Saturday, April 30, 2016

Braces for Straight Teeth

Yes, you heard me right. There are braces for straight teeth. Why would someone want to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for braces when the child has great, and straight teeth? It's called impacted #11. That's the canine tooth. My Brooklyn is about to begin the whole process of getting braces, see an Oral Surgeon for a tooth extraction and try to pull down the impacted adult tooth. This was devastating news to not only us, but the Orthodontist who loved how pretty and straight her teeth are, but I looked at the X-rays and there is just no getting around it. It needs to happen, and happen soon.

Over the summer we have the bulk of the work completed followed by about two years or so of clear braces. She also has TMJ and will be under treatment for that as well. She already has cochlear implants, glasses and now adding braces too. I've tried to encourage her to try contacts really soon but she is nervous and says she isn't ready. With volleyball tryouts only a few weeks away, she may find out that if she makes the team, contacts may be the best option! I can't believe she is about to be in the 7th grade! Gage will be going into the 10th and he is only weeks away from getting his driver's permit! He too will visit the Oral Surgeon to give us an estimate of if/when he will be facing his much awaited jaw distraction.

Where has the time gone?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring Breakin' It

So what have The Blakelys been up to? It is best to do this in picture form. They were recently seen for an ear "tune up". Brook is still on a once per year or as needed basis. Gage is still as needed but seems to be going every 9 weeks or so which is a huge jump from our monthly visits from previous years.

What else is new? We've spent the first three days of our Spring Break in either Dental or Orthodontic offices (no surprise there), trying to get some things taken care of while we are all out of school. No word on when they think Gage will (or if it is out of the plan) need his jaw distraction. We are still in the infant stages of Orthodontia.

I no longer work at the elementary school, I have moved over to the high school. Brooklyn will be over there next school year so it made sense for me to go ahead while the opportunity was there to make the transition. It wasn't easy but everyone has seemed to have adjusted well.

We still love being at home and wouldn't trade it for any place on earth. We love the sunrises and sunsets, we love to spend time in the woods with campfires, four wheeling, and just enjoying family and friends.

Brook still loves babies (but real ones now, not dolls) and will scoop one up anywhere she can find one. I see lots of babysitting in her future as she approaches the teenage years. Gage is obsessed with building things. He is always, everyday, in his shed working on furniture or handmade guitars.

We lost our beloved dog Marley in a tragic accident so the husband adopted two puppies (both Lab mixes) and they could not be more adorable. The kids really love them!

Next on our list...Brooklyn tries out for JV Volleyball in May. We wish her the best of luck. She already worries about how she will keep her implants on as she jumps around the court. We know there are many sport options that can render this, she just needs something to worry about (smile).

Have a Blessed Spring Break

Monday, October 12, 2015

11 Years of Hearing

It is hard to believe we are approaching 11 years of hearing with our first born. Brooklyn has been hearing for almost that long as well, but Gage was three and a half years old when his first cochlear implant was turned on. Here's how funny all that noise can be!

We had no idea that the three years of silence or at least minimal hearing aid benefit would never show at age 14. We didn't expect him to catch up so fast but a little boy's determination and hard work paid off. He was released (graduated) from AVT only a year later just when his sister began her journey. These two compliment each other well and they sure have taught me more than I could ever teach them!

I need to post some more videos!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Problem with Hearing Kids

The problem with hearing kids, is they hear. We hearing parents of deaf children grow accustomed to being able to get up at 4:00 a.m. (or stay up to 4:00 a.m.) and do dishes, laundry, vacuum, any noisy task we want because our kids will sleep soundly. When hearing friends come over, we panic. Suddenly everything we do becomes magnified by 10,000 and we realize how noisy we parents really are.

I "shhhhed" myself this morning when making breakfast as the two deaf ones slept soundly and the one hearing friend (also was out cold) was at risk for being awakened. Luckily, no fire alarms blared this morning (which is usual) so I was pleased they got their much needed ZZZs. I guess we can take that early morning time to do other things like, blogging, drinking coffee, and watching the sunrise!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Speech Therapy Bags

I was recently reminded of portable Speech Therapy bags. The ones we mom of hearing impaired children have in our homes, in our cars, at grandma's, practically everywhere we go. We know kids need toys to help occupy them at those long grueling appointments and they love to play, so why not combine playing and learning? Going through AVT (Auditory Verbal Therapy) and Speech Therapy with both of my children helped me be prepared for opportunity teachings.

I have a list I have put together for some of the top 5 items I used to carry. I'm curious as to what parents carry in their therapy bags these days! You can view my list here on Influenster (click here).

We would change our items every couple of weeks or so (basically when mommy got tired of the Legos or tired of reading the same book). One thing to remember about these bags, your local thrift store can be a gold mine! Just wash the toys really well and your child will be learning for pennies! You can find great "odds and ends" and at my thrift store they bag up miscellaneous items like small figures, small doll house items, random cars, etc. which was PERFECT for us! I'd pay $0.59 for big bag of WORDS! Don't let great opportunities pass you by because you think an item is too girly for you boy or right the opposite. My daughter and I would use big brother's hot wheels to drive to all of her doll's houses! It's all about how you approach it!

I miss those days!

If you would like more information on how to be an Influenster, make your own lists, write reviews, and try free samples, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Making an Electric Guitar

So what do bored teens do when school's out for summer...make homemade electric guitars of course!  This first video is the very first one he made last week.

The upgraded version of the guitar soon followed when a neighbor (who is very smart about a lot of topics-guitars is not one of them but welcomed the challenge) took the boy under his wing and let him come over everyday (for hours on end) and use tools, ask questions, and together...two great minds came up with this: (though he warns he still has string work to do)


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Heavy Metal

Let's face it, he was heavy metal the minute he picked up his first guitar. Well, not really, but he is certainly cool enough to be...

We finally got the boy in his braces. Sorry to all the Goldenhar patients that don't have a cleft palate, insurance will likely NOT pay for the braces. But that's okay. He is in them, and will be for a while. They only put on the top row this go around and will add the bottoms at a later appointment. He will also add the spacer later as well. He didn't want to put everything in his mouth at once and have the Gman super uncomfortable. The braces hurt bad enough, but nothing a little ibuprofen won't handle.

We will remove the braces in about 6 months temporarily to add composite bonding type additions to the front teeth to make them look more like full pretty teeth. After that is done by his family dentist, we'll go back and put the braces right back on. The bottom row will be moved only slightly forward and then a pediatric bridge will fill in the remaining gap where he has no adult teeth (missing bottom front four). After the boy finishes growing at around age 20, he can decide if he wants an adult (more permanent) bridge or dental implants.

I know it sounds like a lot, and we haven't even been back to see the surgeon about the whole jaw issues, but he too wanted to wait until after age 18 to fix any of that (should we go in that direction). However, by the time the chap is in his early 20s, he'll be so glad he did all of this and I think he'll love the results! We are blessed as always to have a magnificent team helping and guiding us along the way!

 The main concern now is keeping the health of his teeth and progressing in weight gain. Gman is afraid this will set him back but we have loads of ice cream to supplement his lack of biting into food that is just plain uncomfortable and not recommended for a young'un with braces. The anxiety is behind him now and he's getting used to the heavy metal already!

Sunday, July 5, 2015


On an impromptu stop at a Wal Mart, my mother decided to get G's hair cut. He needed a cut desperately and she was being the good grandmother and getting that little chore out of the way while they were out shopping.

Well, "the girl" my mother called her, sat G down and mother explained to her that once he removes his CIs that he'll hear nothing. Mother proceeded to explain how he wanted his hair trimmed up and assured "the girl" that she'd stand close by in case she needed her to communicate for her while he was off air.

Hmm, "the girl" got really nervous and told my mother she'd have to go sit down and not hover over her while she cut hair....(hover over her?) Yep. As you can imagine, that didn't go over well with G's grandmother. Mom said, "I'm not sitting down until I'm certain you know how he wants his hair cut!"

Needless to say, he got a slight trim and we'll just see that he gets to his regular barber (who is much more understanding and nicer) than some people tend to be. Completely made the Gman uncomfortable as well as mom but they both learned something from their impromptu stop.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Brace Yourself

After years of anticipation, guess who will be getting braces next Saturday?
That's right, this guy! We tried for over a year to get insurance to pay for them since it is medically necessary per the dentists, and orthodontists that we work closely with, BUT since he does not have a cleft palate, we got a big fat no! Goldenhar Syndrome has left his mouth with its share of challenges and we are not sure yet how long he will wear the braces but we'll see how it all goes.

We are moving teeth around to fill in the gaps where no adult teeth are present. Then, the dentist will be able to shape what he does have and after that he'll be ready for dental implants. Since dental implants can't be side by side, we must move teeth around first so that they can be placed sporadically. He has a long road ahead of him with orthodontia but by the time he graduates high school he'll be so glad he did it! ((He is less than excited))

Thursday, July 2, 2015


...because some deaf children really do hear! 

The boy picked up a guitar last summer and hasn't put it down since.  So five guitars later, we started him in guitar lessons to couple his natural talent...I should say un-natural talent, God-given, God-decided-to-bless-him talent.  However you look at it, if you had asked me ten years ago when he was four if he'd be able to ever hear a guitar well, much less play one, I would have said NO.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Regional Tech Fair

One proud Mama alert...
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this high-tech kid would be standing in front of judges presenting a project about her cochlear implants. She and her friend/partner decided to do a project about B's ears and how technology helps her hear and the impact it makes at school, including her friends' point of view and how her peers play a role in her success.

These girls were asked many questions, they answered confidently, and brought home first place month, the are to present their project at the state competition!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Big Boy

In person, I know he still seems small for 13, but today at his annual appointment to see the CRS team consisting of a nutritionist, social worker, a team of dental experts, etc., they were BLOWN away by his growth spurt. Even more remarkable, this spurt actually happened sometime between May and November because we had other doctor visits in between to do weigh-ins....He has never been above the 5th percentile and today.....25th percentile!!! He has grown nearly 4 inches and gained 19 pounds in that time frame. It sparked their interest in Goldenhar Syndrome and several declared they do some more research on the subject.

The difficult news...medically, he needs lots of Orthodontia. He can't even eat corn on the cob, bite into apples, and lots of other things he don't eat because of his missing/malformed "teeth" called pegs. However, according to the widespread changes in the recent medical insurance coverage....a certain code doesn't fall under the "qualified" category anymore since he has Goldenhar Syndrome and not a cleft palate. His face is crooking more and more and will affect his upper face soon including around his is expected the skin of one eye will begin to pull down and around toward the short side (right) as he continues to grow. He still will need dental repairs after Orthodontia and then the jaw surgery to follow in just a few short years to lengthen that short bone.

They are resubmitting paperwork in hopes to get it passed as necessary and not cosmetic for the common crooked teeth. We will sit back, and pray it works this time! We are just glad to have him, and we'll take it one day at a time. He sure is a fun child, and we are Blessed as his parents.