Thursday, December 15, 2011

For Brie, the Story of My Cell Phone was rather hysterical when it happened, I hope it's as funny when I recount it 4 months later.

One lovely summer day, a mommy took her fearsome threesome to the library. They looked at books, chose books (the longer the better for Jakie, the shorter the better for Elisha, and all Nancy Drew for Shana), begged to use the computer (no, you can play computer at home, we are checking out books, not playing games), fought over who could use the scanner at the self checkout (yes, my library has self checkout. I feel like I'm at the grocery store), and we were on our way.

When we got to the car, I wanted to plug my phone in to charge it.

I looked around, checked my purse, etc. No phone.

We retraced our steps into the library. No phone.

We asked the librarians. No phone.

We searched the stacks. No phone.

We harrassed asked the librarians to check again. No phone.

We called the phone. Went to voicemail.

It was incredibly bizarre, because the phone had been gone all of 5 minutes when I noticed it, so where on earth did my cell phone go from a nice suburban library? I figured some teenager must have found my phone and pocketed it.

I went home, called Benjie, and he told me that since I had insurance it wasn't a big deal, I'd just get a new one. So I called my phone company, and told them that it seemed that my phone was stolen from me and I needed to get a new one. They told me that since it was stolen and I didn't have a phone to trade in, I would have to pay the $50 deductible on it. But if I had dunked it in a pool of water and could GIVE them the broken phone, there would be no deductible. Well, anyone who knows me know that I am incredibly cheap don't like to spend money needlessly. I was not pleased. My phone was STOLEN. It was not my fault, and they wanted to make me PAY! Largefightensued,endingwithmechangingphonecompanies

The whole time this went on, I was calling my phone periodically hoping that the person who >del> stole borrowed it would pick up. The calls kept getting sent to voicemail after a ring or two-obviously by someone.

So...I went to the new phone company to get my new FREE phone. Benjie met me there, because in my tizzy to the old company, heck, I switched both of us. So we went to get both our new phones (yes, I'm a spaz, but anyways, the new plan was $50 a month cheaper!). As we were signing up for the new phones, Benjie's cell rang.

My caller ID came up on the display...

I answered it.

A gruff voiced man informed me that he had my phone and I could come get it.

He gave an address not far from where we were.

I decided to go get it.

My very wise husband told me that no way was I going with 3 little children to a strange man's house to get my phone.

So he left me at the cell phone store.

It was a verrrrrrry good choice that he went.

My phone was in the possession of a very huge, very bearded, very tattooed, very smokey scented, very scary biker dude.

My little purple phone.

Benjie was parking his car and saw said gentleman.

He then saw him withdraw my innocent little phone from his biker vest and scroll about on it.

Benjie parked his car and went over to said man.

He requested said phone.

Scary man told him "it will cost you"

Benjie (I can't believe he was so chutzpadik to a man who could eat him for dinner) offered him $1.


The man accepted said dollar and returned said innocent purple phone.

It STANK like smoke.

But no worries, I still switched cell phone providers.

Heck, I'm saving $50 a month!

So...still funny?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Year in a Post

Hey everyone!!

So....let's do a year in a post, shall we?

Since I posted no specific order...

Dovi went to Camp Simcha Special with a new counselor (hi Dovid!)
Dovi went on Kids of Courage (hi Mickey, we missed you Raphi!)
Dovi started 8th grade (such a big boy...sniff sniff sniff)
Dovi had an impaction of food in his esophagus which resulted in a three day stay in the Children's Hospital PICU (that was fun, nothing like watching your son who is not supposed to be able to throw up, puke up french toast. Sorry, a little overshare here)
Dovi had fun at his friend Ben's Bar Mitzvah (another Camp/KOC friend)
Dovi's counselor Raphi got engaged (hi Adina, sorry we were so insane when we met you the first time, the kids can't wait for the big bash!)
Dovi's counselor Joe got engaged (Hi Rina, so lovely to meet you, sorry I will miss the wedding but Dovi and Benjie can't wait for their "man's weekend" as Dovi is calling it)
Dovi got even more cute. It's truly ridiculous how adorable he is. I will attach new videos of him. Some of his new lines include "BUSTED" and "What's upppppppp"

and in the non-Dovi related world...

I just finished my first semester of nursing school (who got an A? Mmhmmm)
My house has imploded due to said nursing school
No crafts have been made
Much laundry has been ignored
Much organization needs to be done
Many children need to be re-whipped (not literally of course) into shape
Benjie's car got hit twice, including this past week in the parking lot of work, when a woman hit the gas instead of the brake and hit not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, but 6 parked cars, including Benjie's innocent little truck
Elisha, Shana, and Jakie started fourth grade. I give up. They are too old. I want to cry.
I went over a month this summer not seeing King Dovi :) while he was at Camp Simcha and KOC. It was insanely long. Too long. Cannot ever happen again.
My cell phone got stolen out of the library by a smelly enormous smoking harley riding biker dude. Benjie paid him $1 (yes, $1) to get it back.
Shana learned how to bake. I never will again. We had chocolate peanut butter cup amazingness this Shabbos that all I had to do for was turn on the stove. Divine.

My, I just reread this. Quite a stream of consciousness.

So....I have 5 weeks off before semester two. I will try to say hi to y'all more often then, hey, once every 10 months. Let me know which of the above events need further clarification.

Missed you guys!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anyone out there?

I could be back.

I finished my first semester of nursing school...



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dovi's New Wheels!

Well, it hasn't arrived yet.

But in about weeks, Dovi should be the proud owner of this!

It's a Quickie 2 wheelchair...

I'm so excited! I must say it's a little sad what excites us special needs mommas.

Dovi currently has a Maclaren Major

and a Convaid Safari

Neither one is really meeting our needs-the Convaid is 6 years old and doesn't fit him so well (and frankly a royal PITB to fold) and the Macalaren is too small and...ahem....a little squeaky. You can hear Dovi coming from a block away in the Maclaren.


Our great hope is that he will be able to wheel himself in this snazzy new chair. He chose copper color.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Thank you!!!

To our Dearest Friends,

So, here we go again.

As we have done for the past five years, we are again taking to the streets and running with Team Lifeline to raise money for Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special. The experiences we have had being a part of Team Lifeline in Miami have been beyond compare and this year will be no exception. Running with Team Lifeline in Miami has become our way of giving back to Chai Lifeline for all that they have done and continue to do for our Dovi.

This year however is a little different. Living in Chicago you would think that there would be no place we would rather be during the long cold winter than South Florida. To be honest we assumed all along that that is where we would go.

Then Team Lifeline announced that this year they would be participating in the first ever Jerusalem Marathon.


With that announcement our decision was made. On March 25th 2011 we will be joining Team Lifeline in Israel in support of all of the special children of Chai Lifeline.

In order to make this possible we are turning to you, our nearest and dearest friends and family. Words alone do no tell the story of just how important Chai Lifeline and Camp Simcha special are to Dovi. Camp has enabled Dovi to put aside all of his daily challenges and just be a kid. At Camp he is no longer the only kid with a G-Tube who can’t put his face in the water.

In addition to running for Dovi, we are dedicating this year’s marathon to the amazing counselors and kids of Bunk 17.

Yakov, Raphi, Yoeli, Nachman, and Shimon are the best counselors an FD kid could hope for!

This year, we are running for them as well as Dovi and his wonderful friends Ezra, Ben, and Eli.

The incredible experience that is Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special are a result of the tireless love and devotion of the counselors and staff. Please join us in making sure that Dovi, along with all of his friends will always have Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special to look forward to.

Our goal this year is to raise $10,000.

To learn more about all the amazing things that go on at Camp Simcha Special please click here.

To see a little more of Camp Simcha Special, watch these videos!

To see more about Team Lifeline, watch this video! Ooh look! My brother, Dovi, and I are at 0:27!

To sponsor us please click here

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Love, Benjie and Sara

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Team Lifeline ISRAEL!!!!!

I cannot speak.

I am so excited.

I am so terrified.

I cannot believe what I am about to tell you.

If all goes well, Benjie and I will be going to ISRAEL!

I haven't been in 11 years.

I'm one of those people who wants to lay down and kiss the earth when they arrive.

I haven't been since Dovi was 2.

How/Why are we going?

Well look at my title for this post!

Yes, Team Lifeline will be participating in the First Annual Jerusalem Marathon.


Obviously, we did not run Miami this year (it's this coming Sunday...sniff sniff). We didn't run because there was no way to train what with Dovi's Bar Mitzvah occupying every moment of our lives.

But now I am free! Free!

So I am training.

And training.

I am watching shows on Dovi's iPad as I run (Modern Family? OMG hysterical, thanks Shosh) and trying to envision the amazingness of running for Dovi. In Israel.

Excuse me while I go weep now.

So. Hey? Anyone want to sponsor me?

Click here and enter my name.

I'm going to go faint now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

In Which Sara Gets Deep

Even though I feel like I've been talking to myself recently, I've been thinking about this and want to write it down before I forget it.

I heard a shiur recently where the Rav was speaking about when Yosef HaTzaddik was sold to by his brothers and was taken down to Mitzrayim.

I'm sure most people know the story, but to sum up, in Bereishis, Genesis, Yosef, Joseph, was sold by his brothers as a slave down to Mitzrayim, Egypt. He was sold to a caravan of Yishmaelim who then sold him again and again, until he ended up in Mitzrayim and the whole story of how he rose in power began.

Yosef was sold to Yishmaelim, and it says in the Chumash that they were "bearing spices and balsam" (N'chos, Tzri, and Lot). Now we all know that the Torah does not use any superfluous words. So why on earth are three words "wasted" on telling us what the caravan carried? Who cares?

Rashi says that the Yishamaelim generally carried petroleum and resin, foul smelling items, in their caravans. But since Yosef was a Tzaddik, a righteous man, HaShem made the Yishmaelim carry sweet smelling spices "so that he should not be harmed by the foul odor".

When you read this Rashi, it seems kind of odd. Yosef was just sold by his brothers into slavery, and the miracle that HaShem chose to do was for him to not smell foul odors on his way down to Mitzrayim? How about a miracle that he not be sold? Or that he escape somehow? Why on earth was THIS the miracle?

So the answer, said the Rav that I heard speak, was this. It was predestined that Yosef should go down to Mitzrayim to set into motion the years of slavery and redemption, culminating in the Jewish people receiving the Torah. Yosef's years of servitude and anguish in Mitzrayim, for reasons that we do not understand, had to occur. But G-d gave him a blessing, a sign on his way down to those years of darkness. Yes, you will experience pain and servitude. You will not be with your family. But I will send you down to this experience with a sweet smelling accompaniment. I, G-d, will be with you all the time. Look how I made you comfortable for this hard, hard journey.

This got me thinking about the journey that I have been on with my Dovi. Yes, it is often a journey of darkness. Of pain. Of anguish, watching Dovi struggle to do all that his peers do effortlessly. To run down the street. To climb the stairs. FD is not all bad, but it IS a kind of servitude, servitude to Dovi's body that does not do what it is supposed to do.

But look!

Look at the beautiful b'sammim, spices that we have been given. Dovi has the most wonderful, beautiful personality. I often say that Dovi lacks a Yetzer HaRah, an evil inclination. Everyone who meets Dovi loves him. He is beautiful, both inside and out.

His demeanor is so amazing and enjoyable-how can you not just marvel at the beautiful N'chos, Tzri, and Lot that we have been blessed with along the journey.

HaShem has given us such a blessing. We truly have a sweet accompaniment. We have been made comfortable for this long, hard journey.

and He is with us every step of the way.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finally, at long last

I was able to upload the videos of Dovi skiing.

I tip my hat to Raphi for being able to both ski down a mountain and video Dovi at the same time. If I did that I would have two broken legs.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is what it's all about.

If you had ever told me that my profoundly disabled son would have been able to do this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

I would never have believed you.

Dovi's ski trip with Kids of Courage last weekend was truly a dream come true.

Dovi conquered his illness with adventure.

Thank you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Oops. Forgot to Warn You.

It's a little dirty. Like bad words. But we're all adults here, right?

Never In My Life

Have I laughed this hard.

I'm sure I'm majorly late on the bandwagon here, but if you need a laugh, click here.

I am crying.

From Laughter.

Oh and if I could figure out why my videos keep erroring I would be able to share video of Dovi skiing this past weekend.

He is awesome.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

An open letter to "the counselors"

Hi guys. How are you all doing? I know. It's been a terrible three weeks for you guys. It's madness-four campers lost in under three weeks? If I, as a parent, who didn't even know them, is reeling, I cannot imagine what you guys are going through.

I know that there was another letter like this written to you guys, but I think the more you hear it, the better.

Do you have any idea? Any at all? How you have changed not only Dovi's life, but our entire family's? FD is a terrible, fatal, insidious disease. FD takes over not only the body of the affected child, but the heart and soul of the parents. I would literally do anything, anything at all in the entire world to take a small amount of Dovi's daily suffering. But Dovi always has a smile on his face. He has joy and simchas hachaim. And I truly, in my heart of hearts, believe that a large amount of that joy comes directly from you.

You have given Dovi back his childhood and us back our lives. We have amazing help and support from our family and friends, but this is just different. When Dovi goes away with you, whether to camp or on a trip, we know that not only is Dovi safe, he will have an amazing time and most probably not want to come home. You've taught him to scream "FD Drools" and to respond "I have F......D!" like it's the best thing in the world. You've given him pride in who he is and helped him cultivate his most meaningful relationships.

You come and visit us in far away Chicago and are infinitely patient with our other kids. You make them feel like a million bucks and like they are special-look at all these guys who love them! Who play with them! They are special because of Dovi's FD.

I said at Dovi's Bar Mitzvah that because of Dovi having FD we have met people that we would have never met. I was talking mostly about you guys and the life and joy that you have brought into our lives.

You have changed our lives. You have brought joy and brightness where there is darkness. You cannot imagine the impact that each and every one of you have on us.

I know it's hard. I cannot wait to hand Dovi off tomorrow and get a break from the endless meds, treatments, and feedings. I do it with love because Dovi is my son. You do it with love by choice. This is how you choose to spend your vacations, your free time, and your days. It truly boggles my mind. When I was you age, well when I was all your age Dovi was 3, so let's backtrack to when I was in high school, I was spending my days at the mall and chatting on the phone. What you do by choice has changed our lives.

I know that sometimes it becomes unbearable, when a child is lost. And you guys have been hit four times now in three weeks. It's hard, so hard. I cannot imagine dealing with this at your age. It must be tempting sometimes to walk away, to protect yourselves from the pain. I would. It's unfathomable. But know, please, in your heart of hearts know, that what you have done for Dovi, for our family, for all the kids and their families is the most wonderful gift you can give a suffering family.

Our appreciation and respect for all of you is boundless. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Because I know you all love it

here is a fun couponing post.

Yesterday, Shosh and I got in the saddle again. She had a better excuse than me-she had her cutie patootie baby. I have just been lazy recently (OMG I spent $83 at Jewel on Friday. Excuse me while I go faint and vomit simultaneously)

There are some nice deal this week (hello Chobani for $1!) at Dominicks so we got ourselves organized, clipped our coupons, and headed out together. We looked like lunatics in the aisle-we literally had our coupons spread out over some shelves getting organized before checkout.

Yes. We've seen the Extreme Couponing show on TLC. That lady with the wall of toilet paper that makes her feel joy? A whole lotta crazy. The lady in the dumpster with her son? A whole lotta irresponsible. No. I've never gone into a dumpster. I will pay the $1 for the coupons on eBay.

OK so back to our grand re-entry to the coupon universe.

I spent:

$34.63 of my own money
and $17.78 on a prepaid debit card that I got for a rebate so I'm not sure I'm counting that.

I got:

10 boxes of Natures Valley Granola Bars
12 boxes of Morningstar Farms veggie products
2 bags of pretzels
1 bottle diet Dr. Pepper
2 bottles Cascade rinse aid
18 eggs
1/2 gallon chocolate milk
1 huge bottle coffeemate (Peppermint Mocha, only the most divine flavor ever created)
2 gallons milk
1 box yogurt tubes
2 chobani yogurts
1 kids' body wash
30 boxes of fruit snacks (Gushers, fruit rolls, etc) - hey all my Dominicks friends. Go to Dominicks. Buy 5 boxes of fruit snacks for $4.95. You will get back a $3 Catalina coupon at checkout, so it will be like you paid $1.95 for 5 boxes of fruit snacks. And yes, there are printable coupons out there for said fruit snacks. But even without coupons? Awesome deal.

So that is 66 items for around $50, or $34 if you don't count my pretend money. And I still have a $3 Catalina in my wallet for a future purchase

I'm contemplating taking everything out again and taking pictures of the haul. But then again, I'm kinda lazy that way.

So I'm thinking not.

But it's good to be back!