Friday, November 13, 2009

Just Be Grateful I Didn't Post My Attempt At A Heartwarming Retelling of The Little Match Girl

Pin It I'm still very serious about this coat project.

(Two whole days later and I'm still committed. Impressive. Let us pause while I pat myself on the back.)

As of 11:31 PM, we're up to 62 confirmed coats. WOOT!

(Hmmm.... I think you might have to be attempting 'ironically dorky' in order to make WOOT work. I am not exactly the ironic type, more of the actual type.)

(But still. Woot!)

If you're still on the fence about dropping the cash, just think - for around twenty bucks you can walk past the bell ringers this Christmas feeling fairly virtuous. It's a bargain my friends.

Think about what you waste twenty bucks on every week of your life:
  • Random crap at Target that you never intended to buy (it is impossible to leave Target without spending $100 - I think this may be a law of nature)
  • Food you will never actually eat from Costco, because it was on sale (twenty years later you will open your pantry and wonder why you thought you needed a case of trail mix) (answer: you probably didn't)
  • Cafe Rio. Again.
  • Doughnuts (just me?)
I'll put the rest of the coat drive info (including the shipping address) at the end of this post, so those who are sick of hearing about it (because they have no SOUL) can skip it.

But I'll leave you with this - one of my friends has been involved in refugee service projects before. One of the families they worked with only had ONE coat. And the four kids TOOK TURNS wearing it.




Last week Fernando and I took a little trip to Primary Children's hospital so they could strap him to a table, insert an IV and catheter and scan his kidney function for 45 minutes. They had to try three different catheters before finding one that would work. So - insert catheter, withdraw catheter, insert, withdraw, insert, withdraw.

Fernando was not medicated during this procedure.

Fernando was NOT pleased.

The picture above was taken with my crappy flip cell phone camera and therefore does not allow you to see the tears rolling down his cheeks, or the "WHY, WHY, WHY would you betray me like this mother" look he kept shooting me. It was awful.

Possibly I fell apart and leaked tears all over his chubby, little baby hands for the entire 45 minute procedure. Possibly.

Later in the day, after a related test and one rather jaw dropping diaper explosion, we met with his specialist, who said that he's completely fine. His kidneys are swollen but it should clear up on its own - no surgery or medication needed. It was fantastic news.

Fernando would like to acknowledge all of the people who sent us well wishes and prayers and love (he refers to them as his vampire groupies, vain little thing) by sharing one of the gigantic smiles he just started handing out this week, but you know how those vampires are - afraid of bright lights. (Or is it mirrors that vampires are afraid of? Vampires confuse me.)

He went from moderately agreeable to completely freaked out in the space of four flashes.

Ah, well... Maybe he'll be ready for the paparazzi another day.

(Fernando promises NOTHING.)

He's been on Prevacid for a couple of weeks now, and the change in him is amazing. He still has reflux, but he's no longer in constant pain. He smiles and he coos and is generally pretty delightful. He sleeps like a two month old (as he should), but we are enjoying him so much. He is the sweetest, dearest little baby.


Oh, hey! Look, we're talking about coats again!

(You've been biting your fingernails in anticipation, right?)

(Look at this cool graphic TJ made! Thanks TJ!)

If you'd like to get involved, just start spreading the word. Talk about it on your blog, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever works for you. If you end up blogging about it, let me know. Eventually I may compile a list of the links and post it here so that people can check out what other folks are doing.

The shipping/drop-off address for donations is:

Gayane Manukyan
Att: 100 Coats for Kids Project
Refugee Center at AAU
1588 South Major Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115

If you end up sending a coat, please let me know when/how many so we can keep track of our progress and so I can keep our contacts at the Refugee Services Office and AAU updated.

If you're local, and you want to donate coats but don't want to ship them, you can drop them off at the center, or you can email me, and I'll come pick them up. (Door to door service, people. Door to door. Just think - you can see me in all of my multi-chinned, non-Photoshopped glory. LUCKY, LUCKY YOU.)

This whole thing keeps making me think of A Little Princess, of the two hungry, freezing children in the attic, and of the Indian gentleman who secretly brings them warm clothing and food.

Not that we're doing anything huge. It's a small thing - an easy thing. We probably feel more virtuous for doing this kind of stuff than we really should.

In the book, Sara says, "Somehow, something always happens just before things get to the very worst. It is as if Magic did it."

And I guess that's the lucky thing for us - now and then, we get to be part of the magic.

Now go forth and get your coat mojo on.

PS: Tracy - you won! I'll email the gift card to you this morning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Small I Know, But Wherever I Go....*

Pin It I owe you a post about Fernando's recent trip to the hospital (he's completely fine) and about the the utter pointlessness of showering at this point in my life, and I will get around to that ANY SECOND NOW, but before I do, I have to post this...

I'm working on a winter service project with a few of my book club friends.

(I know some of your eyes just glazed over right there, but I have no choice but to post about it, since I keep blathering on to my friends about how I'm going to "get the blogging community involved.")

(As an aside - there is nothing that makes me feel like more of a dork than mentioning my blog to non-bloggers. Sure, they all nod and smile supportively, but I'm pretty sure they're secretly wondering when I'm going to publish my English-to-Klingon translation of the Monty Python and the Holy Grail soundtrack.)

(It probably doesn't help that I say things like "blogging community.")

Anyway, BLOGGING COMMUNITY, we're collecting new (or very gently used), warm coats and clothing for refugee children who live here in Salt Lake City. The kids in question came to SLC from war torn areas in Africa and Asia. Most of them have never experienced snow and have nothing appropriate to wear. The refugee specialist we've been working with says they are still desperately in need of warm children's clothing for this season. It's already November, so we're going to have to do this thing QUICKLY.

I'm collecting clothing locally (the old fashioned way - walking around handing out flyers and pestering friends and neighbors) - but I also wanted to start a virtual clothing drive.

The idea is pretty basic: You purchase new infant/toddler/child/teen size coats and/or warm clothing online and ship your items directly to the refugee center. Once you've purchased your items, come back here (to this post or any other) and let me know what you donated so we can keep track of how close we're getting to the goal. (You can email me if you're feeling shy.)

My goal is to wrangle 100 new coats and/or warm winter outfits. (Gloves and boots are always good too.)

The shipping address is:

Gayane Manukyan
Att: 100 Coats for Kids Project
Refugee Center at AAU
1588 South Major Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84115

In order to help spread the word about the clothing drive, I'm giving away a $25 gift card to To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment.

I'm also going to do one of those obnoxious things where you get additional entries if you blog or tweet or facebook about it. (Those tweet/blog/facebook type giveaways always sort of make me want to punch myself in the face, but I figure this is for the good of humanity.)

(Or at least the rag-tag little portion of humanity currently shivering on the playground over at Rose Park Elementary.)

So please, please - submit this post to the social media gods at facebook or twitter or Digg or kirtsy or wherever you happen to currently do your social media worshipping.

(For those of you concerned that this is self-promotional and I will benefit in some way from the traffic - 1) I don't have ads, and 2) I'm sure that if by some miracle my blog ever became anything close to popular, I would promptly take an eight month blogging break and lose all of my readers.) (It's what I do.)

If anyone else would like to get involved - locally or virtually - please email me or leave your info in the comments. The more people we can get involved, the better.

The giveaway ends Thursday night at midnight MT. Thanks for spreading the word.


I've gotten a few tips for buying cheap coats online, if you're looking to contribute but are low on funds (aren't we all!):

A few good deals:

If you have any tips to add, please let me know!

* The title is a reference to a children's primary (sunday school) song - "Give Said the Little Stream" - which contains the line, "I'm small I know, but wherever I go, the fields grows greener still." (Thanks for the correction on the lyrics, guys.)