This post contains affiliate links which means YOU get stuff on sale (40-70% off, see the whole post below), and Tea Collection is going to give me a cut of their profit. (I don’t see how Tea Collection is making much profit from a sale like this, but hey, I’m not complaining)

Moxie was chosen as a Tea Collection Ambassador, which meeeeeeeaaaans that they love her! And she loves them! It also means that they give her some of their great stuff from new lines so that she can test it out for it’s moxie.

She’s hard on clothes.

Tea Collection stuff holds up to Moxie’s big wheeling –

Big-Wheelin' with Moxie

and monkey-playing

hanging out

goofing around

and even the rare moment of quiet reflection

That dress is Moxie’s favorite, by the way, because: POCKETS!!

Tea Collection is getting the ball rolling with headed back to school and have a super-sale going on starting today (Monday 8/14), through Thursday (8/17) with

An Extra 40% off Sale Styles at TeaCollection.com 

So, an additional 40% off sale styles AND ALSO save up to 70% on Aussie-inspired dresses, rompers, graphic tees, swim, pajamas and more using code AUSSIESALE.

Bonus! Enter Tea‘s back to school sweepstakes for a chance to win over $1000 in back-to-school essentials! One lucky winner will receive:

– A PUBLIC Mini or PUBLIC Sprout bicycle (up to $249 total value) from PUBLIC Bikes
– A $200 gift card code redeemable at MayDesigns.com
– CLIF Kid Zbar Filled bars and a prize pack including sunglasses, a water bottle, band aids and stickers ($135 total value) from CLIF Kid
– Two lunchboxes, two snack boxes and two cooler bags ($126 total value) from Yumbox
– A $300 gift card code redeemable at TeaCollection.com

The sweepstakes will launch on Monday, (8/14) and end on Monday, (8/28). Enter HERE!

Fine print:
Enter code AUSSIESALE during checkout to receive an additional 40% off sale prices at Teacollection.com. Tea Collection product only, not applicable on third party product. Discount taken pre-tax. Offer expires 8/17/2017 at 11:59pm PST. No adjustments on previous purchases. Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be combined with other promotions. Limited to stock on hand.

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Waterproof hearing aids are a big deal.

I mean, huge. HUGE! I don’t think you are actually likely to understand unless you actually use hear-wear. It’s enormous.

Just to kind of give you a glimpse, though, think about all the times in which water is around you: the shower, the pool, hot tubs, hot springs, ocean, rivers, RAIN? Maybe it’s a bigger deal for me than for someone living in say, Kansas, since I’ve spent my entire life so far around the Pacific Ocean, but there is no denying that for any of us, all of us, water is a part of our lives.

Water is always in the back of my mind.

Someone turns on the sprinkler? DAMMIT! get that away from my hearing aids! Or the hose, or those sudden-dousing “fun” things? Boats, canoes, kayaks, all of that usually has me in anxiety.

My choice, you see, has always been to either participate in something that relates to water and take the chance of killing my super expensive piece of hear-ware OR participate with them off, rendering me unable to communicate, thanks to my lack of signing (parents; this is why you need to teach your kids ASL, okay?? so they are not stuck like I am now).

So I just about swooned when I saw that Siemens has a new TOTALLY WATERPROOF hearing aid out.

Siemens Aquaris: A Waterproof Hearing Aid

I know, for those of you who know hearing aids, this really does sound like an impossibility, doesn’t it? I mean, where does the battery casing go? The microphone? How can the microphone work if it’s encased? Doesn’t make sense. But I was so excited about the possibility, I went for it anyway.

These are the hearing aids:

Sexy beast! Bring on the beige, baby!

They are clearly way smaller and lighter than my backups – my ears are grateful for that. They have no volume control or adjustments; completely digital. I’m fine with that, and used to it too, since my Phonak’s operate the same way.

I am not even using the phone anymore – too stressful – so I have not tested them for bluetooth/T-coil capacity.

siemensaquaris_spec_blk_4Sound quality

It’s always a brain-bender to get used to a different sound system. The overall sound quality for the hearing aids is fine, it’s this strange sort of echo-y, tin-tastical-laced voiced sounds that kind of wanked me out. It’s like a dim, raspy-yet-clear- megaphone going straight into your ear canal. Does that make sense?

I think that the sound quality in Phonaks or non-waterproof Siemen’s models are better in terms of clarity.

The Water Part

  1. Swimming

I went swimming with Mack and Moxie and wore them – and it was WEIRD. It was actually not fun because I’m not used to hearing all that and it kind of freaked me out. The water sounds crinkly and metallic and rather than a lovely silence that goes with the feeling of water, it’s this jarring bunch of sound. And people in pools are NOISY – I didn’t know that (or like it).

So… the hearing aids work fine while swimming. But I won’t be doing that again unless I absolutely have to.

2. Showering

I took a shower with them in and it was just… ugh! How can hearing people stand to listen to shampoo like that? It’s TERRIBLE! That lathering sound is excruciating.

While the sounds of the actual shower were like nails on chalkboard to me, I liked being able to hear Moxie scream from the yurt (- or did I?), I liked the measure of safety that I felt being able to hear as I showered, but… I gotta be honest, I’m not doing it again. I much prefer my silent showers, so I’m not sure I’m going to be using them in the shower unless I absolutely have to.


I’m a few months in to using these hearing aids as my primary hearing devices. I love them because here in Humboldt County, it rains a lot and I am never nervous anymore about getting my hearing aids wet outside while walking or hiking. That’s an awesome feeling.

I also like them while on the beach or river, because again, no worries about water accidentally destroying them.

But I won’t go swimming or shower with them in unless I have no choice. I can’t stand the unfamiliar sounds and much prefer my silence.

While I do think that the sound quality in Phonaks or non-waterproof Siemens models are superior to the sound quality in these, these bubbas are waterproof. I’m not getting the best quality sound, but since I’m a pretty active mom of 3 very active kids living in one of the rainiest parts of California with a lifestyle that revolves around water, I’ll take it.


This post is not sponsored in any way, shape or form. I purchased the hearing aids through insurance and am only writing this review for other hear-wearers out there who might want to know about these. Questions? Please ask in the comments or message me. I’m happy to share more.

Like most women, I'd been lulled by cheerful photographs and happy magazine articles into thinking that the hardest thing about new motherhood would be actual childbirth.

It certainly didn't help that I had very few friends that had given birth before me.

So it came as a very rude shock that the easiest thing about new motherhood was actually childbirth; everything else came on a steep learning curve.


Breastfeeding, sleeping, those "5 s's" – even cutting my baby's nails was hard.

I thought carriers would be a cinch – I mean, how hard could it be to just plop your baby in something? Really? But it was. Remember this?  I had tried all these carriers, got lost in the New Native and finally test-drove an Ergo by borrowing my friend's. I nursed Micah while I hiked in it and was sold.


But then two things happened:

1. I didn't realize how crucial the top back strap is and

2. I had Moxie, a child with Down syndrome – and hence, low tone.


Low muscle tone changes a lot for parents when looking for the perfect baby carrier for their little one. This is the thing: you have to be careful to not splay the legs of little ones with low tone because it can cause hip problems. This is probably true of every little baby, but it's especially true for kids with low tone. We really have to be careful.


Unsure as to whether the Ergo was going to cut it, I took it along with the link for the  infant insert to Moxie's physical therapist at the hospital and asked her if it was a good option for Moxie.


Sharon, Moxie's physical therapist,  looked it all over very carefully, noting how using the infant insert keeps the legs of an infant together.

The infant insert…with infant

Inside the Infant Insert

The baby is essentially perched on a little soft stool, then snuggled like a delicious little burrito within.

Sharon gave it a thumbs up; I used it non-stop until she said that Moxie's hips and legs were all right for being in the carrier directly (this, I believe, when Moxie was around 9-10 months old).


Now, while it was all fine to have Moxie in the Ergo with the infant insert, I wasn't adjusting the Ergo top strap correctly which wrecked havoc on my back,  already weakened from Micah's c-section. It was torture! Fierce white-pain (you know the kind) would flash around and I'd be screaming inside from the agony.


Long time readers of this blog know all about that –  (read this post!) – so I simply can't stress this enough: that tiny little strap in the back? It must be adjusted correctly!


It's got to be low enough to ergonomically kick in. Which, yes, can make unbuckling it tricky, but you can do it alone once you get the hang of exactly where it is.

When you have that down, you've got yourself the best carrier in the world. The Ergo will take your baby front, back and side. You can nurse easily in it

nursing in the ergo!

There – can you tell I'm nursing in that photo? It's pretty great, isn't it?

Even if you have large Bessies, it's easy – you just undo your nursing clasp/shirt from within and hold part of the cloth of your shirt along the side if you don't care for spillage views

It's not likely to get easier than with the Ergo.

I even wear it around the house, since it's just about the only way that I can carry my baby everywhere and still get things done; I can nurse him while I cook for my other two kids.

It also stays away from my c-section incision – and have I already mentioned that I look about 20 lbs slimmer while wearing it?!

This carrier is perfect in every way.



In The Spirit of Giving Thanks:

A big 'thank you" to Ergo Baby just for creating these awesome carriers that have dramatically improved the quality of my life. And a big "thank you" to them for their generosity – they are giving away one carrier with infant insert here.

To enter, just follow the flow of the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Want to read my earlier posts on the Ergo?

From 2008: Carrying on with the Carriers (this post was with little tiny baby Micah)

From 2011: The Mighty Ergo (from traveling in Baja, Mexico with Moxie)


Links to Ergo Baby:

Ergo Baby Website

Try it on before you buy it? Find a store


I want to make this really simple. This post is about travel, poop and having a child with special needs.

Do yourself a favor and don't read it if you don't have kids. Mm'kay? Just head on down the list of posts and read something else that might make more sense for you.


One of the most common issues for kids with Down syndrome point blank is constipation. It's probably the most frequent question that pops up on all Down syndrome boards, spilling over into the general special needs community forums. Everyone has this issue with their kid(s), at one time or another. Everyone.

And then, when you travel, it's compounded. I don't know what it is, but something about a changed diet, a shift from routine? Whatever it is, not just my Moxie – who has Down syndrome – but typically developing Micah as well – have bowel issues.

I have long advocated for coconut oil, placed directly in food. It's easy, it tends to work well. Any oil, really, but pure, organic coconut oil or coconut butter worked really well for my child.

Probiotics are also magical. I feed my kids probiotic-rich yogurt nearly daily, but definitely a few times a week. It really helps.

But what to do when travelling? What do do when you are out on the road and can't find probiotic-rich yogurt, when it's just not feasible or possible to bring along the coconut butter?

Enter: Culturelle Kids!

This is what they are: a portable pill/powder (depending on your child's weight) that will help support digest and boosts overall digestive health and provides ongoing maintenance for a healthy digestive tract. In a nutshell: it helps your child poop well by releasing those priobiotics.

It's recommended by pediatriciants, trusted by parents.

For me, the main pieces were really that I knew that I had something with a solid reputation and track record on hand while travelling to keep the kids regular in lieu of their typical yogurt. Like I said, it's portable. It's super easy. You can just bring a box or two with you and that's that.


– Have you used Culturelle Kids? Did your little ones like it? (mine think it's candy…)

– What do you do to keep your child regular if you have problems? What's worked for you and yours?



Disclaimer:  I was compensated for this post and provided with Culturelle samples.  All opinions provided are my own. Of course. I'd never fake something like this, involving our kids.


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