Monday, October 29, 2012

But She Can Hear

Let me start this by saying I am truly 100% grateful that N's hearing impairment is relatively minor. I am grateful that her hearing impairment is the biggest health related issue our family has to deal with. I am very much aware how hard some families, some children, have things. That said, this blog is about my family, our struggles.

From the time N's hearing loss was definitively identified, people have argued with me about it. I've lost count of the number of (well-meaning) family members (my husband included) who would practically jump in her face, making loud noises, and then turn to me smugly as if they'd just proven me and our team of audiologists completely wrong.
yes, she is playing pinball - she loves it, even if she can't see the entire playing field
N is not deaf. She is hard of hearing. The louder you are, the better she can hear you. Her hearing loss is progressive. The higher the pitch, the louder it NEEDS to be for her to hear. Also, I think most people would flinch if someone were to unexpectedly jump in their face. I don't think it's proof of any kind in regard to her hearing. That can't be just me.

"But she babbles, so she's not behind in her speech." Well... she actually tested about 5 months behind in her communication skills. It's not huge, but it kind of is when your life is still measured in months and not years. N's babbling had been almost entirely made up of open mouth sounds. She's having trouble picking up on consonants.
N was recently tested with and without her hearing aids. There were some adjustments made, and I really believe her babbling has been increasing and progressing since.

At this point, the tests are much harder on me than N. It is hard sitting in a room, watching N play while sounds I had been 100% sure N would respond to (especially with hearing aids) have no effect on her (yes, that is with her hearing aids in). It makes her hearing loss more tangible for me. It also makes it more frustrating when no one else seems to understand there really is a problem.

Fortunately, my mother-in-law teaches special education (do they still call it that?) at the elementary level. She is well-versed in how slight the developmental delays can be at this age, and how they can grow exponentially over time if not addressed. She has been one of my biggest supporters in working with Early Intervention.
Yes, N can hear things. Yes, she still has a hearing impairment. Those things are not exclusive.
post signature

Friday, October 26, 2012

Shoes In, Shoes Out: Fitness Fridays

The kids and I took a quick trip to our house this week (yes, the house we seemingly moved out of). My husband is planning on staying there, with an air mattress and very little else, until our renters are able to move in... December 1. Yikes, right?

The worst part is that we're not 100% moved out because of this. We left a lot of little things behind, like my EcoSprout, and these:

Now my (fitness) goal is to run enough to wear these out enough to need new ones by the time my next birthday rolls around in the spring.

Any tips on getting myself motivated to get out and run in the cold wet weather we're having?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Moving My Family of 4 Plus Cats

I'm still in the midst of sorting, organizing, and unpacking. But if you've given even a moment's thought to how the move itself went... I thought I'd bless you with a glimpse.

My husband, bless his soul, took the 4 year old in the U-Haul and left me with the screaming baby and 2 cats who do not enjoy short car rides, never mind car rides that last almost 4 hours. And he insisted I drive the Altima instead of the Explorer (where I could have put the cats in the far back instead of 6 inches from me.) Fortunately, N fell asleep for most of the ride and the cats weren't as... upset as normal. Normally, they make ungodly noises as they freak out in the back of the car. They yowl, not meow, when they are out for a drive.

To make things even more interesting, my brother-in-law backed over one of my (empty) cat carriers a while back and we never bothered to replace it. In case you haven't noticed, I can be cheap, and I didn't feel up for spending $36 on an appropriate carrier to use for one day. I almost never need to take both cats anywhere at the same time. So, Meep got the carrier, since I cannot feel remotely safe with her anxiety attacks, crawling in and out of every crevice of the car, and YOWLING for any period of time. Tiger, on the other hand, was reduced to a harness and a leash. (Don't judge.) He's fairly mellow in comparison and generally opts to lie on the car floor instead of wandering around in a moving vehicle.

Have I mentioned that my cats are indoor only? They might not agree, but they are. Every time they manage to sneak out of the house, they find the LEAST appropriate plant to eat just to throw it all up back in the house. Lucky me, this time they did not disappoint. I caught them feasting on the day lilies outside our front door only moments before being loaded into the car. Yay.

WARNING: The following image may be considered graphic.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How My Kids are Different

Typical things I catch my kids my kids doing on their own (I think the pictures are pretty self-explanatory):

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skipping Out: Fitness Fridays

I'm skipping out on my Fitness Fridays post this week because:
1. It's my dad's birthday, and
2. I'm busy unpacking for my 2-3 month stay with my parents.

In the meantime, let's all consider a yummy, healthy breakfast like this:
source Chocolate Covered Katie via Mary Ann (@ A Cloth Life) on Pinterest

post signature

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A New Button!

In case you missed it (or follow strictly via RSS/email), I've added a new button to the top of the blog.
"ACL Destash" will take you directly to any current listings I have up on Cloth Diaper Trader. So if you're interested in buying some well loved fluff (or just curious what I'm getting rid of), please click that button or email me anytime!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What to do when there are Two

I'll be honest, having a child with a hearing impairment has been an educational experience if nothing else. Now that N finally has two hearing aids, I find people asking me about it twice as often. Even my husband has noticed. It's like, people noticed when there was only one, but the second grants grants courage & perceived permission to really ask about N's hearing.
I actually don't mind. In a way, I'm proud of how knowledgeable I'm becoming on infant hearing loss. As my husband slips away, I patiently answer all the same questions. How did we know there was a problem? What kinds of tests do they use on babies? How do N's hearing aids differ from an adult's?
Life is different with N than it was with G. She's not deaf, but she is definitely missing out. Her speech and language skills reflect that, even now.

Fortunately, since she was aided so early, she's not as far behind as she would have been. And today we'll be setting up her IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) with Early Intervention. They have a great team here, and I hope we'll be just as lucky after our move.
a gift to N from EI deaf & hard of hearing program

Friday, October 12, 2012

Snacks-a-Lot: Fitness Fridays

In the past two weeks, I've managed to shave 3lbs. Not bad, right? Especially when I haven't started exercising yet. I know you wouldn't lecture me on that, but just know I've already been lecturing myself. Let's leave it for after the move... although I'm sure I could use the stress relief.

Anyway, so how have I done it? It's a little something I like to call "portion control." You see, I've actually been cooking healthy meals and (ready for this?) scaling back my portions to the recommended amount. Who recommends the amount? I'm not sure. What I put on my plate no longer looks like I'm eating at the Old Country Buffet, though.

So how am I coping with the DRAMATIC cut in calories? I'll admit, it's hard. I am hungry ALL. THE. TIME. But that just means my metabolism is working overtime, right? Right? RIGHT? someone hand me a celery stick... But seriously, I have been feeling the need to snack a lot. Since we're trying to be healthy, I'm eating healthy snacks. My husband totally made fun of me when I asked him to pick up some plain, brown rice rice cakes for me. Put a little crunchy peanut butter on them, and they are soooo up my alley.
there is a reason I don't photograph food professionally... 
I've also been trying to stock the house with fresh fruit and low calorie granola bars and such. It seems to be working out so far. For other healthy snack ideas, be sure to check out my Fitness Fridays board on Pinterest.

And if you have any favorite healthy snacks, PLEASE share them in the comments below! 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How We Get Through the Night

Every mom seems in search of the perfect night time diaper. At some point along our cloth diapering path, I realized that fitteds are what work best for us. We've always had good luck with fitteds, but our go-to fitted has a microfiber soaker. One morning, my husband described it as smelling like an outhouse. An overnight soak with EcoSprout helped but I became convinced the real (long-term) solution was in actually finding a new go-to.

I'd heard of Jelly Bear Boutique fitteds, but didn't actually know anyone who'd tried them. I contacted the owner, Ellen, and she generously sent me one to test out.
Jelly Bear Boutique fitted cloth diaper review

Here is a description of one of her fitteds: 

Diaper construction:
Cotton knit print outerBamboo/Cotton french terry hidden layer white cotton velour inner layer for babies comfort.Snap Down rise (3 settings)

Comes with 2 snap together inserts each made with 2 layers bamboo/cotton french terry topped with cotton velour. Both inserts can be snapped into the diaper together or used separately allowing you to customize absorption  This diaper also comes with a 2 layer Bamboo/Cotton fleece doubler that can be folded in half or thirds and placed in wet zone.
Jelly Bear Boutique fitted cloth diaper review
The first thing I noticed when I first opened the packaging was how incredibly cute the fabric is, and how incredibly soft and squishy it is. I knew right away this would become a favorite, and like with the Elemental, my first impression was solid. She provides detailed instructions on how to use the inserts, but I felt it was pretty common sense, especially since the diaper arrived with all the pieces laid together just how you would use them.
Jelly Bear Boutique fitted cloth diaper review
I normally try to use a stay dry liner of some sort with all N's diapers whenever she's going to be sleeping. I figured, though, if I was going to give a truly honest review I should test the diaper out just as it is made. I used the two snap in inserts but left out the booster and didn't bother with a liner. N wore the diaper overnight for a good 12 hours. The (hand dyed by Ellen) velour tabs were still dry! There were no leaks, and N's bottom seemed completely unfazed by the lack of stay dry fabric, thanks to the super soft cotton velour.

N seems to really like wearing her Jelly Bear, and I can't blame her. It's still super soft and squishy after repeated uses/washes. I love the fit on her. It's fairly trim even with the two inserts.
Jelly Bear Boutique fitted cloth diaper review
The diapers can be a little pricey with shipping, but are about average for a boutique diaper. And, really, for a solid overnight diaper - what wouldn't you pay for that? I definitely recommend this diaper and hope to purchase a few more at some point to fully replace our other nighttime diapers. Ellen even has some hybrid fitteds, which I would love to get a hold of for daytime use without a cover. If you haven't tried fitteds, or if you're still searching for a good overnight solution, you should really give these a try. She's even clearancing out some older prints right now to make room for newer stock!

I was given this diaper free of charge for the purpose of review. As always, opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

*Jelly Bear Boutique currently has a giveaway going on on their blog, but it ends in just a few days! Be sure to check it out to enter for your chance to win your very own Jelly Bear custom hybrid fitted.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Guest Post: The Secret to Sanity

This week, I am guest posting as Monday's Mommy over at the lovely Cheerful Homemaker! Be sure to check it out as well as her Etsy shop when you finish reading what I have to say. She has the cutest dresses for little girls!
our very own peasant dress made by Marie-Etta

Friday, October 5, 2012

Getting Resourceful: Fitness Fridays

Life is pretty hectic right now. Between packing, cleaning, preparing to move, and the regular day-to-day activities, it's all I can do to even think about acting healthy. I crave large omelets for breakfast lately. And my sweet tooth has pretty much been insatiable. I've been making pumpkin bread, caramel apples, root bear floats, chocolate chip cookies... ice cream sundaes... Okay, I'm getting off topic.

I need motivation and tools. Mostly, motivation, but where can you buy that? Instead, I found this idea from the Hot Mess Princess for creating a little visual motivation. She uses two jars (one for pounds to lose, one for pounds lost).  I would love to have two separate jars, but with the move, I don't really have a lot of space, so this is what I came up with:
Instead of moving marbles from one jar to the other, I'll move them from the bowl into the jar. 
Let's hope this helps!
Obviously, keeping track of pounds isn't the only way to lose weight (nor is it a real way to actually lose weight, to be honest... it's visual motivation, remember?). Eating healthy and getting exercise is the key to any successful weight loss program, right? 

I found a few resources online for healthy flavorful recipes. I've been a fan of Gina's Skinny Recipes at for quite a while. Recently, I've discovered LaaLoosh and her recipes look just as delicious! Both sites specialize in Weight Watchers friendly recipes. Even though I am not on Weight Watchers, I know a good thing when I see it. 

Finally, a reader clued me in to an exercise program called Stroller Strides. It's a program geared specifically toward parents of young children. They don't offer any classes in my area right now, BUT they do where I'm moving! (On a side note, I finally have a real move date: October 26th.) 

If you are interested in the recipes I try or any other helpful tips or tools I find, you are more than welcome to follow my Fitness Fridays board on Pinterest in addition to checking in with me here on the blog. 

What have you done this week to be a little healthier? 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Made a Baby!

Pin It
I mean, a baby doll. (Although, if you want to get technical, I have made a couple real babies in my life.) If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed a progression of messages a week or two back. I started off just wanting suggestions for a good age appropriate doll for N. Then, I realized all the ones I would choose were about 10 times out of my price range. That's when I turned to Pinterest. I found this adorable pattern and tutorial by Keri at Quaint & Quirky.

A few quick late night sessions after the kids were asleep, and voilá! N's first baby doll. She's a little imperfect, but isn't that what makes a rag doll so endearing?

What projects have you been working on? Anything big you're hoping to make?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fluff for Sale

We all know I'm desperate to buy some new cloth diapers. I'm trying to control myself and not buy any until I've sold some lesser used fluff, but so far that hasn't worked. Could you give me a little support and buy them from me? ;-) Or at least spread the word that I have some high quality used cloth diapers for sale.

I have them listed on the Cloth Diaper Trader, but I thought I'd follow suit with some other bloggers and list them here as well.

#1 Oeko Popo Batume X one size all-in-one with snap in booster $10

#2 Two Flip one size covers with snaps (in Sweet and Blossom) with 3 stay dry inserts $20

#3 Ecobubs size medium pocket diaper in chocolate/petal with microfiber insert $15

#4 Fuzzibunz Elite one size pocket in Light it up Blue with both inserts and included replacement elastics $10

If you are interested in purchasing any of these diapers, please comment below with your email address.