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, February 22, 2013

*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


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Speech Delay Haiku

Remembering back
when my girl was three years old.
Couldn't say a word.

"If only she'd talk"
I'd promise not to complain.
I begged and pleaded.

"Mom, mom, mom, mommy,
Mommy, mommy, mom, mommy
Mom, mommy, mom, mom."

Now it is nonstop.
I can't remember silence.
Good thing she's so cute.




Monday, February 18, 2013

I'm Late


I'm late. A lot. I'm sorry. I take a lot of the responsibility. I'm just always trying to get so much done; trying to cross just one more thing off my list. Yes, occasionally this has something to do with getting lost on Pinterest, but more often than not, there's a better reason for my tardiness. I'm trying to do it all. Always. 

Little Bird's low muscle tone and difficulty with self-help skills means she needs a lot of extra time to get some of the most basic things done. While I have gained an enormous amount of patience as a result of being her mom, I'm not always as patient as I'd like to be. Ben, however, is like a saint with patience. It's just so much easier (and faster) for me to put her shirt on for her. He actually has this weird amazing ability to wait and encourage her while she struggles to get it on. How does he do that??

She needs help and patience. At eight years old, she can't yet dress herself (in less than an hour); can't brush her own teeth, hair, etc. She really does try and she's getting better at these things all the time. It's just so hard for me to let her. I feel rushed and just want to get it all done. So often I cave just to speed up the process. But truthfully, even when I do these things for her; when I slip on her boots and get her arms into her jacket and I buy myself more time, there's always something I feel like I can and should be doing. Throwing the clothes in the machine into the dryer, tossing something into the recycle bin (actually, that's the Bird's chore), or stamping the letters/bills on the front table. It's never ending and I know I'm preaching to the choir- you know, unless your children can pick out their own clothes, dress themselves, brush their teeth and hair, and you know, wipe their own asses. 
So, I'm sorry I'm often late. I'm running around trying to get all her needs met while helping her to gain independence; trying to be an active part of my community, have fresh & healthy food made for my family, take some kind of care of myself, and learn something new every day. Oh, and did you know I'm also trying to create a means of financially supporting my bird and I? You know, in my spare time! 

I could go on and on, but, you know, I'm running late for something else!


Friday, February 15, 2013

*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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Pie Pops

This is Little Bird's first year getting to celebrate Valentine's Day in school. I may or may not have gotten a bit carried away. But, I'm guessing you wouldn't expect store bought lollipops or bags of skittles from me, right? No way! I made Valentine's Day Pie Pops! (I saw it on Pinterest!)







Easy and homemade- just like I like it! 

Happy Valentine's Day!




Monday, February 11, 2013

REED it and weep


*shake shake shake*
*flap flap*
*spin spin*
*stim stim*

That's just me after the Re-Evaluation of Existing Data (REED) meeting that I had with Little Bird's "team" from the school district. Still so much more to fight for. So disappointing to have to fight so hard just so that my girl will get what she needs. While placement is at the top of my agenda- getting her placed into an ASD classroom despite the push-back I've gotten from the district- it's also necessary for her to be re-evaluated so that her eligibility is better determined. They don't really count on outside diagnoses like the one she has from a very well respected child psychologist (who wrote the diagnostic guidelines for Autism), so they've gotta perform another battery of tests. That'll take them 30 school days (and we've got a mid-winter break in there somewhere, adding an extra 5 days to that). I feel sad that I've gotta put her through all these tests, but I am glad that she could be one step closer to getting what she needs. In the end, that's all that counts.

Side note (and proud mommy bragging moment): At my request, an ASD teacher in the district was sent to observe Bird in her current classroom to put her two cents in about whether she'd benefit from ASD. I just read the report she wrote. She talks about how my girl is so easily distracted, quiet, doesn't follow directions, etc. Then she says that the teacher pointed to a picture on the wall and asked the students if they knew who he was. *crickets* And then my little bird piped up, "Martin Luther King!" And she was right. You know, because I've taught her the most important things in life.

CLICK HERE for more on the school sucks saga.

Friday, February 8, 2013

*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



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And the startup weekend winner is...

Photo from Michigan Daily

It's cool, I'm with the band tech startup competition nerd winner. A few days ago, Ben participated in an event called Startup Weekend. Here's the explanation of the program from the SW website: All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

On Friday night, he pitched Gramofon, a web and mobile based service that allows you to record the sounds around you (the birds chirping outside, music at a concert, sounds of a bustling city street, etc.) and share them with your friends, inviting them to experience the sounds of the world around you. Shortly after getting up in front of a crowd of strangers and sharing his idea, he was approached by developers, designers, and others to help create the business model. By the time he came home Friday night/Saturday morning (it was pretty late), the gramofon team had been formed. They spent all weekend- day and night working on creating the product; from validation to building out the website on the front and back end, to being able to actually use it and show it off in the final presentation to the judges Sunday afternoon. 

Little Bird and I were in the grocery store as the judges were announcing the winners. There was no live stream of the event, so I had to follow along on twitter. Somewhere in the produce department I saw the tweet announcing that Gramofon won the competition! I was so excited (pretty sure the old couple buying the beets thought I was nuts!). I'm also very proud of Ben for all the hard work and discipline that went into the long weekend. Well done, team Gramofon!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Successful Birthday Party!

Well, as you might recall, my Little Bird turned EIGHT! We threw her a birthday party at Friendship Circle (the totally awesome place/organization dedicated to children with special needs and their families) and lots of her friends came. Here's a bit of what happened...

You didn't expect a boring message like
"Happy 8th Birthday" did you?







There were swings...




There were balls

There was purple sand!

There was music
Of course there was cotton candy and sno-cones

Best of all, there were friends....

With her pal Jacob


Hard to believe it's been 5+ years since these guys met in ABA/OT
Marni was assigned as Bird's Friendship Circle volunteer about 4 years ago and it was a match made in heaven. She surprised us by coming home from college to attend the party and get a special hug from the birthday girl!!




(Not GFCF. We paid for that later in the week)

I am smiling because I had an enormous amount of help throwing this party from Ben and his parents.
Seriously, I could never have done any of it without them!
Also, smiling because I know I have a whole year until I do this all over again.

Happy Birthday, LB!!

Friday, February 1, 2013

*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



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