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, March 31, 2011

Yes, I'm still here

Dear Lauren, Jen, Heather, and everyone else: I'm fine. Just busy. Life's been getting in the way of my blogging- yeah, I know, totally ridic. I love you girls for checking in on me. It's so great to have friends who care about me enough to notice that I'm not writing as much as usual and love me enough to check in (ahem, Lynn, Big Daddy).

Here's a little update:
I can't believe it's been 14 months since I wrote this bit about the Methyl B12 shots. I hated the Methyl B12. Who knew that it was all because Little Bird has some weird genetic mutation rendering her unable to properly work through the methylation process?? I started her on Hydroxy B12 (hydroxocobalamin) shots about 3 weeks ago. I give them to her every 3 or 4 days. Here's what happens:
Me: Bird, it's time for a shot
Her: No! No shot!!
Me: Yes, it's gonna be really quick and then we can hug
Her: No!! No shot! No shot!
Me: Bird, we have to do this.
Her: Brownie?
Me: First shot, then brownie
Her: No shot!
(then I hold her down and stick a skinny needle in her tush. She cries for about 25 seconds and then stops abruptly, "Brownie??!!")

The shots are bringing us some really nice results. Hours after I stab her (let's be honest), I get great comments from the therapists and teachers. Better attention, focus, clearer language, etc. It's all happening....

But, it's tough to get her to actually accept the shot. I'm thinking of trying what I know some others have done- stabbing her in her sleep.

Do you give B12 shots? See results? Tried giving them while your child is sleeping??

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Light It Up Blue 2011

Whoa!! It's been a year since last year's Autism Awareness Day?!?! Wow, that went by quickly!! Well, here we are again. Still trying hard to raise awareness about Autism, raise funding for research, and to raise the bar for our kids.

In 2007 the CDC reported that Autism affected 1 in 150 babies. Just 4 years later, that number is at 1 in 110. 1 in 70 boys. Still, we have no answers. But we have hope. 

On the evenings of April 1st and 2nd this year, people all across the country will "shine a light" on Autism by replacing the light bulbs outside their homes with these blue ones. I actually didn't even know about this until my good friend and neighbor, Jen, gave me these bulbs yesterday. 

I have 2 extras if you want one for your home. 

On Saturday the 2nd, please wear blue to show your support for Autism Awareness. You can email me pictures of you showing off your BLUE {dggotb(at)gmail(dot)com} and I'll post the pics here. Take a look at all my friends and family who wore BLUE last year!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Gems: favorites

This fortnight (never gets old) we've been asked to open up our archives and share a favorite post. That's such a tough call. So, I just picked the post about my story. I'm proud of it. Because it's mine. All mine!!

So, here we go:

How I got from there to here

Friday, March 25, 2011

*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, March 24, 2011

Goodbye. Hello.

Hello Goodbye.
I heard it in a song.
Hello Goodbye,
nothing lasts for long.

We sit, love in our hearts,
among strangers and friends,
as one life starts,
and one life ends.

A tradition, a rite.
Stories are told.
We read and recite
our prayers of old.

We celebrate a life
through laughter and tears.
A mother, a wife.
A friend for years.

To leave, I turn
an object of beauty;
low candles burn
goodbye, sweet Judy.

Later, a day or two,
this time, tears of joy,
sweet nothings, a coo;
we welcome a boy.

And so life carries on;
Beyond and above.
He is here, she is gone.
We live. laugh. love.

A life begins anew.
The cycle's in motion.
Baby Aden, we welcome you
with love and devotion.

Keep moving forward, but how?
No one really knows.
My feet firmly planted in now.
Goodbyes. Hellos.

Mama’s Losin’ It
This week's prompt:
Write a poem about hope

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My deadbeat tenant

I've named him Murray
Saw this cute little guy in my yard last fall. Thought about him through most of winter, wondered where he'd been staying warm and cozy; pictured him drinking hot cocoa with teeny tiny marshmallows with his groundhog family and friends.

As the snow melted away, revealing grass and leaves once again, all my questions were answered...

Rent is due on the first of the month, Murray.

Friday, March 18, 2011

*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, March 17, 2011

A love story

This week's prompt: 
A love story

ed. note: having a tough time with words this week, so I'm using photos

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

MWILF - vote for me

Do you know Zack Gonzalez?? I love him!! He's a great guy who's about half my age (don't tell anyone). He's older brother to "Deets" who has Autism. Zack works his ass off raising awareness about Autism. This summer he'll be debuting a new clothing line that will feature the slogan that receives the most votes through his site. Yes, I submitted one of the slogans in the running, and yes, you can vote for it. 

Click here to go to Zack's website and vote for MY slogan: 

(but only vote if you get it. you DO get it, right?)

Friday, March 11, 2011

*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, March 10, 2011

Rocking the Red Pump

Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. I'm proudly Rocking the Red Pump to signify the strength and courage of women affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.

Awareness is Always in Style


We met in an Early On/Early Intervention program. There were about 6 moms there with their kids who were all a little "broken" as my friend Tulpen would say. L and I immediately sized each other up enough to know we were going to be the only ones either of us would have anything in common with. You know, apart from the broken kids. Hers was medical. Mine, well, you know.

We bonded almost immediately and shared a special connection not unlike a lot of moms of kids with special needs, we had all the same feelings: we didn't sign up for this, never expected this, didn't know if we could really do this. Slowly but surely, we just did it. One foot in front of the other and before we knew it, we were doing it. She did what I'll always be afraid to do; had another baby. The beautiful and perfect baby that I love and have treated as though she were my own. The baby was about 9 months old when L's husband left. She didn't sign up for this, never expected this, didn't know if she could really do this. She could. She does.

Her girls are now 7 and almost 4. She's divorced. She had to start making a lot of decisions on her own. A few years ago she had to make a new will. That's when it happened: she left me speechless when she asked me if I'd care for her children if, g-d forbid, anything ever happened to her. Speechless. Until a little sound came from me, "yes". Yes, of course. I love those girls as if they were my own.

Mama’s Losin’ It
this week's prompt:
write about a time a friend left you speechless

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Race Is On

"Now the race is on and here comes pride up the back stretch
Heartache's goin' to the inside. 
My tears are rollin' back, tryin' not to fall.
My heart's out of the running. 
True love scratched for another's sake.
The race is on and it looks like heartache 
and the winner loses all."
-Grateful Dead

Ever play the "if only" game? I'm an expert. "If only _______, then everything will be okay and I'll be happy." And typically when whatever "it" is happens, we move gently, or not so gently, onto the next 'if only'. 

It's easy to see how I've done this with the bird:
If only she'd roll over, crawl, pull to stand, walk, talk, string words together, stop spinning, stop flapping, and on and on.

But I know it happens in other parts of my life as well. Sometimes the if only happens and it's actually not at all what we thought it would be. But is it ever what we thought it would be?

Sometimes life feels like a track event. You know: the hurdles. As soon as I clear one, another seems to be right around the bend. Sometimes I stumble, sometimes I clear them with great height (well, not great height since I'm kinda short), sometimes I try to look ahead to see just how many more obstacles there are in front of me. But of course, I can't ever really know. What I do know is that with every jump, every leap, I'm getting a little bit stronger and a little more capable. Sometimes, not often, but sometimes I even think "I can totally do this."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hear me roar

My husband is in the basement playing with Little Bird as she swings in her blue cuddle swing. I can hear them talking; or rather I can hear her reciting nursery rhymes and then telling him to repeat them. "Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep. Want Daddy say it."

It's all good. He came home last night after having been in China (or according to the bird "The China") for the past 18 days. Yep, I was a single (warrior) mom for 18 days and nights. I wanted to tell you about it, but I have a couple friends who would've freaked out if I told the world I was home alone!! 

I was nervous. 18 days is a long time. Most people know I have no family here. No "hi mom, I'm gonna drop the bird off for the week day afternoon hour so I can get a mani/pedi meditate shower by myself grocery shop scream at the top of my lungs breathe." I have a couple babysitters who help mostly on a weekend night when Greg and I go out, but also on nights when I have meetings for the WAY too many boards of directors and committees I sit on. I did, however, treat myself to these babysitters a few nights over the past 2 1/2 weeks so that I could spend time with some good friends. I needed that. 

I did it. I did it all by myself. For 18 days. I didn't know if I could because it's a lot of freaking work. During this time, Little Bird went through a period of die-off from the vancomycin and nystatin she's on which affects her behavior in an ugly, whiny way. It wasn't easy and it wasn't pretty, but I made it. I'm awesome. Yep, I said it. It's true. 

I am warrior mama. Hear me roar.

Friday, March 4, 2011

*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, March 3, 2011

10 must haves for spring

Some (not all) of the snow is melting and the sun is out and I think I heard a bird chirp. Spring is coming!!
Here is my list of 10 must-haves for spring:

1) My trusted Contigo thermos with me at all times- I fill it with tons of water and a splash of lemonade. It actually encourages me to drink more water to balance the amount of vodka coffee I mainline consume.
2) The new Adele CD "21". On repeat.

3) Sanity- know where I can get some??
4) I guess world peace would be pretty cool
5) minor surgery: turns out I have something growing in me that's not technically supposed to be there. The surgeon asked me if I'm a nurse or a drug rep based on my "knowledge" of all the drugs he mentioned using for anesthesia and post-op.
6) Xanax: last year at this time, the bird went through a big, ugly, 2 month long regression. I. Will. Not. Freak. Out.
7) Tiger Blood

8) Ancestry.com (I'm totally obsessed!!)
9) Every article of clothing on ModCloth.com
10) a brand new nephew!!!
My sister Emily and my nephew due at the end of April

Mama’s Losin’ It
This week's prompt:
10 "must haves" for spring

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Therapist Spotlight: Magda

Magda is another Occupational Therapist at the same therapy center as Jessica. She's seen Little Bird over the years here and there. Plus, she's seen Shay for years and if you get Lisa (my bff) started on how much they love Magda, she'll never shut up. It's true.

A couple months ago, Little Bird started doing craniosacral therapy with Magda, who is an expert in this field, though she's so modest that she'd deny that. It's pretty amazing how I can walk into a session with Magda and say "Little Bird hasn't pooped in two days, please work your magic" and she'll put her hands on LB's tummy and within minutes of getting home, the poop is out. She's awesome. Recently, LB started seeing Magda for Neuro-Developmental Therapy in OT. Magda is committed to being tough since LB loves to have fun and knows she can turn most therapists into pushovers with her cute little smile and charming attitude. Sometimes I see Magda be stern and then have to look away so the bird doesn't see her smile. In their sessions, they have a lot of fun, but man, Magda makes her work an obstacle course!!
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See, it's not just my mom! (since Jan 1, 2010)