June 21, 2017

The unseen battle...

I don't talk about it on here much, but I happen to be severely hearing impaired.  I am deaf in one ear and am hearing impaired in the other.  I wear a hearing aid in my better ear and it corrects my hearing a great deal.  When I was little, my parents were told by doctors to enroll me in a school for the deaf.  I am so thankful they did not heed the advice.  Instead, I was enrolled in normal schools, swam competitively on a USS swim team, graduated from Auburn University and was expected to advocate for myself and to never use my disability as a crutch.  My tough-loving parents, and how they chose to raise me, are a very significant part of why I am as high functioning as I am.  

I received a new hearing aid about a week ago.  One of my least favorite things to do is get a new hearing aid.  It is a very emotional experience for me.  I work extremely hard, day in and day out, to rid myself of vulnerability...I assume many people with disabilities work hard at this.  The hearing tests that always accompany a new hearing aid make me very anxious.  Growing up, hearing tests felt like a matter of life or death.  It felt nearly the same last week, as I sat in the little vacuum-sealed pod raising my hands when I heard beeps and repeating words meant for a 5 year old like "airplane" and "tree".  No matter how confident I feel, I always cry in that room...Sometimes a lot, sometimes just a single tear.  I can't fake it til' I make it in that room.  In my mind, that room reveals just how vulnerable I really am...

Once I got the hearing test out of the way, some of the adrenaline that was pulsing through my body begins to calm.  My shakiness and anxiousness begins to settle.  Then it was time to try on the hearing aid and get the acoustics adjusted.  There are a series of tests I had to go through and give feedback on sound quality...all of which is done in a private and quiet room.  Then, they sent me off into the very loud world for me to figure it out.  

Not being able to describe how you are hearing something is very frustrating because it is all subjective.  It is unnerving to not know how you should be hearing things.  Adjusting to the sounds of your surroundings is exhausting and new noises are startling.  You are essentially retraining the brain in certain ways.  The worst is hearing your children sound different than when you woke them up that morning.  Their sweet little voices sound different...not better or worse, just different...and it is a little devastating.  

The process of getting a new hearing aid serves as a glaring reminder of my differences and deficits.  I have worn hearing aids since I was three years old and can, honestly, say that I have harbored very little anger or sadness about being hearing impaired.  I have always accepted it graciously for the most part.  I have always known how lucky I am, when there are those who do not have access to hearing aids at all..Even still, ungrateful emotions rise to the surface...

The ugly emotions rear their ugly heads.  I am reminded that I am hearing impaired, which I often forget, and it makes me angry.  I am reminded how sad it is that I cannot hear my children's laughs and squeals while playing in the pool with them.  It is a scary reminder of how dangerous life can be sometimes...from not hearing fire alarms or tornado sirens...to not hearing someone trying to get into the house.  I am reminded of all the deficits that I have to fight every day...and am then reminded of how exhausted I am from working so hard to compensate. 

I am reminded of my strength and how I always come out on the other side of these transitions hearing better and being more capable.  This process reminds me how vulnerable I am, which I hate, but it also reminds me of all I have to be thankful for.  This process of adjusting to a new aid is one of the biggest first world problems I can think of.  There are children watching their friends and family get killed as they dodge bombs in Syria.  There are women who fear being attacked with acid, all because they want an education.  When I compare the battles I have to face with the, quite literal, battles of women and children around the world...Mine is extremely insignificant..and I am so thankful for that!

June 19, 2017

Three Steps to Make Mornings A Little Less Painful...

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LockInSoftSkin #WetSkinIsBestSkin #CollectiveBias

Mornings during the week with two kids are exhausting.  I get up at 5AM in hopes of being able to get the kids ready and out the door by 7:10AM.  You would think that would be enough time, but when you have a son who hates getting up in the morning and a baby girl going through separation anxiety issues...meaning she must be on my hip, and only my hip, for every waking second possible..there is never enough time in the mornings.  

Did I also mention that I am not a morning person?  Each time my alarm goes off I pretty much just start crying and begging the universe to make it Saturday.  I will contemplate whether or not I really need to shower and then try to rationalize my greasy hair by saying it is good for the environment to conserve water...so people should really thank me for not showering.  Then, my voice of reason speaks up and reminds me that I have a meeting or something going on at work that I need to be presentable for...so I finally give in and, begrudgingly, slide my feet across the floor to the bathroom since I am too tired to actually pick my feet up and take steps. I stand in the shower hoping that it has transformed into a smart shower overnight that will wash your hair and shave your legs without you having to do anything.  To my disappointment, the shower is still a slacker that can only pour water on you.

Since I am really pressed for time in the mornings, and usually grumpy, I am constantly trying to find ways to cut corners in order to make more time for the family in the mornings.  Here are three things I do in efforts to make our mornings go a little smoother:

Prep the coffee the night before

My husband and I both work full-time, we have two children, one of whom plays baseball roughly 3 days a week, not including the weekend tournaments...As you can assume, we depend on coffee to help us survive.  To free up a little time in the morning, I grind up fresh coffee beans and place in filter and also add the water to the pot the night before.  Doing these couple of steps the night before means all that I have to do in the morning is pour the water in the reservoir and turn the pot on.

Prep the kids meals and lay out their clothes

During the school year I prep my son's lunches, and my daughter's bottles the night before.  I also like to have outfits picked out the night before.  Many times, I have my son's outfits coordinated for an entire week. By doing this, he can pick which outfit he wants to wear.  This is a win/win because I get to make sure he still has an outfit that matches and he feels like he has some control over what he wears.  Simple steps like these really help to make mornings a little less chaotic.

Shorter Showers

The most effective way I have been able to cut down on time is by taking shorter showers and spending less time in the bathroom.  I used to love taking really long showers, but now that I have two kids there just isn't that kind of time in the mornings.  Now, I am all about the multitasking and products that will help me save on time.  I'll shave while I let the conditioner sit in my hair.  I will wash my body while I leave a face mask on. Instead of using lotion once I have dried off from the shower I use  Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer with Nourishing Monoi Oil 10 oz that I purchase from Wal-Mart.  

Moisturization is extremely important to me as I want my skin to be smooth and healthy.  The way I see it, why would you take the time to shave your legs if your skin isn't soft anyway.  I love that I can apply this while I am still in the shower, right after I have turned off the shower and before I dry off. I used to use regular lotion, but was always disappointed in the lack of moisture my skin was getting.  Since I began using Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer, I have noticed a big difference in my skin's texture and tone. It is quick to apply and does not require you to rub it in like regular lotion does.  The Monoi Oil has a delicate, sweet fragrance that lasts throughout the day. Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer has helped take several minutes off of my routine in the mornings all while pampering my skin. 

If you are looking for a few extra minutes in your morning routine, without sacrificing vital skin care, try Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer with Nourishing Monoi.  It is quick and easy to apply, while being effective in nourishing your skin. Plus, it's just fun to put on and smells amazing.

Happy Monday, y'all!

June 13, 2017

Waffle Iron Cinnamon Rolls

I have recently discovered that waffle irons are meant for much more than waffle batter.  Over the weekend I decided to try cinnamon rolls in the waffle iron...and they were amazing.  Naturally, I thought that this was the greatest discovery since Columbus stumbled upon the Americas...So of course I had to share my "recipe."  This recipe allows you to have cinnamon roll waffles in 3 minutes or less with minimal clean-up afterwards!

| I N G R E D I E N T S |

1 can of your favorite prepared cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing
2 Tbls milk
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
small pinch of cinnamon

| M E T H O D |

Not much method to it...pre-heat waffle iron, spray with non-stick cooking spray and place 2 cinnamon rolls on the iron and shut.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes.  While the rolls are cooking, mix the cream cheese icing that came with the rolls with the milk and vanilla.  You want it to be thin enough to drizzle, but thick enough to stick to the waffles.  Once the cinnamon rolls are just cooked through, remove from iron, drizzle with the cream cheese icing and serve!

What I really love about this "recipe" is that you put two cinnamon rolls on the waffle iron, but you are only eating one waffle.  So I think you can justify that you only ate one cinnamon roll, instead of two.  Does anyone else use this logic? It is the best logic there is...

Happy Eating, Y'all!

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