Dude. Put a sock on it!

Hey, guys. It’s Cal. Since Ben wants us all to update you on what’s happening with our kids, I thought I’d have a go at it.
We had a party for Bella on her 7th birthday (August 28th). (Alex says she’s 7 – going on 18 🙂 ) It was a small party (just the kids) because we’d all be getting together for Labor Day and we knew she’d think the entire weekend was to celebrate her. She’s a sweetheart. She thinks she’s in charge of all the kids… and sometimes it seems like she is… except that we all understand no one is in charge of Chance – other than Chance. Also, Dub just enjoys letting her think she’s in charge. Bella and Alyssa are best buds and she (Bella) still keeps in touch with her friend Kylie regularly. She tolerates having Dub call her “Izzie” but no one else better ever do that. She’s excited about the start of the school year and has become quite a good “potter.” Alex has incorporated several of her pieces in our decorating scheme and they’re awesome. She’s my biological daughter but I have to say Alex is her “main dad.”
Chance is 8 years old and will be 9 next month. He’s one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known. He and Bugs (his very energetic Springer spaniel pup) are pretty much inseparable – and they’re both with me almost constantly. The first thing people notice about him is he walks like me, dresses like me, talks like me and uses all the same expressions I do. (Carol calls us “big C” and “little C.”)
When the pandemic hit and we all started wearing masks most of the time, Chance struggled with it because he’s always used lip-reading to supplement his hearing. We talked with his audiologist/speech therapist about it and she said the masks might actually be a good thing for him because it would force him to rely more on his hearing and less on lip-reading. He’s a bright kid and has progressed more than we could ever have imagined. He’s the tallest of the boys and loves being with the other kids – fishing, boating, exploring and whatever. He’s a fierce “beach volleyball” competitor and is actually getting quite good at it.
So there you have it. Another episode of our soon-to-be famous “gay porn and kids” series. Hope you guys at least enjoy the wonderful pics David and Ben put together for the post 🙂 xoxo Cal and Alex

Dude. Sock it to me!

We mentioned a while back that Cal had suggested we do a post for each of the families in our “family” – and let you guys know what’s going on with the kids. This is the first of those posts – this one from Cal and Alex. We thought “socks” seemed like an appropriate photo topic 🙂


Hey, guys… it’s Cal. I told David and Ben I thought we needed to bring you up-to-date on the kids (or “ankle biters” as my Dad calls them), and I guess Alex and I get to go first. I should probably say up front you shouldn’t expect “fair and balanced” information about our kids because… well, they’re our kids 🙂
First, there’s our amazing daughter Bella. She’s the only female among the Northland “littles” and she’s a joy. Since they’re on school break, she’s been spending most of her time over at Koala Cove with Alex and her grandmother. She loves working with colors and Alex let her pick all the colors and textures (carpets, countertops, wood trims, etc.) on the first of the villas. He says her selections are “tasteful, yet venturesome.” Something obviously worked because Mum sold the first villa to a friend from K.C. for “a million-four and change.” Not bad for a remodeled fishing cabin 🙂
Bella’s birthday is August 28th (she doesn’t know it, of course, but she shares it with Tim and Beto). She’s been very specific about what she wants. She’s getting a “Nintendo Switch” video game system from Alex and me – and Chance is giving her a “Unicorn Princess” game. Did I mention… she’s a Joy!
Chance is growing like a weed. He took another hearing test last week (they’re doing them on Zoom now) and his progress is excellent. He wears his implant most of the time but takes it off when swimming, or rough housing with the other kids. When he’s not wearing it, he sometimes says “Look at me. Look at me,” so we’ll know he’s lip-reading. Alex was laughing last week and said “I wonder if he’s the only kid in the World who lip-reads in English, Spanish, French and Australian.”
About three weeks ago, Ben texted all the adults in the gang and asked if anyone wanted a “Boxer puppy.” The story was that the retired dentist who rents our “school building” to Ben’s school has a daughter who raises pure-bred boxers. It seems she had a litter of seven puppies and when she cropped their ears, one of them ended up with a “gimpy, or floppy” ear. She said she wouldn’t be able to sell it because of the ear and wanted her dad to “put it down” for her. He took the dog and said he couldn’t bring himself to kill it. So, he called Jim… who called Ben and asked if he thought any of us would be interested in a boxer puppy with one floppy ear. Ben called me and asked if we’d be interested. The thing is, Chance absolutely loves “Cookie” but she is – and always has been- Bella’s dog. So Alex and I talked it over and asked Chance if he’d like his own dog. His face lit up like a Christmas tree and we headed over to meet the pup (wearing masks, gloves and goggles). We met the pup and the connection between Chance and him was immediate. Of course, we brought him home and he’s Chance’s dog now (although Bella – being Bella – thinks she’s in charge of raising and house training him). We told Chance the pup needed a name and he said “His name is Goliath.” We have no idea where that came from – but we all call him “Go.”
So, that’s what’s been happening with us and the kids. We’re all tired of Covid and being quarantined, but Ben is starting school on Wednesday, September 9th and that’ll keep the kids busy.
We hope you and yours are happy, healthy and being kind to one another. Be of good cheer… it’s only 79 days till election day! xoxo Cal and Alex

Dude. “Sox it to me” !

Lots of good news here in the Northland. Dub and I met Cal, Alex and Chance at the hospital a little before 6:00 A.M. this morning and they took Chance back for surgery at 6:10. Cal was an absolute nervous wreck so I sort of dragged him to the coffee shop to try to calm him down a bit. I wasn’t very successful, but at least I got him away from the waiting room for about an hour. Alex and Dub, on the other hand, were totally calm. Alex said “We have absolute confidence in these Doctors and Chance is a strong kid, so there’s nothing to worry about.” The “waiting” seemed to go on forever but at 9:44 A.M. the lead Doctor came out and told us “Everything went perfectly. We have the first step in Chance’s “hearing process” behind us and there’s every reason to be optimistic about the outcome. With some hard work on his part, we’ll have him hearing in a few months.” He told us Chance was in recovery and said his Dads could go back “to be with him when he wakes up.”
Dub and I stayed in the waiting room and passed the time by playing games on his laptop.
By a little after one p.m., we had a “very bandaged” Chance loaded into Cal’s car – and followed them home. Dub and I stopped on the way to pick up lunch, and we stayed with them until about 3:00 o’clock.
So, it was an excellent day. Dub and I are happy that there’s no school tomorrow – or until next Monday. We’ll be having a big Thanksgiving celebration at Denise and Scott’s condo on Thursday. The Doctor said Chance could probably join us “if he’s continuing to do well.”
David, Dub and I are excited about Thanksgiving and we’re sure it’ll be a joyous Holiday. We hope all of you have a great Holiday – with friends and/or family – while we all give thanks for our many blessings! xoxo Ben and David