Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shhh! (Unofficial Announcement) Jordan Speaks

It's so strange to write blogs in different languages and tell secrets on each blog about things that happen in the different countries. I've lost my mind to the point that I now write messages to my American friends in Italian and my Italian friends in English. In any case, the new Pediatric Audiology Network is on line and since I don't know if I have permission to spread the news in Italy...I'm spreading it just a little here.

Pediatricians in all of Italy got the heads up and already various regions have reported in requesting assistance to create a Newborn Hearing Screening Program in their region or to better develop the existing one. Yes, it's time to take on Italy.
I asked Jordan to create a video announcing the Network. Here it is with the English Translation:


I would also like to draw your attention to this video that was posted by an Italian Deaf Blogger: Giuseppe Nazzareno
He asked the following questions:
1. Doctors and parent associations of deaf children like the FIADDA (AgBell equivalent) try to make deaf people become hearing with the cochlear implant and these implanted deaf children continue to use sign language. Why?
2. Are these implanted Deaf people part of "Deafhood?"

*Take it away English speakers...*

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hot as a Mother in Tuscany!

 

Okay. My eye has officially begun twitching. I'm a stress-case from hell and things are only getting worse. The Italian blog has started to take off and I think I may be making friends. We are about to launch the Italian Pediatric Federation Audiological Website and on-line questionnaire, and Jordan just made a video to do so. I'll be cc-in' it in English for tomorrow (shhh, don't tell anyone). Michele is recovering nicely in Florence and his mom is enjoying her hot shower at home once again. No, my friends, no private bathrooms in the hospital rooms- it's shower without a lock on the door and pray no one comes to chat.

Here in Tuscany it's hot as a mother (smile), so what must a mother and daughter do? Go shopping for sandals. I took Sofia Madyson out for some new pretty sandals and the first shop I took her to had a line of twenty frustrated and sweaty moms, so we left. On our way out the door,the familiar sound rang out, "Mommmmmmmmmmy, I have to go potty!"
I said, "Sofia, there are no potties here. We are in ITALY!"
Sofia responded, "Just find me a tree."

Baltimore - HERE I COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!!!!!!!
(What can I say- it's been a long day. By the way, Sofia came home with two new pairs of glittery sandals...such a princess!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anti-Semitism on Facebook


Se avessi 5 Colpi e una Pistola a chi Sparerei!
I Comunisti, bruciare i negri, Ebrei, Cinesi merda and Arbitri Italiani.

Translation: If I had five bullets in my gun, I would shoot: Communists, I would burn black people, Jews, Shitty Chinese and Italian Referees.

*Vomit*

This was what I found when I clicked on the facebook page of one of my "Italian family members." This person wore a kipa and was the ring-bearer at my Jewish wedding. I sit at the table with him for Christmas and Easter lunch despite the fact that I am Jewish...I respect his traditions.

He's young...

No excuse.

I sat chewing this over for about six days, wondering whether or not I should comment this little poll of his.

Last night I couldn't sleep, so at 2:00 am, I turned on the computer and left the following comment:

You will never know how painful it was for me to read this. Do I leave a comment? Do I not leave a comment?...So, would you like to begin shooting me, Jordan or Sofia? Don't worry- You're cool...

I deleted his name from my list of facebook friends.

Hate exists and it is rampid on facebook.

That shit makes me sick.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hmm...Another Film Involving the CI-Deaf Community Controversy

Why can't anyone just make a nice, light, feel-good film with a character with cochlear implants??
Why does everything have to be so damn controversial?
Video care of Vlog Sordi.(Grazie)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WAHOO! GOVERNOR SIGNS CI BILL!!!


Governor Signs Wisconsin Children's CI Insurance Bill

Press release, Office of Governor Jim Doyle, Madison, Wisconsin - May 21,
2009
------------------

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Carla Vigue, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Governor Doyle Signs Bill Requiring Insurers Cover Cochlear Implants,
Hearing Aids for Kids

MADISON - Governor Jim Doyle today signed SB 27, requiring health
insurers cover hearing aids and cochlear implants for persons under 18 years
of age.

"This is an important bill that protects Wisconsin families," Governor
Doyle said. "For too long, too many families with deaf children or children
with hearing loss have struggled to pay for treatment. Today, we are making
sure these families no longer have to choose between putting food on the
table or providing effective and proven treatment for their child."


The bill requires health insurance policies and plans to cover the
cost of hearing aids or cochlear implants and related treatment for children
under 18. Coverage is limited to two hearing aids every three years and the
child must be diagnosed by a physician or audiologist as being deaf or
hearing impaired.

Research shows that early intervention can save families $5,000 to
$10,000 per child per year, or $1 million during a lifetime. Access to
hearing aids or cochlear implants results in earlier development of speech
and language skills, as well as decreased need for special education.

About 200 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing in Wisconsin each
year, and more than half of Wisconsin families do not have insurance that
covers any of the cost of hearing aids, according to a survey by the
Wisconsin Chapter of Hands.

Governor Doyle thanked Senators Lassa and Hansen and Representatives
Cullen and Bernard Schaber for their work on the bill.

*Thank you to all of the families who wrote to the governor in support of this bill*

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bloggers Support Wisconsin Children's CI Insurance


News:
Wisconsin poised to become 1st state to mandate hearing implant coverage
Shawn Doherty — 5/19/2009 1:58 pm


The Legislature recently passed a bill that would make Wisconsin the first state in the country to require insurers to cover the costs of giving deaf children cochlear implants, but some members of the deaf community are waging a furious last-minute battle to try to persuade Gov. Jim Doyle to veto it this week.

Deaf critics of the bill say that the implants are dangerous, expensive and a threat to their unique community's identity, culture and sign languages, and nearly 500 have signed a petition asking Doyle not to sign it.

Being deaf is not a medical disorder, and they do not need to be fixed, they say. "The notion that being deaf is an affliction and an abomination which alienates one from society and leaves (one) dependent and isolated is a myth," the petition reads.

Several of these critics and an interpreter were expected to show up at Doyle's office Tuesday with the petition. "We really have to make a lot of noise, to let people know who we are," said Darrell Roby, a Middleton landscaper and the president of the Madison Association of the Deaf, in an interview. "We want people to understand what deaf culture is about."

The bill has reignited a bitter divide within the deaf community over exactly what deaf culture is really about, however.

It is a debate that first gained national attention with the 1986 release of the movie "Children of a Lesser God," in which a hearing teacher, played by William Hurt, fell in love with a young deaf student, starring deaf actress Marlee Matlin, and tried to persuade her to learn oral language and join the hearing world. The conflict portrayed in that movie is at the heart of the dispute today over the Wisconsin bill.

The mandate would require insurance companies to pay not only for children's implants, but for their hearing aids and related treatments. The bill would affect only the third of Wisconsin's population currently covered by private insurance. Self-funded insurance plans are not subject to the state law, and most public insurance plans already cover the devices.

One part of the deaf community, especially hearing parents desperate to communicate with their deaf children, see implants and hearing aids as a promising new technology. Implants can turn sound into electrical impulses that activate the hearing nerve, allowing some deaf to hear. These parents hope the devices can help mainstream children who might otherwise be locked in silence.

Before Sara, 3, got hearing aids last fall, she could only speak "gibber-jabber," recalls her mother, Monica Dull of Waunakee, who was among a procession of parents who testified last month for the bill. "She would get so frustrated she couldn't communicate that she would bite her hands," Dull said in an interview. Since Sara got hearing aids last fall, Dull said, her daughter's speech has taken off. "The first thing Sara says when she gets up in the morning or after her nap is 'hearing in.'" Dull and her husband also speak sign language with their daughter.

Ann Brensel of Fort Atkinson testified that even though her family was covered by expensive health insurance, the policy refused to cover the implants, calling them "cosmetic." "I just didn't understand that the insurance I have paid thousands of dollars in premiums for could be so cold about helping a child," Brensel told legislators. Abby, now 4, needed to wait nearly two years before she could get an implant and suffered significant language delays as a result, her mother said. "We lost precious time," she said. Abby can now dance to music and hear and recognize her name and her mother's voice.

But deaf critics of the legislation argue that the devices don't always work and are invasive and an insult to their unique identity. They say that requiring the deaf to use speech rather than sign language to communicate is a form of discrimination. "Many of us in the deaf community see cochlear implants as a big threat to our culture," said Roby, 38, who used a video phone and a sign language interpreter to speak to a reporter.

Roby is the fourth generation in his family to be born deaf. His parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all deaf, and he grew up communicating in American Sign Language. It wasn't until his parents pulled him out of public school in Madison and sent him to the Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan, where classes were taught in sign language, that he flourished.

"It opened a whole new world for me," he said. "I became a leader and the class president." He believes that even children who receive cochlear implants won't thrive unless they are also taught American Sign Language, like him. The petition asks that insurance be forced to cover the costs of providing ASL materials, therapy and support to children as well.

Other critics have complained that the bill would drive up insurance costs for small businesses and employers already struggling with hefty premiums.

Rep. John Nygren, R-Manitowoc, noted in an interview last month that the cochlear implant bill is just one of several insurance measures being pushed by his Democratic colleagues in the Legislature this year. "When you look at the costs, it may not seem like much, but when you add them up altogether there is a big concern that we could be pricing people out of their ability to get health insurance," he warned.

A financial analysis recently submitted by the state Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to the Legislature, however, would suggest otherwise.

About 200 babies are born in Wisconsin each year with hearing problems that might require a hearing aid or implants, according to the report. A total of 2,137 students in the state public school system are deaf or hard of hearing, and 713 of them are deaf and may have an implant. Hearing aids cost more than $4,000 per child, and implants and related therapies could cost upwards of $50,000 to $60,000. Using these figures, the report calculated the total cost to the state insurance industry to come out to around $3.2 million a year. But when you take into account the $8 billion the insurance industry collects annually in health premiums, the report estimated that the mandate will end up costing each privately insured person only 17 cents a month in additional premiums.

That figure is even less significant, state officials noted, when you compare it to the costs of special education services for children who don't receive the devices. "Basically what was happening was that insurance companies were shifting these costs onto taxpayers," said state Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point. "When a child does not get access to cochlear implants or hearing aids at a young age, it adds to the costs of special education and vocational rehabilitation later in life."

Yet the most powerful arguments made by those in the deaf community who oppose the bill are not economic. They are personal.

Mat Fowler, a 32-year-old carpenter who lives in Rothschild, was the second child to receive a cochlear implant in Wisconsin way back in 1990, he said in a videophone interview. He was 14 and did not want the implant, but agreed to try it. "I wanted to prove my love for my parents," he said. His parents are not deaf. Receiving the implant was a "culture shock," Fowler said. Suddenly he felt tremendous pressure to succeed and communicate in entirely new ways. When he was 18, he said, he took the external part of the implant off. Just last year, he underwent surgery in Milwaukee to remove the internal portion. He and his wife, who is deaf, have three sons. All three can hear and are doing well. They are bilingual, able to communicate in both spoken and sign languages.

Fowler says he opposes the bill, but can see the arguments on both sides.

"It's very conflicting for me," he says. "I see families who are heartbroken when they find out their baby is deaf. But I also worry that they will be given false hopes with the implants."

*SIGN THE BILL!!*

I am in Italy where the National Health Service paid for EVERYTHING, one less drama to deal with economically. Parents have the right to choose, FACILITATE that choice!

To write a letter to the governor in SUPPORT of this bill, click here.


Please help circulate the news on the Blogosphere by posting in support of this bill...Generate some NOISE.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cal Ripken Jr. and My Dad...

Well, during our English lesson the other day, I asked Jordan what book he was reading. He said, "I'm not reading a book right now." I asked, "Why not, adorable son?" He said, "I'm waiting for the sequel to RALLY CAPS."

*Speechless*

Gosh that was a bizarre thing to hear come out of his mouth.

*Hmm.*

Then a couple of days later, my dad sent me this picture of Cal and him together at a charity banquet, where one year later, Dad had the chance to thank Cal in person for his endorsement...Here they are!

 

Check out the new RALLY CAPS Media Page when you have a minute...Night night

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Buzz on the Ci Circle: Louder Than Words

Check it out! From what I understand, it's coming soon- and it looks damn good!!

Louder Than Words is a documentary following hearing impaired families and the struggles inside, facing the decision of surgery, giving life to one of the 5 human senses by implementation of the Cochlear device.


By Karen MeyerMay 17, 2009 (CHICAGO) (WLS) --
Cochlear implant is an amazing technology that enables children and adults who have severe to profound hearing loss to hear. But, at the same time, it is controversial for many people in the deaf community, especially deaf parents with deaf children.
Every parent wants the best for their children, even if it means giving them the opportunity to hear. A Chicago-area family is profiled in an upcoming documentary that shows their life as they struggle with cochlear implants.

"Louder than Words" is a feature documentary that explores the real life drama of the Stark family. Parents Michael and Jill were born deaf. Their two children were also born deaf. Jeffrey, who is almost 3, and 7-month-old Melissa.

"We decided to have both kids implanted. We wanted them to use the phone," said Jill.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Boxers or Briefs: Michele Speaks Out


*Blushing*
I should have known he would have read the blogpost- "Slick" doesn't miss a trick. The guy I was talking about in the post "You Need to Speak TO ME" caught me in the act of anonymous sharing *smile* And this is his response: (Note: his English is far better than anyone I've ever met in this country!)

...Hello everybody! I'm Michele, the guy Jodi talked about in her post. First of all I want to thank her for the sweet words she wrote, they moved me to tears :) Then, the topic: all of you are right, sometimes we deaf people should stand on and *shout* to other people around us to communicate with us, however I should say that morning I was really phisically and emotionally tired of all those medical stuff and of going up and down from the city where I live (Florence) to the clinical centre where I'll get CI surgery (Pisa), a roundtrip of 200km every time... and obviously I'm the driver (ah, my beloved Alfa...) :D

At the meeting I was quite distracted trying to find the right medical papers that the surgeon asked for, I didn't notice that he was speaking, then I didn't care about it too much.

But when mom and I some months ago met him for the very first time, he started to talk directly to mom and immediately we both said to him: "Talk to me please, it's me that is going under surgery..." from my side, "Talk to him, please, he's perfectly able to communicate via lipreading and to speak properly" from her side. That time this behaviour *really* bothered me, then I thought that this doctor has so little time and he often meets people that don't have my communication skills, so maybe he was looking for a "handhold". However, in this last meeting I was more worried to comfort mom about the CI surgery by letting her talking with him, and obviously with Jodi, too, she really did a *great* work (hey Jodi, mom already loves you!)

And I want to say to the anon user that mom is very proud of me, because of how I, being deaf,am facing everyday life difficulties since I was a child, of how I succeeded in my goals despite it and of how I'm facing this whole new challenge that I'm approaching to brave, whether I'll do it or not. And she demonstrates it to me every time she has the chance to do it. *smile*

*Yes, I cried*
(Tell your mom that typing with a french with polka dots is really no problem)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Help: Booklet for Parents of Newly Diagnosed Deaf Children


I'm working on a booklet in Italy to be distributed to the parents of newly diagnosed deaf children, so I posed the question: Looking back on your experience as a parent, what would you include in this booklet to empower new parents upon recieving the diagnosis?
I received various responses:

Parent 1: I only hope they find Docs who don't brush it off and crack jokes as they give you the diagnosis...only another parent really understands the feelings involved and some of them are not pretty.

Parent 2: What would have been very beneficial for us would have been a resource that told us what to do next. It really felt like we were told and then dropped like a hot rock. No one had any idea what to tell us when we asked "so what do we do now?". We knew time was ticking away, but people just didn't have answers.

Parent 3: Something - a brochure, a website, a list of resources I could track down -that listed ALL the communication modalities, studies with educational outcomes for each one, and community/medical resources. When my son was diagnosed, that was it. He's deaf, he'll need to be fitted for hearing aids, end of story. NO ONE said anything about Early Childhood Intervention (I found out that preschoolers qualified for Special Ed services through a chance conversation with a former public health nurse I met at a yard sale!!!). No one offered any information, not even about sign language. I quite literally had to track down any and all information on my own. And this was before the internet. I felt like time was rushing past and my process was ever so slow because of the trial and error aspect of it and all the ordering of books and studies and mail time and reading at 2am.

Parent 4: It would have been helpful if the original ENT that diagnosed my daughter would have immediately referred me to a group of doctors who knew what to do next. We were also told very nonchalantly, during her second ABR, that she was deaf and would always be deaf. Very cold, very matter-of-factly. I didn't find the CI Circle until after she received her first implant; would have been wonderful if I knew about it before hand. When you have dark moments it is very comforting to be able to read those comments even if you don't participate in the conversations. I have severe hearing loss newly diagnosed and am generally extremely shy, parents on the CI circle inspire me to help people. I've met so many people locally that I've been able to share my story with and never realized how helpful that could be.

Parent 5: A DVD handed WITH a brochure - that interviews deaf children and deaf adults who are accomplished. Because when you hear the news it feels like a death sentence - reality just didn't come into play for us. All I could think was "my baby is DEAF and will never hear music, never hear me say I love you? No WAY!" and then I burst into tears as I'm driving along back home. It would have been nice to SEE successful deaf children interacting...it would have given me hope. Reading material was nice - but I needed to SEE it. When I did, everything changed.

Parent 6: I think that talking to other parents that have already been through it is one of the main things. I also had someone tell me that no matter what it would all be o.k. And guess what it is!!!!! I wish I would have taken that to heart much earlier. Now I want to talk to every parent that just finds out so I can tell them it will be all o.k.

And you? What would you include to help other parents?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You Need to Speak TO ME!


*Smile* I've received about five MAJOR emails in the past two days. All of them touched me, majorly. So sweet. Thank you...

I'm like a walking sensitivity hormone these days, so my experience at Pisa blew me away. I met a guy who I've been corresponding with via Italian forum and facebook- he is ADORABLE!!! It was like meeting Jordan fifteen years from now. This guy was tall, (he looked shorter in his facebook profile photo)extremely intelligent and nervous. His mom- emotional, terrified and intelligent.

I was there to provide support based on my experience. You see, after twenty-some years of wearing hearing aids, that no longer work for him, he has decided to opt for the cochlear implant surgery. Although he is Italian and Deaf since birth-educated using the oral approach and mainstreamed, he writes the most beautiful English I've ever seen and has been surfing Rachel and Abbie's blogs to gather information regarding cochlear implants.

*Bloggers' International Cochlear Implant Awareness Service In Effect*

To those of you who write to share, you will never truly know how your experiences touch and enrich the lives of others...

I don't know if I can adequately express how it feels to make direct eye contact with another mother who you know has worked her ass off for twenty-something years to raise such an incredible man, knowing her fear that her son is about to undergo surgery. Or if it's possible to find the words to explain her break-down when she watched Josh Swiller's video as he says, "Shh-it" and repeats word for word the sentences in the speech test...just because he can finally hear- imagining that her son might actually truly start hearing for the first time in his life. Knowing how difficult it is to have to wait to reach that moment with the fear of a surgery in the middle throws me all out of whack and I get all teary-eyed, too.

I was invited to sit in with their meeting with the ci surgeon. Something happened that made me want to stand up and SCREAM!

The surgeon sat across from the table and spoke to the mom, not the twenty-five year old Deaf patient. Every now and then, he would speak to the patient, but the majority of the time, he spoke to the mom. This really bothered me. Apparently,it didn't bother the man, but it REALLY bothered me.

This man knows way more about the surgery and all of the details than his mom, he is highly intelligent with a great sense of humor and he has had all of his questions answered by international bloggers.

*But...*

I will say this: the cochlear implant surgery and its subsequent activation and therapy will provide this man with something so powerful- it will enable him to find the confidence to say, "You need to speak to me...and not my mother."

Photo: www.businesspundit.com

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Like Mother Like Daughter



How hot is my mom?!!

When I was a little girl, I was lucky. My mom shopped so much that her clothes didn't fit in her bedroom closet, so she took over mine. Heaven. Think Olivia Newton-John and the Grease outfit where she wears those really tight, black pants...my mom had them in gold and silver. When she would go to work, I would strut around the house in those gold pants like I was queen of Nemo Road. Okay, I also added her lace-up, patent-leather high-heeled sandals, her rhinestone-jeans material-square earrings and a lot...I mean a lot of blue eye shadow.

Once she caught me shaving my legs with her razor- I was about eight at the time. She wasn't too happy.

Niki and I were latch-key kids of divorced parents. We rode the bus home from school, opened the door, made ourselves a snack, did homework and waited for mom to come home. She was a real estate agent, so sometimes she would be home and sometimes not. One afternoon, Niki and I were home having our snack when someone tried to break in our house. They pounded on the first door, jiggled the handle and asked, "Hey is your mom home??"
I freaked. I dialed 484-9000, my mom's work number that I have engraved in my brain since that traumatic moment. She answered, freaked out more than me and said she was coming straight home- and NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR!!! She called the police from work. I was never so happy to see my mom as when she walked through that door ten minutes later.

When I was thirteen years old, there was a teen-party at the Hilton. I was DYING to go. I asked my mom and she said, "NO WAY!!!" I smiled, said, "Okay, Mom"- called my best friend Mara to ask if I could sleep over that night. She said, "Yes." So, Mara's mom took us to the teen-party at the Hilton. Um, my mom was slightly pissed off and grounded me. She didn't talk to Mara's mom for like four years.

My last year of middle school I was part of a dance company that toured shopping malls and high schools to perform shows. My mom had no doubt that I was going to be a professional dancer, so she convinced me to try out for the Baltimore School of Arts. I did a routine to "Thriller" (need I say more?)I was rejected... But the most important moment of that day, was when my mom took me out for our first mother-daughter lunch to some chic little Bistro-type place and we ate potato soup together...just the two of us. We talked.

I could go on and on, but I think I'll stop. Mom, you always complain that I only focus on the bad, difficult and ugly, but that isn't entirely true. If I only praised you all the time, you wouldn't keep working so hard to be the perfect mother.

*Smile*

I love you

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jordan's Back! He Brought Presents...


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I must be 1-800-Suffer. My last three calls have been from crying mothers who need a swift kick in the ass. I'm pretty sure I could use one too, actually. My iPod is the greatest cure for stress ever. I've said this before, but I never went through a grieving period when Jordan was diagnosed, I just went into action. Come to think of it, I have never truly let myself grieve for any really difficult moment in my life. I am grieving now for the first time and I have all of these horrifying sensations of fragility, weakness and suffering. I guess I'm human. It must be part of the growth process...growing pains. Luckily, I am surrounded by people who love me. I feel like an energy-sucker, but I have to help all of these other people who need to suck my energy. It's a vicious cycle.

The most beautiful part of support groups is when a mom who you've followed through painful moments, posts this:

I can't believe this happened!

I was sitting downstairs on the couch about an hour ago and I heard Miss Kat
messing around with something. I hollered at her and she walked downstairs and
asked me what I needed! Seriously?!? She heard ( and understood) that I said her
name and told her to "come here"?

Wow...


Love that Miss Kat's Mom!

The ups and downs are all part of difficult moments in life, it's maintaining an equilibrium and a sense of priorities that represent the greatest challenges.

*Working on that*

Strangely enough, it's Jordan who's helping me achieve that. Well, he went on his overnight hotel stay to Genova. I've been posting updates on facebook...so funny. He called from the bus, the concert, the aquarium, the hotel, the street...everywhere! Little man on the loose- have cell phone, will call.

He said, "Mamma, ti voglio bene!" (Mamma, I love you!) at least twenty times over the past two days. He kept me informed as to who was puking, who was crazy in the hotel and let me know (proud as hell) that he went to sleep at 1 am. Note: I've been teaching enough crazy Italians to know exactly what goes on on these field trips- two of my girls just went on an 8-day cruise to Greece as a school trip. Anyway, he returned home last night at 10:30 pm. with presents for all, another "I love you," and "goodnight!"

It's 10:03 am. and he's still sleeping.

I am so proud of that boy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Can't See, Can't Hear...Bedtime in your House??


Well...since I've had bed on the brain lately, I thought I'd address the argument. I left a post on the Italian forum discussing whether or not the fact that Jordan was born deaf could have caused the dreaded bedtime-I-refuse-to go to sleep-if I don't-twirl my mommy's hair issues, which led to five years of sharing the marital wrestling mat until finally we graduated from such a dilemma. But, the graduation process was fairly long and involved the procedure of:
1. Jordan lays down in his bed.
2. I lay down next to him.
3. Say prayers.
4. Finally...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Now, the process involves our cat Lola. (He can't stand Brie because she tends to pee in the bathroom during the night and Jordan never fails to step in it.)

He shoves Lola under the covers and I swear that cat does not move until he wakes up in the morning to prepare for school.

I was always of the opinion that bedtime meant not being able to see or hear, so that some form of tactile contact was reassuring.

Just curious to know if other parents have experienced the same issues.

*Happy Monday*

Saturday, May 2, 2009

She Loves Me...She Loves Me Not


I'm sitting here smearing orange marmalade on a loaf of seven grain bread, thinking about the day and appreciating the fact that I lived about twelve hours of sanity and a crepe with Nutella and vanilla ice-cream. Jordan's packed and ready to go. I won't be sleeping tomorrow night.

Saturday, I hung out with my surrogate little sister who I've been teaching since she was five years old. She's smarter than her English professor and unfortunately, knows it. Love that girl. I knew she was cool when all of the other little girls dressed up as princesses for Carnival and she came to class wearing a Ninja costume. Balls. When you have balls at five years old...look out!

So, when she told me that a guy she met at the gym sent her a love poem that he had created of his own spontaneous love and admiration for her, I looked at her and said, "Oh God, HE DIDN'T!!" She said, "Oh yeah, he did." Poor guy never had a shot. There are some girly girls who love romantic poetry, live in lahdeedah land and allow purple dreamy clouds to cover their eyes...and then, there are girls like us. Although, I, at least, would have said, "Thank you, that was so sweet!" She said nothing. Nothing. Poor guy.

Some guys...men, know all the right things to say, are capable of juggling four women in a single night and still look in the mirror at the end of the day to flex their muscles. Other guys...MEN, take risks, and listen to a woman because they really want to know her and what makes her happy. Rare.

I was talking to my friend last week about relationships and love. He has been single for a while and always says he wants to meet a woman he can talk to, go to a movie with and have wild sex with, who will go home without being asked. I think that once you are used to living alone and juggling four women, having the freedom to choose whether to be in company or not becomes too much of a commodity to risk exchanging for a healthy, normal, functional relationship.

So, maybe Luca was right when he said that a thirty-eight year old woman has more of a chance of being blown up by a terrorist than ever finding love again.

*Nah*

Friday, May 1, 2009

Jordan = Mr. Independence


I can't believe the last time I posted was on Monday. Must really be in a crisis situation. Anyway...Jordan's growing up and becoming independent. He still drives me crazy, but he seems to be driving me less and less crazy.

On Thursdays he has guitar lessons at 2:00 and finishes school at 1, so Luca usually takes him to lunch for an hour. I have to pick Sofia up from school at 1 o'clock, so it's a little difficult to be in two places at the same time. Yesterday, Luca couldn't take care of Jordan, so I told Jordan to leave school at 1, walk to the pizzeria where we always eat and I would meet him there at 1:30 with Sofia. That requires a three minute walk to the centre of Grosseto. You know, crossing streets, being responsible...walking into the pizza place to order food- the basic stuff a person takes for granted.

*But I don't take these things for granted*

These are the moments when I realize how far Jordan has come from our first audiological appointment when we got those hearing aids...how independent he has become and how Monday morning when I drop him off at school at 6:15 am for his first class field trip: a six hour bus ride and an overnight stay in a hotel with 27 other middle school students- I can be calm, relaxed and serene...

AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!