week in review


What I Learned this Week:

1. There is a threshold that I reach, after which I simply don't care anymore about how high the dishes are piled or how messy the place is. This threshold is not compatible with my mother-in-law visiting (today! this weekened!).

But it is compatible with diner-breakfasts – out.


And it is compatible with sanity. Mine.

2. Mud is highly alluring to the under-5 crowd

Mud. Pure glory-genius. Messy as it all gets out, they LOVE it! And then I can just strip them and hose them down before going inside!

It's definitely going to be a regular on our play-agenda from here on out.


On the blog this week:

My Two Year Old with Down syndrome, or: Vials of Moxie

Where we are now, 2 years into this journey


Hilarious Deaf Memes

Those were the two that I made (and laugh at every time I read them) – but there are more memes in the post. That I didn't make, and that some  people liked better than the ones I did…


The State of My Uterus: 31 Weeks

Don't read this if you can't handle talk about lady parts. Or hormonal rants. Or stuff along those lines.


An Easy Way to Feel Prettier While Pregnant/Nursing: GIVEAWAY

Fabulous nursing hoodie giveaway from Annee Matthew. Easy entry. ENTER already!


Finding a Beach that Fits: Playa el Coyote

It's kind of masochistic of me to be running these posts.

I think that's about it. We have to get back to cleaning. You know, so we can just apologize to my Mother in Law, "we are SO SORRY for the mess!", with all of us knowing full well that "the mess" is as clean as it gets around here.


Wish us luck. Because cleaning with a toddler (and kid) is, as they say, like trying to straighten a desk full of papers while a fan is blowing on it.

Have a great weekend.

Oh, and before I forget:

Nursing Hoodie giveaweay – HERE, on this blog – from Annee Matthew. It's made of bamboo and possibly the nicest thing you'll wear while pregnant/nursing. Click the button to get to the giveaway page.
And: check out the BabyLegs 60% off sale – can never have too many, and – did I mention that i's 60% off?? It's site-wide, so it includes the tights and things that I love for Moxie (like her pirate's pants with the red ruffles on the bottom). Ends Sunday. Just click on the button below.

Code: FB60K


Now, really: have a great weekend!


Before we say anything else, how about talking about how awesome it was that the Olympic drummers were lead by a deaf percussionist?! That it was the deaf children’s choir that sang their National Anthem? And that in music dance pieces, I saw people who use wheelchairs also dancing?

 Go, London!

 That’s some pretty rad inclusiveness on display.


Posts this Week:

The Influence of Disability Within My World

  • This was for the Blog Hop, and it was a hard one to write. It’s really about my claiming the thread and culture of disability for my own life, and accepting Moxie’s diagnosis.

Moxie Got Her Hair Cut

  • …and she did! First one ever, by someone other than me. Certificate to prove it, too.

On the Road: From Tijuana to San Quintin

  • Back to Baja –  going from Tijuana – and how we spent New Year’s Eve.

Comic Fun: Moxie Wants to PLAY!

  • She’ll try and get you to slide here. You are duly warned.

** Giveaway winner of No Ordinary Boy was Corbett O’Toole – congratulations, Corbett!


I normally do the photo collage thing for the week – everything I posted on facebook – but I wanted to do something different this week. Here’s my Week in Review video!


Now, did you really watch it?


Okay, thanks! It took forever to upload that thing. I might go back to the collages next week.


See this?


I want this – my kids are not d/Deaf but I want them to intrinsically feel pride in who they are, celebrate every aspect of being.

I want them to be on a stage signing in deaf jams, fun bits about being born. I want them to have the confidence and sense of self-pride to be at ease with expression in all of it’s fluid forms.

This has been on my mind in a big way this week as I’ve taken that morsel called “education” and held it, looked at it and really thought about what it means to me now – and how my kids are going to be fitting in with it in the snug bed o’ life.

Teaser for a post coming next week: words I have learned include: “unschooling“, “taking children seriously.”


Other fun stuff:

Bob Ross and his Happy Clouds, on Remix

I LOVE BOB ROSS!! Always did, always will. May you rest in peace, Mr. “Tree Guy”

Mister Rogers and the “Garden of the Mind”, on Remix


I was not a fan of Mister Rogers when I was a kid. I think he creeped me out and he was soooooooooooooooooooo slow that I’d get annoyed. I like him a lot more now that I’m an adult. There still is a part of him that I’m not crazy about – it might be the whole adult-man-working-with-kids thing.

But anyway!

Here’s what I thought to be the coolest meme this week:

And these two were the funniest. Sort of. They also made me groan – they cross that fine line between REALITY and HUMOUR, if you know what I’m saying.

One of my constant goals is to remember to get to the dollar store to buy some disposable eating ware. Catch up on the friggin’ dishes, maybe even glimpse the actual steely surfaces of the sink basin.


Where was I? Oh right. Back to the Week in Review. I always enjoy these posts even if they take a long time to write. But. My Mom has been out of town and will be for a while – NO CHILD CARE FOR ME – the garden needs a ton of work, I have a book to review and lot more work to do, so I’d better cut this now.


Thank you to the sponsors of this post, orlandoescape.com . Orlando, home of Disney World, Sea World and the NASA space center, was a lot of fun when I visited it some years ago. Awfully flat, very hot and also very, very gorgeous – I understood why people flock to Florida.

OrlandoEscape has a green living blog – check it out! They also have a ton of lists and tips for hotels and deals in the area as well as for finding hotel packages, and family hotels.

And – 

1. before I sign off completely, tell me: what did you think of the Opening Ceremonies? Did you watch it from Orlando?

2. BabyLegs – they are having too good a sale to not tell you about:


– no, that’s not a typo. Check it out: HERE – and don’t forget your coupon code: B1G3F (but don’t sit on it – when I bought mine yesterday there were not many to choose from – selling fast!)
BabyLegs Leg Warmers

Have a good one!




Welcome to Week in Review, the Post of All Posts, in which I summarize the whole week on this blog. And stuff I found off of the internet. Plus photos! Let’s get started.


I loved this music video.

Everything about it – great music, beautiful signing, lesbian couple and yes! It’s from the Bay Area!




There were some fantastic articles floating around on the internet this past week. Here was one:

Roger Egbert’s article on the Smart Ass Cripple: http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/07/a_cripple_who_is_a_smart_ass.html

Of course some of what the Smart Ass Cripple does/talks about was fodder for this post of mine, “Crip” and “Gimp”: Word Reclamation . There are some mixed feelings about it. But overall? He’s great.


Posts This Week

  • Summer Disability Blog Hop Series: The Influence of Disability in Your World

Solid links to great posts in this hop. Check them out – and please add yours too!

  • Book Review: No Ordinary Boy by Jennifer Johannesen

My review of a phenomenal book that I cannot recommend highly enough (kind of a spoiler there, huh)

  • Boots! Boots! Boots!

Alternatively titled, “Moxie Got Some New Boots and Some Love is Going On

  • Interview: With Jennifer Johannesen, Author of “No Ordinary Boy” and Last Week’s “Fake Work”

A talk with Jennifer and BOOK GIVEAWAY – ENTER!
  • On This Day: Falling in Love with My One True Darling Man

I felt the need to re-post this since I got the date of our anniversary wrong. *face palm*

  • The Border to Baja

Crossing the border from San Diego to Tijuana on the last day of the year!

  • Funniest e-Cards and Best Memes of the Week

I need some funny!

On the homefront:

My One True Darling Man agreed that I could buy a camera with most of the money we made from selling the trailer. Yes, this is another reason that I love him.

After a lot of research, a lot of advice from Meredith, a lot of handling of cameras, I chose the Nikon 5100 with the 24-85mm lens. I bought them both from B&H, and that was upon the advice of Sheila. I would be so lost without my friends. I’m also incredibly grateful that they put up with me, especially Meredith, who has to deal with daily texts from me. *yep…wince…”What’s RAW? Why’s it important?*

The camera camera just arrived, lens shipped separately.

I handled it…

and oh man.

Ohhhhhh man!

If all you have ever used are regular point-and-shoots or your i-phone – like me! – handling an actual DSLR is kind of orgasmic. I can’t even describe the joy that coursed through me when I set it on manual and focused.



I also bought the book that Mere recommended, Understanding Exposure as a primer, and bookmarked the 4 trillion websites. I’m not looking at those now though. Just reading the book. Baby steps, right. Baby steps.


Photos that I posted on Facebook:

All of these photos were posted on the facebook wall – “like” it and you’ll get them in your feed when I find and post….well, maybe you will: facebook want me to pay for people to see what I post on the wall – so they are deliberately hiding some posts after a certain count has been reached – unless the post gets moved by you (that is, shared, commented upon, etc).

The other way around it is if you click the arrow at the top of any post in your newsfeed, then make sure you are ‘subscribed‘ and not just that but ‘to all posts’. If that part isn’t checked, you bet your bottom dollar that you are missing stuff . Facebook, having gone public, needs money!

More photos (also posted)

A rare moment. My One True Darling Man laughing! And you know why my heart flips around over him, don’t you.

Little Miss OD’d on watermelon.

Speaking of OD, you are probably on the verge of that with me right now. I’ll stop while there is a slim chance I’m ahead.

Have a great weekend!



This is all kinds of “wow”

Isn’t it?

I was pretty close to this side of ecstasy this week since I’m very close to being done with the wordpress site.  Not completely done – I have around 2,000 posts to convert, after all – but close enough to make the move, most likely next week. I’m excited. Terribly excited. It’s a change on the level of re-naming the blog or starting side-blogs. Which, you know, I have done already.

This week on the blog we had:

On This Day: Falling in Love with My One True Darling Man
5 years ago on this day I had my first date with Mikey. It may as well have been our wedding day because it was the day we fell in love. We hardly spent a day apart from each other after our first date and had eyes only for each other. Marriage can be hard; I’m grateful our love has always been ready, easy and complete.

Summer Disability Blog Hop Optional Prompt + Photo
The optional prompt and photo for this week

Inspirational Quote
I love these things. ’nuff said.

Summer Disability Blog Hop: Let’s Have Some Fun!
This hop focused on photos – posting one of yourself/loved on with a disability. Links are live until Tuesday, June 3rd – hop on!

NOTE: After some consultation with friends from the T21 Alliance, we’re going to change up the Blog Hop. Tweaking it to perfection. We’ll have it every other week for the duration of the summer (so only three more hops). The prompts will not be optional; playing with the photo will be.

Next prompt will be on Monday, July 2nd.

Author Interview: Amy Julia Becker + Giveaway – 3 Copies of “A Good and Perfect Gift”
This concluded the two-part author interview series, with George Estreich and Amy Julia Becker. I was and am deeply honored to host both of them, delighted to share their views with you and grateful for their generous book gifts. Thank you!

Next week I’ll post the post all about Boo and The State of My Uterus, there is a pretty awesome giveaway, a “deep” post and a “frothy” post. How about that. All in a span of a few days.

I made a little collage of the photos that I posted over on the Facebook Page (“like” it to be part of it! You are welcome to post your own photos/links there, you know. I love community). I’m also on instagram – @meriahnichols – if you are there too, let’s connect!

Have a great weekend!

Deaf, not Dumb

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zK_G-h1uep8[/youtube]

Love it.
Don’t you?

And speaking of love. I love what John Hockenberry has to say.

When I first started my job at UC Berkeley, I dived into a crash course on the Disability Rights Movement. The cake of my learning was then iced by by absorbing any and all shreds of information I could on current, powerful people with disabilities who were doing (what I thought to be) really cool things with their lives.

John Hockenberry was one – I loved his book, “Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence.” And I loved seeing him on this TED Talk: We Are All Designers.

It’s a great talk. Watch it when you have a moment.


Beautiful photos taken by photographers with Down syndrome – some just children.
Check it out: http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/information/for-people-with-downs-syndrome/my-perspective-photographic-award.html

This story made me think of what might be coming in the future, with all the children with disabilities (many of them intellectual) currently being given up for adoption in Eastern Europe.

It’s the story of gymnast Dominique Moceanu learning of her sister, born without legs, who was given up for adoption at birth. It’s beautiful and awful at the same time.


Moving on, this week here on the blog we had:

Book Review: “Bloom” by Kelle Hampton
My opinion on this best-selling book which is being hailed by the mainstream media as being an inspirational masterpiece.

To Name Your Child, “Moxie”
What would she be like if we had named her say…”Prudence”?!

Summer Blog Hop
The prompt for this week + photo related to assessment/disability. It’s still live; if you’d like to hop on, it would be great to have you.

Do What Makes You Come Alive
Quote of the week. The thing about these quotes – I love to make them. They provide me with mental relief, much like playing a quick move on Words with Friends.

There are some good ones happening with indirect sponsors of this blog:


Did you see this video yet? It’s of two-year old Cooper hearing his mother for the first time, after receiving cochlear implants.

I think it’s awfully cute and yet I’m on the fence about the whole “rejoice because he’s not deaf anymore” sentiment. I don’t get the sense that many people realize that being deaf is far from a cross to bear or a heavy burden in life or something; that it’s actually quite nice being able to turn the world off. I’m speaking for myself, of course.

Moving on. Week in Review:

I was depressed this week by reading Bloom, Kelle Hampton’s book. I will write the review, but I’m honestly a little nervous in voicing how I really feel about it. But whatever. Meriah-Pariah, right?

Besides being depressed, I was busy in the purging process, re-organizing, re-arranging. Trying to make things happen with all that we are trying to do with the Pan Am Overland prep: get online jobs, sell the Prowler, streamline.

On the blog front, posts this week:

Creating a New Career Working From Home
I am sincerely trying to figure this piece out, my friend. Ideas are welcome. Especially, you know, if you are a publisher and would like to fund our Pan Am trip in return for a book written by yours truly on it.

Summer Blog Hop Series: What Has Been Said
2nd Round of our Fabulous Deaf/Disability Related Blog Hop – links are open till Tuesday (6/12) so if you have a post (in line with the prompt or not – either is fine) hop on board! Meet some new people, share your stuff.

Open to all that are Deaf/Disability/Special Needs related.

An Interview with George Estreich (+ Book Giveaway)
I am delighted and honoured to have George on the blog in an honest-to-God author interview. I love his book. Giveaway is open till midnight 6/15 (my time), so leave a comment to answer and automatically be entered!

I’d like to make a note about the Blog Hop:

  1. This is going to be a Summer Hop Series. Just till August. Short, summer-y, sweet. Fun.
  2. Since the blog hop links are open for a week, I’ll just post the prompt on Wednesdays. No more double posting prompts on Monday and Wednesday.
  3. MY DEAF BRETHREN: please include your blogs!!! Come on!

I’d like to make an apology:
I promised you a comic/fun piece on the kids. I know you miss the kids. I’ve been doing a lot of serious stuff on the blog – probably because with all the job stuff on my mind, I’m in a more serious mood. “Bloom” did not help.

I’m not going to promise I’ll deliver next week, but I will promise to try.

Forgive me.

Last (but not least, right?) – 
I made a little collage of the photos that I posted over on the Facebook Page (“like” it to be part of it! You are welcome to post your own photos/links there, you know. I love community). I’m also on instagram – @meriahnichols – if you are there too, let’s connect!

Other links worth knowing about:

That’s it for now. Hope to see you in the BlogHop, don’t forget to leave a comment to enter for the Shape of the Eye giveaway and have a great weekend!

I find myself far more tired in the growing of this baby than I was in the growing of my others. I boil it down to having older bones and perhaps also to Miss Moxie being a rambunctious two-year old and Micah being so full o’ fire. My mind is stretched tight with his endless (-ly entertaining) questions, his thoughts, processes and yes, getting him to eat, put on his shoes, do whatever. Moxie has me wrung by her uncanny ability to tear a room apart in under 5 minutes. The cleaning is never ending over here. I’ve honestly kind of given up, accepted a certain amount of chaos on the floor. I always look where I’m going.

We’re still working and planning hard for the Pan Am Overland. More on our progress next week.
Next week will also feature an author interview with George Estreich (it’s really pretty awesome), another giveaway, the 2nd Blog Hop and random light posts. I know you guys want another Dynamic Duo Comic Piece, so I’ll deliver. Promise.

This week, we had:

Special Needs + Disability Blog Hop
An explanation of what a Blog Hop is, the totally optional prompt and photo-for-riffing.

Talking About Having No Arms or Legs with a 4 Year Old
Micah and I had some conversations, watched some videos of my friend, Pauline (see sidebar for one). These conversations about disability, inclusion and what is “normal” can never start too early.

Disability: My (Deaf) Connection
My post for the Hop-(optional)-Prompt. My path towards connecting with disability, as an individual with disabilities.

Disability Blog Hop
Pretty freaking outstanding. Loved the posts – and I’m still reading through them. It’ll be up and live till next Tuesday. It’s already archived on a new page in this blog’s header, “Blog Hops” – definitely go and read them if you haven’t already. Note: all future Blog Hops will also be archived – which will create a nice collection of awesome posts to browse through at any point.

The Shape of the Eye: Prelude to an Author Interview + Guest Reviews by Lisa Morguess and Alison Piepmeier
I was so happy that Lisa and Alison allowed me to share their reviews on the blog. I love their voices – and this is great reading, especially for understanding a bit more about The Shape of the Eye for next week’s Author Interview with George Estreich.

I made a little collage of the photos that I posted over on the Facebook Page (“like” it to be part of it! You are welcome to post your own photos/links there, you know. I love community). I’m also on instagram – @meriahnichols – if you are there too, let’s be friends!

There are some good sales going on this weekend by companies that are indirectly sponsoring this blog – check ’em out:

Abe’s Market Spring/Summer Natural Baby Catalog is now available and is filled with products such as organic clothes, bedding, baby gear, toys, and so much more. Abe’s Market only selects the highest quality natural products for their baby and kids category, because they have children of their own.  Abe’s Market is also offering 10% off all baby and kids products when you spend a minimum of $49 with promo code BABY10 valid through 6/13/12. Enjoy!


Unique Father’s Day Gifts from CanvasPop and DNA 11. Give a one-of-a-kind gift with a DNA 11 Gift Kit! DNA 11 art is one of a kind because they create personalized and original wall art from a sample of DNA or fingerprints. Best of all, save 20% on your DNA 11 purchase with promo code GreatDad20 valid through June 10. Order your DNA 11 Gift Kit by June 10 for guaranteed delivery by Father’s Day.

CanvasPop’s custom canvas prints are also a great gift idea for dad–that’s made by you! Transform photos from dad’s camera or iPhone into original canvas prints to spruce up his office or “man cave.” Choose from a variety of sizes and give dad a gift he can remember all year long. Order by June 6 for delivery in time for Father’s Day and receive 25% off your CanvasPop order with promo code FathersDay25.


Have a great weekend!

We’re settling into that smoothly delicious groove that is a long weekend (sans plans – the best kind) and I”m feeling pretty happy. I’ll get to see my old grad school friend today (not that she’s old; we just went to grad school a long, long time ago). Mikey will learn all about the ancient craft of cheesemaking (just call him “The Cheese Master” from Monday!).

Next week on the blog, we’ll have a Blog Hop (on Wednesday; participation details out on Monday). There will be a guest post from Lisa Morguess, and some posts that I think I’m not supposed to say I’m fond of, since I wrote them and all. But I am.

Stay tuned.

This week, there was:

Deaf Music: Donna Summer
Donna Summer was one of my all-time favorite singers. This is a tribute post.

Abuse and Disability
People with disabilities are counted among the most vulnerable in relation to abuse. This post contains links to help parents learn more about the profile of a pedophile, Megan’s Law, disabling geo-tagging features on smartphones and more. Please read and share this important post.

Note: Questions that came from this post have sparked more research on my part for this scary yet critical subject. I will posting more in the coming weeks on this subject. If you have any questions, email me and I will include the answers in the posts, if I can.

The International Alliance of Writers for Down Syndrome – the T21 Alliance
A post explaining the project and a call for help.

Canvas Print Giveaway
It’s always a little awkward for me to give away (or offer as a prize) something that I made. That wince-worthy feeling of ‘would anyone even want this?’ – vulnerability at it’s best. But here – I’m going for it. I think it’s cool, even if I did it.

California Hot Springs – the Mono Lake Area + Testing Out the ’88 Grandby Four Wheel Camper
– we will moving into (at least) weekly travel posts – partly because I like travel so much and partly because we are preparing for the Pan Am Overland and want to involve you in the preparation process. You know, so you can come along!

I made a little collage of the photos that I posted over on the Facebook Page (“like” it to be part of it! You are welcome to post your own photos/links there, you know. I love community).

There are some good sales going on this weekend by companies that are indirectly sponsoring this blog – check ’em out:

Tea Collection Memorial Day Sale

BabyLegs 50% Off Memorial Day Sale(an especially good one, I think)

Get 20% Off Your Custom Canvas Print Plus Get an 8″x10″ Canvas Free When You Spend $60

and last but not least, a big sale from the Land of Nod sale

What are your plans for this weekend?

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