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, September 27, 2013

Go shawty, it's my birffday!

Today I'm 36. Is my life anything like I envisioned it would ever be at 36? 
Nope, it's better. 
WAY better. 

In the Jewish culture, the number 18 equals "chai" which means life. The number 18 is very special and therefor multiples of the number 18 are special as well. This year I celebrate 36, which is Double Chai. So appropriate for right now as I have two heartbeats, two souls in one body. 

Thanks to everyone for all the support you always show and for helping me celebrate this year!

*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, September 25, 2013


We went to the Apple Orchard a few weeks ago. In the rain. It was worth it. We had a good time. Picked a ton of apples, ate a ton of donuts, and swatted at a ton of bees. This is like, a thing, here in Michigan. The apple picking, the cider and donuts. I've posted about having done it before (more than once or twice), but it's still novel to me since there really weren't any apple orchards (or seasons) in the 90210.

I'll just tell this year's story in pictures (and Pinterest recipe links)....

Mmmm pie!
Mmmm Apple Butter
Mmmmm mini pies

Friday, September 20, 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, September 18, 2013

Building a Sukkah

Just as we did last year, we helped build a sukkah at a JARC home. Sukkot is a Jewish holiday where meals are eaten in a shelter outside of the home. The walls can be build of anything, but the roof must be made of some kind of organic material (branches, palm fronds, etc) and it's customary to decorate the inside of the sukkah with drawings or other kinds of artwork and hanging decor (usually the kids' favorite part!). This year it was a real group effort. The residents helped each step of the way and we all had a great time!

Hanging with the residents in the sukkah we all built together!

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm half way there!

20 weeks
Then and Now

Here is my obligatory pregnancy picture post. Enjoy.

Friday, September 13, 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

Monday, September 9, 2013

L'shana Tova!

Last week we celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We live in an area with enough Jewish students and staff that the whole school district gets the day off. We spent the morning attending a family service at our synagogue. Ben and I just joined this temple a year ago when it was time for Little Bird to start going to Sunday School and beginning her Jewish education, so it's still pretty new to us. We love it there. Before we joined, I met with one of the rabbis and discussed some of our needs, concerns. It's important to us to belong somewhere that's warm and welcoming to families that are a bit different, like ours. I knew I wanted to be at a relatively small synagogue where we could form a personal relationship with our rabbis and somewhere that'd be comfortable for Little Bird. Too big would be too overwhelming. Most importantly, we are always made to feel like they want us there. They want her there. They accommodate her needs by providing a shadow for her Sunday School class and are always eager to find ways to make things work for her, yet they make sure to treat her like one of the kids. There are actually a lot of families who've joined recently who also have kids with extra needs who feel just like we do. It's fabulous to feel like you belong somewhere.

Even better is the synagogue's constant mission to talk about doing good in the world. At the conclusion of every Sunday School, the kids sing a song, which is actually a prayer, thanking gd for commanding us to make the world a better place. So, at this year's Rosh Hashanah service (for young families), we all got a string and we picked 5 beads. Throughout the service, the rabbi would ask us questions and we'd pick a bead, then write down our answers before stringing the bead onto the bracelet.

The questions were: what can you do to make the world a better place, who would you like to emulate, what would make the world better, what do you want to focus on in the next year, what kind of mitzvot (good deeds) will you do, etc. You can see Little Bird's and our answers below.

I think she's enjoying wearing her special bracelet. L'shana Tova and Happy New Year to all who celebrate!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Why I'm waiting for marriage and having a baby first

Many people have asked Ben and I if we plan to get married. Strangely, they weren't asking before we made our big announcement, but that's how societal norms work. We find that we are challenging a lot of our friends whose kids are asking questions about how we can be having a baby without being married. We have some truly wonderful friends who are rising to the occasion and having some great conversations with their children.

Last Winter, Ben and I discovered Macklemore's performance of the now hit song Same Love on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. I recommend watching it. It's pretty fab. We were instantly moved by the words, and the movement that's followed has been, well, moving. Being resolute in our commitment to support civil rights, we decided long ago not to enter into a legal marriage... yet. It feels a bit icky to us to be admitted to an exclusive club that is only open to some humans, not all. Yes, I was married once before, 12 years ago. In my youth and vanity, this didn't occur to me. It does now.

What a victory it was in June when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. We are still waiting for logistics to be in place here in Michigan allowing ALL consenting adult humans to be married. I have faith that day will soon arrive. And that one day our children will think it's just as terribly absurd that GLBT couples couldn't be legally wed as my generation finds it incredulous that up until 1967 interracial marriage was prohibited. 1967!! That's just (ahem) 10 years before I was born. Crazy. When Macklemore accepted the MTV award for best video with a social message for the song mentioned above, he said "gay rights are human rights- there is no separation." Amen.

I'll be honest. I got teary watching the footage of the Same Love performance at the year's Video Music Awards. I won't even blame it on my crazy pregnancy hormones. I am always moved by seeing people who do not have to advocate on behalf of those who are being held down, but choose to anyway. Those people are my heroes. Sitting back and accepting the unacceptable? Not ok in my book. A world where people go out of their seemingly priviledged ways to fight for the rights of ALL people regardless of who they love, what they look like, pray like, even spin and flap like- that's the world in which I want to live; the world in which I want to raise my children. Yes, even if those children are born to (temporarily) unwed parents.

*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, September 3, 2013

Walk 4 Friendship 2013 (we raised over $22k!)

Just like we do every year, we participated once again in Friendship Circle's Walk 4 Friendship this past weekend. It's an awesome event that begins with a 1 mile walk (or 5k for the more daring) and winds up at a big fun-filled festival with food, entertainment, and just an all-around great atmosphere. We do this every year to raise money for Friendship Circle and their programming, which benefits children and families with special needs.

This year, Team Birdhouse For Autism was so happy to have been able to raise over $22,000!!!

Thank you to every single person who signed up to walk with us, made a donation, fundraised along with us, and cheered us on. We are so grateful to you all for all your support. Friendship Circle is a wonderful organization and we're very happy to participate in their efforts.

Little Bird "rode" the last 1/3 mile or so

My favorite moment of the day

Thank you, again, to all our team members and everyone who donated and supported us. 

See you all at next year's walk!

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