Friday, 16 March 2018

Brändi Dog

In 2010, my then boyfriend (now husband) Curtis and I had an amazing opportunity to go to Fiesch, Switzerland for a two week Hard of Hearing Summercamp. We arrived at the Jugehorig (the Swiss member for the International Federation for Hard of Hearing Young People) Summercamp as strangers, and left the camp with 40 plus new friends. 

The whole group on top of Mt. Eggishorn at Sunrise
It was such a great experience that I'd recommend it to any hard of hearing person interested in it! Whether it's your first time meeting others who have a hearing loss, or simply reconnecting with old friends, the summercamp brings people from all over the world to hike, play games, and learn about each others' cultures.

Many nights, Curtis would be found playing this popular board game called Brändi Dog (or Dog as we call it). I was often fast asleep by 9pm in my dorm after a very long day! I actually didn't get a chance to play the game until 2015, when two of our friends from Switzerland came to stay with us for a week and brought the game for us at Curtis' request.  (Thank you a million times over Laura and Claudio!)

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Hearing Aids aren't like Glasses

Each day I wake up, put on my trusty hearing aid in my left ear and my trusty Cochlear implant in my right ear.

Then I go about my day.

I'll usually get stares from people who don't know me (because, mom bun), and I'll often catch them looking one of my hearing assistive devices.

Once in a blue moon, someone will ask me: "so hey I guess you can hear me Ok then?"

"No, not really" I reply. Then go on to say, "my hearing aids aren't like glasses. They don't cure hearing loss." Then I leave the conversation there, in hopes that they'd ask more questions. Most of the time, I get a shrug and we part ways.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Travel Post Part 2: Disney World

This story picks up from our departure from a 10,000 person ship to... the Magical land of Disney World!

This is where the exhausting part began. I think in some ways it took me close to two weeks to actually recover from this leg of the trip. Sometimes, by noon my pedometer would be reading 25,000 steps already taken!

At Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - a very expensive date!
We stayed at a gorgeous VRBO in Kissimmee, Florida - a mere 15 minute drive from the Magic Kingdom, which is the furthest of all the parks at Disney World. I legit just clicked on the link there and the property is 99% fully booked for the next three months!

Our home for 10 days - we loved it! Can you see my daughter dressed as Merida?

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Travel Post: Our trip to the Caribbean (Part 1)

Better late than never, that's what I tell myself with each blog post I do. Sometimes I get all gung-ho and do multiple blog posts in a few weeks, and then there are times when you get caught up in life and the blog takes a backseat.

That's perfectly OK in my book. Be prepared for a flurry of blog posts for the next short while!

To recap, my parents celebrated their 40th anniversary this past September, and to celebrate, they took us on a 1-week cruise to the Caribbean and a 10 day stint in Florida, where we had the opportunity to do Disney World!

To date this was probably the most exhausting trip I've ever taken, with the 5800km road trip we completed earlier in March (read the blog posts on that here) coming in second place.

Exhausting as in: 
-My feet are so sore and yet, I keep plugging along.
-My days started at 630am and didn't end until 10pm...
-I fell asleep each night with no issues (if you know me, it can sometimes take me a LONG time to fall asleep!)
-Teething, fevers, colds = WHY do they have to happen during a holiday!?
-Flying with kids. Yikes.

However exhausting it was, it was all absolutely worth it. Here's an overview.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Hearing while Swimming

For my birthday earlier this year, my husband gifted me with something very unique...

A Nucleus Aqua+ kit!

What is that you may ask? Just look at this photo:

I spy with my little eye a Mama who can hear!
What's so special about this photo? Aside from my really cute little 1 year old, who was attending her first ever swim lessons? (We live on an Island, so naturally the need to learn how to swim is important) I can hear for the very FIRST time in water. In water

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Mia, the Wildlife Photographer - Doll Review

A month ago, a friend and fellow blogger alerted me to the Irish-based company Lottie Doll's Mia, the Wildlife Photographer doll.

My first impression upon learning about Mia? This is a doll I wish I had when I was growing up.  

From a Parent's Perspective
As a hard of hearing mommy who wears a Cochlear Implant, this doll had a unique feature to it - Mia, aside from being fashion forward has a Cochlear Implant (!!!!!!!!! cue my jaw dropping!!!!!). 
My head shot of Mia. Isn't she gorgeous!?

When the doll arrived, I was in awe with the detail. It's smaller than a typical life-sized doll (18 cm tall), perfect for my 1 year old's nimble hand - though intended for ages 3 and up. My 4 year old loved how she could pack it easily in her backpack to take for show and tell at preschool. Her exposure alone to several preschoolers who likely don't know what a cochlear implant is powerful already.
My daughters love playing with Mia's hair and showing off her Cochlear Implant

Monday, 2 October 2017

Goodbye HOH, Hello Deaf Sleep

As part of my work, I have recently become very fascinated with how Hard of Hearing (HOHs) people sleep. When we go to sleep, we essentially become deaf - meaning we are completely oblivious to all sounds (in my case I am).

Specifically, the differences between how HOH kids sleep versus HOH adults. This brief article will be based on my personal experiences as I haven't heard all the stories out there about HOH sleeping patterns. I'll start with the kid version of myself.

This isn't me, but I like to think I was that cute once. (Photo credit:

Kid Monique (let's assume ages 4 to 18)
  • Night light: I used one until I was well into my teens! Am I embarrassed by this fact? Maybe only slightly. My blinds were your basic shutter blinds - no black out curtains involved!
    • It was essential as I am a visual person and not being able to see my surroundings as a hard of hearing person left me feeling nervous.
  • Heavy blankets: I liked them from the get go. Even though it's not recommended for young kids, I enjoyed them because it meant I could wrap myself in a cocoon - and then eventually kick off the sheets as the night went on.
  • Having mom and dad stay in the room with me until I fell asleep (ok - this only went on until I entered intermediate school, thankfully!)
  • Mom always helped me put away my hearing aids - knowing that they were tucked safely away gave me a sense of security. To this day, I have never ever worn my hearing assistive devices to sleep. It's just way too disruptive!
  • Mom was my alarm clock.
Some really cool tips are presented here for parents with kids with a hearing loss on how to achieve much needed sleep (and actual adult time in the evenings): Tips for establishing a bedtime routine for deaf children.