Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Club Mom-- Take a Visit There

Connect With Other Moms Like You.

Club Mom is a site that reminds me of the days that I connected with other moms through the AOL groups. I usually visit Club Mom a few times a week to connect with other moms and see what's happening around the world. You can make it as interactive or as private as you want.

This is an excellent site to connect with other moms in your area or for moms who are expecting little ones.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"Alone In The Mainstream A Deaf Woman Remembers Public School" by Gina Olivia is a book that I could instantly relate to when I first picked it up. Part research project and part autobiography, the book focuses on the lives of deaf and hard of hearing children who grow up being the only ones with hearing loss in their schools.

Gina uses the term "solitaires" to describe such children. I found myself nodding along over and over as Gina described her life growing up, dealing with social situations and then becoming a part of the Deaf community. In this book, Gina offers some ideas of how to successfully include deaf/hard of hearing children in the mainstream. I have included a link in this blog (see sidebar) to order the book if interested.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Epinions-- Why I Still Hang Out There

I've been writing for for six years now and I want to take a moment to share this site here. Epinions covers thousands of reviews of every imaginable product and you will find un-biased reviews by a variety of consumers. You will find information about which vacuums actually suck (ahem, pun intended), movies to avoid, and which strollers are good for two kiddos.

I started writing there as a way to make money. Back in the early days of Epinions, one could easily make a grand per year. Today, free-flowing money has dwindled to a trickle, but I still enjoy the community there. My articles have received an average of 300 hits per review, and my review of a trampoline has racked up thousands of hits.

So the next time you're looking for a new gizmo, check out the product reviews at Epinions before you fork over the money.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I received this little ditty in my email box yesterday and I just had to share it:

by Charles Swindoll

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on my life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.
It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a company ... a church ... a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past ... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude ...
I am convinced that life is ten percent what happens to me and ninety percent how I react to it.
And so it is with you ... we are in charge of our attitudes."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Teaching Babies to Sign

In my email box today, I received a link to the story, "Baby Sign Language--Gimmick or Early Voice?" and of course, I wanted to share a thought. I work with families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing, but I taught two courses in Sign With Your Baby at a local hospital with babies who had normal hearing.

The whole point of teaching sign to babies is not about raising IQ levels or smarter babies, it's about communicating. It's about giving little ones the tools to be able to tell Mom or Dad that they're hungry, that they want to play, that they want some juice, and so on. Infants have control of their hands before the natural development of speech, so they are able to develop signs at an early age. This early communication can be visually measured and seen, which gets everyone so excited about the budding genius before them.

So if you've decided to teach sign to your little one, kick back and enjoy the learning process together. American Sign Language is the fourth most common language in the world. Have fun with it.

A new bulletin board for parents

Hands & Voices now has a new bulletin board for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children and professionals in the field.

You can access the bulletin board at:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Good Old-Fashioned Kickball

On Sunday, August 20th, IL Hands & Voices partnered with Chicago Hearing Society and Talking Hands Playgroup and played kickball. Twenty deaf/hard of hearing/hearing kids showed up and kicked through three games. It was wonderful to see all the smiles and laughter as they connected with an old-fashioned game.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Woke up a year older...

I turned 41 today. What a strange age. I wasn't happy turning 40 last year-- I was bummed at leaving my thirties behind. 40 sounds so mature, so...responsible. 41 is just nine years away from 50. And 50 is just a drop away from 60, which is totally mature and you sure better be responsible by that point!

I swore that I was going to stay in bed all day and watch tv, which is a rare treat. So I took in all my landscaping and cooking shows and by noon, I was itching to do something else.

For some reason, I headed out to the compost pile and started working on a new section in the flower garden. I pulled weeds, mixed up compost with peat and spread it around. Everything looked pretty good after a few hours. The hubby and I worked on another section near the side of the house, which was overgrown with clover and thistle. Our neighbor's house is smack next to this area and I'm sure they appreciated seeing the hostas instead of the the thistle. I even experienced a Zen moment while taking a break and sitting in the swing and taking in the flowers. I told the hubby, "We need more moments like this..."

We ordered pizza tonight and I went for a bike ride with the kids-- the first time that I actually used the bike this summer.

Definitely a productive day-- maybe 41 isn't so bad after all.