Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

I’m passionate about equality for special needs

I’m passionate about a lot of things.  First and foremost, I’m passionate about my little boy and doing my very best to create a world for him where people see him and not how maybe-probably-autism shows itself in some of his funky words and his need to run.  I’m passionate about finding joy and wonder in everyday smiles and bubbles.  I’m passionate about equality and believe with all of my heart that everybody should be seen as equal, regardless of differing abilities, skin color, sexual orientation, beauty or the lack of it, and all the other important stuff I’m forgetting to mention.

I’m passionate about blogging and carving out time for hugs with Robert.  I’m passionate about my job, believe in our mission and am filled with self-worth when I help my company to grow.

But today?  I’m passionate about the fact that sometimes, it’s okay to just write a check.  About not being the idiotic cheerleader who helped to get myself and everybody else all excited about having a community yard sale to raise funds for Tucker’s PAC (preschool autism class) class.

It started out innocently enough.  One of the moms in the other PAC class said “Hey, have you heard that iPads can really help kids on the spectrum?  They help with language and learning and colors and shapes.”  I had heard that actually.  Tucker has an iPad so that he can watch movies when we drive to Tennessee to see Robert’s family specifically for that reason. Having one in his classroom that is actually used appropriately (because his teachers are better about not letting him have his way than I am) sounded pretty awesome.

A couple of months ago, planning a 12-family community sale along with a couple of other moms sounded pretty do-able.  My friend offered the use of her yard.  We made signs and had a meeting. I high-fived myself for hanging up the signs at libraries, rec centers, grocery stores and on community mailboxes.  Hell, this community sale shit is easy!  Plus, Life Well Blogged offered to donate $1 for each Parenting Gag Reel – Hilarious Writes and Wrongs: Take 26 book sold from my link (have I mentioned that I am in this book?  Twice! Buy one.  It’s for a good cause.).

Except that now the sale is tomorrow.  And because I am an asshole a procrastinator really really busy, I didn’t start to gather our contributions up and price them until last night.  Which meant that Tucker suddenly had a renewed interest in crappy plastic baby toys because now they were housed in a box.  Robert got all sentimental over an Iron Man Monster Truck and pulled it from the pile.  I pulled out a tiny truck because I remember when Tucker’s pudgy dimpled little one-year old hand used to clutch it.

Passionate about a cause? Sometimes it

Turns out, sorting through three plus years of buying shit for The Boy is hard, people.  Stuff that I’ve wished would magically disappear when straightening up for the cleaning lady while dusting suddenly holds value.  “How can I part with Mater when it’s given Tucker so much joy?” competes with “He’s too big for it.”

Although I know that tomorrow will be a lot of work fun and that I’ll enjoy hanging out with moms who see my son for his adorable self and not as the weird kid on the playground who doesn’t always know how to play, there have been moments when I think “Why the fuck didn’t I just write a check and buy an iPad for the PAC class?”

Anyway, wish us luck, friends.  We may need to start drinking at 8am tomorrow.  But hopefully, we’ll get an iPad or two out of it.

PS – I am very passionate about the perfect plate of nachos.   You know, the kind when there is cheese on every chip.

What are you passionate about?  (say nachos!)

PPS – also?  my pantry still looks like this.


  • Jean Heff - I’m raising children who will play with Tucker and not care about there being any differences. I promise this.

    Also, they would probably play with each other no matter what because we have the same. exact. toys. Mater is going nowhere. All 15 Maters, that is.

    Yay for you doing the sale tomorrow.April 26, 2013 – 10:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Jean,
      You. Are. One. Awesome mommy. First, thank you for raising amazing kids. I hope I can meet them (and you) in real life.
      Second? The Mater toys dominate here. Please let me know if I can send you some.
      Third? Thank you for your promise. Thank you.April 26, 2013 – 11:39 pmReplyCancel

  • K - Words cannot express how much I love your writing…is that a paradox? No, maybe not. I think it just means you’re better at finding the right words than I am! 😉

    Anyway, I love, love, love that you’re doing this for Tucker’s class! AWESOME. I wish you all the luck in the world tomorrow, not that you’ll need it!

    And I’m passionate about cheesy nachos too! And cookie butter. If there’s no cookie butter in heaven then I’m not going. 😉April 26, 2013 – 11:37 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Kerry,
      Um. Right. Seems to me that you do a pretty kickass job of finding words and putting them together in a meaningful, inspiring, awesome awesome way.
      Thanks for the luck – it ended up being great! And cheers to nachos! And cookie batter. Or cookie butter? Both! 😀April 27, 2013 – 4:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I’m so with writing a check and making sure there is cheese for every nacho. AND salsa. Good luck tomorrow! P.S. there was a Mater helicopter I was all to happy to get rid of. Seriously why don’t those things have volume control!April 27, 2013 – 12:36 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Kenya,
      It was rough but we did it! And we’re all done (thank God) but…I think this is the first garage sale in history where I came home with more than I brought to sell in the first place. And you know – why don’t those stupid toys have volume control? Just plain wrong, I think! Ooh. Yes. Salsa. Mmm…April 27, 2013 – 4:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Surprise Mama - I applaud you and everything that you said. It is great to have passion and to fight and to push, but it is also okay to sometimes, just write a check.

    OH! ANNNND – I too adore a good plate of nachos and I am convinced that my first husband and I got divorced because I would always save that amazing one that is on the top in the middle for last, and he would always eat it…just as I was about to savor its goodness. Have a great weekend!April 27, 2013 – 3:05 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - I am all about the nacho cheese and a bit of salsa, too!! But seriously good luck today and am so rooting you on from the sidelines. I know you can dod it. Thank you as always for linking this up with us, too 🙂April 27, 2013 – 7:18 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Janine,
      Thanks for the rooting – we did it! 🙂April 27, 2013 – 4:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - HA! Definitely write the check next timeApril 27, 2013 – 8:31 amReplyCancel

  • Kim Pugliano - I remember when Noah used to “hide” in the little pantry while I was standing right next to him yelling, “Noah?! Noah! Where are you? Oh I’m so worried now, I can’t find Noah!” Secondly, I have nothing for the garage sale except things that belong to Hot Joe because when I haven’t used something for more than six months I give it to Salvation Army. Hot Joe still has his paychecks from when he was in the Navy. He’s 38. He saves absolutely everything. I have Noah’s favorite blanket, his first pacifier, my favorite newborn onesie and his newborn hospital hat. THE END.

    I am passionate about cereal.April 27, 2013 – 11:12 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Kim,
      That’s so adorable that Noah used to hide in the pantry. And hilarious that Hot Joe still has his paychecks from when he was in the navy. I don’t think I knew that he was military – my hubs is retired army working for DOD. And wow I am impressed that you saved so little of Noah’s baby stuff! I *cough* have boxes and boxes and boxes. Ugh.
      Cereal really does rock. 😀April 27, 2013 – 6:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Maggie Amada - Yay on the sale. Events like this take energy and than you have to start your week of working and taking care of Tucker and maybe picking up the mess of all the stuff laying about that you didn’t choose to sell. I think you’ll probably enjoy the social aspect of this, however. I hope you get your iPad. If not, I’d be willing to contribute on a PayPal campaign or something. I’m sure others would, too.April 27, 2013 – 4:16 pmReplyCancel

  • The Sadder But Wiser Girl - We never have the option of just writing a check because we never have any money! HA HA! Good for you for helping raise the money, regardless of how you do it. You are one awesome mama, you know that, right?April 27, 2013 – 5:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Thanks Sadder Sarah!
      We raised the money! Yay. And I didn’t even have to write a check. 🙂April 27, 2013 – 6:07 pmReplyCancel

  • clark - lol

    (One of things) I like about your blog is that it is you relaying/relating/conveying and otherwise sharing things that are happening in your world…including your-own-self.

    there is not just a distinctive ‘voice’ here… hell, a lot of blog writers develop a distinctive and recognizable style, the thing that totally stands out here is that it is that ‘you’ are in your Posts.

    very cool…

    (the more I think about it, especially being over taxed on the writing front, we need to figure out how to a do co-authored Post…) (…to be cont’d)April 27, 2013 – 6:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate Hall - I want to know how your garage sale went. I hope it was a success after all that reminiscing. A bunch of our stuff always ends up going back in the house when I pull it out to sell. Ugh.April 27, 2013 – 9:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Courtney - I seriously do this ALL of the time: something sounds like a great idea and then Oh, it’s so much work, it was NOT a good idea! I hope your fundraiser was a success and got lots of iPads for Tucker’s school. How awesome you all worked together for it. Writing a check is a good thing too. 🙂April 27, 2013 – 10:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Mama Meerkat - Hugs! That is such a hard process. I am slowly drowning in toys because a) Mini has anxiety b) Mini remembers everything! c) Mini is very verbal, which turns into a perfect storm of her protesting extensively if I even think about getting rid of anything and frequently asking me the whereabouts of everything she owns. Toys everywhere.April 27, 2013 – 10:19 pmReplyCancel

  • MJM - Very well said my friend…very well said.

    I’m passionate about you…I love reading your work and supporting you to the fullest.April 27, 2013 – 10:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Katia Bishofs - I totally get it. I always get all excited and worked up and volunteer without being asked to do so and then procrastinate (where’s the strike through function here?), panic and get a migraine. Yes, writing a cheque is easier, but you’ll go get so much satisfaction out of hanging out with those accepting women and the yard sale doesn’t have to be perfect, you can always write a cheque later, although I know your type, it’ll be perfect. 🙂April 27, 2013 – 11:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Gayla Keenan Timm - It was awesome – I got to hang out with all of you, we got the IPads and a lot of the 12 families got new plastic toys to take home. I’m thrilled with my take homes! Impressed on the blog, I need to dig deeper and learn more!April 28, 2013 – 3:34 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Kate,
    It went pretty well except that I brought home MORE stuff than I brought to sell. Time to schedule a donations pick-up. Ugh. We did raise $1200 though!

    Courtney,
    Yeah, it was tons of work but we pulled it off actually! Thanks 🙂

    Mama Meerkat,
    Can you sneak some toys out while she’s sleeping? And so cute that she asks you where they all are.

    MJM,
    Ditto my friend.April 28, 2013 – 9:35 amReplyCancel

  • Slu - Hey… New to your Blog. Found you via G+. Enjoyed & will be back. And for grins: Nachos

    Take care, SluApril 28, 2013 – 10:55 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Slu,
      So glad you’re here. Thank you.April 28, 2013 – 3:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Muses from the deep - Your passions are absolutely awesome. I”m glad that the event was a huge success from the comments I’m reading here!April 28, 2013 – 4:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Alicia D - Good luck!! YOu are not a procrastinator, you just work well under pressure :). Dont forget to tell us how it goes – its a great idea :)!!!

    I am passionate about nachos too!!April 28, 2013 – 8:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - Well, if you are slow writing your FTSF post, I am a total loser, because it is closer to Monday than Sunday and I am finally reading it. 🙁
    And I total concur- throwing money at something is sometimes the perfect excuse- I mean seriously- how much is your time worth? A lot. And also, hell yes to the perfect cheese covered nachos! 😀April 28, 2013 – 10:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen Lauren Schneider Kehl - Yer funny lady. My sister and I do a garage sale every year and I HATE IT! Don’t ask me why we keep doing it, I can’t tell you…. really, I can’t. But it’s a good thing, cause then all the stuff is out of the house and I only have one year of junk to go through the night before (see you’re not the only one) the garage sale! Hope it was a success, and you weren’t to tipsy by lunch!April 29, 2013 – 3:18 amReplyCancel

  • Shecki - So glad I stumbled across your blog from TMB. We are adopting a little boy with delays in June, and although I’ve dealt with speech delays, IEPs, and physical special needs, I have a feeling, we are about to enter a whole new world here. I’ll be plowing through back posts for a while. 🙂April 29, 2013 – 4:35 amReplyCancel

  • TheSocialButterflyMom - Also passionate about a little chili on the nachos, but too much weighs down the chip, as well as my belly, later on.April 29, 2013 – 7:20 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Alicia,
    YAY for nachos and the sale was a success. I have a draft post about it…if I can find time to finish it, I’ll be all set. Thanks for commenting!

    Stephanie,
    Not loser. Busy.
    And yeah, our time is worth way more than anybody pays us for it. Sigh.

    Shecki,
    Congratulations on your upcoming adoption! That’s wonderful (I was adopted) and I’ll bet it’s getting hard to wait. That’s so exciting! 🙂
    RE: delays…speech delays are hard, because it’s really difficult to know what’s causing them when they’re young. We’ve found that the best therapy has been ABA – Tucker’s language has improved so so much since September. He’s still really behind, but he’s make a ton of progress. Please feel free to email me privately if you want to talk. I’m sure your agency or doctor has told you about early intervention and Child Find, but if not, I’m happy to share our experiences (even if they have, I’m a sharer). So glad you found Finding Ninee 🙂

    Social,
    Ach. Belly schmelly. Mine sucks these days.April 29, 2013 – 8:02 amReplyCancel

  • Anita @ Losing Austin - Just found your site and loving it. I’m passionate about a lot of things, but have also learned that sometimes my time is more valuable and write a check! But I do love cleaning out junk, though I also have to sneak it out. Heck, my trunk is full of stuff that I’ve snuck out and is waiting to be dropped off for a church yard sale coming up!April 29, 2013 – 11:56 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Anita,
      I just found your blog back and am loving it as well. I really need to do more drop-off’s of junk. I’m scheduling a big pickup for as soon as they can come out and hope to add to the huge piles sitting in my basement. I’m so glad you’re here!April 29, 2013 – 2:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Anita @ Losing Austin - Oh, and I survived college on chicken nachos- perfectly proportioned with grilled chicken, lots and lots of real cheese and all the rest of the toppings on the side… YUMMM…April 29, 2013 – 12:19 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Anita,
      MMMM now I want some nachos with grilled chicken – my favorite way to have them.April 29, 2013 – 2:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Finding Ninee - The social aspect was actually really awesome. And we raised enough which makes it worth it. Sadly, because I was one of the organizers, and not everything sold, I ended up taking home more than I got rid of. At least it’s all boxed up and ready to donate. Thanks!
    April 27, 2013 – 10:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Finding Ninee - Hahaha that you likely got divorced over nachos. Really, anybody who would take the last perfect chip that you were saving for the end should be kicked to the curb. I don’t share my food with my husband for that very reason.
    thanks for visiting and commenting!April 27, 2013 – 10:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Finding Ninee - Katia,
    We actually made it. Although I sacrificed receiving the least amount of comments in a long time for a FTSF post, it was worth it. The moms and the teachers are awesome. April 28, 2013 – 1:31 amReplyCancel

  • Sarah Pavitt - Wish I could have made it there today! I posted on my wall about it – hope you had a great turn out!!April 28, 2013 – 3:55 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Gayla,
    So glad you made it – it was awesome getting to know you better! I’ll be interested to hear whether the tree swing leads to the $100 wooden one. Thanks for visiting and for commenting!April 28, 2013 – 1:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - It was a success and thank you so much!April 28, 2013 – 7:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Finding Ninee - Glad I’m not the only one who waits until the night before! Do you guys make enough money to make it worth it? Each time I consider having a personal garage sale, I opt for donating instead. Lazy.April 29, 2013 – 11:57 amReplyCancel

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