Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Sofia Madyson!!!!!!!!!!

Sofia Madyson's last night as a five year old princess...

Her first morning as a six year old star!

Here is a poem for the royal love of my life who made friends with a lady named Rosy when she accidentally dialed the wrong number while calling my mother-in-law...

The Farmer and the Queen
by Shel Silverstein

"She's coming," the farmer said to the owl.
"Oh, what shall I, what shall I do?
Shall I bow when she comes?
Shall I twiddle my thumbs?"
The owl said, "Who?"

"The Queen, the Queen, the royal Queen-
She'll pass the farm today.
Shall I salute?" he asked the horse.
The horse said, "Nay."

"Shall I give her a gift?" he asked the wren.
"A lovely memento for her to keep?
An egg or a peach or an ear of corn?"
The wren said, "Cheap."

"But should I curtsy or should I cheer?
Oh, here's her carriage now.
What should I do?" he asked the dog.
The dog said, "Bow."

And so he did, and so she passed,
Oh, tra lala lala,
"She smiled, she did!" he told the sheep.
The sheep said, "Bah."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Jill C. Wood...

Fuck. I met Jill through the yahoo support group Listen Up, where she amazed me with her commitment to helping mothers find resources and psychological support during their times of crisis raising deaf children. She had a no bullshit, kick ass disposition and way of helping parents that snapped them to attention and empowered them. She was raising two incredible children Katie and Ian, deaf, who will attend the University to become an audiologist.

This was one of the first posts Jill wrote in response to one of my cries for help:
..But that is also due to our home philosophy on life. Everyone is
different and has his/her own strengths. Everyone has something that they work to overcome, that they learn to cope with in life. We appreciate people for their differences, how they can make us look at things from a different perspective. Different is not a bad thing in our house, we actually revel in being a bit different.

But noticing that you're the only kid with hearing aids, or that
you have something different that other's can perceive as a bad thing --
that's another issue. That can be a painful realization, depending on how the other kids are
treating you. Is he getting grief from anyone?

Kids never picked on my son for his hearing loss or aids, but a few did treat him with a kind of charity case attitude and he hated that. So, he ignored them. When he was in middle school and on an IEP, he was required to take his study halls in the resource room ("where the dummies go") even though he didn't need the services. But he didn't complain, even though he got some grief from a few "idiots" about having to go to the resource room. My son didn't need the remedial help that the other kids did, so instead he worked
with them to help them with their work.

In that setting he learned a level of empathy that he wouldn't have any other way. He made friends with some kids he would not have met otherwise. He learned to appreciate them for the things he finds important -- a sense of humor being a big one. And he also learned that when you hang together with friends, the bullies don't usually bother to pick on you.

My son knows he's different, that he's been given special challenges. For his annual checkup there is now a form that he fills out. One of the questions is if he could change one thing about his life, what would it be? His answer was similar. He said as far as he's concerned he's had a perfect childhood, but if he could change one thing, it would be to restore his hearing. Each time he fills it out he asks me if it's okay to write that. And I tell him it's perfectly honest, therefore it is okay.
He's afraid it might sound like he is depressed about his loss. I said no, it shows that he has adjusted to it, but is honest about it as well.

And yet, this year, given the chance to restore that hearing, he passed on it. The risks were too high and he is happy as he is. I know that sometimes hefeels isolated, sometimes he feels like the rest of the world gets a joke and he's missed the punch line. But I think that pretty much describes any kid, any adolescent. Realizing you're different isn't necessarily a bad thing.
It's if he feels like he is not as good or that his hearing loss somehow makes him less than the rest of the kids, then I'd be concerned.

He has usually been the only aided kid around. One of his best friends is a wonderful artist who stutters. Another is a cancer survivor who's rather small due to being ill so much of his life. All of his friends are "different" in some way, and yet none of those things is necessarily "bad" --
just different. And they all have different strengths along with their
weaknesses. That's what we've always pointed out, and he's taken it to heart. That's
been our goal on this topic.

Best -- Jill (who sounds like something out of a self-help
magazine, LOL)

About a year ago she announced that she had a very aggressive form of breast cancer. I loved her and admired her, so I sent her a couple of packages of Italian scarves. She sent me some Easter candy that arrived in July. I thanked her in November and apologetically told her I was going through some difficult times with my family. I never heard back from her after that email...I thought she was mad that I never thanked her.

On December 22nd, one of the most difficult days I'd passed this year, I went to my mailbox and found a package from her. I opened it. A pack of Halloween candy corn Autumn Mix. It's downstairs on my kitchen table as I'm writing this. I started crying, sobbing when I opened that package. Sometimes when you are feeling desperately alone, trying to figure out what the hell to do with your life, help comes from the strangest places. I got distracted by life and didn't send an email to let her know how much I appreciated receiving that package...

Five minutes ago, I opened an email from my friend in Germany, another mom Jill had helped...Jill died December 26th, apparently she had never told anyone how quickly her condition had deteriorated.

"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must announce that Jill
Wood passed away on December 26, 2008. While we all must grieve, please
remember that Jill would not want us to be sad, but would much prefer we
laugh and smile at what her life was, rather than what ours is now missing.
Make a witty toast in Jill's honor, smile at one of her outrageous stories,
and know that she loved us all. Our attention must now turn to defeating
this horrible disease, Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The MD Anderson Cancer
Center at University of Texas has the first IBC clinic and is doing all of
the cutting-edge research on this. The main website is, search for their IBC clinic and research, and make a donation there. Jill's husband has also asked for donations to be made instead of flowers to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer at Thank you all for being such a wonderful support system for Jill. I know she loves all of us and is watching over us now. God Bless You All.

Thanks Jill...

With Love,

PS. See Karen Putz's post...

New Year's Resolution:To Become the PERFECT Mamma

If there were ever a moment to get all gushy, teary-eyed and thankful for the world-wide support I have received this year, now would be the time. But, see, I found some cute lil photos that kind of put me in another kind of, on with my New Year's Resolutions:

1. Get lots and lots of exercise!


2. Clean the house and do the laundry on a daily basis!


3. Perform odd jobs around the house.


4. Travel...definitely a lot of travelling!


5. Remember to take time to stop and smell the roses.


6. Take really good care of my car...


7. And of course, my husband...(and the environment!)


8. Never turn my back on a friend.


9. Remind my children every single day that they have the world at their feet!


10. Get the damn book made into a movie! Debbie, help me!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Great Debate: Black or Red?

Screw what I said in the last post.
1. I have never been one to miss a party.
2. Tomorrow is Sofia Madyson's 6th Birthday!!!
3. My friend invited me to spend New Year's Eve at the Scala in Milan.
4. Friends with kidlings invited us to spend New Year's Eve at their Farmhouse.
5. I'll have to visit the Scala another's Sofia Madyson's BIRTHDAY!!!
6. I have a dog that looks like a sheep, so we'll fit right in.
7. It's a tradition here in Italy for all people to wear red undergarments on New Year's Eve.
8. After spending a half an hour in Intimissimo, I opted for sheer black with sequins...Shh! That's a secret.
9. I spent an hour and a half freezing my ass off with Brie..Nothin'!
10. Thirty seconds after I brought Brie back in the house, I hear Sofia screaming, "Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy!"

Your Song . Moulin Rouge - Ewan McGregor

Monday, December 29, 2008

Just Swallow It

I knew what was coming as I drove Sofia home from a party at Kid Planet last night. Those ball pits are lethal and as predicted,three hours later, Sofia was screaming with ear pain. So, she downed a couple of teaspoons of kid's Motrin and snoozed away with Brie in her arms. Precious. Ok. I cannot tell a lie, I gave her a couple of eardrops that had expired in 2006, but what was I supposed to do in the face of her cries of desperation and agony? I'll probably get thrown off of Wellsphere for admitting to such a high crime. *smile* She survived.

I think I may explode after the amount of holiday food I've eaten over the past five days. We went to Luca's cousin's podere yesterday for a bbq and took Brie. By miracle she peed outside but only because when we arrived at their house, she was greeted by a bulldog, and two other gigantic dogs. Poor Brie. If Lola has a licking fetish, Brie runs through the house with my panties in her mouth. Could anyone be NORMAL in this insane house??

Luca took Lola to get spayed this morning and the vet, a friend of mine, called me to say Lola was growling. I told her to protect her nose and good luck to her. Hmm. New Year's Eve is just around the corner. After the year I just passed, I'm cooking up some frozen pizza, chugging a bottle of spumante, throwing on my sweats and curling up with a book and Brie...and if we're four in the bed- the more the merrier!


(I had to bring him back *smile*)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Lil Bit of Hot Chocolate!

Hmm. Of course I decide to get a dog the coldest day of the year here in Grosseto. For the past three days, Brie has peed and pooped all over the house and Luca just smiles and indicates the spot for me to clean. Brie is SO damn cute and cuddly, I don't even mind becoming the human pooper scooper. I've always thought that dogs look just like their owners, take my mom for example, she has a yorkie and I swear they are twins. Well, I now know that I am a poodle, interesting. I'd always thought I was a Labrador.

Christmas went well, Sofia and Jordan had fun. Jordan hasn't left his spot in front of his Nintendo Wii and Sofia hasn't left Brie, whose white fur is now fuscia thanks to Sofia's choice in lip color. After freezing our butts off all day, we just took a walk to the bar for a hot chocolate. Whenever I go for a hot chocolate I think of my old roommate Wendi who established code word "Hot Chocolate" every time she wanted me to evacuate the room for, you know, stuff. Those were the days...

I have somewhat of kind of sort of exciting news. My dad submitted a screenplay of RALLY CAPS to a movie screenplay competition and out of thousands of screenplays submitted, we're one of the finalists...CROSS YOUR FINGERS!!!! Go Dad!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Introducing Brie!!!!!!! God Help Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! *SMILE*

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


One hour ago, I received a phone call from a pediatrician who works at the hospital in Grosseto. He requested information regarding the cochlear implant for the family of a newly diagnosed two month old baby.

Four months ago, my pediatrician and I began collaborating on a project involving Newborn Hearing Screening during which time he began collecting information from other pediatricians throughout the Tuscan Region to determine how many birthing hospitals actually performed the screening. Prior to this investigation, the hospital of Grosseto did not perform the screening. One week later, they began doing the screening. Two months later, this baby was diagnosed. Had the hospital not begun implementing the Newborn Hearing Screening program, who knows when this baby would have been diagnosed as being deaf?


Btw, people are still commenting (123 and going strong) on the post from Sunday, December 14th, feel free to join in the fun...we've had a couple of beers, a cup of cappuccino and MM is giving me an education! Lol.

Monday, December 22, 2008


This song is following me. Wherever I go, the radio blasts this freaking song. So.
New Year's Resolutions:
1. Buy black leotard.
2. Learn dance moves of song.
3. Get that groove thang goin' again...

Friday, December 19, 2008

99 Comments: The Cochlear Implant

You know...I don't have the energy. And I couldn't have said anything any better than the incredible people who left the comments, so...Enjoy! Click Here.
Have a great weekend!!!

When the Going Gets Tough...The Tough Grow

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hey Bush-I'll Shoe You!!!

I swear I just spit my grilled chicken salad all over the table! (Damn, he's got some nice moves!)


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deaf Community Phased Out?? My Reply to Drolz:)

Drolz said...
Hi Jodi,

Aw, thanks so much! I really appreciate your kind comments! :)

Even though our kids are using different approaches, there are just so many parallels in their experiences (and the way we pull our hair out over them LOL).

Related to that last entry: I contacted my son's school district to see if there was a way to get all the signing deaf/hoh kids together for a monthly event or something just to see that they're not the only ones working hard to get by as the only deaf kid in their respective schools.

The response I got floored me. They said that thanks to digital hearing aids, FM systems and cochlear implants, "the need for ASL and interpreters has decreased significantly."

Whew! I have such mixed emotions. On the one hand if the auditory-verbal / CI kids are really doing that great, then more power to them. (If not, then that's a whole 'nother discussion.)

On the other hand, I used to groan when some people accused the CI industry of trying to eradicate Deaf culture - and ironically, now that I'm having a hard time finding signing kids who are just like Darren, it really does feel like we're being phased out. It suuuuucks.

Am really in the dumps over this - am thinking of all the deaf clubs, the deaf performing artists, the great experiences at Gallaudet/NTID, etc, and am wondering if all of that will soon be a thing of the past.

I highly value your opinion as I see that Jordan, too, is one of a kind in his school just as Darren is over here. Do you feel the school district's assessment is correct? Are these kids really doing that great? Or will they be going through the "Met Deaf, Wow!" phenomenon later on (seeing how numerous students with CIs still choose to attend Gallaudet or NTID instead of a hearing college)? What are your thoughts? Would love to get a perspective from a parent as opposed to a school district or medical profession.

Many thanks and keep up with your inspiring posts!

All the best,

Dear Drolz, (Have you noticed that I LOVE your last name!!??)

Jamie Berke and other bloggers on have been posting about the "Phase-Out" for as long as I've been here. Yes, the CI Community is growing stronger and the shift is becoming greater-in the beginning, when Rachel was being accomodated, I'm sure Melissa found herself to be in a position where you are currently with Darren. Yet she fought and fought to have her child's needs met just like you are doing with Darren.

You know better than most parents how important it is for Darren to see other children living his experiences and difficulties. And, as we know, you are more sensitive than most, so I am positive that you will find a way to organize this meeting. Yes, Jordan is doing well because there is a person in the classroom with him who is well aware of his needs as are ALL of his teachers. In the beginning, one teacher asked me, "Could he become potentially violent?" And so the education process began *smile*. Two years later, his teachers understand his personality and they help him to meet his own needs. Now, if he gets tired from the chaos in the classroom, he is allowed to leave the room for some silence until he feels ready to come back inside. If there is a particularly difficult concept to be studied, his support teacher outlines the important aspects, and Jordan takes home the outline to study it more thoroughly. Don't think that kids flip on their processors and suddenly all is well. Just as you are working for Darren, so are we the moms of CI KIDS. Just read Val's blog and you will understand her daily experiences.

There will always be a need for the Deaf Community, despite the fact that Yes, CI kids are doing "that great." However, there are many CI kids that are not doing "Great enough." They will need the Deaf Community. The Deaf Community is evolving, at least by what I read on, it seems to be. I know this is only a small representation, but I believe it's fairly indicative.

Once people become more aware and convinced of the fact that ASL should not be a requirement for membership, the CI Community-that is growing, and the Deaf Community will merge and become stronger. Sounds like a bunch of idealistic crap *smile*, but it kind of has to happen.

I am convinced that Jordan will become a part of the Deaf Community when he gets older, not because of NEED, but because of curiosity and common experiences. Sometimes we don't realize that a part of us is missing until we find it.

Hugs to ya, Drolzy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

FEELING the Christmas Spirit!


I think my blog-snow may be melting!

If You Haven't Got Anything Nice To Say: Shut up!

Hmm. Yesterday, I would have liked to have ripped a guy a new ***hole, but I generously (and miraculously) controlled myself. There was kind of a "situation" on a support group yesterday. Support groups exist to offer support, not to preach YOUR point of takes just a little bit of tact, even the smallest bit of tact to get your point across. I tried and I mean I REALLY tried to give the person the benefit of the doubt that the harsh effect of what this person was saying was due to the email format. BUT...I'm getting sick and tired of giving people the benefit of the doubt when they flat out don't deserve it. And if someone touches a hyper-sensitive, concerned, trying-to-do-the-best-thing-for-my-kid-at-Christmas Mom,I get aggressive...especially after reading Val's post about Gage:((. Think it was a Venus - Mars thing.

Anyway, Mavi, my twelve year old music pimpette told me to download the new Katy Perry it!

Seen on bendecho

Katy Perry - Hot N Cold Lyrics

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes
Yeah you, PMS
Like a bitch
I would know

And you over think
Always speak

I should know
That you’re no good for me

Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
We fight, we break up
We kiss, we make up
(you) You don’t really want to stay, no
(but you) But you don’t really want to go-o
You’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down

We used to be
Just like twins
So in sync
The same energy
Now’s a dead battery
Used to laugh bout nothing
Now your plain boring

I should know that
you’re not gonna change


Someone call the doctor
Got a case of a love bi-polar
Stuck on a roller coaster
Can’t get off this ride

You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes


Friday, December 12, 2008

HEADS UP: MRIs and CIs- NY Times Article

Posted to the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle by a Mom

Hazards: Scanners Can Damage Hearing Implants

Published: December 8, 2008
People who have cochlear implants should avoid newer models of M.R.I. machines, which can damage their hearing devices irreparably, researchers say.

Demagnetization of cochlear implants and temperature changes in 3.0T MRI environment (Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery)The machines in question are known as 3T scanners and are much more powerful than early versions. The problem is they can demagnetize an important component of the implants. The study, led by Dr. Omid Majdani of Vanderbilt University, appears in the December issue of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.

Unlike other hearing aids, which can be easily removed, cochlear implants are put in surgically. They are used by more than 100,000 people, and as 3T scans become more common, the issue is likely to become more important, the researcher said.

Magnets are used in the implants to allow them to be connected through the skin to a processor. They are also used in magnetic resonance imaging, as the name implies.

For the study, researchers placed a variety of implant magnets in an M.R.I. in different positions and for different lengths of time. They found that demagnetization was common at some angles. To their surprise, they also found that they were unable to fully remagnetize them by changing their position in the scanner.

More Articles in Health » A version of this article appeared in print on December 9, 2008, on page D6 of the New York edition.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


1. I'm stuck home with two sick kids.
2. Sofia claimed the computer to watch Winx The Movie for the first half of the morning. (I generously donated it because I love her and feeling guilty is part of my nature)
3. The electricity went out for the second half of the morning, so I was stuck home with two bored, sick kids in the dark.
4. I have stress-related adult acne-never had a damn zit in my life.
5. Luca just got home and informed me that I have a flat tire.
6. Have I mentioned that it has been STORMING-LIGHTNING-THUNDERING for the past week and that the river by my house has flooded the bridge?
Summary: If you hear about some American lunatic in Tuscany who threw her kids out the window and robbed a car, you'll know it was me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bilingual and Misinterpreted

Here is my new blog: From Parents to Parents: Let's Address Issues in Deafness Together...Feeling frustrated...AGAIN! It is SO UNCOMPLICATED to blog in English, my native tongue...Italian has to be the most complicated language, and I MUST write using it. I am dependent on my husband to translate all of my words and thoughts, totally dependent. We often fight during the translating because he wants to manipulate the language to make it grammatically correct, when I intentionally don't want it to be grammatically correct because I LOSE MY QUIRKINESS when I am grammatically correct.

*Is this what if feels like when you use an interpreter?? Is the interpreter able to truly convey the proper messages both to you and by you??*

English is comfortable, I can play with words, create images based on common experience, use goofy language in a way that readers know I am being goofy and when I write in my own language, I AM MYSELF.

I have never had a problem using my tongue, I've even managed to become bilingual, but saying it and writing it are two entirely different things. Although, I must say, I find the whole endeavor veramente eccitante!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gotta Love Baltimore, Hon!

I live for facebook. My old boyfriend wrote me the nicest messages, I found three cousins, two elementary school friends and one Italian colleague this week. It's been a successful week aside from the fact that my computer blew up and my husband had to save my butt, once again. Anyway, my friend who I was pregnant with about a hundred years ago sent me this little thingy about Baltimore and it is SPECTACULAR!
(and SO true! Keep in mind, I left before we became the murder capital of the world)
1. You could pick crabs before you could walk.

2. From snow to hurricanes to heat waves, you've seen every kind of weather imaginable.

3. 695 gets you everywhere.

4. You stress the "Oh" in the U.S. National Anthem.(Always)

5. It's "DC", not "Washington"; "Hopkins", not "Johns Hopkins", and "goin' downa' ocean" means you're off to Ocean City, Bethany, or Rehoboth. (Here in Grosseto, we go to the "Sea." It just ain't right)

6. You've had relatives imprisoned at Ft. McHenry.

7. Half your high school graduating class went to College Park.(including me)

8. The opening of a Wegman's was the greatest thing to happen to your city in ten years. (My mom is a die-hard Wegman's fan and my cousin has been known to go just to escape from bathing his kids)

9. You put Old Bay on everything.(Note: Old Bay came with me to Italy!)

10. You hate the Yankees, the Steelers, and especially the Colts.

11. The murder rate is higher than the graduation rate.

12. You can go 1 inch beyond the city line and know that you're out of the city.

13. You don't wash your clothes, you "warsh" them.

14. You can pronounce "Havre de Grace." (Not the French way, the Baltimore way.)

15. You've gotten lost and ended up in the projects.

16. You know that The Power Plant is not for the production of electricity. (I have this image of Ira Garonzik and Warren Alperstein "Doin' the Wop!" GOD was the Power Plant FUN!)

17. You're pissed off that we have to share our only airport with DC (I mean, don't they already have 2?)

18. You remember when the Orioles were good.

19. You say "wuder", not "water".

20. On September 11, when you heard terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, you thought they meant the tower by the Harbor.

21. You know where to get the best crabs, crab cakes, and crab soup.

22. You eat snowballs, not throw them. (Amen)

23. Cal Ripken was your childhood hero.

24. You're considered a Southerner when visiting New England, and you're a Yankee when visiting the South.

25. Distance is measured in minutes.(I try to explain this to Italians, they just DON'T GET IT!)

26. You know when to avoid the Bay Bridge. (I refuse to drive over the Bay Bridge)

27. Every one of your parents' childhood memories revolves around a Colts game.

28. A Berger is not something you grill. (Would DIE for a Berger cookie!)

29. Your Senator's website features a recipe for crabcakes.

30. You can spot a Baltimore accent immediately.

31. You watch a John Waters or Barry Levinson movie and recognize someone.(Always)

32. Artscape is the event of the season.

33. Five homicides is a good day for your town.

34. Lacrosse ain't no city in Wisconsin. (It's a Pikesville thang!)

35. School is out when there's an inch of snow, but when you can't get out of your driveway you somehow have to go.

36. You know what Natty Boh is. (Never drank Natty Boh-it's a Pikesville thing lol)

37. The idea of crabs without Old Bay makes you sick.

38. You think living 45 minutes from the nation's capital, 1.5 hours from Philadelphia, and 3.5 hours from New York City is the greatest thing in the world.

39. You think HBO's "The Wire" isn't violent enough.

40. Your car has a bumper sticker that says "BLIEVE HON"

41. The Washington Monument in your city is not a white obelisk.

42. You go to The Fudgery at The Harborplace just to hear singing.

43. You didn't realize that horses race at Preakness.

(funny, I don't remember Preakness lol)

44. You leave the U.S. and people ask you where you're from, you reply "near Washington" to avoid confusion. (ALWAYS in Italy, NO ONE EVER knows where Baltimore is LOCATED!)

45. You love your city and share this group with all your friends from Baltimore.

Re: Drolz-Train Gone

God I've missed you, Drolzy! And I almost completely missed your post despite the fact that your blog is listed on my blogs-to-watch list-got so used to seeing NO ACTIVITY for the past three months-it's about damn time! LOVE reading your posts, especially when you post about your son's experiences. My child just like yours is living his life as a deaf individual, just under different circumstances, I guess based above all on parental choice.

Yet, when they go to school, they have no parent to hold their hand, to smack their ass or to hug them. Your child is "onestreamed" as the only deaf child with an interpreter. My child is "onestreamed" as the only deaf child with a cochlear implant in a class of 29 monsters-luckily 20 are girls. Adaptation. Not an easy concept or even a fair concept to have to learn. I try to facilitate my son's life in the classroom by providing him with bimodal hearing, an fm system, a support teacher. You breathe down the school's backs to ensure that your son has an interpreter who meets his needs.


There's still that damn "train gone" concept. The important thing is that we don't throw our kids on the tracks...and sometimes, I feel like I do. Unfortunately, not even adding ASL (LIS) to his repertoire would improve the situation.

Desperate American Mamma...with a great deal of faith in my son


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Real Perfect Man

Luca and I spent like two hours having this outrageous discussion. First, he pissed me off because he said that divorced women over the age of 34 are as likely to remarry as they are of being attacked by a Kamikazee. Then, the conversation improved. One of his best lines, aside from "All men should hang clothes...(hmm. not helpin' you with that one)" was the following: "Vagina + Brains= A Complete Meal." He did however add that the two should function independently and NOT together. Interesting.

So, the conversation ensued and we began going down the list of our friends to decide who in fact was a strong combination of the two.


I started...Penis + Brains + Money (Brad Pitt) would, in fact, be the Complete Meal for a woman.

We went through the list of our guy friends (I did) and destroyed just about everyone. Basically, 99% of my close girlfriends are SO a combo of vagina and brains, especially my best friend Julie. As far as the men are concerned...need I remind you that I'm living in Italy?

Now...the real question is - Barack Obama? Whaddya think?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I'm trying to figure out if I want to talk about the Black Priest from Brussels with two deaf sisters who just happened to sit next to Luca and me at dinner last night to talk about how the high rate of divorce and working mothers has led to the destruction of today's children or the guy who let me through the check-out line to purchase my pads even though he had already closed the line. When I told him he was such a sensitive guy and that this was truly an E*M*E*R*G*E*N*C*Y situation, he called me a flirt and smiled. Then he handed me a bag for my pads and I ran out of the supermarket to the nearest bathroom. Always happens like that...go figure.

Night Night from Tuscany.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Every Wall is a Door"

Today on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle a mother left one of the most heart-wrenching posts I've ever read. I didn't ask the mother for permission to post what she wrote, because it was just not the type of post to do so...

The post had to do with what a parent does when she realizes that the cochlear implant is not working for her child for medical reasons. It is in these particular cases that one really and truly appreciates the Deaf Community, Deaf culture and the fact that ASL exists and is such an expressive language.

One of the mothers responded by quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson..."Every wall is a door."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

RE: A Deaf Family's CI Journey

The recent CI CIRCLE NEWS blog post submitted by an Anonymous Deaf Parent of a Deaf child with a CI, who uses both ASL and English clearly addresses the preoccupations and concerns parents face when deciding for the cochlear implant. Her words go one step further in describing the additional trauma involved in making that decision when you are a Deaf parent member of the Deaf Community.

She writes:

I would rather give him a choice to either continue using or stop using the CI in the future when he’s old enough to make those types of decisions, rather than him wishing he’d gotten a CI as a child when he may have had an easier time learning to listen and speak. So I started to research CIs since we felt we had only two options for him - Option#1: CI for spoken English and ASL, Option#2: no CI, ASL only. We learned that today’s cochlear implants are much more advanced and safer technology with high reliability than ever before.

...I found the CICircle parent support group on the Cochlear Americas website and joined that group. I learned a lot of new things from the group and was very surprised to hear many success stories of deaf children with CIs. I was concerned that most of those children didn't use sign language or ASL. I later learned that they didn't need it, because they were able to speak and hear well, nearly like typical hearing children. However, I still felt that they should use ASL or at least some sign language because they would have to remove the CI during shower/bath, sleep, swimming, illness, CI failure, CI external device loss, etc. I feel like ASL/sign language would be very beneficial for deaf children starting at birth for full access to language until they receive a CI and catch up in spoken language. They could either continue signing or stop, depending on their progress of spoken language. That is just my personal opinion and I do respect all the parents’ decisions if they have researched the options for their deaf children.

I sincerely hope that one day, Deaf parents opting for the ci for their children will no longer feel the need to remain anonymous. And, I am certain that day is approaching much quicker than anyone would have ever imagined.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Facebook Drama

This morning I opened my emails and saw that my first boyfriend (who my mom always called Opey Taylor) found me on Facebook. Memory overload. Seriously...laughing uncontrollably. So, I kind of went through this thought process: Wonder what he looks like? Is he bald, fat, or worse...miraculously HOT!!??!! Twenty-five years later, I flip to his profile...AND-
EXACTLY THE SAME. I MEAN EXACTLY THE SAME. How do you not change one little bit in 25years??? Same language-I read what he wrote to his friends, same hair, same style, same everything. He was always a really nice guy. We played rotissary baseball together, ate crabs and really good chinese food and made out on the benches of Camp Milldale in front of everyone. (My mom found out and called me a slut)

Anyway...that was the shock of the morning. Then, I went to visit Val on her blog and found out she thinks I have a foul mouth. Bullshit.

Moreover, my little students aren't so little anymore. The 12 year old girl who kicked my butt in Scrabble is so over Zac Effron, has a boyfriend, chats for 5 hours a day on MSN and has been spotted making out in front of her middle school by her best friend's father. Scandal in Grosseto.

Then, my adorable Middle School Group is now my freaking insane High School Group and one of the stallions has a cell phone that constantly beeps and vibrates during the lesson-annoys the hell out of me. So, I confiscate it every lesson, stick it under my butt and dance everytime it vibrates.

*Curious me*
Flips open his cellphone everytime it vibrates and I found something so completely revolutionary...
You see, in Italy, everyone has the same name-they are either Francesca, Irene, Alessandra, Benedetta, Claudia, Martina...etc- so, how is a hormonal High School teen supposed to keep all of his women straight???

He gives each one a nickname:
Irene Hot
Irene Big Boobs
Irene Homework
Martina Old
Martina New

My personal favorite: My Love
Get my point??? Do people do that in the States?? Categorize their women or men? Actually, the concept is rather interesting.

Hope y'all had a nice, long nap after the turkey....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey, Stuffing, Sweet Potato Pie...AHHHHHHHHH!

While Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks...some of us are used to giving thanks on a daily basis.

(love these boys!)

Enjoy your families...and the turkey!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Re: Mishka...Deaf Culture-Deaf Community??

In Mishka's post Against ASL and Deaf Culture, Karen Mayes Says:

I really don’t have a problem with ASL (we use it predominately at home) and Deaf Culture. In fact, it is fun and comfortable, but I am not 100% involved due to having two children mainstreamed in public schools and my husband working at a hearing company. I just go on my life, not thinking about Deaf Culture, etc, just like most of people just living. Deaf culture is really part of Deaf community, nothing more, as well as oral deaf people, CI deaf people, Cued Speaking deaf, late deafened, etc, just being part of Deaf community.
It all comes down to finding one’s comfort zone and one’s journey to find a sense of belonging.

It's taken me a year, but I now understand the difference between Deaf Culture and Deaf Community....I think.

Can you have liberal views regarding CIs, oral methodologies and cued speech if you are a part of Deaf Culture??

Is Deaf Culture the radical, anti-anyone-who-doesn't-use-ASL branch of the Deaf Community?

If I make a statement that the Deaf Community is becoming more open-minded towards the CI Community, is that true or false?

PS. I gave a presentation on Saturday to a group of Speech Therapists at a Cochlear Implant Course, and I asked Jordan to help me by making a video. After about ten attempts we finally got one right...(okay, we are in the bathroom-no damn light in my house!)
Fly Attack
La Mosca

Take Two:

Finally...(In Italian)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Okay, I dropped Sofia off for school late as usual, sat down for a relaxing cup of cappuccino with my friends and turned on my cell phone. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFf**********CK! My credit card company offers a feature where they send you a text message for every purchase you make over 50 euros, um, there was a text message for the amount of 1031.75 euros ON MY CELL PHONE. There was another attempt at a purchase for 576 euros that was denied one hour later- denied because my credit card works like a Most Card and I have a pre-established monthly limit on my card. IN YOUR FACE!

Both purchases were made at Best Buy- one in Compton and the other attempt, one hour later in Lakewood. Apparently the assholes were in the market for some ELECTRONICS!


So, as I was sleeping peacefully having sweet dreams as always right here in ITALY, some ASSHOLE was using my cloned credit card in the USA.


What did I do this morning? I ran from the bank to the police, back to the bank, back to the police and back to the bank to deal with this situation, because in ITALY, you can't just make a freakin' phone call to resolve this shit, you have to do LEGWORK. This country is SO frustrating. I think it's been resolved, I'll let you know when I get my credit card statement.

I have no time to deal with this stuff, I have A THOUSAND things to do...

Hope y'all have a GREAT DAY!

BTW, had I received the message in the middle of the night, I could have blocked the credit card immediately, then when the ASSHOLES tried to make the second purchase...STOLEN CARD would have registered and they would have been ARRESTED!

Well, I do have the exact time and location they made the purchase in BOTH locations, if there are videocameras in the store-and I'm sure BEST BUY has video cameras, shouldn't they be able to NAIL THE ASSHOLES, anyway??????

Not if the info is coming from Italy, the USA will receive it the first of never.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Riddle...(Hey Candy-This One's For You!)

FYI, for those of you keeping score, this would be blog post number three of the day...but I HAD to post this...(my mom sent this one!)


'I like Obama's tan - and Naomi Campbell's'

Kellyanne from Australia just sent me this article...yet another fine example of how Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, just DOESN'T GET IT! Slammed in Australia!

From correspondents in Rome
November 24, 2008 01:12am

ITALY'S Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has brushed aside international outrage from earlier this month to make reference once again to US president-elect Barack Obama's "suntan".

He told ANSA news agency his initial remark was intended as a "compliment", adding that he is equally "envious" of black supermodel Naomi Campbell.

"My compliment to Barack is a little envious," said Mr Berlusconi, who had what he described as a "long, cordial" telephone conversation with the new occupant of the White House - instigated by Obama - on November 7.

"We would all like to be tanned like Naomi Campbell and Obama," said the self-made billionaire, who sports a permanent tan, during a press conference in Pescara, Italy.

Italian-born French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy was so outraged at Berlusconi's initial comment about Obama being "young, handsome and even tanned" she said she was "happy" to have "become French".

This video is a remix of Berlusconi's famous words regarding Obama..."Perchè è giovane, e bello e anche abbronzato."
"Because he's young, handsome and also TAN!!!" (Unbelievable.)

in yet another fine example of political correctness, Berlusconi plays Peek-a-Boo with German Prime Minister Angela Merkel...(Crazy Italians!)

Rainy Day Here in Tuscany...

And it's cold as hell...

Sofia Madyson and her grandma went for a walk in the center a couple of days ago. They stopped in front of a jewelry store, because Sofia wanted to look at the Bling. Her grandmother said, "Sofia, these are diamonds and they aren't for little girls. One day, you will take your prince here and choose a beautiful ring together."
Sofia looked at her grandma and said, "No, Nonna, my prince will come here all by himself, choose the perfect ring for me...and SURPRISE me with it. Then, I will kiss him."
My daughter is so INTELLIGENT!
*Just like her Mamma*

Friday, November 21, 2008


I'm procrastinating. I'm giving a presentation tomorrow at a Cochlear Implant Course for Speech Therapists in Pisa- I need to study my presentation, and I'm procrastinating.

Ok. My husband called me spoiled. I don't think I'm spoiled. I hang clothes on a clothesline and come from Pikesville for crying out loud. My mom is still in shock over the whole thing...twelve years later.

My husband says I'm never satisfied with what I have.(or maybe it was my mom who said that...and I am conscious of the fact that I have a lot...I am surrounded by people who love me) In Italian there's a saying that goes, "Chi si accontenta...gode." Which translates into "Who is able to settle for whatever situation they may be in...enjoys it." Deep. Not me. I mean I'm deep, but I can't just "settle for anything."

Let's take SEX for example. Would you settle for mediocre sex? Even if you love your husband...would you settle for lame SEX? (Fortunately, this has never been an issue)

How about your job?
Sometimes we get so in a rutt that we don't even realize we are in a miserable situation until we wake up and decide to evolve.

What happens when we realize that we are unhappy in a given situation and are impotent to change that situation? How do we react?

Life is full of compromises and complications, but aboveall choices.

My dad decided he'd had enough. He worked over twenty-five years at the same job, and one fine day said STOP. He sold his home in Baltimore, organized his finances and moved to Florida...probably saved his life. (and I'm kind of happy having a place to stay in Florida)

Revolutionary move. He didn't settle for his daily grind...he evolved. I'm proud to say my Dad has balls.

We could have settled for the hearing aids and the input Jordan was getting. Had we settled for those hearing aids, my son would not be the calm, serene, affectionate child he has become.

And I am not spoiled, I have great expectations...every single day is an evolution.

Although...I do greatly appreciate being spoiled *smile*