy asked Amelia to find her hat, Amelia looked up at Mommy and said "AHAT AHAT" I think my wife might have lost her breath after that.

This Journey so far has been a great adventure for all of us in our family. We have and will keep learning together, as it's the best way for Amelia to grow, if we all grow together.

Have a great day ..I know we will :)

Amelia's Daddy

Sunday, June 8, 2008

1 Month and counting !

We just can not believe it has been a month since Little Ms Amelia Kenzie had her " Cokies" activated. What a amazing ride it has been so far. Amelia is ahead of schedule right now as far a her recognizing sounds , and being able to recognize where the sounds come from. Amelia has made attempts to form a few words. Da-dada-deee = Daddy.... Mummmma = Mommy.... Buh Buh = Bus..... AHHHhhhHHH = Airplane Poh Poh Poh = The sound of a boat...Bffffftttttttt ( raspberry) = The sound of a car, She will also wave Bye Bye with a smile !

To say we are ecstatic would be a understatement. All of this progress is a result of her Mom's hard work with Amelia , and the great work that's done with her twice a week with visits to her AVT's .

I am working on putting together a video that shows some of her progress. Hopefully it will be up in a week or so.

Till next time, Enjoy every moment, cause moments never last forever!

Amelia's Daddy

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Joy and Frustration

Well it seems My little Amelia is growing up and she is expressing her frustration.

Amelia has 2 therapy sessions a week . 1 in home and 1 in Haliburton at 5 counties kids services.

While at her session on Tuesday in Haliburton , Amelia really had no interest in doing much , other than some play , and organizing.. She is so much like her Mom, Everything has to be clean... neat , and always put away in the right spot.. From what I hear she re organized the toy bin at the five counties offices . I would imagine they were very thankful for the time she put in to looking after the toy clutter .

While her AVT tried to do some of her word association exercises, Amelia showed great frustration with all of it. At first when I was told this from my wife , I didn't quite know what to make of it, but my wife told me , this is a good thing, She is really trying to communicate and she gets a little perturbed when using sign because if your not looking right at her, she thinks you are ignoring her. I think we as a family will just try a little harder, and hopefully in time Amelia will also adapt and become more patient as things improve for her .

Thats all for now... I will hopefully pack my bags to head home tomorrow, as long as my auto mechanic gets my car back to me.. Braking down at 5 am is not fun!

Have a great weekend everyone ..

Amelia's Daddy

Friday, May 23, 2008

Growing Up!

Hi everyone,

I have been away all week from my family as per usual , and my wife has filled me in on some of Amelia's great new adventures.

We live in a small community about 2 1/2 hours outside of Toronto, in the woods so to speak. Around our home , the folks use Atv's to get around. My oldest son Ethan who just turned 5 loves to get out and ride on his grandpa's atv or mine when I am there. Well it seems Amelia has now discovered she enjoys riding one her self. My son has grown out of his battery powered one just in time for Amelia to enjoy it . In the past week she has discovered how to use the accelerator pedal and she steers the bike with no problems, She even sticks her tongue out while she rides, just like her brother does. (Video will be coming)

Amelia is adapting well to having her Cokie's put on. No more crying when there powered up , and she makes it pretty much through the whole day with out taking them off. I think her Mom and I have figured out how to use the BTE and to keep it on her with out falling off or getting damaged. Thankfully Amelia's AVT found bra tape, and man does that stuff work well... Just a small strip behind Amelia's ear seems to be working well in keeping the ear piece on.

I guess thats all for now. I have to pack my bags , so I can head home after work and see my kids for the weekend.

Take care all

Amelia's Dad

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Making adjustments... ecckhhh!

Hi everyone,

To my fellow Canadians , happy May 24 , and to all the rest, hope your weekend is going great!

As I am sure most of you know , adjusting to life with a child with Cochlear Implants can be a challenge, but really is there a bigger challenge then to try and adjust the baby worn ear hooks!!! Amelia's Mom , Grandma Howe , and my self are going to great lengths to make these more comfortable for her , however this seems to be a bigger task then imagined. If there is any advice you could give us, it would be a greatly appreciated.

Now to Amelia, WOW WOW WOW! These past 8 days have just been the just short of astonishing . We all can not believe how far she has come in such a short time. She already had made great attempts to say "Bu Bye" , also she loves making the Tarzan call when she See's our family cat Quincy. The biggest change so far is watching Amelia enjoy the company of people. You can tell by watching her, that she feels more a part of things. Yes we know the words that are being spoken, she more likely can not really understand, but maybe it's because she wore hearing aids for close to 4 months before she got her implants so she might have a little step up on most youngsters who did not have that opportunity for on reason or another. We are all happier than pigs in you know what! hahaha!

Well that's all for now , but before I go, thank you to everyone who has left comments, and for being kind enough to add Amelia's Journey to there blog roll, Its been very humbling for me , having the chance to make the connection with you.

Till next time,

Keep growing , and keep loving!

Amelia's Dad

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Changes

Good day all,

I have seen so many things change in the last 5 days, that I do not even know where to start.

After Amelia's activation on Thursday, she had a long drive home( about 3 hrs) and of course she did not sleep a wink.

When she woke up Friday, of course she cried when her "Cokies" went on , but after a few seconds she was rip roar'in and ready to go.

I am stuck in the city during the week , but I was told and I saw for myself that Amelia has a totally different vibe going on.

She seems a little more complete, and the babbling is non stop. I know at this point Amelia is really only hearing sounds, but she is accepting it all .

My video camera will be rolling non stop , so I will have many moments to share with you all.
I just cant wait!

Amelias Daddy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

video

Happy Mothers day!!!!

Hi all , I am posting this quick video of Amelia's activation day.

I hope you all enjoy it :)

http://www.youtube.com/AmeliasJourney

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Awesome!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing swimmingly today.

Amelia had her "ears " turned on this afternoon , It was the most amazing sight I have ever witnessed. I really can't put it into word's how the day went,it was all just so emotional that I am not sure I even have a grasp of how I feel.

The look on her face when they plugged her in to the computer was awesome. She did so well, so well in fact , that her audiologist said Amelia was meant to hear, she handled it so good.
However when they actually turned her on so she could hear us and the rest of the world, it scared her a lot . Thats totally normal and just one of the many ways we know this worked for her!

I will be making a video real soon, so I can share this moment with all of you.

This is only the beginning for her... There will be more programming days starting this Monday, so the ball is really rolling now.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this, I look forward to talking to you all soon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New beginings!

Well My little lemon drop , the day has come. Tomorrow you will have your Cokie's turned on!
I am aware you wont know what the noises are at first, but from what I know about you, you will figure it all out real fast.

No matter how fast or how slow this whole ride goes for you, always know that I am so proud of you Amelia. Your smile always makes the room light up, and that scowl you get, its the best scowl on earth. I figure it will be a big part of your personality forever. You are so strong, you inspire me daily, to work hard, and to care about the little things we take for granted. You never go too long with out making us smile, and thru all the test's and the surgery you have had, You were stronger than I ever could have imagined, and stronger than I would or will be.

I love you Amelia , and I am so very proud to be your Daddy.

Thank you for being here for me , and remember, always say what you need to say!

Love Daddy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Time to say Thank you!

I just want to say very big thank you to the fine people who have taken the time to send there most heart felt best wishes for my little Amelia's big day on Thursday May 8th.

You all have no idea how much it means to me , that people who live in far off places , care enough to show support to a family they do not know.

Special people like you all are hard to come by. Not only am I blessed with a great family , and very good friends and co workers, but I am also lucky to have people like you , willing to share with a family of strangers like us.

As for Thursday...... is it here yet???

May your god bless you by night, and luck guide you by day.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Journey really begin's

Well the time has come , time to welcome my little lady into this world of hearing.

On April 8th 08 Amelia had bi lateral cochlear implant surgery . I can not put into word's the emotion that was felt at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto that day. 3 Weeks later and most of it has become a blur, but one thing is for sure, if little Ms Amelia hears her Mommy's voice really for the first time, then really all the stress and sleepless nights , will only seem like the smallest of mountains that needed to be conquered .

This Thursday May 8 is Amelia's activation day... My nails are gone, but hey whats a dad suppose to do, its better than smoking right?

Ill updste this, even though I know it wont be read by anyone. But still it helps me.. Lets me get stuff off my chest... I need to make room for my part in Amelia's journey sound, and all the little things we all seem to take for granted!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Well we are still waiting. The worst thing about being a parent , is the wait for appointments for your kids.

I think they do it on purpose. Not to get you upset, but to get you mentally prepared.
Is there any better way for your brain to realize how serious the situation is. I have to figure they don't do it to upset anyone. After all its the Dr's that always tell you being positive will help and attitude is everything.

My attitude now ..is getting better, it has to , Ill go crazy if i stay in the place I was at in my own head!

Amelia I love you so much! One day you'll read this, and wonder why your Daddy was so nervous, cause I know things will turn out O.K . It has to cause your here, and you make everything complete and good for me, your Mom , and big brother Ethan!

Till next time ...
Ride your life with pride, and walk your path with grace!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Realization

Well I think It finally hit me. My Little Lemon Drop, can't hear!

We both knew for a while, but I guess like all parents, you still hope that the test's were all wrong , and that Your daughter is just fine. In my daughters case, its quite real. Profound is the term. Profoundly hard of hearing is what sick kids told us, so with there opinion, I cant deny the truth any more. I must stop being so selfish , and just do the right thing for her , and her future.

Its hard when your living the way I do. I like a lot of other Dads commute along way for work, and I am not home during the week , so I miss a lot. Since I am gone so much , I tend to leave most things to my wife. 
She is the strongest person , next to my daughter that I know. She handles everything so well. I on the other hand, I seem to struggle with this. Is it the guilt of being gone? Is it just the fact that my little girl means so much to me, that I am just that worried? Or maybe I lack enough man in me to just be strong and right? 

I guess I still don't know, and will I ever ?

The next few days , or weeks will be very telling. MRI's CT scans, they will be coming up, and if all things turn out O.K  with the tests a Cochlear Implant could be her hope for hearing and speech.
bye 4 now' till the next need to express.. 
May your God grace you by night, and luck be on your shoulder by day!