Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blue Ice-Cream for Lunch

I spent the last beach day with my girlfriend and my girl.
At a certain point a bee decided to bless us with its presence.
And jumped on me.
She continued screaming and whining.
She stopped.
We cuddled.
I snuggled her up.
She has the most kissable cheeks. Her cheeks are like balloon cheeks, you have to attach your lips to them and just keep kissing.
There was a time when I dreaded Sundays. Sundays in Italy are family days to be spent at the table over first, second, third and fourth courses...a day of eating and sleeping on the sofa.
Today, we spent our Sunday on the beach, soaking the sun and listening to mp3 downloads.
We had blue Smarties ice-cream for lunch. I told her NEVER to tell her children about the kind of mother I am.
She said, "Okay, Mommy, I promise I won't".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Pearls

Debbi once told me that this would be an introspective period for me.
She was right.
The period has now become a life-style: balanced, harmonized, lived.
I hurt my parents, people I love and probably myself during the journey, but before you truly appreciate what you have, you almost need to spit out the stuff that you never really came to terms with...and overcome the pain.
When you survive the spit phase, you start appreciating all that was good. It isn't true that we only remember the bad- we just need to acknowledge that life is never perfect to begin to appreciate all that is truly perfect in our lives.
There was a time when I was a little bit of my mom and a little bit of my dad.
Now I'm me.
We fall.
We get back up.
We fall.
We get back up.
We learn to walk many times in life, and if we are truly lucky...
the people we love continue to hold our hands.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Two days ago I had a pediatric course on audiology in a part of Italy I'd never visited. I drove five hours in a car alone with the surgeon who performed Jordan's cochlear implant operation. When I got in the car, he asked me if I liked driving. I said, "No". He said, "Okay" and "Usually when I drive with other people, they drive and I work." I said, "I don't drive distances, I take the train," and I pulled out my little smartphone and did work:-) During the ride, I asked the forum if they had any questions for a surgeon and a couple of people asked a couple of questions that I referred to him. I think he had fun. We had a grand old time doing my work and speaking cochlear implant related English.

I enjoyed the scenery. We stopped in a place called "Holy Water" and had frozen coffee. Spiritual moment.

We finally arrived in Teramo and had an amazing dinner with our regional representative of the audiology network. Beautiful evening, stimulating conversation about kids, screening, cochlear implants and good food.

I tasted Trebbia, a wine from Abruzzo.

The next day a Professor from Rome arrived who I had heard about but had never met. He once operated on the Pope. A friend of mine had told me that, so I asked him about it and he told me that was a particular time in his life.
I asked for his assistance for a couple of questions on the Italian forum.
He gave me the answers to help the parents who asked the question. He didn't just give me an answer, he looked interested in the question and expanded on the answer.

Humanity and intelligence. Beautiful.

I love my job. I love it because I am surrounded by people who make a difference in children's lives, yet who know that their role is minimal compared to speech therapists, teachers, parents, pediatricians, etc who all contribute to helping a child grow.

 It's a together process.

I stopped in Florence for the night...for a girls' night out. And shopping the next day.
Then, I came home had dinner with my girlfriends who listened to my tales of a course in Abruzzo over pizza with eggplant. We laughed, hung out and dipped cookies in ice-cream.

One hour later I picked up my kids, who were ready for me with a school list of things to do and various complaints; I returned to being a mom.

As I was taking out the trash about ten minutes ago, feeling the first chill of Autumn, I realized that life gives you many opportunities to be happy. The moments may be fleeting or they may be periods, they may be represented by people, work, kids, family, lovers, husbands or pets....but they do exist.
And they need to be appreciated.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


When I came back, the people of New York did something magnificent. They moved forward.- Alona Elkayam

Let's not forget how tragedy and adversity can help people become more than they thought was possible; how difficult times allow us to see and realize the best in us.- Nathan Haskins

Remembering the hurt, loss and pain that everyone experienced 10 years ago and still today! My heart goes out to those that were lost, those that lost loved ones and to those that still fight for us every day! God bless! - Karen Feeser
Ten Years ago today, many of us will never forget where we were, what we were doing, and most importantly how we felt. Let the light of God shine upon those who have been lost and to those who have survived. That day changed us all, let us never forget. - Jason Cantow 
10 years ago my life was in transition, I was going through a divorce, changing careers working 3 jobs and going to school to become a Paramedic. On 9/11/01 I was walking into the Steadman Station for my clinical rotation on BCFD Medic 1. While standing at the watch desk I watched the second plane hit in New York. The rest of the day was surreal but I knew right then I had made the right choice and no matter what I was going to be a Paramedic and nothing could stop me. NEVER FORGET! - Martin Cohen
I am trying to explain 9/11 to my girls as we watch the memorial on tv. Tell them how I came out of the subway and saw everyone looking up at the burning towers. I found 2 friends that I worked with and we ran with some other coworkers to my brothers apt on 15 th street. I ran without shoes because I wore uncomfortable shoes that day. Seems like yesterday. Still unbelievable - Stefanie Fine Hiller
Now, more than ever, I am proud to be an American. We take a hit, and we get right back up. We remember and we feel. Most importantly...we pass this strength onto our children - wherever in the world we may be. And as an American living abroad, I am touched to say that Italy feels too.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What Does a Hungry Rabbit Do?

Sometimes the diagnosis is no.
And the prescription is deal with it.
A door slammed.
And a big fat WHY?

When you continuously butt heads with a No and pick yourself up again, you learn that you have choices.
The power to choose is the most effective medicine to cure ass-on-the-ground syndrome.

There are many effective homeopathic remedies to dry the waterfall:
Looking at your children as they sleep. (Silent, peaceful children as opposed to screaming, demanding kidlings tend to have a more immediate impact)
Shopping- the less you spend on something you've been dying for, the better.
Running- the more you sweat, the better.
Nutella milkshake- do not exceed one a day or the Shopping effect may become traumatic.
Perhaps the most effective cure of all is talking to, sharing with and listening to another friend who has received the same diagnosis time after time. Because while you are suffering in the middle of what seems like a neverending moment of impossibile grief, she knows that the light is there waiting for you.
She will listen to your pain and ask you important questions that will only begin to register as you find the strength to pull yourself towards that light.

And once you finally reach that light, which equals loving yourself...
you will use your knowledge to help the next woman lost in a foreign country.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


"Mom, I want to cut my hair off."- Jordan.
I looked at the bush on his head.
Me: "REALLY??"

Hearing aids, cochlear implant processors and long or short hair have never been an issue. For me his hearing aids were his ears, a part of him...never wanted him to have a hardware complex. Jordan's the one who shaved a processor in his hair on the side he doesn't have the processor. He started high school last year with bush hair, and I loved the curls. I never even thought that he'd wanted to grow it to hide his processor. I'm a firm believer in showing the processor so that people know he has a hearing loss. Then towards the end of the year, he made some comment that his hair hid the processor. Only then did I reflect that maybe HE WANTED to hide it. I never went in depth with that type of discussion...I just let it and him be.

But when he told me he wanted to go back to short hair, I smiled...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


a mom told me all the progress she's made, where she is in the journey and asked me technical questions about the cochlear implant. Her son was diagnosed three months ago. He is three years old. She's had to make up for lost time and she's on auto-pilot without even realizing it. "He's doing well, he's been wearing the hearing aids for 60 days, he says Mamma, Babbo and acqua."
I told her to join the forum. It's not about the hearing aids, the ci or the's about sharing the day on the playground when a child comes up to your child, points and says, "What are those things on his ears?" a Venus thing.

Sofia stood at the door, tears welling in her eyes and looked at me.
I told her to come sit by me.
I snuggled her up, and asked, "Are you in a fight with your girlfriend?"
She nodded her head.
She said, "She ignores me when she's with all the boys playing with the Wii. Just because I'm the little one."
I understand.
I looked down and saw her nails painted black and silver swirled-like.
I said, "Wowwwwwwwwww, who did those?"
"She did!", and Sofia smiled.
Painting nails is so Venus, so is ignoring girlfriends for boys.

My girlfriends and I are having my Italian soul sister's pizza for dinner tonight. She makes the best damn pizza from scratch! We're bringing beer and coke and preparing to be girls. Women need to be girls.
She's going back into the hospital tomorrow for her fourth operation in a year.
Venus is strength.

Monday, September 5, 2011

To Dye or not to Dye

Fifteen years old, blonde and beautiful, diabetes.
She flashed on my homepage yesterday with a status changing from in a relationship to happily single.
She commented on her own post that she was happy to be free and in the field again.
A series of posts and links followed:
We're Girls!
I'd like to see a falling star to make a wish..
Don't ever tell me you love me again, because you're full of it...
I wish that my heart would function again, we always fall in love with the wrong people..
Sometimes when I say I'm fine, I wish someone would take me in their arms and tell me it's all going to be okay..

She flashed on my homepage again this morning asking the following: How do you think I would look with black hair?
I wrote: You're beautiful, you would be stunning in green hair...we all have "black phases"...I've certainly been every color possible. But black is aggressive and trying to return to blonde afterwards takes forever. People seem to be nicer to blondes...once upon a time you were "Fro Smile"...where'd she go? Find her again and then we'll talk color.

She got it.

Insulin shots all throughout middle school with Jordan. Beautiful. She has this innate determination; we all do, yet sometimes we forget. Sometimes we just get caught up in other people and we forget ourselves.
When you're fifteen, you're in the tunnel.
When you're's all about seeing the light.
And sharing it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Honey, let's fly the jet to Maine for some fresh lobster...

I just read the following fb status: Flying to Maine for some fresh lobster!
He and his fiancèe live in New York.
It took me 48 seconds to comprehend that he was actually gassing up the jet to go to Maine for some fresh lobster. 
They'll be returning to NYC this evening.
I asked him if he'd ever flown his woman to Kentucky for a cold beer and some real Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

5 minutes later another fb status popped up: Taking my woman to Red Lobster!

Reflections of a Mamma sitting on her porch in Tuscany as her kids are playing outside at 9,30 pm. Sofia just asked if we could go to the center for a water balloon fight, I'm still recovering from the foam party...

I have two members of the forum going in for ci surgery tomorrow, one 12 month old going in for a TAC and MRI and a single mom trying to grasp the degree of deafness of her 3 year old.

And as I think of what these families are going through, I'm wondering what it would be like to hop a private jet for some lobster. And I've had my share of lobster.

I'm thinking that I miss romantic.

Not the lobster kind of romantic, that would be nice and my heart would probably explode, but the Kentucky Fried Chicken, cold beer and picnic table romantic, even though I don't eat fried chicken.

After chewing on this for about an hour, as the happy couples enjoy their meals....the real questions are:
1. Are you laughing?
2. Is the conversation flowing as freely as the champagne or Coca Cola- depending whether you're in Maine or Red Lobster USA?
3. Is there eye contact?
4. What do you do on a private jet on the way back to NYC?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Strappy Black Patent Leather Printer

I fondly look back on the first time I did something as a single woman.
I bought a printer, followed the directions and installed it.
I kissed my muscles and smiled.
My next courageous feat was changing the lightbulb above my kitchen table, which required unscrewing and delicate handling.
Jumps of joy.
Throwing out the trash was a royal pain as the dump is like a kilometer away, until I incorporated the throwing out of the garbage in my daily run (walk).
Now, I kind of sit and observe everything and everyone. You can tell who lives life and who sleeps, who struggles and who shrugs.
Since that first printer installment, another one just broke.
Technology inspires yet intimidates me.
Today I went to buy my third printer in six months.
I walked into the mega-store and found one I just loved, printer love. The price was 49,99 and was a printer-scanner combination. I asked the hot media guy for assistance, he went to the computer and told me the price was wrong, it cost 59,99.
Mr. Miller, my old typing - Business teacher flashed through my head, and he was not happy.
False advertising!!!!
I got pissed off, felt taken advantage of, and complained.
I asked the guy if he would give me a discount based on deception.
He half-nodded.
Indignantly, I took another tour of the printers and found a lovely shiny black printer for 49,99 that was a printer-scanner-fax machine.
I asked him if he had it in stock.
He checked the computer and said the price was wrong.
Instead of 49,99, it was on sale for 29,99.
I looked at him and he looked at me.
I asked him if he'd like me to pay him more since the price was wrong.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

24 Hours of Sexy

This blog all began when I started outgrowing eleven year old sweatpants from college, dirty Nikes and Victoria's Secret cotton bikinis, because my eleven year old deaf son became independent and no longer needed 24 hour surveillance.
I began investigating sexy. It started with a thong, evolved into healing and exploded into using my experience to provide resources.
My son helped me find my own voice as he began using his.
Throughout the journey, people would always ask me, "Don't you LOVE living in Tuscany? Aren't you SO HAPPY there?"
I would always chew my lip on that one.
I worked a long, long time on sexy.
I have a new facebook friend who sees sexy 24 hours a day: to her, nachos and Italian porchetta at 8 am are sexy.

So I thought I'd see life through sexy...
Flying from Australia to Tuscany for love. Realizing that you cannot control love, you can only choose to give it. Feeling truly alone for the first time in your life as you suffer the flu in a country that is not your own. Getting out of bed, standing on your feet, and living one full month of yourself, by yourself before you return to take care of others. As you always have done...

Sitting on the terrace in a pair of fur-lined Uggs, your Grandfather's striped boxer shorts, a tie-dyed shirt and a scarf, relaxing until you hear the 15 month old launch a red lego onto your court from the terrace above...getting up and retrieving that lego three times, because once upon a time, you had a 15 month old who all of the sudden became 15 years old.
Lying in bed next to beach-blonde curls reading a fairytale about Princess Sofia as you read The Happiness Project...
Sweating on your keyboard..
A bottle of white wine and heaping plastic plates of Italian delights..
Running sprints in a small town with a group of 80 year old toothless women cheering you on...
A snapshot of a couple who has been through it all, smiling together on an empty beach that once was full...
Publishing your dream-child..
Riding your motorcycle along the Amalfi Coast with your daughter on the back...
Going back to school at age 40 something...
Tales from a carpool line...

I have worked on sexy and I have been inundated by sexy.
14 years later...I have chosen to be happy in Tuscany.