Calling all Parents…

If you are ever going to read anything I write… I implore you to read this one. Sit with it for a while. Digest your emotions and what you will do if this is your child. How will you respond to a teachable moment?

As Landon stumbles into the restaurant, she veers left knowing that’s where the booster seats are parked. Smiling all the way, she throws her little body upwards, climbing into the seat all on her own. Bo casually strolls behind her, beaming at how self sufficient his little girl is. As they settle into their table just outside the playroom, Landon busies herself with reaching for things, looking at the slide in the playroom and asking, as always, for Elmo.

Most children notice Landon. It’s a natural curiosity when they see the hearing aids, the headband, her ears. We’ve grown accustomed to it. Even a while back when I described the silent staring teens, it was just staring. What happened next is the first of its kind in our world. The first time the world was cruel to my baby’s face.

While waiting patiently for their food, a commotion erupted a few tables away.  Bo heard him then.  A boy, 8 or 9 saying something about our girl. As if in slow motion, the boy walks right up to Landon with another girl in tow.

“Ewwwwwww, look! How disgusting is she?!”

The words hung in the air, he said, as rage filled Bo’s body. “WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?!?” he shouted at the young boy.

Fumbling for words, realizing that my husband’s tone meant trouble, the boy backtracked physically and audibly to explain he used his words wrong. His mother, sensing something must have happened, came over and quickly ushered him out of the place. They left and the altercation was over for all that had overheard. It was over for everyone else except Bo and his parents, who sat quietly and let what happened wash over them.

The encounter, that I didn’t even witness, has found a deep, dark hole in my heart and is resting there. One day this may happen and she’ll understand his words. She’ll know what names are said and that she’s being treated badly by a perfect stranger who knows not even her name.

So far we’ve lived in this bubble of silent stares yet nothing worse. The kids that play with her at her camp adore her. They rush through church and the gym to greet her. They save her favorite book for her and hug her when they see us in town. It’s the happiest bubble that protects our hearts. 

This is a game changer in my endeavor to share our story with the world. This is the moment when we need to change the conversation.

What would you say to your child if he said that?

What would you do if your child asked you what was wrong with that baby?

I heard a story that the author of Wonder is a parent of one of those inquisitive kids. She told this reporter how she was eating ice cream with her child and someone just like Landon and Auggie walked in. Embarrassed by her inability to articulate the differences in another child, the author rushed quickly out of the store and avoided eye contact with the boy or his own mother. She later reflected on how poor of a choice that was for her and wrote the book as a tool and way to celebrate differences. Well since we’re not all authors…

I think it’s important to recognize these awkward times when your child asks something innocent and honest of you. When they ask questions about a child like Landon, I believe the BEST thing is to be honest and kind. Tell them that that child is beautiful and God makes us all different on the inside and outside. What’s most important is seeing the beauty in everyone. Treating everyone as we’d like to be treated. Embracing differences because we ourselves are very unique as well. If you’re so bold, ask if you can introduce your child to the other kid. Meet the mother. Look her in the eyes. Smile. It’s hard to form those words sometimes as you rethink if you’re saying it right. Saying them at all…is all that matters.

Most importantly, find a way to address their comments or questions any way that suits you. Have an open heart. Talk about it instead of shoving it under a blanket statement as in “don’t say that”! and leaving it there. You’ll get so much farther shaping their ability to accept and not bully by going the extra mile to discuss.

And to the little boy and his mother from today…. you should count your lucky stars I wasn’t there. I will pray for you tonight- that you should find manners, grace, kindness and the ability to learn to accept others into your hearts.

Love,

Eloise

Fashion Friday

We have some pretty cute bug outfits to share today. Enjoy and happy weekend!!

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Outfit one: We received a pretty smocked outfit for her birthday last year. The pants were those bloomer pants with a ruffle and they have never fit her right (clown baby). The top was so cute though so I decided to use it here as a little vest. They don’t sell this particular one online, but Etsy, ebay and Best Dressed Child all sell smocked clothing; white t-shirt- Old Navy; chambray shorts- Gap; shoes- Zara; BAHAs- Cochlear 

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Outfit Two: Sailboat Romper- Ralph Lauren (old); sandals- Salt Water; Bahas- Cochlear

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Outfit 3:  Dress- Boden (old); shoes- Converse; Bahas- Cochlear

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Outfit 4: Blue Cardigan- Boden; Flower Top: Genuine Kids; Flower Leggings- Genuine Kids; Shoes- Minnetonka; Bahas- Cochlear

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Outfit 5:  Long-sleeved bow top- Zara; Dot Shorts- Target (!!); Shoes- from Thailand (Thanks Ben!); Lovey- her own; Bahas- Cochlear

XOXO

Eloise

Baha 4 Review

Last year we traded in Landon’s big kahuna baha (the BP110) for a regular old sized baha. She was first given a BP110 (larger processor) because of her sensory neural hearing loss detected during her very first ABR test we did when she was 3 weeks old.  Since that test, I noticed she responded to SO much more than that first audiologist told me should would. AND it seemed like her bahas made her jump when loud sounds occurred. I therefore had her retested almost weekly at Clarke in NYC and her audiogram changed dramatically. Her hearing with her bahas on was testing at “normal”.  So we decided to swap out her big processor for a regular one.  Sorry for all of the clinical stuff… I just want the bellow baha moms out there to know where we’re coming from. 

Anyway, she now wears two regular sized bahas.  Because she was given her other BP100(a Baha 3) last year, Cochlear automatically upgraded her in November when they launched the new Baha 4 since it was the same year.  It was a major launch for Cochlear as this new processor works with their new wireless bluetooth microphone AND it was launched alongside the Attract System that is the magnetic abutment.  This means that when Landon is implanted with her bahas, it’ll be via magnets instead of a skin penetrating abutment. WAY better. 

So… this baha 4.  A lot of parents have asked me how we like it so I thought I’d give y’all a brief overview of it since she’s now been wearing it for a few weeks.  Keep in mind she wears one Baha 3 and one Baha 4.  Also keep in mind, I’m not a medical professional in any way shape or form… just a Baha momma.

I’ll start with the pros…

– There is WAY less feedback. I’m sure if you’re a baha wearer or a parent.. you are tired of so much feedback. We would even have feedback on ours when there was nothing touching it. It was almost like air caused feedback. This makes life simply easier for her. She doesn’t tug on them ever b/c of the feedback and she is just happier wearing them. LOVE that.

– The wireless microphone is just awesome. I’m a tech nerd so this creation is fabulous for crowded restaurants, playgrounds, children’s museums, you name it. She’s obviously not in school yet at 18 months but I imagine it would make a huge difference for her.

– Same exact look at the Baha 3. I personally prefer the look of the Bahas to the other processors on the market. They are lighter, sleeker and less chunky than the competitors in my opinion. The weight was one of the reasons we went the Cochlear route- it seemed like the baha didn’t hang off of the softband. Speaking of which…  I also prefer Cochlear’s softbands.

Okay the cons…

– NO Light. Another reason I preferred Cochlear’s processor to the other out there was because of the light on the device. This is incredibly helpful to busy parents. One quick glance and we know they are on and working.  Now I have to hold my hand on it. If it’s a loud place this means it’s actually pretty hard to tell if they are in fact on since the feedback is so diminished.  Annoying.  Cochlear…. PUT THE LIGHTS BACK ON.  Adults that wear bahas have the option of turning off the light. So… no brainer… let’s bring back the lights.

– Because of the microphone activation, the on/off switches are different buttons. Not a big deal at all, but now we have two processors- one old and one new and all use different buttons for on/off. One has a light, the other doesn’t.  It’s just a thing with me.

All in all, I’m so happy we have the 4. Next up.. if y’all can bring back my light… that’ll make a momma happy.

Enjoy friends!

Eloise

Fashion Friday

That time again! Happy Valentines and Fashion Friday to all of you. 

Outfit One: Bubble top and leggings- Absorba (from Saks Outlet, also found it here); Shoes- Converse; Headband and Hearing Aids: Cochlear

Outfit Two: Dress- H&M- sold out but similar here; Necklace- her nanna’s; Tights: Ralph Lauren, Boots: Minnetonka; Hearing Aid and Softband: Cochlear

Dress- Gap; Tights- Ralph Lauren, Shoes- Thailand from Ben!!; Hearing Aids and Softband- Cochlear

XOXO,

Eloise

Surviving the specialist’s office

I thought I’d put together a survival packing list for any of you who are just starting out with specialists for your kiddos. We’ve been going to specialists since the day after bug was born. I used to have all this crap crammed into her diaper bag plus 15 other things and I’ve slowly widdled the must-haves down to these crucial items. Hopefully y’all have offices where you don’t have to wait, OR some that actually have toys for kids. But… I have now been to so many without so much as a kid’s corner that I thought I’d let you know what we bring and what works for us.

Hope this helps!

–       Larabars. Landon and I both love Larabars. They are naturally sweetened with only about 5 ingredients. I stash 2-3 b/c she always eats a whole one herself. 

–       Pouches. Thank God for these, right?!

–       Lovey. Keeps her calm when she starts to lose it. 

–       Her “Quiet Book”. This amazing soft book has so many great activities piled into it. As much as I love a good DIY, I opted to buy a pre-made one and I’m thankful we bring this thing with us everywhere. So many great speech ideas in it too- choo choo for the train; pull and push, b-b-b balloons, ETC

–       Bubbles. We are crazy bubble fans ever since they were introduced in speech therapy for p-p-p-p pop the bubbles. Jelly Belly makes great scented ones that actually make a popping sound. You can call me a bubble snob.. it’s cool. 

–       Hearing aid batteries. Obviously just for us mommas of kiddos that wear them. I have a problem remembering them so I stashed a small ziploc of some in my tiny makeup bag. 

–       Water bottle and sippy cup twist on top. Genius intention. 

–       Coconut butter or almond butter packets. In case you get famished and you need just something until actual food… and the kiddos love them too.  Bring an apple and you’re good on snacks for a bit. 

–       Extra tshirt. The girl is messy. From birth, always had a white onesie in my bag for just in case moments. 

–       Diaper and wipes… duhI forget these too often. 

I swear I can get this closed!

Hope this is helpful!

XOXO