Today Manu finally had his hearing assessment that was on hold pending his recent ear infection. We knew he was feeling better, as he is again sleeping through the night (YES!), but before the testing could begin we needed to get Dr. Taylor's assurance that his ears had indeed cleared. As we arrived at her office we were greeted by the lovely and talented nurse Elizabeth who proceeded to weigh Manu and reported that he was now 16lb 11oz; up nearly a pound from just 3 weeks ago. Dr. Taylor examined his ears and found them to be in good health, so we headed across the hall to the ENT office where we met Janet Taff, Manu's Audiologist. Have you ever tried to keep an 11 month old still and quiet long enough so that he can listen for quiet whispers? I knew that wasn't going to be easy, but Manu did pretty good, with a little distracting. Janet performed 3 different tests and and the little guy passed with flying colors. We also discussed some recent research into children adopted from countries that speak different languages, and how they generally have good results when adapting to the new sounds and words they are hearing. So there we have it, proof that when Manu doesn't respond to us, he's being stubborn, not hard of hearing. I'll make him aware of that as he gets older!
Last week we had a visit to Cincinnati Children's Hospital to have Manu evaluated for some other possible treatments. Turns out the little fella is going to need surgery to repair his umbilical hernia. There is the possibility that his intestines could get pinched by the hole in his abominal muscles, causing blood supply to get cut off, leading to serious complications. Nothing imminent, but we need to get it fixed relatively soon. What worries Leslie and I the most isn't the proceedure itself, but that it will be done under general anesthesia. We feel very good about the facilities and the people who will be handling Manu's surgery; we were very impressed with CCH in general; but he's so small, and it's our job to worry about him. We're waiting to hear from the scheduling department about the exact date of surgery. We'll report back after we find out.
The last couple of weeks has seen an explosion in his vocality. He is babbling constantly now, and trying to repeat what we are saying to him. Lot's of mamamamama and dadadadada. He's also trying to say "big bite" and "Casey" (his dog), but they come out sounding like "bi bah" and "kay kay." It's really cute. We're trying to capture some of it on video, but of course he goes quiet with the camera rolling. He's also standing himself up in the middle of the floor without holding on to anything. He can balance up to 10 seconds or so before flopping down on his rear. He seems to be in a standing position most of the time now, as he only crawls in order to get to the next interesting thing upon which to pull himself up. Manu has also logged about 12 miles on the jogging stroller, and boy does he make it look easy! He's planning to enter the Blugrass 10K in July, and I'll gaurantee you one thing, he'll come in ahead of us!