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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

30 day project: day 28

Day 28 of the 30 day project: A picture of something you're afraid of




Disneyland!!!!

"Welcome to the Tragic Kingdom"
-No Doubt

We visited the happiest place on earth during the most wonderful time of the year.

Little Bird's first trip to Disneyland came on the busiest day ever at Disneyland. Apparently, they reached their capacity just two hours after opening the gates to the Magic Kingdom. They stopped selling tickets and even turned families away. We, luckily, already had our tickets in hand. We walked through the turn-styles and went straight to City Hall. I explained that we were visiting with Little Bird, who has Autism. They had me point her out ("the cute one with her fingers in her ears") and gave us a Special Assistance Pass, granting us access to the 'handicapped' lines. We entered the lines through the exit and much more patiently waited our turn. This was the way to go. I'm not saying we never waited, but the lines were about a two hour wait for some of the attractions. The longest we waited was about 20 minutes.

There was a moment when we got on our first ride (Peter Pan) when I got all warm and fuzzy and thought, "how exciting is this?! I'm taking my little girl on her very first ride at Disneyland."
 And in that moment, everything was awesome.

Here are some of our pictures...




Tea Cups 

Cotton Candy







And for those of you who, like me, grew up in southern California and visited Disneyland ALL the time, I leave you with the famous words of The Matterhorn:
 "remain seated please; permane ser sentados por favor"

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I got style, baby!


That's right, I've got me some style. It's true, just ask Jennie B from Anybody Want a Peanut?! She gave me an award for being super stylish. Word.

This award, like the others, comes with the rule about listing a bunch of things about myself that you don't know but there's not much left (see 30 day project). So, instead, I'm gonna put my iPod on shuffle and list the first 10 songs that come up. Yes, I'm that cool.

1. Death Cab For Cutie: Your New Twin Sized Bed
2. Grateful Dead: Good Lovin'
3. Counting Crows: Rain King
4. Jay-Z: Already Home
5. Joe Purdy: Only Four Seasons
6. Patsy Cline: Fingerprints
7. Jimmy Cliff: Hello Sunshine
8. Kings of Convenience: I Don't Know What I Can Save You From
9. Kings of Leon: Use Somebody
10. Joni Mitchell: River

Now, I have the honor and duty of passing this along, so I'm gonna toss it over to Jen at Living Life With A Side of Autism. Take it away, Jen!!

30 day project: day 27

Day 27 of the 30 day project: A picture of you and a family member



Me. And my baby. And my baby brother.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

30 day project: day 26

Day 26 of the 30 day project: A picture of something that means a lot to you


Frying latkes at Hanukkah
Tradition! Tradition!
All my family's traditions mean a lot to me. Whether it's singing New York New York into spoons at weddings/bar mitzvahs, eating certain foods, or watching Darlene Love on Letterman's Annual Christmas Eve show (which she's done every year since 1986), they all mean a lot to me. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Just Because

My Little Bird is super svelte. Not emaciated or anything, but really skinny. She's tall, too. That, she most certainly does NOT get from me. Greg is 6'3" and I'm 5'1" (ish). She'll be towering over me in a couple years, for sure. This is funny and cute, but I have recently wondered, "how am I ever going to lift her in and out of my big bath tub? how will I be able to put her clothes on her? (that's right, normy parents, she can not dress herself) how will I handle the meltdown tantrums when I can no longer pick her up off the floor and carry her away? Hopefully, Dr. Jason (chiropractor extraordinaire) will still be working on my back then!

But I digress... 

My point is she's tall and skinny

But she didn't start out this way. No one ever believes me that she was once a fatty fatterstein. I swear! Take a look at this baby...

Well, you'd get super skinny, too, if your mommy stopped letting you eat anything gluten or casein!!


30 day project: day 25

Day 25 of the 30 day project: A picture of you from last year and how you've changed since then














These are all of me messing around after one of Little Bird's gymnastics classes last year. I have definitely taken more time for ME in the last year. Even if it's just little things like going to Target by myself, or downloading more music and giving myself the chance to listen to it, or meeting a friend for a cup of coffee or tea (usually coffee!).

Monday, December 27, 2010

30 day project: day 24

Day 24 of the 30 day project: A picture of something you wish you could change

Meltdown in progress
I wish I could make things easier for her... and me.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A special appearance by FrazzledMomma

Ladies and Gentlemen (and all those that fall in between), I'm pleased to introduce you to a very special guest blogger today, FrazzledMomma from Living with Logan. She's pretty much a supermom- to SEVEN kids!! Yeah, I know. Here she goes...




Well how fun is this?!?! Dani asked me to guest blog and my first thought was, “ SCORE! Now I don't have to write on my blog! This will still be buckets of awesome!” And then I came off the high and started thinking about things to write for her.

As my readers know, I have absolutely NO memory skills whatsoever. I call people and tell them to set their alarms for me. I send text messages to myself. I once forgot something while I was walking from one room to another to get my planner to write it down so I wouldn't forget. I do have a point... stick with me here.

One of the many reasons I really love reading this blog is because of the 30 day project that is going on now. I am in awe. I would totally not be able to stick to that. I know that
something catastrophic would happen, and three weeks after the original 30 days ended, I would post my blog entitled “30 day project, day 3”.

Here's another reason I love this blog: Special needs mommyhood... done honestly. I love knowing that I can come here and read because this is real life!  I have seven monsters, for crying out loud. My youngest are 2-1/2 year old twin boys. One of my twins has autism, among other things.  I'm doing good to get a shower more than twice a week!

So. Here's my reason for being here: Dani wanted little blog break, she deserves a break, and Little Bird deserves to have extra time with her Momma. There ya go. Y'all are stuck with the nutty, memory challenged mother of seven today.

As a consolation prize for the change in programming today, I  have a funny story for you. For Christmas this year, Santa brought the twinnie monsterlettes a bunch of stuff from Melissa and Doug, like those completely awesome magnetic fishing puzzles.  As soon as the twinnies went down for their morning nap, because Christmas happened at 6am here, my teenagers started fighting over the puzzles, the easel, the piano.  No matter that we had spent hundreds of dollars on personal DVD players, new mattresses, cash gifts, and stocking stuffers. They liked the toddler toys. This is my life ...

30 day project: day 23

Day 23 of the 30 day project: A picture of your favorite book


The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

What's yours?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

30 day project: day 22

Day 22 of the 30 day project: A picture of something you wish you were better at



Cooking. But I couldn't find a picture of me, um, cooking anything, and that's no coincidence. 
I'm fairly certain that this is why my family is so thin.

Friday, December 24, 2010

30 day project: day 21

Day 21 of the 30 day project: A picture of something you wish you could forget



When Sugar Magnolia got sick and .... I can't even say it :(

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Hooray for spending a little time with her cousin!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gwendolyn's butterflies

Hi, my name is Little Bear and my Auntie D is freaking awesome!
I'm so excited that I finally got to give my niece, Little Bear, these beautiful little hair clips. They're called the Gwendolyn butterfly after the equally beautiful Gwendolyn Strong. I've been friends with Gwendolyn's mommy, Victoria, since junior high school. We lost touch but reconnected a year or so ago (thanks, facebook!). Gwendolyn has SMA: Spinal Muscular Atrophy. And if you think I'm a warrior mother, you should know that Victoria puts me to shame!!

SMA is the #1 genetic killer of babies under 2
1 in 40 people carry SMA
Take 10 minutes to learn about SMA at Gwendolyn's website. Look at Victoria, Bill, and Gwendolyn all be ridiculously good looking while you learn about SMA.
There are some pretty amazing breakthroughs happening all the time. 
We are getting closer and closer to curing SMA. 


You like these butterfly clips? You want some? You want to purchase them and have 60% of your cost go to the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, raising awareness and fighting for a cure to SMA? 
Just go to Beb-e-ssentials website and buy some!!

30 day project: day 20

Day 20 of the 30 day project: A picture of a place you'd love to travel



Santorini, Greece

Beautiful, right? Maybe someday....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dani G and Cheryl D: IRL!!

Remember back in August when I got to meet one of my bloggy BFFs Lynn, the Autism Army Mom? Well, I got to spend a little time yesterday with Cheryl D from Little Bit Quirky. She totally beat me to it by blogging about it first: Wanna see how she described me? We had so much fun talking about how we're a lot alike, as are our girls, and all about all our bloggy friends. We really could've been there forever, but we had to finally leave to fulfill our motherly duties. We really have a great group of parents who have WAY too much fun together on the interwebs.


Ok, so who's gonna be next? I am now accepting applications.

30 day project: day 19

Day 19 of the 30 day project: A picture of a habit you wish you didn't have


I'm totally addicted to my iPhone. 
Wonder where she gets it from?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

30 day project: day 18

Day 18 of the 30 day project: a picture of your favorite place

San Francisco, California


Monday, December 20, 2010

30 day project: day 17

Day 17 of the 30 day project: a picture of your biggest insecurity



Sometimes I fear that I'm not doing enough for her, 
or that I'm simply not enough for her.

Blog Gems: my first post

Hey y'all guess what? I'm airin' my archives! Jen from The King and Eye is so good about encouraging us to share old posts. She calls 'em Blog Gems.




This fortnight (Jen's from a land far far away where they say fun words like that) the topic is your first public post. So.... here's mine from January 2009
You may go read it now.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

30 day project: Day 16

Day 16 of the 30 day project: A picture of the person you've been friends with the longest and still feel connected to

1979

1982
2008
We met in a mommy and me class at 18 months old. Still so connected. We both grew up to be pretty awesome women. I'm just as proud of her as I know she is of me.

So what's the plan?

"I know more than I knew before
I didn't rest, I didn't stop"
-Feist

I know I kinda left everyone hanging with the whole trip to New York, but I've been a little bit busy and overwhelmed since we got back. So, here's the deal...

The first thing Dr Bock asked us was why we were there and how he could fit in to our journey. I was very clear about our mission: we're looking to help Little Bird reach her utmost potential. Because she has been developmentally delayed since the start and wasn't a kid who regressed or was vaccine injured, I'm not trying to restore anything or to heal anything per se. Instead, we want to make sure she's getting everything her system needs to function properly. After looking over all of the bird's test results, including the metabolic markers, he came up with a omg crazy insane frighteningly long list of supplements and vitamins to add to her diet. I knew it was going to be a lot, but I didn't know just how much until the package arrived a couple days ago...
This isn't even everything!!!!
Some of those things need to be given three times a day; most are twice a day; only a couple are once a day. Please stand by while I finish hyperventilating. I ordered the B12 shots yesterday. I'll start giving those every three days. In a few weeks, she'll start a month-long course of vancomycin (antibiotic used to treat bacteria in the gut) and nystatin (anti-fungal used to treat yeast in the gut).

Everything needs to be kinda scientific, so I will introduce them one at a time. Then, after three days with no reaction (I hope), I'll add the next supplement. This is all to be done in a very particular order. 
Here's the chart I made to keep track of what I give her every day and in what order. 

Pretty intense, right? Not gonna lie, I cried for a couple hours after creating this chart. 
Really overwhelming.

This week I collected poop samples three days in a row. It's hard to decide what's crazier: the fact that a spoiled jewish girl from the valley is totally okay mixing poop in different solutions in her kitchen and then sending it via fedex to a lab, or the fact that Little Bird pooped three days in a row. A few days ago, LB and I both woke up early, so I decided to grab her and head over to the hospital to draw the blood that Dr. Bock ordered. I had no idea it was gonna be 12 freaking vials full of blood. Gregory said she looked really pale when we got back home. Poor bird. I also had the lab spin a vial to separate the plasma and the serum so I could bring the vial of serum back home to be frozen and sent off to another lab. Never a dull moment. 

Because I'm realistic, I think that the bird will probably react negatively to some of these supplements or have a die-off like effect, so I'm choosing to wait until we return from our trip out to California. I'll wait until we are back home, in our typical routine, in her safety zone. I'm not much looking forward to this. I know it will take a long time to get used to all of these new supplements; it will be frustrating to see negative reactions and/or no reactions. I am trying to remain hopeful and optimistic. I do know that Dr. Bock will help us and that Little Bird really will thrive, it's just gonna take a whole lot more work on my part to get her there. 



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Small Things Saturday



This is the gingerbread house that Little Bird and I made. 
What did you expect? We're Jews.
I bought some things that were more easily handled and manipulated by someone with little to no fine motor skills. There were peach rings, too but I ate them all before we could get them on the house. 
They never stood a chance.

30 day project: day 15

Day 15 of the 30 day project: something you want to do before you die


Attend a silent meditation retreat

I couldn't find a picture that could describe that, but I remember feeling incredibly blissed out when I say and took this shot over the summer. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

30 day project: day 14

Day 14 of the 30 day project: A picture of your favorite past time

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Special Needs Blog Hop: All I want

The special needs blog hop topic for the week is: All I want for Christmas


Ok, so first of all, I'm a Jew. So there's that. However, my family actually does do a little christmas. I mean, we have a tree and we open presents on December 25th and some of them come from santa. There is no talk of jesus or anything because, again, we're jews. We've already opened a ton of gifts from hanukkah and that means that we are ridiculously spoiled. No big deal.

So, here's my list

-new winter boots
-new package of classes to the yoga studio
-no more stool samples to mix up
-a spa day
-sleep without pills
-temperatures about 50 degrees higher than it is today (I actually will have this because I'll be traveling home to California!!)
-3 new mezuzahs for a few rooms that are now being used in my home
-Little Bird's progress

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See, it's not just my mom! (since Jan 1, 2010)