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.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


It is just WAY too easy to feel sad and sorry for ourselves. 
Today, I'm trying to put things into perspective. 
Life isn't easy. 
Life is in session, we're all just showing up.

Friday, February 24, 2012

*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, February 23, 2012

IEP meme- yay!

Hey, guess what?!! My amazing, brilliant, funny, fun, sister-friend JillSmo tagged me in a meme! I'm so excited (she's probably reading this). Actually, the exciting part is that she tagged me along with some of our original ASD-blogging-mommy crew which includes Jessica, Jennie, Lynn, and Cheryl.

Don't worry, it's not one of those awesome "tell us 5 things about yourself that we could care less about" kind of memes. It's an IEP tips, tricks, and experiences meme!!

not sure where this picture came from, but Jill used it 
1) Little Bird makes great use of a few good tools. Chewlery is a biggie as well as a chewy tube, but that doesn't help her blend in as well as a necklace might. She used to use a bumpy seat to sit still at circle time. Hmmm wonder why she doesn't do that anymore.... She's got a pencil that's fatter than your average pencil to help her grip it a bit better. It's purple. She calls it purple pencil. LB uses a slanted notebook as a platform for writing. This helps her take a bit of pressure off her weak shoulder girdle. Of course, her favorite tool is her whine. She uses it to manipulate the shadow to take her on a walk. 

2) Because LB is in a private school, she doesn't receive the special services she would in a public school like speech, OT, PT, etc. She gets all those privately at home or in clinics. We chose to put her in the private school because we wanted to push hard for the social skills she could learn from her typically developing peers. However, next year, she will be attending a public school in our new local school district. She will qualify for all those (and I'm certain I'll think she'll qualify for FAR more than she'll receive!!). Right now, our private speech and occupational therapists visit the bird's school periodically to assess the situation in the classroom and make suggestions, etc. 

So, two weeks ago I called the new school district to get the girl enrolled (you've gotta enroll the kid before the special services department will even take your call). I was told that since she doesn't have a current IEP (in private school) and that since her last one was written more than three years ago, they'll do a whole new evaluation and assessment.... at the beginning of the school year. I was all like, "ummmm, well I'm prettttty sure I can't just drop her off at the beginning of the year and wait for you to evaluate her." And the lady was all like, "well, I'm not really sure what to do then." I thought of many things she could do, but I didn't say any of them out loud. Instead, I politely asked that the director of the special services department call me at her earliest convenience. She must be pretty busy. Haven't heard from her yet. But, I will. Oh, yes, I will. 

I'm definitely nervous about where this will lead. I don't know what her program will look like; what kind of classroom they'll put her in; how much mainstreaming she'll receive; what kind of staff they'll have, etc. I've noticed that as I type these words, my jaw is being clenched tighter and tighter. Oy vey. Rest assured, you'll be hearing more and more about this as time goes on....

I'd like to pass this meme on to two more of my original blogging crew members, Jen from I am Still Looking Up and Heather from The A Word, who are both super tough when it comes to IEPs. Also, how about we hear something from a proud papa? Jim from Blogging Lily!

Monday, February 20, 2012

She's Crafty

"She's crafty,
She gets around.
She's crafty,
She's always down."
-Beastie Boys

Little Bird was about 6 weeks old when I first met my friend for life, Ren. She and I started our blogs around the same time. Her blog, Lady of the Arts,  is so cool- all about "celebrating creativity in all forms."

Ren asked me to guest post on her blog while she and her family are traveling. So, here it is...

Friday, February 17, 2012

*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, February 16, 2012


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts and Berries

Happy Valentine's Day to you ALL

Here's a "taste" of what I made my valentine

Gluten Free/Casein Free chocolate covered strawberries. I'm pretty sure I'll end up eating more of them than she will!!

Valentines Day is always marked by images of hearts and messages of love. So, today and every day, I wish your hearts be filled with love (and compassion). Oh, and when you're done with your heart, please consider sharing your love and compassion by becoming an organ donor, because someday, somewhere, someone just might need all the love and life in your heart.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh, Toto!

Big ups to Jen for sharing this on facebook. Made me giggle.

And thank you Melissa for sharing this on the facebook, too!

Speaking of Santorum, it seems he's still got that pesky google issue to deal with. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

*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, February 9, 2012

Ten years ago...

Ten years ago, on this day, I was in the south of France. It was my first and only trip to Europe.

I'd been married for just a few months. My husband traveled every year to Germany for business, and always wanted me to tag along with him. I never wanted to. Call me crazy, but I am still harboring some resentment toward the Germans for some things they did to my peeps. So, I wasn't ready to go there and spend money. I compromised by meeting him in London for a few days and then heading to France. Sounds rough, huh? Actually, it was a little bit scary.

This was less than six months after September 11th. I was uncomfortable about flying in an airplane for years months a while. I was even more uncomfortable about doing it alone, and across the ocean, too! I brought a bottle of xanax and got on the plane. It was a great trip filled with all the touristy things like the tours of London "Look kids it's Big Ben!". Then we traveled on to France where we met with a friend of ours and had a really great time. Until we flew home and G vomited the whole plane ride home from London.

Ten years ago today:
 I never thought I'd live in Michigan
I knew nothing about Autism
I never, ever thought I'd be divorced
I had no freaking clue how strong I really am

This week's prompt:
Start a post with "Ten years ago today..."

Friday, February 3, 2012


I'm sure you've followed the Susan G Komen/Planned Parenthood story in the news and on the interwebz (all ALL over the facebook) this week, just like I have. I have been a supporter of both organizations for a long, long time. I have always had some issues with things that the Susan G Komen organization has done and continues to do, but nothing like this. This actually makes it tough to feel supportive of them at all. Still, on May 26th, I'll walk in the Race for the Cure to support my friend Tami because that's something she would've wanted and because I'll always continue to raise awareness so that no one has to lose a friend like I lost her.

My support for Planned Parenthood is unwavering. No matter what. This story upset me so much because I feel very adamant that politics has NO place in health care. By now you may have heard that SGK has reversed its decision to pull funding to PP. While I think that's the right choice, I wonder if they can come back from this PR nightmare. 

There are two things I want to share here today. One is this blog post that my friend Ellyn wrote. Ellyn is a very proud supporter of Susan G Komen Foundation and a huge fundraiser through their very successful 3-Day Walk. Ellyn is a breast cancer survivor and knows well what that means.

This is Linda. Linda is also a survivor and she, too, knows well what that means. In this video, she shares her thoughts on what is and is not breast cancer. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What does the easter bunny have to do with special needs?

A super mom I know is up for a super award which will grant her super daughter's school a super e-library. Of course, I think you should ALL vote for her, but I also want you to get to know her a bit.

Lisa is mommy to V, a very sweet four year old little girl who happens to have some super powers (sounds so much better than special needs).  Victoria has congenital nystagmus and low vision. Lisa says, "my super powered kid literally sees the world differently and has taught me how to see in ways I never thought possible. Often she doesn't see people's expressions and responds to tones rather than looks. To her, everyone wants to be her friend. How great would it be if everyone didn't 'misjudge looks'? Also, she is not afraid to fall. She falls, bumps, and bruise all day long. Instead of crying, she says, 'I'm okay. Spills happen!" How great would it be if we could all have that attitude? I believe in creating a world without boundaries for her. Yes, I want to protect her, but I also believe she must explore and discover. Often I realize I am the one who must change my point of view. She is a kid with amazing super powers!!"

Lisa has written a childrens book and entered it into a contest to win (among other things) an e-library for V's school!! She's a finalist! Lisa loves e-libraries because she can make everything bigger so little V can see better.

Please take a moment to vote for Lisa Rose's Oh No! The Easter Bunny is Allergic to Eggs!
Click on this link!!

High School Daze

"Danielle seems to have some problems with authority."
"We think it's best that Danielle explore different options for schooling next year."
"We find it inappropriate for Danielle to be swearing at her teachers."
"Danielle did not show up to school today. Or yesterday."
"No, we do not think Danielle should finish out the school year here, she should leave now."

I never felt like it at the time, but I was pretty cute, huh?

Can you believe those words were spoken about sweet, innocent, little ol' me??
I know, right?

I was a bit of a trouble maker. I kind of came out that way. People always ask me if I moved around a lot when they find out that I'd switched schools every two years from the age of 7. Nope, never because of a move. Just because of my mouth. Although, I'd like to formally blame my mother for the first expulsion. The rule was no skirts above the knee. She got all womens lib-y and got pissed that anyone might suggest that it be inappropriate for a 7 year old girl's knees to be showing- as though they'd be deemed too sexy. She never changed how I was dressed (that'll show 'em) and I never returned to that school. 

So, needless to say, the sass started early. I never belonged to any one group. I hung with them all. I was kind of a floater. I actually never really felt like I fit in with any one crowd. I think I was friends with everybody. I had some really great friends and about a million acquaintances. 
Actually, I think it's the same today. 

Being expelled from all those schools and having to be the new kid every couple of years has given me some really great adapting skills. I can go into any room, anywhere and feel comfortable. I can talk to just about anyone about just about anything. I can (and did) move across the country not knowing anyone and make a life for myself. I'm completely fine and comfortable being the new kid in town.

not a scarf
 No one ever really sees themselves accurately in high school, do they? I mean, even still, it's tough to say what I really thought I was like back then. I think I was fun, but kinda intense at times, too. I had a lot of good times, but it was a tough period for me, too. Honestly, it's amazing that any of us make it out of our teenage years alive. 

Bringing sassy back

Did you know me in high school? If so, please leave me a comment telling me what you think I was like then. If it's not nice, I can just delete it anyway. Admin rights, FTW!
Kidding. Kind of. You can post anonymously if you want to, but that's not much fun, is it?

This week's prompt: what were you like in high school?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Deal update 3

I gave my seven year old an enema last night. What'd you do? Oh, you watched the Michael Jackson episode of Glee? That's cool. My night was just as shitty. Get it?

SO, yeah. The girl's been constipated again. There's something going on in her gut. Instead of being surprised about that, I'm actually surprised that we went this long without her gut dysbiosis rearing its ugly head. It's been 6 months since her last round of vancomycin (antibiotic) and nystatin (antifungal). In 2010, I was giving her flagyl every other month and seeing amazing results. Once we started working with Dr. Bock in Rhinebeck, NY and did the month long course of vancomycin and nystatin, we haven't had to do anything nearly as drastic. In fact, I think that did such an amazing job of cleaning up her gut that we were able to go about 6 months before repeating this course of treatment. However, that time (last august) we only did a 2 week course.

We're ready again. It's time. All the usual symptoms are there: constipation, extra stimming (flapping, spinning), scripting. The tell tale signs that there's something going on in her gut, so away we go.....
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See, it's not just my mom! (since Jan 1, 2010)