Saturday, June 28

First Hearing Birthday

Happy First Hearing Birthday Drew! This year has been more than I ever hoped for. It has been more than I ever dreamed or imagined. My little boy can hear. My little boy can talk. It truly is a miracle, and I give thanks for the gift of hearing each day.

As I celebrate Drew's first hearing birthday I would like to thank those that have played a part in making this such a wonderful year for Drew and our family. Drew's surgeon, audiologist and therapists have all been an amazing source of education and support. To all of the families of other children with hearing loss, we thank you for your friendship. We share an amazing bond as a result of this experience.

Most importantly, thank you, Mom. You have learned so much about hearing loss and auditory verbal therapy over the past year, it is just amazing. Not only this, you have used everything that you have learned with Drew and you have educated me. You tirelessly chauffeur Drew from therapy to therapy (allowing me to continue to work). You do activities and work with Drew on his language skills daily. You are a large part of his success, so thank you for working so hard to help our little boy maximize his gift of hearing.

We look forward to year two of hearing with our little boy.

Wednesday, June 25

My Favs

As we get ready to celebrate Drew's first hearing birthday this weekend, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite moments over the past year:

Watch Drew Hear
Pavarotti's Passing
Imitating Sounds
CI Dilemma #1
Jingle Bells, Part 2
Off and A Little Conversation
10 Months Post Cochlear Implant Activation Video

I don't know where the coming year will take us, but I'm enjoying the ride and can't wait to see what is in store for my little boy's second year of hearing!

Sunday, June 15

Happy Father's Day

Drew's Dad and I have created a bit of tradition for "our" days over the past three years. So today, as I have been awake since 6:20 am with the kids, Drew's Dad is still in bed, sleeping in this morning. When he wakes, the kids and I will make him breakfast, and then he will sit in his chair the rest of the day, free from diaper changing duty. It is really nice that we each have one day out of the year to sleep in and not have to change a diaper all day!

It may be Father's Day today, but Drew has given me a beautiful present already this morning. When he woke, I went into his room, put his ears on and then changed his diaper. He was making a lot of noise, so his sister came running into his room.

"Drew, be quite! It is father's day and Daddy is sleeping!"

Drew quited down for a moment, then looked at me and said, "Where oh...oh...Daddy?" He kept repeating it over and over, in a sing song way, playing our little "Where oh where is...?" game. It was so sweet.

We are now sitting downstairs. The kids are enjoying their breakfast and watching television in the living room. This isn't the norm, but hey, it's a holiday. As "The Wiggles" just signed off, Drew looked at me and said, "Bye Bye, Wiggles." How sweet is that? And, oh, everything he has said so far this morning is in two word sentences! Milk please. No more. All done. [Sister's Name] Bunny.

So, Drew's Dad may wake in an hour, or two, or more. And we will have breakfast and presents and allow him to do whatever he wants today. But the best thing of all will be when I tell him of Drew's milestones today. And knowing that while our little boy could not hear on this day one year ago, all of the hard work, all of the tears, struggles, fighting (with others, not each other) is actually working.

Happy Father's Day, to a loving husband and father. We're all so lucky to have you in our life.

I need to thank my wife for planning such a nice morning, it was very thoughtful. So I woke up about 7:55, and woke up to a wonderful morning ... of screaming and crying between Drew and his sister.

Drew's Sister: "But, but ... I WANT THE SWIFFER! Ohhhhh, WAHHHHH! [Sniffle]"

Drew: [Milk cup flying, hits the ground, cap flies off and milk spreads slowly across the floor]

Drew's Mom: "Drew, that is BAD! NO!"

Drew: "Bad. Bad. Bad."

Drew's Sister: "Oh NO! Drew did spill milk EVERYWHERE! Wahhhh!"

Is 8:47 too early for a beer? I mean, it is Father's Day, right?

Happy Father's Day everyone!***

Tuesday, June 10

Wii Are Learning Language

When we purchased our Wii a couple of months ago, we had no idea how much Drew and his sister would enjoy watching us play games! And we had no idea how many language opportunities our video game playing would present.

For instance, when we say, "Drew, do you want to drive?," he runs to the credenza, pulls the doors open and grabs the steering wheels, all while saying "drive, drive," over and over again. We can tell him exactly who to give the steering wheels to, and he will oblige.

Then, he'll start saying, "chair, chair" over and over, while walking to the dining room and pushing a chair into the living room. Drew knows that his Daddy likes to sit in an upright chair while playing the Wii.

We're currently enjoying the Mario Kart game, complete with the Moo Moo Meadows track, where we can review animal sounds. Now when we ask what track we should drive, Drew will say, "Moo," so we know he wants us to drive the course with the cows! We enjoy saying, "Ready, set, GO!," as a family at the start of each race. Drew will say, "Uh oh," every time I fall off of the track, which happens quite a bit. And each time Drew's Dad earns another trophy, Drew claps his hands while saying, "Yeah, Daddy!"

I never thought life would feel this normal. When you're told that your child is deaf and will need a cochlear implant, followed by years of therapy in order to maximize their hearing, you have this picture that your entire life will be spent in a therapists office as they work to catch the child up. And while it is important to have the formal therapy, we have found that there are plenty of language opportunities in our everyday activities. It is great because it allows Drew to learn to listen and talk while enjoying all of the things that we enjoy doing as a family. Wii are all having a lot of fun.

Saturday, June 7


The Walk4Hearing today was a success! We enjoyed walking with family and friends and as a team we were able to raise $1245 for the Hearing Loss Association of America. We want to thank our family and friends that were able to walk with us today. We are so thankful for your support.

We were happy that several families in the area whose children are also affected with hearing loss were able to walk with us today. We made t-shirts for our team, "Bionic Babies," and our theme was "Our future's so bright, we've gotta wear shades!" All of the babies were certainly popular around the walk registration area.
We're looking forward to Walk4Hearing 2009!

Friday, June 6

One Year?

It's hard to believe that one year ago today we were sitting at Nationwide Children's Hospital anxiously awaiting the completion of Drew's cochlear implant surgery. It was a very long and overwhelming day, but it was the beginning of the most wonderful journey. I don't think that Drew's Dad or I could have written a more perfect script for the year, and we are so thankful for where we find ourselves on June 6, 2008.

To celebrate, we will be participating in the HLAA's Walk4Hearing in Columbus tomorrow. We're going to be gathered with family and friends, walking in support of a great cause, thankful for the gift we have been given.

If you would like to support us in the walk, please make a donation on our team page. To date, we have raised $1220 ($1045 online, plus cash donations we will turn in tomorrow)! We would like to thank everyone for their donations and support of not only a wonderful organization, but of Drew.