A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Green Our Vaccines

"There's blood in my mouth
'cause I've been biting my tongue all week"
-Rilo Kiley
This is gonna be complicated. It's a complicated issue. There's really no right answer; at least no ONE right answer for everyone. Ok, so I'm very opinionated, and I'm pretty passionate about my beliefs. When it comes to this one, I'm a work in progress and I'm still open to learning more and more information- we ALL need to be. Really, don't you think we should know more about what we are putting into our bodies and what we're putting into our babies' bodies?? Having said that, please know that I do NOT judge you or your choices. I just want people to make the most informed choices and don't believe everything your pediatrician says or "recommends". My doctor told me that the benefits outweigh the risks, and while that is true in most cases, it is NOT true in ALL cases. But how are we to know? That's why this is such a loaded issue. I think we don't know enough yet, and until we do, what should we do??
People ask me all the time how I feel about vaccines, as though I am an expert simply because I have a child with Autism. It's true, I might be more opinionated on this issue than other people are. Here's the thing, I am NOT anti-vaccine. Or maybe I should say I'm not anti-ALL-vaccines. I am anti varicella vaccine (Chicken Pox). I mean, I had the chicken pox and all that meant was that I stayed home for a week, watched Love Boat re-runs and bathed in oatmeal. If I hear a kid has chicken pox, I'll bring Little Bird over to be exposed naturally: minus all the pollutants in the vaccine. So there it is; I DO believe there are pollutants in our vaccines. Actually, everyone believes that. Most kids can handle it, but some just can't. It's those kids whose experience forced the CDC to find the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act ..... in the 1970s!!!! I know so many families who have that story; so many kids who developed totally typically and then right after the vaccines (especially the MMR), they just changed. They lost their speech, their love, their ability to interact, and so much more. I'm talking the DAY after getting vaccinated. There's something going on here, people!!! Children DO get injured by vaccines. Some just DO.
Mine did not. That's a big part of my story. I do NOT believe vaccines had anything to do with my kid's condition. I do, however, have regrets. I wish a million times that I did not get that flu shot while I was pregnant. Why did I? Just because the doctor told me to; he said it was standard. Flu shots have the highest amount of thimersol (mercury) and only protect from ONE strain of the flu while tons are around during "flu season". I wish that on my daughter's second day of life I hadn't let them inject her with the HepB vaccine. She was brand new and I was nursing exclusively so she was filled with my immunities. Actually, she was operating on mommy's milk alone for 7 months; but in that time alone she received 16 vaccines!!!!!
Here's Little Bird's Vaccine Record from birth until 18 months
Some of those contained more than one vaccine per shot, so that number is conservative. So sad. I wish I knew then what I know now. Ok, again, I DO NOT think vaccines caused her Autism and I am NOT anti-vaccine. But I do think that something needs to change. First of all, one size should NOT fit all. Little Bird's weight has almost always been in the 10th %ile or less- how can her body take the same dose as a fat baby?? Second of all, it is WAY too much WAY too soon. There's no need to rush these vaccines. There are safer vaccine schedules out there. We should be using them.
Up until 1989 pre-school children got 3 vaccines and the Autism rates were 1 in 2500 kids. By 1999 the CDC began recommending that by age 5 kids get 22 vaccines. Today's Autism rates are 1 in 150 kids; 1 in 94 boys (4 out of 5 kids with Autism are boys).
I'll never get another flu shot again. I'll never allow my kid to get one. In a few days, she will go for a check up (since she just had a birthday) and they want to give her 4 vaccines. Actually, it's more since it's viruses for: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Chicken Pox. All that in one little thigh muscle. No thanks. Now that I know what I know; now that I've seen what I've seen, I'll pass for now. I will wait until Little Bird is recovered from Autism and then we'll look at a safer schedule, spacing out these vaccines and cleaning them up A LOT.
Vaccines are a BIG business and the pharmaceutical companies are profiting beyond belief these days. While every industry is in trouble, laying off their workforce, filing for bankruptcy, pharmaceutical companies are enjoying $200+ billion profits each year. Our government benefits from those numbers. Pharm companies are second only to the oil companies on my list of big business NOT to trust. We're all so busy "greening" our homes, our cars, our lives. It's time we GREEN OUR VACCINES.
UPDATE: Just found this crazy website. It's important we know what we're putting in our kiddos!!
Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Really. I want to hear other opinions and other thoughts....

Sorry Mama

"Sorry Mama"
-Eminem
Dear Mom,
Some kid in Little Bird's class gave her a barbie doll. I don't know how to tell you this, but she loves it. I know, I know. But don't worry, I told her that Barbie is actually Jewish (fact), her hair is dyed, those are implants, and she's wearing contacts. Plus, I mentioned that she hasn't eaten in years.
Love,
D

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sicko

"It was just the flu"
-NOFX
Saddest. Picture. Ever.
Something always happens when Greg leaves the country. One year it was an earthquake (when we were living in earthquake country), once a tornado warning in the midwest (my first), once a massive snowstorm, and many other non-act-of-god-like issues.
This morning I went to wake up Little Bird and she was hot, pale, and weak. I decided I'd keep her home from school, but if she wasn't vomiting, she was going to Occupational Therapy and then VBA this afternoon (both very expensive and pre-paid). Of course, she started puking. Being home alone, I needed help. Since Shay was also home throwing up (very nice of our girls to share), Lisa couldn't bring me pedialyte. Massive thanks to Wendy who delivered the goods in no time. This picture was taken at the doctor's office. So sad. He confirmed it's just the stomach flu. When I asked, "just the 24 hour one, right?" he replied with confidence, "oh no, kids have been sick for days with it." Awesome.
Thankfully, she's feeling better than this morning, but I can't help but get nervous that I'm going to get it too. It's never good when the mommy gets sick- especially when I'm all alone in the Midwest (please picture the back of my hand on my forehead and hear me sigh). I'm trying to take some comfort in the fact that last year when I got the stomach flu, I came away 2 pounds lighter and able to fit into a really old (yes, pre-Little Bird), really cute pair of jeans. What? Look, you can take the girl out of appearance-driven LA, but you can't always take the appearance-driven LA out of the girl.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bedtime Stories

"Here we go...
Once upon a time
Not long ago"
-Slick Rick
I just read a book of nursery rhymes to my kid at bedtime when it struck me: Why do we read these horrible stories to our kids?? Reading stories like these do not encourage visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Rather, I imagine a nightmare coming on- for either her or me. These stories are all so violent!!
I know a story like "sticks and stones" might teach a lesson: screw 'em! But what exactly does the sad Old Mother Hubbard story teach? That's the saddest one of all. The cupboard was bare, so the poor doggie had no bone. So sad.
-Jack and Jill... Jack fell down and broke his crown, Jill came tumbling after?? WTF?? So the lesson is don't fall down a hill whilst fetching a pail of water?? 
-There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.... perhaps she'll die???
-Rock-a-bye baby on the treetop....down will come baby, cradle and all!!!
-Old lady in the shoe. We all know this title, but here's the whole rhyme:
"There was an old lady who lived in a shoe
She had so many children she didn't know what to do
She gave them all broth without any bread
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed"
OMG!!!
Sugar and spice and everything nice is what little girls are made of. Actually, this one is true. There's a little girl sleeping upstairs who can prove it. 
By the way, I'd freak out if my dish ran away with the spoon!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Bird



"Baby
We've come a long way
And baby
You know I hope and I pray
That you believe me
When I say this love will never fade away
Oh Because
You are the best thing
(you are the best thing, baby)
You are the best thing
(you are the best thing, baby)
You are the best thing
(you are the best thing, baby)
Ever happened to me."
-Ray LaMontagne
Hard to believe that Little Bird is 4 years old today. Time flies, but it's not all been fun. It's been up, it's been down, and trust me, it's been all around.
If only I could give to her a portion of what she's given me. Of course, it sucks having a kid with special needs or any kind of issue, but the more you accept it, the more you can see the blessings that come along with each challenge. Little Bird has given me so many things to be proud of.
I will never forget the day I was trying to get her attention, shouting her name and a stranger said "oh, this is Little Bird?? I've heard so much about her!!" One of the bonuses of giving your kid a unique name is that there's really only one. Turns out that this woman was friendly with a neighbor of mine who was bragging about Little Bird.
Last year at the Relay For Life cancer event, we were walking the track at 10pm (yes, I keep my kid up for a good cause) and Lisa's cousin Al was there and she told us that her friends had told her all about playing with Little Bird at Friendship Circle.
A few months ago we were at PeiWei getting dinner and the girl behind the counter said "This is going to sound weird, but is that Little Bird?? My friend has babysat for her before and loves her so much, she's shown me pictures of her."
Last week when LB went to Torah Circle and was assigned a volunteer, all the others in the room were jealous because they all LOVE Little Bird. I don't even know most of them. My point is, all a mom could ever hope for is that her kid would make a difference in the lives of others. At four years old, mine is already doing that- and for people I don't even know about. Really, how many parents can say that? Nothing makes me more proud.
I always tell therapists or teachers that it will take no time before they fall completely in love with her. It's inevitable. She's so sweet and amazing. I couldn't have been blessed with a more loving kid.
When Little Bird first started talking, I remember her teacher telling me that she was the most polite kid because she so often said Please and Thank You. That's the kind of kid I want to raise.
Little Bird was born with so much hair and she never lost it like so many babies do. Instead, it continued to grow and grow. It's always added to her beauty. All the other babies were bald and their mommies all complained and envied LB's gorgeous locks. Of course, who effing cares about hair, but when they were all able to brag about their kids' milestones being reached, I had the beautiful hair. Little Bird is one inch away from being able to cut and donate her hair so that beautiful hair can help someone else feel just as beautiful. I'm sure people tell all babies and kids they are beautiful, but people literally stop us on the street, in the markets, in airports, etc. There's just something about this kid.
Before she could say mama, she could identify all 26 letters and numbers 1-10. Of course this isn't normal, and isn't necessarily a sign of intelligence, it was still something that impressed others and reminded me that Little Bird is special.
There's a ray of light that shines out of this kid like no other. Everyone who really knows her gets that. Surely there are days when I'm miserable and sick with worry over having a kid like Little Bird, but more and more often I am grateful and feel pretty lucky. Normal is typical, common, boring. We're shaking things up a bit :)
When you have a child for whom things do not come easy, every accomplishment is celebrated. First steps, new words, glimmers of recognition are more than entries in a baby book, they become true milestones and markers of hope; they are true rewards for the hardest work I've ever done... and will continue to do.
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1

2
3
4
HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Little Bird

Friday, January 23, 2009

You can't take 'em with you

"She's a miracle
A sight to see
She's a miracle
A miracle to me"
-Exile
Today is Shay's 5th birthday. That alone is a miracle. Shay was born with a congenital heart defect and needed a heart transplant right away. She got that heart at just 4 months old. While we don't know the family that made the decision to donate such a tiny heart, we will be forever grateful. It's been a long, tough road but today Shay is a happy, funny, very loving little girl. A few days ago we ran into her and she was surprised to see us. Her whole face lit up. Then she looked up at me and asked "{Little Bird} hug??" So sweet.
I had always figured I'd donate my organs after I'm done with them, but until Shay came into my life, I had no idea that just thinking about it wasn't enough. You must register as a donor, then discuss your wishes with your family so they can advocate on your behalf when the time comes. It's so easy and so very important. Almost 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Your donation can save the lives of up to 8 people.
Here's what you've gotta do...
Then register in your state. You'll get a cute little sticker for your driver's license, but no, you cannot use it to cover up your weight!! Then be sure to tell your friends and family about your decision.
Please register as an organ donor today. After all, you can't take 'em with you!!!
Happy Birthday Shay Shay!!!
(this is Little Bird and Shay all dressed up for ballet class)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day

"I woke up this morning feeling brand new
'cause the dreams I've been dreaming
have finally come true.
It's a New Day"
-will.i.am
I wasn't going to post anything today, but really, how could I let a day like today go by without talking about it? The energy in the air was unbelievable. Everyone's talking about it, feeling it, sharing it, living it, loving it. Yes, it's historical, but it's also beautiful for so many reasons. For the first time in so freaking long, I feel like I can trust the government a bit, have faith in the people of this country, and have faith that maybe, just maybe we can work it out. I've loved Obama for so long and I feel so proud and grateful to have someone who believes so strongly in so many of the things I find so very important running the country in which I am living and raising a child. Plus, he's kinda hot in that really super smart, kinda nerdy, but still kinda edgy-you-know-he-gets-it kind of way.
So, enough of the sappy stuff. I'm not going to go on and on about how I held my daughter on my lap as we watched him take the oath, get teary, and squeezed her tighter. Instead, I'll just share with you a few of my thoughts thru pictures....
Here's what Little Bird looked like today. One day she will tell people that she was just 4 on the day Obama became president but that her liberal mommy and hippie grandma made a huge deal of it.
YES
WE
CAN
Ok, so do you think it's true what they say about the size of a man's shoes/feet?? If so, compare among yourselves....
This was it. The big moment. No sarcastic comment here. Just pride.
Did Aretha Franklin sing?? I couldn't concentrate on anything except that thing on her head. WTF is that?
Sasha, I get it. I felt the same way when that reverend spoke.
HA! {evil giggle} Biden strolls in, Cheney rolls out. Man, I'll miss that snarl.
Seeing off W and his creepy stepford wife. Later, bitches... and stay out!!
All in all, a great day! Plus, I got to make my own Obamaicon!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let it Flow

"Let it FLOW
Let yourself go"
-Beastie Boys
I'm sure many of my Midwest friends think that the concept of the Life Coach is kinda "west coast". But my 12 step friends might better relate to the concept of a person helping another person determine and achieve personal goals. Anyway, my friend Randy is a Life Coach out in LA. He's a great guy and I'm sure there are many people who can benefit from his services. Check out his website and his blog.
It's such a trip to see what people end up doing with their lives. Some are so shockingly predictable, others just shocking.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold as balls (a technical weather term)

"Ice Ice Baby"
-Vanilla Ice
Yes, that says -10 but it feels like -27
So, yeah, I quoted Vanilla Ice. What about it?
When I was at MCP High School (or day care) in Van Nuys (you might know that as the porn capital), if it rained before 10am, it was a "rain day" and we were out of school at lunch. At least that's how I remember it. Any other "mounties" reading this who can back me up? Please tell me this is true and it's not just that I ditched at lunch if it rained. Once, when I was 14 it rained so much, for so many days, and the whole valley seemed to flood. There was no school for a week. My parents were in London producing a concert celebrating the life of Freddie Mercury and I spent the week at Todd's house. I'm sure I told Sandy (his mom) that my mom was cool with it. Sorry Sandy. I can't believe she bought that. Plus, why as she letting me sleep there- I was 14!!!! But I digress... my point is that a little rain was what kept us out of school in LA. I'm not used to this -27 windchill shizz. This is freaking cold!!
PS: I just decided that since I mentioned Todd here, I'd like to post a link to his awesome website. Please take a look how talented my favorite ex-boyfriend is... Todd Brown Photo

Thursday, January 15, 2009

She's Baaaaaaaack!

"Here she comes again"
-The Cars
There's a great reason why so may Autism groups use a puzzle piece as their logos.... it's a freaking puzzle!!! Navigating the spectrum of Autism is almost impossible because none of it makes any sense. Don't even get me started on how not ALL of Little Bird's therapists and docs agree that she even has an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). It's a spectrum disorder and the spectrum is very broad. It's so unclear and there is so much that we don't know about it. The whole experience is so confusing. It's day to day. Remember what I said about a roller coaster? Somedays you're up, somedays you're down. You never know what will happen in between.
My friend Alexis gave me a hug tonight (thanks Alexis!!) and said she's been thinking of me since reading my last post about my daughter and her recent regression. That reminded me that I need to update people because I forget that there are so many people who love us, care about us, and follow our journey. I know you're there, but sometimes I forget. Here's the deal... School started last week and the teachers and therapists were totally freaked out by the change in my kid. What happened to all the skills she'd gained in the last few months? Where are all her words? Where's her voice? What's with the sensory seeking? Seeing them scared left me even more freaked out!!! Thank G-d, by the end of last week we saw the twinkle in her eye return. By this Monday, she appeared to be coming back. Even Jessica, the most-awesomest Occupational Therapist here said that she can tell Little Bird's coming back because her sassy attitude was present. Today I feel like she is well on her way back to her regular old self!!
This has been a great lesson for me because I now know that it's pretty normal for kids to go through regressions now and then; and I now have experience to know that when it happens, it's not permanent. I called Adam B (a great play therapist we work with) and he assured me that his phone rings off the hook during holiday breaks, spring break, and summer because kids have a tough time when they're off their routines. Even "typical" (or as I like to say "common" or even "boring") kids regress every now and then when there's a big change. But since I'd never been there, I didn't know!!
For today, I'm pleased to see progress
For today, I'm working on continued progress
For today, I'm finding beauty in our differences (I've never liked fitting in anyway)
For today, I'm fighting my ass off to treat my baby's issues
For today, I'm gonna keep on keeping on
For today, I'm just grateful that she's baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

Brrrrrr!!!

"She's so cold
She's so cold, cold, cold"
-Rolling Stones
Ok, so this is some effed up ess, right here....
But look at this !!!!!!!!!!
What am I doing here???

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm just sayin'

"And I think to myself
What a wonderful world"
-Louis Armstrong
Here are just a few things I've encountered today that make me wonder "Are you kidding me?"
This is my baby boy Sugar Magnolia. He's kinda chunky. Look at how little his head is compared to the rest of him. I swear I don't overfeed him. I think he's just big boned.
As I pulled into the school parking lot to pick up my kid, I noticed this. Someone obviously couldn't hold it any longer and decided to pee in the snow.... facing Maple Rd (kinda a main street here. I know, I know, it's kinda unfathomable to my LA peeps that a main road here has 2 lanes).
Yes Pecan!!
It is 80 degrees today in the land from which I come....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Let the Countdown Begin

"Goodbye I never want to see you again
Goodbye I don't want to be your friend
So long, now we've reached the end
I can see what's behind those eyes
Tongue so twisted from telling lies"
-Save Ferris
The end is near. Seven little days left. But the truth is, I'm much less excited about the end of an era than I am about the beginning of a new one. In 2004 when Kerry was running against the incumbent Bush, I was so sure that the people of the US would get it together enough to get rid of Bush, that I'd wished my baby, due on January 19, 05 would be born a day late on January 20, 05- Inauguration Day. Of course she wasn't. She waited until the Bush hype and a big snowstorm had died down!!
But seriously, how could all those people have voted for Bush the second time? Crazy, right?? I often see old Bush/Cheney stickers on cars and I wonder why they're still there (the stickers not the people- ok, some of the people). Wouldn't you scrape it off, paint over it, even get a new car??? They can't possibly be proud, right? I guess I have very few friends who are so different-minded that they'd vote that way, so I'm not used to that kind of thinking. I know it's technically prejudice, but I can't help but think of someone differently if I find out they lean the opposite direction politically. That sucks, but I'm just that way and that's just me. Having said that, I do have some very religious friends and I get that. I don't agree with it, but I get it.
I'll never forget the first time I fell for Barack Obama. July 27 2004. I was pregnant and folding laundry in the bedroom of my condo in West Bloomfield. He gave his "Audacity of Hope" speech at the Democratic National Convention. As I sat there watching and folding, I was forever changed. Even as I think about it, I get chills. A few months later, I read Obama's memoir "Dreams From My Father" and knew he was someone very, very special. So, I've been a fan for years before Obama-mania struck the universe. I've completely drunk his Kool-Aid. I have confidence in him and the New America. I feel proud to be a part of this BIG change in this country. My only regret is that my mentor, Gene Brody isn't here to see something I know would bring him such joy. My own Little Bird, his namesake, will now get to experience a Democratic administration, led by Barack Obama, and I know that would make Gene a very, very happy man.
So, while some of us have been counting down for a very long 8 years, waiting until Bush would finally pack up his bags, his VP puppet master, his stepford wife, and his mean little dog, I think the long wait has made this moment even sweeter.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Atonement

"Sorry Sorry for making your life a living hell" - Rooney
Alright, it's out of my hands. Judging by the lowered red flag on my mailbox, I guess it's out of there too. In the next few days, one of my high school teachers will get the letter. She'll learn that I'm a grown up now, I get it, and I'm sorry. I was out of control and looking for trouble- though I remember not having to look very far. I went to a private school with all the other spoiled brats in the valley. Everyone had a choice to make: you could be a jock, cheerleader, smart kid, or a stoner and trouble maker. I'll let you guess which category I fit into. Always part of the counter culture, I had a hard time fitting into any mold. I did like to have fun and I was willing to go to great lengths to get it done.
I could never relate to the cheerleaders or the jocks. In fact, I got a doctor's note to get out of any kind of Phys Ed activity. Instead, I had to work in the office of an administrator, entering detention notices into the computer system. What fools! I, nor any of my friends, showed any record of having received detentions that year!! Years later I ran into that particular administrator and confessed. We laughed about it together. The next time I heard his name when word got out that he'd taken his life. I am glad I got to get to know him on a different level and make amends before he was gone. 
My mom tells stories of having to beg the Principal to please give me one more chance; promising him I wouldn't tell the teacher to fuck off anymore, I'd stop ditching school, wouldn't smoke pot on campus again, etc etc etc. My mom had this speech down to a tee since she'd been giving some version of it since I was seven years old and every two years after that. What did she expect? She'd been raising me in a house built on rock n roll with two liberal hippies for parents. There were rules, but there was also extra credit for questioning authority and sticking it to the man. They let me back in a few times, but at the end of my junior year, they asked me not to return for my senior year. Thank g-d because my 6th and final school was by far the most fun. It really was a school for delinquents and actually, the only one that would have accepted us after we'd all been expelled from other schools. We haven't yet had an official reunion, but I'm sure no one's surprised since we were probably all expected to be incarcerated or in rehab centers by then. Shockingly, no one is in jail and if anyone was in rehab, he or she is out by now. Just one of us was last seen speaking gibberish to himself, possibly living on the streets. Not bad, statistically speaking! Actually, we've gone on to do way more than anyone would have expected from such a motley bunch. 
People who have met me since I've moved to the Midwest might be surprised to know that I was once a wild child, making trouble any way I could. I've got a million stories, but my mom did mention to me once that she'd read my blog, so in effort to protect what ever innocence she has left, I'll keep it in and just smile.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This too shall pass

Can we climb this mountain? I don't know. Higher now than ever before - The Killers
My friend Marni got a new tattoo this week. It says "This Too Shall Pass." This saying has beautiful meaning to her and reminded me that it's one of those sayings that can have great meaning to so many. I'm really "in it" and when we're really "in it", little reminders to get us through it really help.
A lot of friends are asking me what's going on, so here's the deal... My little baby bird is going through a very major regression. Without getting into specifics, just know that the word regression is the opposite of progression. Basically instead of moving forward, she's going backward. It's absolutely killing me. I'm devastated and completely puzzled. I saw a sign that said "children are like snowflakes: no two are the same". This truth should be totally exaggerated for kids with Autism. If you know nothing about Autism, let me tell you that there's a reason its a spectrum disorder. Two kids with the same diagnosis can be extremely different. Not all kids with Autism are non-verbal, non-social, don't make eye contact, flap their arms, cover their ears with loud noises, are savants, or bang their heads. I could go on and on. My point is that the whole disorder of Autism has no rhyme or reason and makes NO sense! You could only imagine how frustrating this is on a mommy. Anyway, you've probably heard loads of stories of kids who progressed typically as babies, hitting all their milestones, etc. Then around 18 months or 2 years they seemed to lose skills, language, eye contact, social connection, etc. If you haven't heard these stories, then where have you been?? Today 1 in 150 kids is diagnosed with having an Autism Spectrum Disorder and 1 in 94 boys are diagnosed. But I digress.... Anyway, my kid was NOT one of those kids to develop normal and then regress. She's always been developmentally delayed, hitting milestones, but very late. She's never regressed EVER- only slow, steady progress. Now all the sudden, this major regression. WTF, right? No one can figure it out- especially me.
So, if I've RSVP'd NO to your kids' birthday parties, canceled plans, or left events early, that's why. Things aren't going so well right now. But the good news is that This Too Shall Pass. I am doing all the right things and all the footwork necessary, I am praying, hoping, doing extra mitzvot, and trying to have faith that we will get through this. Thanks to all my friends for your support and for your encouragement. I'll keep you posted. That is, after all, the point of this little blogging adventure, right??

Friday, January 2, 2009

The New Year

"So this is the new year/And I don't feel any different."
-Death Cab For Cutie If you know me, you know that I have a bad poker face and if I'm upset, it shows. What you might not know- since I've been kinda isolated lately, is that the past few weeks have been awful for me. I think Lisa is the only person who really knows that. But then again, she's the only person who really knows everything. I'm a pretty tough cookie and I can take a lot, but suffice it to say: I never expected this. So, it's been tough. I've been looking forward to 2009, starting a new year and hoping that simply by watching a big crystal ball drop, things would be magically better. Out with the old, in with the new and all that. Well, Happy New Year! I really do believe in karma; actually, I believe that if you do good, it's gotta come back to you sooner or later. I do not, however, believe that when bad stuff happens to you its because you've done something to deserve or warrant such things. SO, I do good. Plus, I do feel good when I do good and I do feel it's important to "do the right thing." Ugh- that's Mike Huckabee's new book title. That guy is freaking nuts!! Anyway, there I was driving down Orchard Lake, on my way to the store to pick up a little plant for my chiropractor in order to welcome him into his beautiful new office, when I noticed an old man in the car next to me holding a map and looking really lost. I saw a red light ahead and figured I could stop a car length or two behind the car in front of me in effort to see if I can help this guy find his way. Then I noticed a cop behind me and thought "oh, maybe that nice police officer would be able to help this old man." Maybe 3 seconds later, the lights go off and I realize I'm being pulled over- smack in the middle of trying to perform two good deeds at once (the plant and the directions). This cop comes up to my car door and tells me I have expired tags. Weird. In Michigan you renew your registration on or before your birthday- which means I'd had expired tags for 3 months. This kid must have been 19. I actually played the Autism card and said "I'm so busy trying to cure my kid's Autism that I must have forgotten to renew!" It didn't work. I guess Officer J. Pettinato (ID # 137) with the West Bloomfield Police Department doesn't have much compassion. He wrote me a ticket for $115, then had the balls to wish me a happy new year. I went to Michigan's version of the DMV, the Secretary of State where I found out that the reason I never got renewal papers was because they had the wrong address on file. How can they have my driver's license correct, but registration wrong? I paid them $150 to renew, then headed to the court house where they took the $115 from me. All in a day's work. Never a dull moment for me. Now I look forward to lighting the Shabbat candles and saying a little prayer for the poor, heartless soul of Officer J. Pettinato (ID # 137). Then I will host a dinner gathering for friends tonight and let another friend host me tomorrow night. Who knows what will happen in between...
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See, it's not just my mom! (since Jan 1, 2010)