Monday, March 5, 2012

Our family trip to Edmonton!

We just recently went to Edmonton to see Sienna's CI Audiologist and her pediatrician.
Her audiologist, of course, was amazed with her language skills. She speaks and understands both English and French. We did the usual sound booth test and checked her mapping and everything is good. We'll see them again in 6 months.
Her pediatrician appointment however did not go so well. Despite the awesome fact that Sienna has not been sick with a cold since August, she still is not gaining like she should. After having the flu twice, surviving the hectic holidays and even though the entire family had a cold a couple of weeks ago, Sienna, the allmighty went through it all healthier than ever. She has not gone a month without fighting something since she was born. My husband and I are constantly feeding her, encouraging her to eat, giving her all sorts of food, she only weighs 23.8 lbs at 4.5 years. She did gain over a 1lb in 6 months, when charting her, she is widening the space between her and the bottom of the growth chart. This is just the first sign that she is plateauing, so her next doctor's appointment will tell us lots. As for as height, she is 36", growing 0.5inches in 6 months. We will have to continue working hard at keeping her healthy and getting her to eat.
With Sienna's medical trips, we usually go and come back as fast as possible. This time our family needed some time together so we packed up all the kids and stayed at Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall. We had the pleasure of going to a sea lion show, a penguin show and visiting a marine life exhibition. What great family fun!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy 2nd Hearing Birthday, Sienna!

It has now been 2 years post-activation and I have to say she has come along way. If you would have told me that in 2 years , since she was first activated, Sienna would be where she’s at today, I would have had trouble believing you. Here are some stories about how awesome our little girl is doing!
  1. She was eating her plate of supper…I told her in French “Quand tu as fini souper, tu peux aller jouer au parc”, so she turns to her English speaking cousin and says, “When I’m all done supper, I can go play.” WOW!
  2. Just last month, she sang “Frere Jacques” a French lullaby to her great-grandma while her uncle was playing the guitar…she didn’t have all the words or the tune but it was so cute that she did it!
  3. While in the other room, I told Rylee, her older sister, to go upstairs and get dressed. Sibling competition, drove Sienna out of that room and upstairs beating her older sister. (She listens and understands even if she isn’t face to face with the person!)
  4. She sat down for the first time ever through a story about a girl and a boy on a canoe ride. Then a few days later while everyone else is telling stories by the fire, she turns to me and says I would like to talk and tell a story. So we got everyone’s attention and she told the story of the girl and boy on their canoe ride. She was missing parts but everyone got the main idea of the story.
  5. She’ll pick up a book and will make up a story while looking at the pictures.
  6. She had her very first phone conversation which made sense! With my mom! In English!
  7. Many, many more!!!

There are many more moments that I am very proud of…these are just a few!

We just returned from our 2nd year post-activation at the Glenrose in Edmonton and they are just as proud of her as we are. She is still hearing at a 15-20db and all 22 electrodes are working on both sides. We also did a language assessment. First part was in French. She repeated words which I said on the other side of the booth while covering my mouth so she wouldn’t lip read. A French SLP wrote them down as she would pronounce them. There were 3 lists, one list for the right CI, one for the left and then one for both. She did amazing and better when she had her 2 CI’s on, just goes to show how important bilateral is! Then she followed French orders with Mr. Potato Head and missed a few but did well. The last part of our long morning was an English recorded comprehension test. Our audiologist asked if we wanted to try an English test and I said we can just not sure how much English she really understands. Well, she blew us away! Example, the recording would say something like, “Help me with my shoes please!” and there would be a picture of a boy eating, a boy washing his hands and a boy putting his shoes on and Sienna would have to pick out the one that made sense. I can’t wait to get the report back and share it with you. Stay tuned!

Now I’m off to prepare for Sienna’s 4th birthday party! The ladybug celebration is Sunday, August 28th. It’s so exciting to see her face and excitement as we talk about it. She is 4 and NOW understands that her birthday is in 3 sleeps!

Thursday, July 14, 2011



Here's an update on her health issues.

We've been seeing this amazing pediatrician in Edmonton since January, trying to get her health and growth on track. He said for most people a cold lasts 7-10 days but when a person can't shake it, either asthma or acid reflux or both is the culprit. So, we are treating Sienna for both. She takes QVAR -1puff twice daily to make her lungs stronger and she takes 3.3ml of Prevacid twice daily. When she gets a cold, it lingers for weeks; for example, from January 20th to March 10th, she was sick with a cough and runny nose for 7 weeks out of 8 weeks. She also sometimes gets these cough attacks and then pukes. She was like this until the beginning of May and has been healthy since then until now. A cold is going through our family and of course Sienna caught it and it's been 9 days now that she is fighting it. Hopefully she can shake it fast cause we have a wedding to attend this weekend!!


As for her growth, her appetite is there when she is healthy. These are her measurements from our last two visits at the pediatricians:

March 10th- weight-21.6lbs height-86cm

June 26th- weight- 22.6lbs height-91cm


She is still very tiny as she will be 4 in August and is not yet 23lbs. However as you can see, she is GROWING!!!! She gained an entire pound in 3.5 months compared to last year when she gained a pound in a year and she also grew 5 cm, unbelievable! According to the growth chart, for her height she is following the 5 percentile curb which is awesome cause for the longest time she was way below the curb. As for her weight, she is still below the bottom curb but she is now finally narrowing the gap. Her doctor said, whatever we are doing, keep doing it. You don't know how great that was to hear! It's been a battle with her growth since she was a baby and finally now I feel we are on the right track. Our next pediatrician appointment is in September so until then we are going to fill her little belly and put her on the curb once and for all!!




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sienna’s first year of pre-school

Sienna ended her first year of pre-school at the end of May and I have to say she made tremendous progress since the day she first began. She spent 2 mornings a week in a colorful, energetic and positive classroom full of French speaking classmates, a teacher and a teacher assistant.

Mme Marthe, her energetic teacher, spent an enormous amount of time preparing enriching and interesting activities, and crafts. She always had positive words and ways with all the children, when they would act out, she would look them in the eyes and say, "Je t'aime!" At the end of the class, every child would line up and take a turn to listen to Mme Marthe whisper kind words in every student's ear. Sienna was always excited to go to school, every night before bed she would ask if she has school tomorrow. You can just imagine our summer holidays, "est-ce que j'ai l'ecole demain?"

Mme Diane, her teacher's assistant, was introduced to Sienna in the middle of January and they hit it off from the start. This was not surprising as Mme Diane is a gentle, kind and has a gift of listening which is exactly what Sienna needs to flourish. She drops down to her knees to listen to Sienna's words, she speaks slowly in a calm voice with great articulation. Sienna and Mme Diane prepared a special box with vocabulary cards used to play games to enrich her vocabulary. Sienna's very lucky to have found these two people along her hearing journey. They both played an important role in her progress.

We can't wait for September when school starts as I can just imagine what kind of leaps and bounds she'll make next year.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rylee, the older sister

Rylee is the one who gets left behind when we go to Edmonton for medical trips.

Rylee is the one who stays home with the family…cause Sienna is sick again.

Rylee is the one who gives in sometimes because Sienna can't understand.

Rylee is the one who deals with a frustrated and aggressive little sister.

Rylee is the one who covers her ears when Sienna screams or throws her tantrums.

Rylee is the one who knows how to reason with Sienna to get her to cooperate.

It is so hard to be the older sister!


Rylee is the one who gets to eat candy while her little sister takes her nap.

Rylee is the one who gets to stay up just a little later.

Rylee is the one who gets to really enjoy fun activities like…bowling, sledding, and skating.

Rylee is the one who models how to color between the lines, how to glue and how to cut.

Rylee is the one who helped Sienna come so far and so fast in her communication.

Rylee is the one who has patience when playing with Sienna.

Rylee is the one who understands Sienna the best.

Rylee is the one who helps others understand Sienna when she is trying to tell them something.

Rylee is the one who Sienna will always look up to!

Rylee is the one who will help Sienna reach her true potential!

Thank-you Rylee for being you,

cause I just don't know if Sienna would be who she is today!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

OMGoodness it’s been a while!!

OMGoddness it's been a while!! First I need to say MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL. I have been very busy since Kendra came into our world that I have not had the time…or I guess I should say have made the time to blog. Between Kendra's arrival, Rylee and Sienna both starting school, children sick from the common colds, building our new house and Christmas it's been crazy around here. So here it goes!!

Sienna welcomed a little sister on September 14, 2010, Kendra Lou. She is now 3.5 months and growing fast.

Sienna began preschool at Ecole Heritage, the Francophone school in town, every Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She began at the beginning of October and settled in very well. We were well taken care of from the start. Her teacher, Mme Marthe, is an energetic educator who understands children with disabilities especially one with a hearing loss as her son had a hearing loss on one side. At the beginning of December, PUF enabled them to hire a full-time aid for Sienna to help her with her language skills. I am very pleased with the dedication and teamwork involving as many as 6 adults including myself…all working together to help Sienna reach her full potential. I'm in awe to see that these people are so dedicated in seeing my child succeed and will do what it takes to ensure that. However; I am sad to say good-bye to our speech language pathologist, Lindsay. Sienna had weekly speech therapy with Lindsay for almost 2 years now with only a few breaks throughout. What doesn't make sense to me is that because we are accessing PUF funding now, she no longer gets her weekly speech therapy sessions with a qualified speech therapist, one who has worked with Sienna weekly for just about 2 years. Through the school, she is now seeing a SLP from Edmonton who will visit 3 times during her school year. The expectation is that her aid will do her "speech therapy". Don't get me wrong, her aid is eager to learn and wants to see Sienna succeed. It's just that she was doing so well with Lindsay that I feel like we are taking a step back from the speech therapy. I could hire a private SLP who could see Sienna once a week but seeing that we live in a northern rural area, there are none to be found. Since beginning preschool, Sienna has made so many gains and I am very excited to see what kind of gains will come. Apart from the speech therapy that she will receive at school; Sienna is learning to socialize, to be more independent, and to follow classroom routines. School is by far the best thing for her, it's just I wish the government would see that things are different up here in Northern Alberta; we don't have the resources or the qualified people like the cities do.

Sienna has come so far since August, it's not even funny. I look back at her SLP's goals and we have achieved them in so little time. Our goals were and still are:

Speech Perception Goals

  1. Sienna will identify 2+key words in the middle of a sentence. Ex: What is flying in the sky? (key words…flying and sky). 2.
  2. Sienna will discriminate between two words with only a single sound difference ex: cat vs hat

Speech Production Goals

  1. Sienna will be able to correctly sequence the sounds required to produce a C1VC2V word ex: piggy, doggie. Sienna was repeating the initial consonant in the middle of the word like mimmens instead of mittens or moomie instead of movie; words where the middle consonant changes.
  2. Sienna will correctly produce the initial consonant in one syllable words. Sienna is doing much better at this but we often need to have her repeat the word with the correct initial consonant.
Language Goals
  1. Sienna will be able to answer questions about herself. Others would ask her name, or her age and she would look at them with a blank face. Now Sienna is beginning to answer how old she is and what is her name?
  2. Sienna will be able to verbally answer what and where questions. Sienna was having difficulties answering questions; she would just repeat the question. This is expected as we have been encouraging her repeat everything we say for the past year. Now, she answers simple questions and she is actually asking questions herself, like what are you doing? Where's dad? What is that?

She is now speaking even more clearly, so clearly that others besides me understand her. She is playing with her older sister, not just side by side but they actually play "pretend". She is speaking in short sentences like, "ouvre la porte Rylee," "Merci pour souper," "aide-moi mom s'il vous plait." I am so proud of her accomplishments and have to constantly remind myself that she has only been hearing for close to 1.5 years. She does still get very frustrated when she is not understood and tries so desperately to express herself but sometimes I just can't make out her words. She screams and has tantrums when she is not being understood. So I just remind her to use her words, to calm down and tell me what she wants.

We wish you the best of luck in the NEW YEAR!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kids, they grow up too fast!!

Sienna's new headband!! We love them!
Thank-you to Lily's mom for the contact info.

Sienna watching her sister wait for the bus!

Rylee excited for her 1st day in grade 1!!

Sienna and her cousin Jordyn celebrating their 3rd birthday!
Sienna-August 28
Jordyn- August 14

Sienna and Rylee at Sienna's 3rd Dora birthday party!