Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Liebster Award

I have been recently nominated for yet another blogging award called The Liebster Award. Thank you Victoria & Ali for thinking of me! *This nomination goes to those bloggers who have a following of less than 200 to promote other bloggers to comment, and share, and to get know to each other! I think it is a fun idea. If you get nominated, you can't nominate the person who nominated you (tag-backs)!

*Thank you Frozen OJ for also nominating me. :)

11 Interesting Tid-Bits About Me 

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1. Even though I am almost 28, I still am learning who I am all about, and loving every minute of it. 

2. I used not to really like comedy. I found comedy-based movies to be extremely annoying...until I met my husband, and that was what helped me to get through my long-distance relationship with Stu. Now I absolutely love them. 

3. I am Deaf. I've been Deaf either since birth or shortly after birth. I communicate by using American Sign Language.

4. It takes me time to warm up. Once I've warmed up, I'm pretty fun person to be around with. Just gotta be patient and give me time.

5. Even though I am Deaf, I absolutely love music, and the lyrics.

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6. I love GIFS. I don't know what it is about them, but I just love using them to express how I feel. My photobucket account is FULL of Gifs! 

7. Glittery stuff and polka dots. Love them!!! 

8. I am a GEEK, and pretty proud of it. I love Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Wars, Mario Super Brothers Nintendo game, graphic novels, Rocky Horror Picture Show, anything that is out of ordinary or off-beat, and ZOMBIES. 
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9. Tigers is my favorite animal. 

10. I have always felt most home near an ocean. 

11. I can't stand people who are dishonest. Just tell it to my face. I'm a big girl, and can handle what you have to say. This is not high school anymore. 

Now on to answer some questions! Since I've been nominated by 2 different bloggers, I decided to pick questions that I liked from both of them, and answer them! I hope it is okay to do this! What the heck, it's my blog, and I can do whatever I like! 

1. What is it that you get out of blogging? 

I find that blogging is my outlet. I have a huge love for writing, and it comes natural to me that I want to write a blog. I find that I do enjoy educating people about Deaf culture, or what I've learned, and my latest thing I like educating people is about cloth diapers! I also want to leave some kind of token for my son, and my future children to look back, and know who their Mama is like. I find that I enjoy looking back, and finding out what lessons I've learned, or discovering lessons I may have missed at that time, and learn from it. I think people can relate to me through my experiences even though our worlds may differ drastically, and they enjoy what I have to write about! 
2. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? 

This is easy one. I would love to be like Steve Irwin, and run a zoo. I would love to work with animals, travel all over the world, and educate people about animals. I've always been very passionate about animals, and the wildlife. If I could start all over again, then I would have gone with a biology degree instead of psychology, and go down that road. 
3. What is your best and worst traits? 

My best trait would be my empathy. I've always been very empathetic, and I am innately in tune with other people's emotions. Because of this, I always make sure that others feel safe, and fit in. I think it has a lot to do with my Deafness. I notice little things that other people ordinarily will overlook. Because of this, I have a very soft spot in my heart toward underdogs. Perhaps, it is because I am also an underdog. My worst trait would be my temper. I can have a bad temper. I've gotten a lot better over the years in reining my temper, and learning how to express myself better during the moments of anger, disappointment, or hurt. 
4. What is your biggest hope for 2013?

To make things happen for me, and put myself first. I have always put others ahead of me, and have made sacrifices in my life for others. Now I am a mother, and it is one of the best roles I have in my life. Because of my son, I feel more compelled to better my life, and to not let some fears hold me back from doing things I would like to do. That may be as small as signing up for a yoga class, and going by myself to have a break from motherhood, life, and everything else. I also have so much hope for my son. I look forward to him growing up, and achieving all milestones before becoming one! 

5. What is your favorite book and why?

Enough said.

6. If you could donate to any charity then what would it be for and why?

It would have to be for any charities that are targeted for animal service for vulnerable adults, and children (Dogs for Deaf, Dogs for the Blind, 4 paws for ability, etc). I have personally seen up front how much service animals have given back to their owners, who may be disabled through physical condition, or emotionally wounded such as veteran soldiers, children or adults with disabilities, and those who suffers with mental health issues. 
7. What do you look for in your significant other?

I am already married to a pretty awesome guy. He has surpassed all my requirements, ha ha. What I wanted were: Honesty, non-judgmental, committed, spontaneous (I'm too serious for my own good sometimes, and need to be reminded to have fun), same political values, same values, compassion toward animals and vulnerable people, ambition for life, passionate, respectful  good hygiene, flexible, and outgoing. 
8. What is your favorite TV show?

 Hands down? The Walking Dead. 
9. What is the meaning behind your blog title?

Every Little Beautiful Pieces is the title of my blog. It is basically about not overlooking the small details that brings so much joy to our lives. It can be a simple love note from my husband, a smile from Forrest, or a loving gaze from my stinky Basset Hound. I collect small things all of the time, and scrapbook them. I love looking through them, and seeing such meaning that small things bring to my life. One day, I will look back, and know that I had it pretty good. Because of this, I try my best to stay in the moment, and enjoy life as it is. 
10. When you are having a bad day, what is it to helps you to get make it through the day?

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A glass of wine. My wonderful friends. Blogging. Comments from my followers. Reading a really good book in a bubble bath. My son's smile, hugs, and kisses. My husband. Journal. Watch a movie. Go for a walk if it's nice outside. Remind myself that it is only a day, and that tomorrow will be much better. 
11. What is your favorite memory?

I have several. As a little girl, helping Dad to cook dinner was the highlight of my visits with him.  Spending time with my family. Lion's Camp with my wonderful girlfriends. My first formal dance with my husband. Shopping for wedding things with Mom and my aunts. Getting married. Giving birth to my son. 

12. What is your favorite quote?  

I have many favorite quotes, and it varies day to day. However, this one has always stood out to me. “I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” Marilyn Monroe

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Now I have 11 questions to ask for those who I have nominated....

1. What is your biggest regret in your life, and why?
2. Why do you blog? 
3. What is the meaning behind your blog title? 
4. Who is your hero?
5. What is the best thing you've ever done?
6. If you could change anything about yourself, and what would it be? 
7. What is a current trend that you can't stand? 
8. What is your most embarrassing moment?
9. Did you have an experience that totally changed your life?
10. If you could pick an era, which one would you choose, and why?
11. Name one of your dreams that you have achieved. 

Now the fun part...nominations!(I'm pretty sure that some of the bloggers nominated may have over 200 followers, but I can't not nominate them): 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cloth Diapering Friday: 4 Major Groups

This is something I am excited to be sharing with you. 

Upon announcing that I was interested in learning more about cloth diapers, I was surprised to learn that several of people were also interested, and wanted to know more about them. It didn't matter to me if they were actually planning on doing this themselves, or just wanted to learn for the heck of it. Because of this outpouring interest from several people that I've talked with.....

I am going to be sharing with you about my journey with cloth diapers. I am planning on writing a few posts  about this because there are rich information regarding this, and it can be overwhelming if it is thrown at you all at once. I am thinking about writing about a few installments about cloth diapers so I can organize and divide information without making it seem so harrowing, so difficult to deal with, and ultimately; whether I will end up doing this or not, and what my experiences are like. 

I find it easiest to talk about cloth diapers in four major categories because what I've experienced was that I got so overwhelmed by options on the market, and I had no clue that there was different types of cloth diapers! I saw all brand names, and had no clue what they were designed for. Not so fun. That alone almost turned me away from wanting to learn more about cloth diapers. I am glad that I was so stubborn, and didn't let that divert me away from being determined. 

When I say cloth diapers; the first thing people think of is old school style, and that is your regular old cloth with snap-ons. On the market, this is called a Prefolds

Prefolds is your best bet to use when you are very tight on budget. When you are done diapering your child, you can simply reuse them as rags for cleaning, or burp cloths. It is cheap, and effective. They dry fast, and get clean faster because cloth, waterproof cover, and liners are removed separately to be washed. 

The downfall is? Imagine trying to secure a squirmy baby or toddler with snap-ons, and making sure you've folded it together properly. You have to buy waterproof covers to go over this. Even with the covers, it tends to be still be leaky. You have to buy liners. With every change, you have to replace everything if urine or poop gets on everywhere inside. It can be time-consuming with every change. 

Not your thing? Yeah, mine either. Let's go on to second category. 

Pocket Diapers

This is called Pocket Diapers. What is unique about this is that it has a pocket in the crotch, and you stuff the pocket with a liner. There is no additional steps needed. It already includes snap-ons or Velcro straps. Due to the material that is inside the cover, it is super absorbent and takes away the urine from your baby thus reducing diaper rashes!

The downfall? You have to pull the dirty liner out of the pocket, and sometimes that can smear on the outer shell of diaper. Then you end up having to wash both liner, and diaper cover. You have to buy liners that does not come with the shells/covers. If you are in hurry, then this may not be ideal for you. 

All In One Diapers

This is All In One Diapers. This is most liked, and most commonly used among cloth-diapering families. Like pocket diapers, this does not require separate covers. Unlike pocket diapers, everything is already included. You do not need to buy liners for this category of cloth diapers. This is probably what is most comes the closest to having the disposable diapers. There are types within this category that can grow with your child, or be bought in specific weight range to fit your baby/toddler's needs. From many people who uses this, leaking is a non-issue.

*Daddies or partners or working parents, who aren't into having to insert liners in the diapers or don't have much time, will love this. They find it to be most convenient, and no work involved at all. 

The downfall? Out of all groups; this takes the longest to dry, and because of this, you may have to buy more diapers than what it is necessary if you plan on cloth-diapering full time. Therefore, more money you have to spend on cloth diapers in this category. 

All In Two Diapers

This is called All in Two Diapers. The difference between this and AIO is that it works kinda like Prefolds. It comes an outer shell (the one that you find so adorable, and comes in many different patterns), and a liner that covers almost entire inner part of the shell (as pictured above). When your baby poops or pees, then you can simply remove the liner, replace the liner, and re-use the outer shell again. It takes up less space in your home. It requires less drying time as opposed to AIO because liners are being washed more frequently than the shells. This is probably also what working parents, Daddies, and partners love the most because of its simplicity and less time consuming. 

The downfall? This is probably one of the most expensive cloth diaper on the market. 


Of course, when you first start researching; you are bombarded with brand names, and you find yourself at complete loss! My suggestion is to start EASY! Make sure you UNDERSTAND the 4 categories first before jumping into brand names. 

Personally, what I like the most are pocket diapers, and All in Two. Now I understand how each group works, I am going to be able to start looking at brands, and know what they represent or come from. I am looking at purchasing half of pocket diapers, and half of All In Two cloth diapers. 

Stay Posted for next Friday if you want to follow Cloth Diapering Fridays

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Me a Crunchy Mama???

According to Urban Dictionary, a crunchy mama is: 

The definition of "Crunchy"
hippie-esque; ALL-NATURAL. Refers to the crunch of granola, which (as goes the stereotype) hippie-esque people are likely to eat.
Alright, sarcasm aside, a real definition of a crunchy mama is:

A Crunchy mama is pro-breastfeeding, pro-natural birth, makes own baby food, uses cloth diapers, baby-wearing, pro co-sleeping, uses organic chemicals for cleaning and sterilizing, and in other word; trying to be as natural as possible. 

When I was pregnant with Forrest, I was overwhelmed by all the choices on the market for expectant parents, and I had absolutely NO CLUE what I was doing for when Forrest arrived. I did not do much of researching of what may come. I was very in the moment with my pregnancy. I remained focused on my growing belly, and read weekly updates about how my baby was developing on the inside. I simply wanted convenience that came with products, and tools that were used to raise a baby. That was good enough for me for my entire pregnancy.  

There was only two things I knew I wanted to do, and stick with them. First was breastfeeding, and other one was making my own baby food for Forrest. I was very vocal that I wanted to both, and there was no question that I was not doing them. As for rest of things, I figured that I was going to wing it. You know how people say this about your first child......My poor child....he was an experiment baby in the past 5 months. How true. 

Upon giving birth to Forrest, Stu and I knew that we wanted to co-sleep with Forrest, and at first; it was more for...ah, you got it, convenience for breastfeeding. It was just easier to pick up Forrest from his bassinet, and breastfeed him every 2 hours in the wee hours of night/morning as opposed to sleepily stumble over our array of animals to the baby room to feed, and change Forrest. Eventually, Forrest was able to have stretch of hours in between of his feedings, and we still had him co-sleep with us. It was no longer about convenience because we ended up having to stumble sleepily to the baby room to use the changing table for diaper changes! Later, we learned that it was essentially best to have your baby to sleep in the same room with you to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 

Time came for us to transition Forrest to his crib in his bedroom at 4 1/2 months old. How did we know it was right timing for us? We needed our space back. Forrest was out of risk for SIDS. He was getting way too big for his bassinet, and sleeping in car seat long-term was just not a good idea. 

Based on this experience, we knew we wanted to co-sleep with our future babies because it was what worked for us. 

When Forrest had his month old shots, he was beyond cranky, and clingy. He wanted, no, he needed to be on me constantly. I had stuff to do. My mom had just left. My husband returned to work. I was all alone with an infant that desperately needed me. It was when I pulled out my Moby Wrap, and started baby-wearing Forrest. To our great surprise, both of us loved it! Sure, it was pain to assemble the wrap together in the beginning, and once I got a hang of it; it was home free. I started learning the benefits of baby-wearing, and loved how it impacted so positively on baby development. 

Admittedly, I was sad when Forrest grew heavier, and heavier because, despite me trying to continue using moby wrap, it was no longer as secure to my liking. It was when I started looking into baby slings! Baby slings were destined to fit all sizes especially a growing baby like Forrest. 

I haven't 100% decided to purchase one for Forrest, or wait to use it for the next baby. It is possible that I may wait until next baby because by the time warmer weather rolls around  Forrest will be jiving, walking, and dancing. He may no longer want to snuggle with Mama. 

The big thing I've been researching lately is cloth diapers. It has piqued my interest. It is funny because during my pregnancy, I shied away from cloth diapers, thinking they were too much work, too much mess, and frankly, I was too lazy to do my homework. Now Forrest is 5 months old, and in the past 5 months; I have tossed out probably close to 1,000 disposable diapers. In a year, I'm looking at spending $1,500 alone on diapers. And throw in a new baby in the mix. That cost doubles. Oy vey! Also, that doubles the amount of dirty diapers going straight to the landfill. Poop will dissolve. Plastic won't dissolve as easily. Matter of fact, it takes 500 years to decompose. Imagine that! So, poop will dissolve in matter of days....and diapers...500 years. Eh. 

I am planning on posting a separate post about cloth diapers, and what I've learned about it. It seems that several of mommies, upon learning that I am considering cloth diapers, are also interested to learn about it! It can be really overwhelming at first. I admit it, I was overwhelmed, and slightly intimidated by cloth diapers. One of my traits is stubbornness. So I continued to plow through all the information out there, asked tons of questions, talked to wonderful mommies that uses cloth diapers, and received advice. I plan on going to a shop that carries cloth diapers, and see in person what brand I like.

The more I learn about cloth diapers, more excited I become, and it is becoming a likely possibility that we will switch to cloth diapers. I just want to do a bit more of looking around before making a final decision! I'll keep you posted about cloth diaper option that I am looking into!

Making my own baby food is no brainer! I've always known I will be making my own baby food. I mean, jarred food is so gross. You don't know what is in them. According to my baby bullet nutrition guide, a jarred food has a shelf life of 3 years....gross. 3 years of sitting there on the shelf. What the heck. I would never feed Forrest 3-year old banana. Jarred baby food is full of preservatives, additives, and sweeteners. 

I've always been a big advocate of eating fresh food. I can't stand the taste of preserved, canned vegetables and fruits. They taste either too sweet, too stale, too over-processed, no flavor, and they end up soggy while cooking. Its nutritional value drops big time once it is processed; the critical vitamins that comes in vegetables and fruits are evaporated...and gone. It doesn't even benefit your baby! I don't even want to touch it with ten-foot pole. Yuck. I do believe that with my passion of cooking, and baking; this has opened my eyes to tasting how food is, and in my personal experience, the fresher vegetables and fruits are, the tastier the result is. 

To make this worse, jarred food is manufactured in factories...which means non-food parts can find its way into processed crap of jarred food for babies. You know what that is? Non-food consists of bug parts, rodent hair, dust, rodent droppings, and many more. Don't believe me. Go ahead and check it out. It is acceptable standard in the food processing industry because first of all, they can't control EVERYTHING that goes into the food, and what goes in there will be over-steamed, over-grounded, and over-heated in order to kill all the disgusting things that may have found its way into our food. Basically, the germs are killed off....but just thinking about the fact that crap has found its way into baby food revolts my stomach. No way I'd feed that jarred crap to Forrest. I'd rather use fresh vegetables and fruits from the food store, Farmer's market in spring, or straight from Gramps Dave's garden this summer. 

Breastfeeding is also no-brainer. As many of you know, I've struggled so much with breastfeeding, and I could have given up multiple times after suffering what-you-name it...I had it, so many times. I am glad I refuse to give up. I am a strong believer that boob milk is the champ food that my baby needs. I'm not saying that it is what YOU HAVE to do for your baby. It is what I NEED to do for my baby. My goal is to try breastfeed for up a year, but we will see how it goes, and if Forrest self-weans before then. 

I sterilize Forrest's baby toys, teething toys, and everything that he touches with vinegar. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. I throw teething toys, and toys in the sink full of hot steaming water that consists of vinegar  and soap designed to clean baby things. Then I allow the water to cool down completely, and I rinse the toys, and let them air dry. Viola! I also scrub down on things that Forrest touches with vinegar mixture. Because of this, I am starting to become interested in learning about natural household cleaning products. 

It is funny how having a baby propels you closer to things that interests you. I want to leave a better future for Forrest, and if that means recycling, and being more environmentally conscious than before then so be it. Honestly, I just want the best for my child. If that makes me out to be a crunchy mama,then I'm okay with that. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

5 Months Old!

Dear Forrest,

You are five months old today.

 You are a happy boy. You enjoy jumping in your Jumperoo, and playing with hanging toys in your jungle gym. You are able to sit up in your Bumbo chair, and on laps with some assistance. You even go so far as being able to stand on your own for a minute! We think you might be an early walker, but we will see though. You can roll from your back to your stomach, and have not quite mastered rolling over or from your stomach to your back. You are not a fan of tummy time, and get frustrated when you are on your belly. You push your legs against anything that your feet can touch, and try to scooch across the gym mat. When you are unable to reach to your destination, you get quite upset, and cry. Your parents have to be creative with ways to keep you entertained during Tummy Time! 

You are still breastfed, and Mama is quite happy that we've made this far. Because you are teething, it can make nursing--ouch--painful at times. Mama has a trick up her sleeve when you are suddenly interested in chomping down instead of eating, and it has been working out by using that little trick (a little flick to the cheek). That does not hurt you at all. It just surprises you enough to stop chomping down. Then you give Mama that look! It always makes Mama laugh. 

It is hard to believe that by February, it marks 6 months of breastfeeding, and it definitely does not feel that long! It helps Mama to focus on a month at time rather than looking at a year time frame. That way, if Mama's milk supply dries up before hitting a year mark, she can feel good for making as far as she does with you. Fortunately, Mama is still going strong, and you're still benefiting from her milk. 

Mama recently learned that she had to shave off spicy food, and black beans in her diet. Spicy food was causing your Eczema to flare up, and beans was making you...erm, gassy! Therefore, out goes spicy food (Mama still eats spicy food, but not as frequently as she used to), and black beans until you're completely weaned.

You have begun something new.

You started eating oatmeal with pumped breast milk. Unfortunately, you developed a reaction to it even though you enjoyed having oatmeal. Your entire back broke out in little hives after your third time eating oatmeal.

Because of this, Mama has decided not to give you pureed food until you are 6 months old because she felt that you were not quite ready for any type of solids. She also learned it was better to wait until you hit 6 months old because then your digestive system will have more time to catch up, and be able to handle food better.

Because you have entered a new terrain of experimenting with oatmeal, Mama has decided to purchase you a Space-Saver Fisher Price high chair, and have you be slowly introduced to eating in the kitchen with your parents! Mama is quite glad about this--she is tired of having dinners in the living room!

You are now 26 inches long. It is funny; your parents were convinced you had to be close to being 20 pounds since you did feel so heavy, and as it it turned were nowhere close to being 20 pounds! You are 16 and half pounds. You are such a solid mass of baby, and Mama can't imagine what you will feel like at 20 pounds.

You recently went through cluster-feeding period. You may have gained a bit more. We shall find out at your 6 months check up! 

You had 3 shots, and a swig of medicine at doctor's. You screamed, and cried briefly then got over it. What a little man that you were! 

You're beginning to outgrow your infant carrier car seat (Graco Snug Rider 30). Mama is really super pleasant to receive a car seat from your aunt, Jenni, that you can use! It is Britax Carseat, and you'll be able to use it once you're grown out of your carrier! 

Mama, Daddy, and you rang into a New Year's by doing something really major. You moved into your own bedroom, and started sleeping in your crib! 

The change was harder on Mama than it was on you. You see, Mama carried you in her belly for 9 months, and had you sleep in your little bassinet, and cat seat (with doctor's okay due to your cold congestion that you've had for nearly a month) next to your parents' bed for nearly 4 months. It getting to the point where it was becoming more for Mama than it was for you, and she decided it was time for you to switch to your big boy room.

On the first night of big transition, it was hard on everybody. You cried on and off from your bedtime until nearly 1 am. Daddy and Mama gave in, and took you back into their bedroom. On the following few nights after that, Mama held you while rocking you to sleep after nursing you, and put you down in your crib. Unfortunately, you woke up within half hour or hour, and started crying. You barely slept at all. The only way you wanted to sleep was on Mama! Needless, it spelled a lot of sleepless nights for your very sleep-deprived parents!

Mama did some researching, and looking up on methods of sleep training. Mama found an approach called Longer & Longer (Feber Method).

Mama and Daddy tried this on the fifth night after doing your bedtime routine (baby massage, Pajamas, boob milk, and kiss good night in the crib). You cried on and off for a half hour. After Mama and Daddy assured you every subsequent five minutes, you finally fell asleep, and stayed asleep until your nursing session at 2 am.On the sixth night, you cried only for three minutes, and Mama went in to check on you to give you one more kiss and tucked you in once again. You had pacifier back in your mouth--you must have spat it out during your crying fit--and boom, you were out moments after that! You woke up a few times after that, but it was only to be assured, and you went back to sleep. You remained fast asleep until 3 am feeding and change, and went back to sleep until 7-8 am!

Naps are easy-peasy! When you are ready to nap (usually around  8-11 am, 12-2 pm, and 4-5 pm), you nap for 45  minutes to an hour every time, and wake up a happy boy!

Mama has decided that she wanted to start looking into cloth diapers for either you or your sibling. Because of this, she has been doing some researching about cloth diapers, and is fortunate to have a great support system from bunch of mommies.

**I will be writing a separate post about cloth diapers, baby-wearing, and solids**

You are becoming a shine of this household. It is so much joy to watch you grow, and have your not-so-little personality to emerge. Mama and Daddy are anticipating to see what you bring in upcoming month!

We love you, our little wiggly bug.


Mama & Daddy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Faking It

I have several memories of hanging out with my close friends, who were very fluent in sign language, and how sometimes they faked that they were deaf during my teenage years. Very rarely, we did this to gain something. What? We were not always completely innocent. Matter of fact, once my good friend faked at being Deaf so we both could cut in the line to ride on a roller coaster at Six Flags. Was that bad? Oh yeah. Absolutely. That was wrong, I admit it. Before you shoot me for admitting to that rare advantage that we took from being Deaf, in many cases, faking deafness among my fluent signing friends was based on more of wanting to satisfy our curiosity.

We were curious how a waitress/waiter might react to table full of signers, and not being able to verbally communicate. We were curious whether anyone would have noticed who was Deaf, and who was not. We were curious how people might react to us. Sometimes, we just wanted to be left alone so my friends turned off their voices, and signed without speaking. This was harmless. This was not to take advantage of a situation to gain something. We were all teenagers. You know how that went down.

This silliness did die out by the time we graduated from high school. I never had my good friends or people I knew that faked at being deaf after high school even for shits and giggles.When I dated my by-then-boyfriend-now-my-husband in college and years beyond college, he never got around to acting as if he was deaf, and had no desire to do so. Frankly, it was not funny anymore to be faking it. It had become immature, and childish thing to do. The more I learned about my culture, the less funny it had become, and more insulting it was to me for someone to take advantage of this for their own entertainment.  This caused a false sense of entitlement among honest deaf folks, allies, and interpreters.

It got to me not thinking about faking it in years.

This morning during my cup of coffee, I read through the newsfeed on my Facebook as my little guy bounced happily in his jumperoo, and came across this on my friend's page. My friend's name, profile pictures, and posters who replied are blacked out for their protection, and privacy. Only my name is revealed in this conversation since well, duh, I'm the author of this blog, and I'm sure the majority of you know who I am. Read on. 

Cre Limbeck-Dishaw
FURIOUS! Listening to Free Beer and Hot Wings they were talking about "hoaxes" that people might be involved in. Someone from Lansing MI, (You know the land of LCC ITP) who is a sign language interpreter wrote in. They said they pretend to be deaf when they go out of town. They said they communicate only as a Deaf person and even went as far as requiring a hotel to pay for an interpreter for them. THIS IS WHY WE AREN'T TAKING SERIOUSLY! We have to fight so hard to be seen as professionals and people keep doing crap like this. UNACCEPTABLE!
about an hour ago · Like
 Ashley WHAT? This is ridiculous, and this is why some people have a negative view on Deaf people, and think they are entitled. Yeah, in some cases, some Deaf people do act they're entitled, and should not be....and there are rest of us who are honest and decent. On top of this, it makes interpreters look bad. It does put some stain on their reputation. It's just wrong. 
about an hour ago · Like
Cre Limbeck-Dishaw I know! I'm so upset. The LCC ITP is housed in Lansing and works to make sure that all graduates treat Deaf culture respectfully. As a friend to Deaf people I'm upset someone would do that. It's as bad as putting on "black face", as an interpreter I'm furious because now I have to work extra hard to make sure that Interpreters are viewed as professionals and that Deaf people don't have to go without. Utter bullshit.
about an hour ago · LikeMarisa Hadley Mumford Ha! I just posted about that too but I was driving.
about an hour ago via mobile · LikeAshley I'm just really speechless at how far this group of interpreters had taken this. Will they get reprimanded for this behavior? I certainly hope so.
about an hour ago · Like
Cre Limbeck-Dishaw If the person's name is ever found out (the radio didn't announce who it was) they would have any RID/State certification stripped due to the direct violation of the CPC's and the State's Code of Ethics. I'm just mad.
about an hour ago · LikeAshley Good! I may blog about makes for an interesting topic seeing that this have had happened so many times in the past. You'd think that people would learn from others' mistakes....yeah right.
59 minutes ago · LikeCre Limbeck-Dishaw I agree. This is someone who is supposed to work for the betterment and equality of a community and instead they are just taking advantage of them!
58 minutes ago · Unlike · 1adfadsfadfadfadsa I know many sign (not interpreter) students who have admitted to acting like they're deaf at restaurants to order before but never someone to go so far as to have someone provide an interpreter before. That's just sick really. Students and/or signers typically "don't know better", but a certified Interpreter? unacceptable. 

This appalled me. This was not your bunch of teenagers doing it for their amusement. This group of interpreters were not fourteen-year-olds playing around. 

Being an interpreter is a heavy responsibility. You are given a multiple roles. Sometimes, those roles can overlap, and become confusing. Sometimes, people can give interpreters grief because they don't understand how interpreting works. You are an advocate to Deaf community. It is not just about interpreting. It is also about educating hearing people in the public how to respectfully work with, and accommodate Deaf people's needs. You are the bridge between the hearing and Deaf worlds. Interpreters represent Deaf people by becoming our ears, and voice. How you behave will reflect us. Therefore, interpreters are expect to act professional. 

It was bad enough knowing that some folks faked at being Deaf to gain something (amusement, accessibility, or freebies). 

With any given guess, this group of people were probably in their twenties to thirties. For an interpreter to pretend that she/he was Deaf to the point of requesting for an interpreter for herself/himself was beyond ridiculous. What purpose did this serve them by going so far? Imagine that, how would hearing folks feel if they had learned that they were duped by a bunch of interpreters that behaved immaturely? How did that reflect on Deaf community? How did this reflect on the rest of decent, hardworking, and honest interpreters? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

This is My Life

This is my life. Right there.

I have approximately 32 journals, and one currently in the works. I don't know what got me hooked into writing. For the longest as I can remember, I have always had this love for writing, and once I had my first journal placed in my hands; it just bloomed, and took off from there. 

This was my first journal. Imagine that. I started writing when I was a freshman in high school. I had so much angst, and feelings going through my mind. I had so much to say, and nobody to share my thoughts with. 

You know, your typical teenager thinking she was all alone, and the world was against her. Nobody gets her. Maybe one or two very close friends does. But as for parents, teachers, siblings, or you name it; they all don't get it. 

Insert a massive eye roll here. 

That was so me. 

All of my journals carried personal feelings, thoughts, my firsts, my lasts, my experiences, and most importantly of all; my memories. I've been asked this throughout years; what would be one of few things you would try to save in case of a fire, and my answers always have been my journals. After all, it's my life written down in those books. 

I always have a little rite with my every new journal. When I get a new journal, I immediately pluck out my permanent makers (love those things), pluck my favorite quotes or lyrics from songs I love, and scribble them down all over the inner pages. Sometimes, I'd draw pictures, doodle, or cut pictures out of magazines or from my pictures that I've taken over the years, and plaster them there. It's my inner working of my soul, I'd say. 

I admit that in last 2-3 journals; I have not done this due to time constraint, and lack of creativity, I suppose. It is hard with a little baby on the board to find the time to sit down, and barf all rainbow quotes onto the pages. However, those pages are left blank intentionally within a reason. 

Over the years, I started collecting journals with unique covers that reflected a certain time in my life. After that, I was unable to return back to your regular old spiral-binder notebooks. I found that the best journals with unique covers often originated from Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Also, every Christmas, I always put in journals as a request as my Christmas list from Dad. He often had impeccable taste, and purchased the best journals for me. Very rarely I would not ask for a journal mainly because I already had one or two blank journals waiting to be filled by my words. Even more rarely, when I did not get a journal, and I was in a pinch of needing one; I often spent my Barnes and Noble giftcard or my cash to purchase one nice thick journal that would last for 6 months or more. 

I used to write daily. What did I write? Whatever that tickled my fancy. Whatever that angered me. Whatever that inspired me. Whatever caused me to pick up a pen, and press it against a blank page only to fill it with my ramblings. Stories. Thoughts. Dreams. Fantasies. Words. 

Now? I am beginning to find more time to resume writing every day once again now that my little pill monster  is napping on a regular intervals.

Before he had a predictable nap time and bedtime schedules; I wrote once a week, and always found a time to write. I had to. I was unable to go weeks and weeks at time without writing. It was as if I had so much words, and I was about to break apart like dam breaking apart from excessive water pressure. Journals always had been my source of outlet for my emotions. 

I've also been asked several times, after learning that I journal, if I am planning on ever publishing my journals. 

Sometimes I entertain the notion of doing so.

Sometimes I prefer not to, and have my life stay hidden. 

At least for now.

More often than not, when I return to my previous entries...sometimes days, weeks, or even years later, I discover lessons inside my words, and learn from them. To learn. To enrich from my mistakes, and avoid from repeating them in the future. To absorb my happiness of that time, and smile or laugh at later date. To feel what I felt again. My memories are so valuable, and so cherished. I'm quite glad that I've written them all down. 

Those journals may be carrier of my story of my life. Inside those events, there are so many lessons waiting to be learned from. 

It is why I write.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Can You Communicate?

I have had people ask me, upon learning that I am married to a hearing man, if Stu sign. I always happily respond, yes. I am really blessed that Stu did learn my language, and had a sincere desire to be able to communicate with me. Stu claims that when he first saw me, I had this aura that lights up the room, and told himself that he had to learn to sign. Sure go ahead, roll your eyes, or say awww. Whatever floats your boat. *winks*

I do feel blessed, and pretty lucky that I have a wonderful husband that is able to communicate with me in my language. I am not sure why, but so many of my Deaf friends or people I know, who are dating or married to hearing spouse, and they do not know how to sign or have a limited understanding of sign language. I suppose that some of them feel that they are not deserving to have someone who can sign to them, and some of them don't feel it is that important for their spouses to know sign language.

For me, that was a huge deal-breaker. I had to be with someone who could sign. Now, dates were different--I did not care, and had no expectation because face it, I was not jumping in a relationship with the guy I was going out on a date with. Nobody really wowed me until Stu came along. For him to secretly learn sign language, and surprising me a few weeks later with by signing, "would you go to formal dance with me" was what won my heart over. I knew this guy was a keeper after that! 

To go even further, there are Deaf parents who have hearing children that does not sign at all. I can't really comprehend that. Please do not assume that I am judging them. They have their reasons, I am sure. I can't speak to why they chose not promote their children to learn sign language. On the other hand, I have met some Deaf parents who have really tried teaching their hearing child(ren) sign language, and they had no interest in learning that language.  

As for me, this is one of my biggest fear as a Deaf mom, and that is not being able to communicate with my child. I can't imagine not being able to talk with my child or any of my unborn future children. Stu knows and understands my slight anxiety about this, and is supportive by constantly signing while speaking to Forrest. We have made a decision to make this house to be a bilingual place meaning Forrest will try to be consistent with both signing and speaking.

I've been told by several Deaf mothers that sometimes their toddlers will go on a strike, and not want to sign. This is where their speech development will explode, and they are fascinated by their own voice, their ability to speak, and that they can talk. This, I have been assured, is very normal. After this passes, their toddler will resume signing, and finds it natural to speak and sign. Occasionally, their thinking process will get jumbled up--after all, learning two languages simultaneously can be a hard work! That results in toddlers stuttering, or saying things repetitively. Some will bloom into a natural signers, and some will be mediocre signers. It depends on the child's personality, and Deaf parent's level of dedication in teaching them to sign. 

My brother, Alex, learned to sign before he learned how to speak. It did not affect his speech development. He saw both languages as part of communication, and did not think any differently of it. He was motivated to learn how to sign because I was being constantly signed to by everybody around me. 

I do wonder what it will be like for Forrest. I look forward to this part of journey with him. I am still waiting for his first sign, and hopefully he will be signing a few words within a few months from now. 

It is important to me to be able to incorporate my culture, and my language in Forrest's life. This is why I can't begin to understand how some Deaf parents can raise their children not to know their culture and language. I can't understand how some Deaf people can freely stay with a spouse that does not communicate in their language. Communication is the main key in every relationships, and families out there, right? I can only imagine that it might be lonely to be in a family or to be with someone who does not communicate well with you.

Even so, I find this very little access or lack of communication to be a common trend in Deaf-Hearing relationships. I'm not sure why.

**Please do note that I am not referring to those Deaf people who may prefer to speak, and use hearing aids to communicate. That's their right to communicate in such manner. This is not anti-oral speaking Deaf people or choice of speaking among Deaf people. As long as they are able to communicate, and understand what is going on, and is quite happy in doing so then more power to them!