we are too lazy or busy (you choose) to keep up two blogs. If you want to see how Cal is doing visit steveandbrynn.blogspot


I guess this blog is due for an update. Cal is about 18 months now and he is still our chubby happy lil’ dude. He has finally figured out the walking thing and wobbles around the house like he owns the place. His religion is still the same: he worships food and his big sister.

Cal is doing incredibly well in both speech and sign. He probably has about 8-10 words:
Whu for What
Animal Sounds (rooster, cow, dog, horse, duck)
(his Grandpa)
Dada is still ah-ah, but we are working with him.
And beyond that he says almost all of his sounds: ah, ooh, ew, buh, wha...he's doing really well for 5 months post activation.

Brynn gets every ounce of credit for Cal’s success. Audiologists, speech therapists, deaf mentors, PIP advisors and working with Cal – I don’t know how she does it, but she’s an incredible Mom.

We are at point where we are wondering about a 2nd implant. There seems to be a lot of opinions out there, but very little hard evidence for children. So we will go ahead and ask all of you. Is there anyone out there that has received, or had a child receive a bi-lateral implant? Would you recommend it? What differences have you seen? Please let us know – we’d love to hear from you. Thanks in advance!

Meet Cal's Voice...

Cal loves his implant and loves his new voice. Every time his implant goes on it is like flipping on a voice switch - quiet Cal goes to noisy Cal. He is responding to pretty much all sound and is already on program 3 of his 3rd mapping. He is getting sick of working on his LING sounds, but so far he has said his mmm & aaah, and is so close to making an eee sound.

And although it sounds like his whole life is about his CI, it really is not. He is a typical little dude that destroys everything, climbs anything, and drives his sister nuts. He's a little stud and he knows it.

Cal's Activation

Well we guessed right! Everyone asked us how we thought Cal would respond when he was first turned on, and we said "he'll probably do his nervous laugh." He was such a good sport at the appointment. It is a long and strenuous process for a 1yr old, but he did a great job! For the past two weeks, Cal has just been getting acquainted with his implant. Yesterday we went in again and they activated more electrodes and turned it up a level. Today at breakfast Londyn started talking to Cal, and he turned and looked at her! I think it is the first time he has actually heard her talk. It has been a whole new world of fun at our house these last couple of weeks, and we are so grateful for the genius doctors that came up with this miraculous technology.

Here are a few pics of his new skull candy!

Cal's Eventful Two Weeks

Mr. Cal turned 1! He had a great party with family, ate some yummy cake, and got a whole bunch of fun presents! Since he turned one, our sweet, cuddly boy has turned into a complete maniac. Cal is definitely going to be a wild man like his daddy!

Cal's Surgery went extremely well. He was only in surgery for an hour and a half. They were able to place all of the electrodes in the cochlea without any complications. In fact, he was back to his normal self about 7 hours after the surgery. There were three other 1 year old babies that got implants that day, so Cal had a lot of fun playing with his new friends! Our little man is such a trooper, and we are so very proud of him!

Surgery Is On!

After countless…

phone calls
and waiting, our insurance finally approved Cal’s cochlear implant. That means that this Friday is a go! The long wait is over, Cal will be implanted by the end of the week.

and relieve setting in. We will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Happy Birthday Cal!

365 days ago that Brynn and I were in the hospital holding our tiny little infant. And here we are, one year later, holding a fat little man. And that fat little man has brought us more happiness then we ever thought possible. Calan is the type of kid that smiles for anybody, laughs for no reason, waves to passing airplanes and burrows into your neck when he’s tired. I’m lucky to be his dad. Happy Birthday Cal.

Dad's Sentimental Rant

By no means do I consider myself an expert in all things deaf, but what I have learned in the past 8-½ months is astounding. As a parent you read books, you learn audiology results, you pour over cochlear implant studies, you take ASL classes, you meet weekly with PIP, you immerse yourself in the Deaf culture; whatever you can do, you do. You figure the more you learn, the less lost you will feel.

But lately I find myself grateful that I have been able to learn so much. I’m grateful that I am learning another language. I’m grateful that I have discovered a culture I knew nothing about. I’m grateful for friendships made. I’m grateful my son is deaf. I know this post is ridiculously cheezy (and I am sorry for that), but for parents who are maybe just finding out that their child is deaf. It gets better. It gets much better. In fact, it becomes pretty awesome. Believe me, watching your little 10-month-old sign Mommy & Daddy is about the best thing in the world.

I’m not saying that there are not trials and heartbreaks. I’m not saying it’s easy or painless. I’m just saying there are good parts too. And the older they get, happiness and acceptance start to take over all of the worry and sadness. Like I said, it gets better...much better.

Date Set

The date is set, the okay has been given…we are officially a go. Cal is scheduled for his cochlear implant surgery on Sept. 4, 2009. So now that the date is set and most things have been squared away I’m starting to freak out a bit. Part of me wants the day to never come and the other part of me says it can’t come soon enough. Being a parent is hard enough without having to make multiple absolute life altering decisions for my kid well before he even gets to blow out his first candle. So goes the life.

Cal’s still a ridiculously tempting piece of chunky. Every time we leave the house people can’t help but kiss his fat cheeks. Here are a few pics we had done recently:

Cal's first words (signed of course)

Yay for Cal! He said his first words! Just like a hearing kid who says "Mama" for the first time, a deaf child will sign it. I know, I know, lots of kids sign at nine months, but for some reason it is really exciting to see your child sign when it is his only form of communication. Cal's first sign was "dada." Can you believe that! After all the work I have done with him to sign Mommy, his first word was daddy! Londyn did the same thing. What is that all about? The next signs to follow daddy were mommy, more, and ball. Cal also understands the sign for light and airplane. I figure that is the only benefit of living in the direct path to the airport. We get a gazillion planes flying over our house every day, so Cal has had plenty of opportunities to learn that sign!

Here is a video to demonstrate his skills. Of course Steve put him through torture in order to capture it on film, but what do ya do?