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Friday, September 16, 2016

It doesn't feel like 3 years

The 3 years.  Weekly trips to Lexington.  Therapy sessions multiple times a week.  Conferences. Conventions. Our journey has been filled with experiences and opportunities.  I am thankful that Gail (Katie's mom) video taped Brody from pretty much the moment he came home from the hospital.  Without her videos, I would never remember how far Brody has come.  As I sit at the dinner table and have a "serious" conversation with my 4 year-old, I have to hide my laughter as he tells the most ridiculous story or excuse of the day.  I wish that I could consciously be thankful for his Cochlear Implants everyday, but the fact is they have become part of him.  He has even started putting the batteries on the charger by himself and putting the processors in his dryer!  I didn't know if I would be comfortable with Brody handling his processors until he was maybe...10?  He is 4; 4 years-old and already understands the importance of them; what they do; to let us know if they are not working.  I obviously remember this day, 3 years ago, when he was activated.  All he did was point toward the light on the ceiling when he heard a sound.  It was such a non-eventful thing, but it meant the world to me.  He finally had the ability to listen for the first time in his life! From that moment on, Brody hasn't looked back and has blown us away!

As Brody gets older, I can't help but think about his vision.  I absolutely have no worries about his Cochlear Implants.  He is such a good implant user.  He advocates for himself and loves wearing them.  His possible vision loss, on the other hand, is a mystery.  We have no timeline on when/how it will happen.  We basically just know, through genetic testing, that someday he may start to lose his vision.  To what extent and how fast is also not known.  Even with this diagnosis, our family pushes forward.  We know that time is not our friend so we plan to expose Brody to many things while his vision is normal.  We go on trips and travel as much as possible.  I hope that as Brody gets older he will have many happy memories that he can look back on.

3 years.  The last 3 years have had highs and lows.  I few times over these 3 years I've broken down. I would ask Katie "What will Brody do when he is older?" "Can he live by himself?" "How bad will his vision loss be?"  It has made me emotional but Katie is always there to be me my rock.  She let's me know that no matter what, Brody will be OK.  We will be there to help him, but he will fine.  For the very few low times I've had there have been uncountable highs!  Brody is such an amazing little boy.  I am so happy to be his Dad.  I've watched him overcome all the obstacles in his path and continue to overcome the ones that show up as he gets older.  I can't believe how much his Cochlear Implants have changed his life in 3 years but it has been an amazing 3 years!


I let Jordan "guest post" tonight because he is a better writer but won't ever write the posts! We celebrated Brody's processors' (who he randomly named Johnny and Wreck-It today...?) birthday. They are 3 years old! Brody was so excited! He requested party hats and candles too.

Also since I haven't posted all's a photo dump!

We stopped at Lake Michigan on the way to my cousin's wedding this summer in Minneapolis. 

Brody loves his little sister. Ella loves her brother even more!

We took in a few Louisville Bats baseball games this summer.
First official family of 4 picture. 

Pure joy together!

First day of preschool as a 4 year old! Brody has new teachers and friends. He is loving his new class!

Brody is obsessed with magic because of watching it on America's Got Talent. We got to see a magic show at the Kentucky State Fair. He loved it until they cut the girl in half. He freaked out because he thought there was going to be a ton of blood. He was so amazed when there wasn't any. ;)

We have been walking for Usher Syndrome for the last 25 days. It ends tomorrow! 

Along with magic, Brody is in love with anything Space. He's going to be an astronaut for Halloween and has dictated that the entire family will be different planets. We'll see!  

First BAMA game of the season! Roll Tide!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bring a big brother is awesome!

Ella Jo finally made her debut on May 17th. She was 10 lbs 4 oz and 22 inches long. Healthy baby!

Brody was so excited! He drew Ella some pictures to put in the hospital room and brought her a stuffed dog (that he named JoJo) and some balloons from the gift shop. 

Brody is loving being a big brother. He wears his big brother shirts (we have about 8 now) with pride! 

The little farm by our house has u-pick strawberries. They were a little picked over when we went and Brody saw an ant and was done shortly after we started. 

Brody and Jordan have been doing the Lowes Build and Grow events. Brody was able to follow almong with the instructions and do more on his own this time. 

We all went to St. Louis for Memorial Day to visit with my dad's side of the family. We braved the St. Louis Zoo. Hot and crowded, but Brody had a blast! 

We also got to visit with my cousin and his family. Brody got to help Aunt Bobbie cook the same way I used to help. 

He was worn out both days. The first night he put himself to bed (He has a little cot that we bring with us everywhere. Highly recommend it!). The second night, they both passed out while I was in the shower. 

We won free passes to see Finding Dory before the release. Brody loved it! He followed along and laughed when appropriate. He was telling her not to go certain places and talking to the screen. We had to keep shushing him. Ella Jo slept the whole time. 

We've been having a great summer hanging out with some of my fellow teachers and their kids. Love getting out of the house (I'm slowly getting both kids out and getting somewhere under 10 minutes late.)! 

Brody got to give Ella Jo a bottle. He was over it after 5 minutes, but we got a cute picture. 

We got Louisville Bats tickets in a 6-pack for some Sunday games. We've been to one so far. Oops! Brody got to meet Buddy the Bat and run the bases. He even took the opportunity to slide into homeplate. 

We haven't made it to our neighborhood pool yet this summer. It's either been too hot for Ella or raining when we have a free day. We've used the "little pool" a lot though! 

We went to Hilton Head with my family for a week. We were in a house right on the beach which made it easy with the kids! 

The beach house had a room with twin beds that was Brody's room. He's used to his queen bed and fell out one night. Scared us to death! When we brought him ice, he put it on his head, arm, knee, and hand. Next morning, we noticed a big bruise on his ear. He never mentioned that! ;) (Still loving in Otis. Going on 3 years strong!)

We celebrated Brody's birthday at the beach. He had a Batman birthday. Most of his presents had a superhero them as well.  

We went to Savannah for the day on Brody's birthday. While we were waiting to go to Paula Dean's restaurant (where Brody proclaimed that when its your birthday people have to feed you. And of course everyone participated...), a fire truck pulled up. They let Brody explore and talk to them. It was the 4 station too!

When you turn 4, you have to get four shots. Very traumatic! We watched Daniel Tiger going to the doctor and getting a shot. We talked about when you're scared, you think of something happy. Brody was going to think about the beach and video games. He was all ready for the shots and then they pulled out the blood pressure machine. Daniel Tiger needs to add that to his episode because Brody lost it. Hid behind the chairs for about 10 minutes and would go limp when I tried to pick him up. 

It took some nurses and me to hold him down to get the shots. But he got superhero bandaids and was over it super fast. 

He got an Oreo McFlurry as a treat. He dove in it!

I think this picture is hilarious! She looks like "HELP ME MOM!" She was fine though. 

We went to Ohio to visit with Jordan's family for July 4th. Brody got to swim in "Papa Tom's little pool" aka their hot tub. He was excited that he could stand up and touch the bottom. 

Papa Tom and Grammy's neighborhood had a kids fishing tournament. Brody was done after about 10 minutes. He sat back and let Daddy and Papa Tom do the dirty work. They didn't catch anything, but he got a Star Wars kite as a participation prize. 

We went to a cookout at Jordan's fraternity brother's house. Brody was super scared of the sparklers. Miss Erika helped him out though. They started with her doing it for him. Then, he held it with her. Next, they did it with a solo cup over his hand. Finally he warmed up to doing it all by himself!

On Sunday, we went to Aunt Karen and Uncle Keith's farm. Brody had a blast and never stopped moving. He had to knee up with the big kids! 

Uncle Jake and Aunt Sarah got Brody an Ironman mask for his birthday. He loves it! It's a little difficult to situate over his processors, but he just makes us help because "it's nice to help!"

We got to visit with Jordan grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa Fromholt we're excited to meet Ella. Brody was over it though and sat in the corner on his iPad. 

Brody's favorite past time is still taking selfies. If he has your phone, you can garuntee at least 50 funny photos. 

We went to Douglass Hills fireworks show that had been postponed due to rain. Brody LOVED the fireworks!

We have a busy three weeks left of summer. It's gone by too fast!