~Evynn Reese~

My daughter, Evynn Reese was born on 11/1/2010. At 10 months old she was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss in both ears. This blog documents her journey to hear. It includes ups, downs, testing, hearing aids, cochlear implants, therapy, school and everything else going on in our crazy but wonderful life! Evynn is such a strong, incredible little girl and we are so very proud of her!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Moog Workshop and Evy's first day of school- Summer 2012

From June 12th through the 16th, we attended The Moog Center's Parent Workshop, and had a wonderful time! Even though we were already very familiar with the school, we thought attending the workshop would be perfect for Evy since she would be starting school the following week. It was a great introduction for her and I, and gave us both an idea of what her days at school will be like. I also got some helpful tips for me! The other children that attended won't actually be in Evy's class since most of them were visiting from out of state, but we both still made some friends. It was so nice to talk with other parents about both the joys and struggles that we endure throughout this sometimes tough but very rewarding journey!

Paityn was also able to come along and hang out with the hearing impaired kids her age. I think it was really great for her, because sometimes I think she questions whether or not Evy will really be able to talk and play with her. It's hard to explain to a four year old that these things take time! But after having some quality play time with her hearing impaired peers, I think she got a glimpse of what her and Evy's near future will look like!

I am so thankful to be a part of the Moog Center! The staff is wonderful and what they teach deaf children and their parents is truly amazing! Last week at the workshop I realized just how lucky we are to have Moog so close. So many families have moved here just to be a part of the program and other families often spend time in 2 different homes in order to be here for school during the week and then drive home on the weekends. I am so appreciative for the services and wonderful teachers that are available to us everyday, all while being surrounded by our family and friends!

Every morning I dropped Evy off in her classroom at 9am where she would play and do activities with her peers and teachers. Then for an hour she would work 1 on 1 with her therapist. Initially at drop off during the workshop, there were some tears and she didn't want to see me leave. But after a day or so, she got comfortable with her teachers and the daily routine, which made it much easier for us to drop her off today for her first day of school! Here's us heading inside on the first day of workshop.
I could tell that Evy had worked really hard at school on the first day. That night I went upstairs around 7pm because I thought it sounded too quiet. Evy had been playing with her sister, but when I went up, this is how I found her. Passed out in the hallway...
I think it's safe to say that she was exhausted! We enjoyed the rest of our weekend and before we knew it, the big day was here!

Today was Evy's first day of school! For Summer school, Evy will go every Wednesday and Thursday from 9am - 12 pm. Here's a picture from this morning!

We dropped her off and she walked right on in to the classroom! They said it's usually best for the parents to make a quick exit so that none of the kids get upset. So that's what we did, and Evy was fine with us leaving. The class starts off by working as a group and having "circle time" then each student does a 1 on 1 activity with the teacher. At some point during the day Evy also gets pulled out of class for an hour of 1 on 1 with her therapist.

 Today, it just so happened that Evy was due for an audiology appointment as well (she has audiology about twice a month right now). I thought it might be a longshot to expect her to cooperate after her first day of school, on top of it being nap time... but I was wrong! She did an amazing job in audiology today and they were able to get a lot of good information. When they see Evy for audiology they work on mapping for her implants. This requires Evy to sit in a highchair and listen to a series of "beeping" noises through her implant. They have trained Evy to look to her left everytime she hears a beep and when she looks, they turn on a little duck that moves. Even though she has one implant on during the session, while they are testing, all the background noise is turned off and the only thing Evy can hear are the beeps.
 Considering where we were 5 months ago, Evy has gotten SO much better at this process! She used to only work while sitting on our laps, and even then she got fussy and didn't cooperate for long. She was also very scared for any unfamiliar person to touch her ears or get too close to her. I took a couple short videos of Evy's session today to remind myself of her progress because I am truly amazed at how far she has come!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Well, the Summer has started off great! Evynn LOVES to swim, we can hardly keep her away from the pool! With this being our first summer with Evy's implants, Kyle and I are constantly stressing about them while we're out, especially at the pool. I didn't mind her wearing them in the small pool in the backyard, but I'm not quite brave enough yet to let her wear them in the big pool! Evy's just too daring, and I'm afraid that she'll just dunk her head right under. I know that this whole process will get easier and we will eventually get a routine down, but for now, it's a little hard to relax at the pool. But...as you can see Evy seems to have no problem!
Right now Evy really doesn't mind if we take her ears off because she's just too busy, but I know that eventually she will want to play with her sister or other kids while swimming and will really want them on. I see how much fun she is having without them and often think about how much MORE fun she would have if she could hear everyone. It tends to break my heart at times, but then I look at my happy baby girl who wears a constant smile, and I realize that if she can put a smile on her face through her struggles, then so can I! Her strength can always get me through any feelings of guilt or sorrow. Her face can cheer anyone up! There is one positive thing about Evy not being able to hear though. On a recent trip to the lake, Evy was able to relax with me on a raft, regardless of the chaos. We took a nice, peaceful nap and didn't mind the noise one bit! :)
Evy's been very good about leaving her "ears" on, however... she has figured out that taking them off is the best way to get our attention. For example, Evy wanted something out of the fridge the other day and when we told her no, she took her ears off, and threw them at us. After that didn't get her what she wanted, she proceeded to lay herself out on the kitchen floor and throw a fit. I guess it is typical behavior for her age, but she is clever in the way that she uses her "ears" to get what she wants! What a stinker!
Evy's speech and language continues to amaze us! She's learning and understanding more and more words. Her teacher said Evy's attention span has gotten so much bigger, which means there is more listening and learning going on during her therapy sessions. There's still a ton that she cannot say, but she does recognize words when we say them. For example, she can't say "jump" yet, but when we say it, she knows what to do! She has also taken more of an interest in music and movies too! Evy's big sister Paityn had her first dance recital recently and Evy absolutely loved watching it! She was dancing and laughing and enjoyed it so much that I we have decided to enroll Evy in dance as well! Here is a little video we took of her enjoying the recital!
We all had so much fun and I'm glad that Evy was able to join in too!
On another note, my sister Lyndsey is an amazingly talented photographer and lucky for me, she is constantly taking pictures of my kids! Here's a few that I love :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their Summer as much as we have so far!!