Sunday, June 9, 2019

Upgrading Again

It is that time again. It's been a little over 5 years since her last upgrade and although we were hoping to make it through fall before we began the lengthy process of an upgrade, one of her processors quit. For good kinda quit, like the clinic said she needs a new one. The other one still works part time which is probably worse than not working at all so she is getting by with her backups (Freedoms) which are obsolete. So you see we are kinda in a pickle.

We sent in the order forms last week and the ball is rolling but I don't look for her to be in them before school starts back in August. When we get an idea that they are shipping out we will go ahead and make an appointment with the clinic so she can be delayed no more. Just in time for volleyball season!

She is super excited to get new N7s and can't wait for them to work directly with her iPhone. She loves music so the Bluetooth capabilities are calling her name. The struggle will be worth it in the end.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Cochlear Implants and Sports

So it's been a while, like a year, since I've updated on the Country Kids with Cochlear Implants. That's probably because I've gotten distracted and lazy and almost forgot I even liked to write during school "season" Brooklyn keeps us busy with her sports. She does well in school socially, keeps good grades, and is an athlete. She continues to play softball and volleyball each year and now that she's moving up to high school level, being in the 9th grade now, she'll be in the "big leagues" so to speak.

She has completed softball for the year and her team had a really good season with less than a handful of losses, and so begins volleyball. She will start workouts with the older girls upon her return from the beach and she really likes that part. She may groan and complain but she likes the feel of a good workout.

She finally got rid of the braces and the glasses and she looks forward to her first volleyball season without them! We continue to use double sided fabric tape to help secure her processors on her ears. This is her preferred method now, she gave up the small headbands but they could make another appearance when her first volleyball game rolls around who knows.

She still loves music and uses her over the ear headphones the ones that cost a small fortune or the higher quality ones at Wal Mart work just as well. Hopefully it won't take a full year to update on my two kids with cochlear implants! We wouldn't want you to think they are boring, they keep us full. 💗

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sports and Cochlear Implants

Though there are many options these days for kids who hear with cochlear implants AND also play sports, I'm going to show you what works for us. The trick is to know your options, and find what works for you and your child!

My daughter is our athlete. She is going on 14 (I know!!) and has had her implants for almost twelve years now. She became an athlete in 7th grade when she made the volleyball team. Her height is perfect for such a sport and after the season was over, she tried out and made the softball team. She is learning but doing well in both sports. Her teammates and coaches couldn't be more supportive and the encouragement has certainly boosted her assurance, and confidence.

I have (out of necessity) learned to do braids. One thing at the end of the season we learned is that double braids help hold the processors on. She has long hair and the braids on each side running behind the ears are great. I wish I could braid tighter than what I do but hey, practice will help that! She bought some skinny headbands that she says help also. At first she was simply pulling her hair back in a pony tail and using double sided fabric tape directly on her processors and that worked for a while but these other options were better due to sweat causing the tape to lose its stick. This basically got us through the majority of both seasons. We now know what to do for next year as she enters 8th grade playing both sports again.

If your child wants to play sports, go for it! Let the coaches know you are experimenting with head gear options and they may even have great advice!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Deaf Child Behind The Wheel

Radio off, windows up, minimal talking and we are off. I guess I am as nervous as any other parent giving full control of a massive deadly weapon to their 15 year old child.

Truthfully, I thought the fact that he is hearing impaired would multiply that fear ten fold but so far, that isn't really a factor. He does a great job. We have had him drive at various times, even at night and in heavy rain. Next on our list is completely deaf...just down the road and back. He has to learn what it feels like so if batteries die, he don't panic and wreck trying attain his sound back. He needs remain calm, remain in control and get to where his going safely.

I think our biggest concern is (as he gets older), if he were to get pulled over, would he be able to safely communicate to an officer at a distance that he is hearing impaired. We are hoping to find something tag or window related that would state or warn of this immediately. We also have this concern (and in his billfold) that if unresponsive due to a wreck or whatever that he can't have MRIs due to the magnets in his head without first removing them.

So far, just having a permit isn't that bad. As 16 approaches, my anxiety heightens when I realize he will not want me to ride with him anymore. 😭

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Metal Mouthes

Well, we have both kids in braces. It all happened so fast with Brooklyn. A couple of months ago we never guessed she needed them but one glance at the X-rays and it became clear. Her baby tooth will be extracted next month and the Orthontist can begin the process of pulling the crooked adult tooth down into the proper position.

We visit the surgeon at the end of the month to decide what is on the agenda for both kiddos. Will it be a jaw distraction for Gman? He will also give us details about B's pending surgery. Busy summer, but still Blessed!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

I Want You to Hear

Sensorineural. Conductive. Audiogram. Milestones. What are all these new vocabulary words being thrown at me and my new baby? This became our reality years ago when my first child failed his newborn hearing screening. His tiny little ears were soon adorned with rather large super-powered hearing aids. The best of the best on the market and even those floppy devices couldn’t bring enough sound to those tiny ears, to hear my voice.

Having no history of hearing loss on either side of the family, we didn’t even know what questions to ask at that point. Months passed by, then years. We introduced him to his new little sister with what little signs and gestures we had developed as our communication methods. We were introduced into the Cochlear family by our doctor as our next step toward living in a hearing world full of possible speech, language, music, and voices.

While little sister was developing her babble, her various toddler words, we were shocked to find out she too had hearing loss. She soon progressed to severe levels as we prepared to our son to undergo his first cochlear implant surgery. Our hopes were high and expectations low as our now almost four year old would either soon begin to hear the world that had been so quiet, or he would remain in silence.

Not only would he receive the gift of hearing, but his sister would soon follow in his footsteps. We had therapy as a family to learn how to learn how to hear and how to develop appropriate speech and language. It was hard work for everyone on our team but both children are in public school, playing sports, playing instruments, enjoying their friends’ laughter and not enjoying their mother’s singing.

Now Cochlear introduces their new website as a resource for parents finding themselves facing a similar situation as we did years ago. A place to answer the daunting questions that linger can be accessed from almost anywhere. Find out more about the advanced implantable hearing solutions by Cochlear by visiting

This is a sponsored post from Cochlear written only by me. My opinions are my own.

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)