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.

My Story

Yes, this is me.

Hi. I'm Dani G. Welcome to my little blog. I'm a California girl who's been living in Michigan for 10+ years. I started this blog to show my friends and family back home in California what our life is like here in the midwest (look everyone: snow!), but it took on a life of its own with the whole special needs niche. I've made amazing friends through this blogging adventure and I am grateful for them all.

I call my daughter Little Bird, both here on the blog and in the for reals world. My mom has called me birdie since the day I was born. It was only natural that I call my own girl bird. Plus, she seems so delicate, like a little bird!

I moved from Los Angeles to suburban Detroit with my first husband in 2002. A couple years later I started wanting a baby. I got pregnant, I got sick, I got better, I got glowy, I got fat. 





I didn't find out what I were having which was awesome and so much fun. But, I didn't need to find out because I was SO sure I was having a boy. I picked out a boy's name, painted the room blue and got all kinds of cute little green, yellow, and white clothes. Then one day I pushed and pushed and finally my baby came out. (there was more to it than that, but you get the picture) Oddly, it came out with girl parts. I was shocked. I gave her the boy's name anyway because, well because I could, dammit! I swore I'd never dress her in pink or anything too girly. How could I have a girl? I had no idea what I'd do with one of those! I really was shocked. That was just the beginning of the surprises that were in store for me.

Around her 6 month check up is when we were first alerted to the fact that my bird wasn't hitting milestones. We started physical therapy immediately and started seeing every specialist in town. As time went on, she'd finally hit her milestones, just really late. But, the more time that went on, the more we noticed. At 2, she wasn't talking, so we added speech therapy. At 2 1/2 she was displaying signs of sensory problems, so we added Occupational Therapy. She'd had MRIs, genetic tests, even muscle biopsies, but nothing showed up; nothing was easily explained. Around 3 1/2 we finally got the Autism diagnosis and we added Play therapy and Applied Behavioral Analysis. We're active in "special needs" organizations and have made some pretty great connections with some pretty incredible people who are in the same boat. One of the charities we love pairs typical teens with kids with special needs. I don't know all the volunteers that have worked with my kid, but I've been stopped in the grocery store, restaurants, etc. by people who know and love my kid. I tease each new therapist that works with her that they're bound to fall in love with her. Each and every one of them tell me that they adore her and that she's become a part of their hearts. At such a young age, my kid has already made an impact on the lives of others', just by being herself. I doubt most "typical" kids' parents hear that kind of stuff. Would I trade it all for a typical kid? Maybe. This is a tough life. In early 2011, Little Bird's dad and I split up, and that's okay. I'm right where I'm supposed to be. It wasn't easy and it wasn't a good time, but like the rest of it, I got through it with the love and support of so many people.

Is it all worth it? Would I do it all over again? Most days I'd tell you YES! Definitely!! But, I'd be lying if I said that I feel like that ALL the time. In fact, I kinda think any parent of any kid has at least a day or two like that.


Somewhere in my journey, I fell in love with my best friend. Today I have an incredible partner who is loving, supportive, and above all, my soul mate. I am a very lucky girl. I never thought someone would willingly take on this life with me and my bird, but Ben has shown me that love knows no bounds and, just like the plaque in our kitchen reads: we are in this together. 

A few years ago I sat, waiting for my nails to dry at a salon, and an older lady (80+) told me that "the world is so big and she'll find where she fits." There are so many ways that the world is growing more and more accepting of people with special needs and I really do think she'll find her fit. So, even though my dream didn't happen exactly as I'd hoped and planned, I've turned into the most amazing mom I know. It's true. I never thought I'd be as patient, loving, and accepting as I am. I honestly surprise myself daily. Especially since I do dress her in pink every so often :) 


Ben and I decided that we wanted to have a baby, a sibling for Little Bird. Again, I got sick, fat, and glowy. In early 2014, Little Bird's little brother J Bird was born. Our family feels complete now. We're on this journey together and while life has thrown me a few curveballs, I am very happy to be right where I am!




5 comments:

Pam said...

Your honesty is appreciated. I loved this post and look forward to reading more. Stay encouraged--you have the right spirit, and your daughter is very fortunate to have you as her mom.

Cheryl Roth said...

This is beautiful. Children do help us grow and change. You daughter is beautiful.
Following you from SITS

jennifer said...

Hello. My name is Jennifer. I am from the Netherlands. I am also Autistic. I love your webpage very much. The world is very hard for people with Autism but I believe that God help us. The society is very different for us.

Sorry, my English is not very good but I hope you understand me a little bit.

I have a webpage about my live with Autism too. www.jennifer-smits.webklik.nl

You're welcome. If you want you can read my webpage with a translator. I am busy to make my page in English but it is not easy for me.

You can contact me on my webpage.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

Kind Regards, Jennifer

jennifer said...

Hello. My name is Jennifer. I am from the Netherlands. I am also Autistic. I love your webpage very much. The world is very hard for people with Autism but I believe that God help us. The society is very different for us.

Sorry, my English is not very good but I hope you understand me a little bit.

I have a webpage about my live with Autism too. www.jennifer-smits.webklik.nl

You're welcome. If you want you can read my webpage with a translator. I am busy to make my page in English but it is not easy for me.

You can contact me on my webpage.

I wish you a Happy New Year.

Kind Regards, Jennifer

Devon said...

I just read this today - I am so proud of you for the woman you have become and continue to grow to be. I'm not sure how you do it...and I know it's really, really hard. You make it look easy, which must be hard too. Love you!

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