family, hearing impairment, parenting

Trust Your Power

Derrick Coleman of the Seattle Seahawks has a new fan. This Duracell ad rendered me speechless and eager to share. I recently had a hearing aid rep say, in response to setting up my new aids, “you are a teacher…with that loss (looking at my audiogram)…amazing”. The thing is, I never knew any different. Growing up I had a classmate with a severe hearing loss, she struggled through every aspect of life. Early on I knew that I wanted a “normal” life. Friends, an education, an engaging life, and most importantly a family. This path was and is not easy. In fact as I age and my kids grow older, it gets more difficult. Harder to hear, more frustrations (them and mine), and tiring. Trying to hear and listen wears me out. But I know this is who I am and my path, though rocky at times, is what I am meant to do. I am a mom, a wife, friend, and teacher. My hearing impairment is a part of me, but not all of me. Derrick Coleman. Inspirational. “Trust your power”

hearing impairment, parenting, second language

Water, my cyptonite

While at Latvian Center Garezers this week, the little ones and I spent a boat load of time at the beach. Floating, swimming, and sand castle building to beat the heat. New friends were made sharing in the coolness and relief, all while soaking.
Here’s the thing, I cannot hear diddly swat when in and around water. Why? Because like oil and water, my hearing aids are not water friendly. Within 5 feet of H2O, my aids are tucked in a waterproof bag. That would be an expensive no-no. But…there I was a vacation single parent in a English-come-lightly world. Do I sink or swim? Sink my but on shore to watch the kids? Or remove the aids, struggle to hear these new voices, dialects, and be confused? Perhaps another option, wade and float around, secretly hoping for no splashers, and connect? Yep, I wore my aids while in water. Stressing about it each day probably caused a minor anxiety attack, but I had to do it.
My husband would say to advocate for myself and that is a lovely option in most environments, aka when I have my aids in. However, no aids + water lapping and splashing + new voices + bright sun shining on new faces (difficult to lip read) = exhaustion.
What’s a girl to do? Someday when I win the lottery, that I don’t play, I’ll get a pair of waterproof aids for just this reason.


aldi, cooking, family, food, parenting, Saving money

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Things is quite possibly my mantra.  No I do not particularly enjoy whiskers or creamy ponies, but I have other favorite things.  The order does not matter, time with my family would ultimately be first.  Just a few of life’s “things” to help me get through the day.

1.  Starbucks Refreshers raspberry pomegranate sparkling green coffee beverage – Yes a long name, but so worth every drop!  When the school year started I had a 2-3 can a day habit.  Kicked it and miss it dearly, but a can or two a week (mostly on Fridays) keeps me balanced and sane.

2.  Mio liquid water enhancer – A few squirts of this fruity goodness enables me to get my daily water intake.  I have tried other brands, but this is it.  Our local outlet store, the Grocery Outlet, has 3 packs for $5.99!  That is cheaper than the Aldi brand.  Plus, I keep one on my desk for student use.  The water

3.  Speaking of Aldi, Imagine a mother of 3 young ones going into the store for 2 weeks of groceries, spending under $100, and getting out in 30 minutes or less…yes it is possible.  Fresh veggies and meat, no which version of circle cereal discussions, and all without a mama headache.  Ahh, one of my happy places.

4.  My Kindle Fire.  Not exactly the opiate of the masses, but it gets the job done.  Read a book.  Listen to music.  Video clips.  Facebook and email.  It meets my current technological needs.  Most days it an arm’s length away.  It is kid-friendly and at its current $159 tag, a little easier to swallow if harmed when playing.

5.  Pampered Chef stones.  The best shower that I have ever attended or hosted was my Pampered Chef wedding shower.  While the consultant demonstrated products, I crafted my wish list.  Later, I welcomed gifts from the shower.  Almost every item I longed for I received!  Wonderful!  Recently, after 11 years of weekly use,  my rectangle stone cracked in 2/3 and 1/3 portions.  Rather than replace it, I continue to use the two sections.  It works for me.  I do not own a single sheet pan or cookie sheet.  It is all stone for me.

A few favorites I long for…

No not to win the lottery or a bigger this or better that, simple things.  Items or experiences to help bring a little joy or ease to life.

1. Roomba – Our short-haired puppy sheds.  With all hardwood floors, hair tumbleweeds collect in the corners, along baseboards, everywhere.  How nice it would be to turn on the Roomba and have it clear away the cobwebs and sorrows.  M has a friend that has 3 roombas!  I have 3 non-robotized roombas, but they just add to the mess.

2.  Cooking Classes – The Grand Rapids Cooking School offers many wonderful cooking classes, as does Food Dance in Kalamazoo.  I long to take a cooking class every month or two to hone my culinary love.   But young children and the ole pocketbook put a kibosh on that dream.  Instead, I will continue cooking in the school of life.

3.  Ultimately I long to hear my children’s whispers.  To be able to giggle in response to a shared secret, swim in relaxation knowing that I will hear the squeals of joy or frightened cries, or hear a joke the first time, not the fifth time at ever increasing decibels.  A Siemens waterproof hearing aid for swimming with kids.  You may want to swim with dolphins, I long to swim with sound.  When cuddling with my daughter as she whispers sweet sentiments, a ReSound Alera brings tears just thinking about its capabilities.  Hear a whisper, enjoy music, hear my child as he/she recites lines – Yes please!

Share one of your favorite things!  I love to read what gets others through their day.

education, family, hearing impairment, parenting, special education

Green with Envy


I’ve been bitten.  And it hurts.  I hate jealousy, but right now it stings my soul.  For almost 36 years, hearing aids and I are Thing 1 and Thing 2, inseparable.




Recently my father, a relative newbie in the hard of hearing world, purchased new hearing devices.  High end ones.   So good that he sat in the rear seat of a mini-van with two chatting kids, a radio chiming Christmas tunes, and my mom and I gabbing away…soon he piped in, “Jude (my mom), just so you know, I can hear everything that you are saying.”  What?!  I was in the front seat, closer to the action and I could not hear elements of the car ride.    In addition to the new ear “toys”, he also is benefiting from a new Assistive Listening Device  to enable him to hear the TV clearly.  Again, jealous!




The hubs and I have limited technology cell phones.  Over the holidays, our gift to each other?  New phones!  Yeah.  But I hate cell phone shopping.  Instead of just looking over the phone and discussing the technology, megapixel, 3G vs 4G, etc, I am stuck asking about M/T ratings.  And no one. ever. knows!  Also, I ask to take a call on the phones.  Most salespeople do not understand and instead act annoyed.  Ugh.  Yes, I am looking forward to an advanced cell phone technology, but am not ready for the 1/2 day process.




Someday, when the pocketbook is not busy saving for when house #1 sells or busy raising three little ones, I will splurge on new ear candy.  Until then, all I want for Christmas is two rockin‘ aids.








Hearing aid
Ear Bling!
Hearing aid (Photo credit: Soitiki)