diary of a mom raising an amazing girl who happens to be deaf

Selfie? Perhaps, but…Never Selfish!


stack windowlady



As the world celebrates the month of romantic love, the month of roses and sweet chocolates…I’d like to step backward a little and turn towards another kind of love.

The kind of love that others may label as selfish. But one, that everyone would agree (I think) is the most basic of all. Love of one’s self!  Selfie love, perhaps… but never selfish!

As a mom, and just like any other mom I know, my 24 hours will always need a little overtime for  the “to-do list” and all the “to-do lists” after the first to-do-list-boxes have been ticked.


So what’s with this selfie love, anyway ?


Paul Ogden, author of the book, The Silent Garden, Raising your Deaf Child, explained this in the second chapter of his book and termed it as:LIFEBOATING – i.e caring for yourself.  He said: “With your child depending on you for direction and guidance, you cannot do better than by first turning your attention to yourself.”

And I agree. I believe that a happy, healthy and optimistic “me” is the best advocate that my daughter can have as she constantly prepares to be a happy, healthy and optimistic advocate of herself.


Here is my own selfie love checklist:


  • If most Hollywood celebrities have OOTD or Outfit of the Day, I have an “Oh! Exercise OThe Day”. This can be a bunch of sit-ups, a couple of stretching routines, jumping jacks, Zumba, Aero… or whatever physical activity I can squeeze within my morning ritual. It can be a stress reliever for me and I have thanked myself countless of times for the stamina I have unknowingly developed.
  • Schedule tweetups! I meet up with people regularly…schedule coffee sessions with friends, lunch dates with mom-friends in my child’s school, spa sessions with my high school or grades school buddies or relatives. Or movie-dates with my hubby, leaving my kid with her grandparents, relatives or friends/sitters I trust.
  • It is okay to heed a BRB… a BRight Back sign. I learned that it is okay to pause once in a while. When the therapy schedules, hospital trips, assessment deadlines and everything else, all get piled up, it is but okay to take a quick break. I take a nap, hear mass, meditate, or take a walk in the park. After I have breathed in a little fresher air, I can go back to scheduling and carrying out tasks more relaxed and much more productively.
  • Block negativity. It is important to be realistic, but more than anything, blocking negative thoughts helps me stay sane. This can reinforce my belief that something good may come out of any situation.
  • Repin optimism. When I get eaten up by doubts and fears, I think about good thoughts… If Peter Pan can fly just by thinking good thoughts, this must be something powerful indeed.
  • Learn to followback. Keep a list of contacts. I always do.  Friends and acquaintances. I am actually amazed at how many friends I have gained through every happy and challenging circumstance. Yeah, some may be virtual in essence, but virtual friends still count as friends, indeed!
  • Play your playlist. I listen to music I love. Read books I enjoy. Watch movies I like. These keep me in a happy mood…I believe they release endorphins- the “happy hormones”. (And did I mention I munch chocolates while doing these?)
  • Research on #hashtags. I try, (try, being the operative word…) to widen my knowledge on my daughter’s hearing condition. I join forums in the internet, groups in school, and other activities that help me learn more about how to become a better advocate of my child. The more knowledge I get about my child’s situation, the more empowered I can be. My skills boost my self confidence too. I get to be informed, not just opinionated.
  • Be generous with shout outs. I feel it is best to be honest with how I feel. If I think a certain strategy will not work for my child, I say it out to the doctor, therapist or teacher. I voice out my thoughts and explain why I feel that way. This helps me erase my doubts about procedures, school tasks and plans.
  • Fill timeline with love. Being a mom to deaf/HOH (or any other child with special needs),   just like every other parenting task is already a tough job. I believe it is okay to have a hobby, a time of the day when I get  to do something to make me feel happy and accomplished. It does not mean that because I’m busy, I need to crash out on my list the activities that will develop my skills, talents, or beautify my inner and/or physical self, etc.  If an activity is not harmful to my health and my safety, can make me better a wife , better mom, and a better person  then, this something is worth doing!



  •  LOL!!! LAUGH OUT LOUD! Everyone deserves a good laugh!


              Happy Love Month Everyone…Go ahead! Take a selfie!                                                                                                                                                     #click!


__c”,) Anna, 2014__





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Of 8 Years Ago…Today…Forever And The Rough Roads In Between





I asked Mama, what the cake’s for…and she started talking about 8 years ago, anniversary, wedding, ceremony, marriage, celebration, etc.
Vague words for a 4 year old perhaps…But when Mama mentioned something about LOVE…I understood pretty well that today is a special day!
Happy Love Day to you Mama and Tatay!
Q ^^,)  10 Jan 2014
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Bring It On 2014!!!


stack photos coffee



Before I bid 2013 goodbye, I ‘d  like  to  look back at the year that was…

2013 is a very memorable year for me and my family. This was the year that and Decibels4MyGirl blog were born coming within a few weeks after each other. (Not that they were conceptualized and planned on that same year, because they had been brewing in my mind a few years back). Anyway, 2013 was the year that we had the courage to have a public diary where others could share too.  And the year that the site and the blog were (attempted to be) made known to every parent raising deaf/HOH kids.

Now, after 363 (and counting!) Facebook likers, and 9 stories shared (and more to come in 2014!!!)…I am very honoured that the Decibels of Hope site became an instrument and continues to become an instrument of hope and inspiration to parents raising deaf/HOH kids all over the world.

2013 has been a year of tragedy especially for the Philippines (and the other parts of the world), after several disasters and calamities, but this was also the year that the whole world showcased its compassion and unending desire to help people in need. This year taught us to appreciate our blessings and work harder for what we hope for.

I will be looking at the coming year with more optimism, because I know that somewhere, somehow, in another part of the globe, another parent may be experiencing the same circumstances in a different context…somewhere, somehow another parent has surpassed the same obstacles and learned the same lessons…somewhere, somehow another parent is willing to help or  to be just a shoulder to cry on. I have become a believer of the saying-  that together, we can accomplish much more than what we can do alone.

As I say goodbye to the year in a few hours, I look at the New Year with more confidence, bringing with me the lessons that this year has taught me.

Allow me then to share this quote (I borrowed from one of the social media posts I have read)

“May your burdens be light…and your coffee stronger!”

With a happy heart and a hopeful spirit, I say goodbye to 2013…as I welcome the New Year with just 4 words:

“Bring it on 2014!” wink!

bring it on


c”,) Anna,  ~31 Dec 2013~

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stack balloons (1)

Again, another experience proved my worrying a waste of time…

A few days ago, while my daughter and I were having our usual late-night story telling session (yes, late-night…I give her a little leeway during weekends…wink!) we decided to add a different twist to the otherwise very familiar mom and daughter bonding activity. We had a picture storytelling session where we used pictures from my facebook account. As we  browsed through my phone, we chanced upon my husband’s account. She asked me to browse through the cover photos.
There, we saw a picture of her and me taken a few days after she was born. Our faces were not very recognizable in the picture. At first glance, it would seem like we were anybody, a mom carrying her most precious child. The photo was taken by my husband and was made more emotionally-packed because of the sepia-black–and-whitish effect applied.
My daughter can now read, so just like any other preschooler, she loudly blurted out the captions underneath the picture…In her slow paced-full of confidence-high-pitched voice she said “Best day of my life…Smile!” (Apparently, she was reading the smiley icon beside the caption).
She then asked me, “Mama, what does that mean?” I explained to her what the statement meant.
That day when she was born may just be another statistic in the hospital and the national registry.  But to us,  it was the day our world stopped, because only “our little girl” mattered. I narrated how the labor experience was tiring,  physically. But nothing I could not endure because I knew after that moment, I would be hugging her and cradling her in my arms.
I noticed right after I explained to her what the caption meant, that my daughter shed a tear. I asked her what made her cry. She said, “I am so happy that I cannot help but cry…” I hugged her because I realized that what I had long ago feared would be very unlikely to happen.
When I learned that my daughter is deaf, I feared that I would not be able to explain to her my thoughts, my anxieties, my feelings…and she would have a hard time explaining the same to me.
I was wrong!
That moment, what my daughter was trying to say hit me, spot on. My daughter completely understood that come hell or high water, she will always have my arms ready for that familiar and homey hug.
No amount of hearing loss can hinder us to constantly experience…that special day captured on digital film.
That was definitely our best day ever! Smile! =)Wink!
happy sunday2
c”,) Anna__
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If You Were Not Deaf



pix sa desk

 It was 5 Sept 2009 when my daughter first wore her hearing aids at 3 months of age… I wrote this poem that same day to  someday let my daughter realize that there are certain things  I won’t be able to  explain to her…but I will wait for that day when I can peep into her world and perhaps she’d  share the magic with me.

If you were not deaf

You wouldn’t understand the peace in silence

You  wouldn’t appreciate the silence in tranquility

You wouldn’t look for tranquility despite confusion

You wouldn’t experience confusion in uncertainty

You wouldn’t have known the certainty of destiny


If you were not deaf,

You would not have accepted what was meant to be

If you were not deaf,

You could not have understood the complexity of not hearing, yet feeling

Because if you were not deaf, you wouldn’t be as happy

For today marks the beginning of a lifetime journey…



__Anna  c”,)  2009


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