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Momo Fali's: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just a Hunch


I get the impression that my daughter has developed an aversion to closing her dresser drawers. Don't ask me how I know this. I just do.

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Next Time...the Sports Section

I work at my children's school as a second grade teacher's aide. I took the job to earn a little money, but another benefit is being near my six year old son. He is in kindergarten and could function without me there, but there are still things I help him with because the school allows it.

My son gets sick a lot, sometimes with weird bacterial infections and one of those was antibiotic resistant. It seems it takes longer courses of more potent drugs to make his illnesses go away, so in order to keep him as healthy as possible we take some precautions.

He is the only one in his class who keeps hand sanitizer in his cubby, he takes a bottle of water to school instead of using the drinking fountain, and I help him when he has to go to the bathroom.

My son is the size of a three year old, which means that when he has to use the facilities it entails climbing and clambering all over said facilities. Being that elementary school children aren't the most hygienic, it's much better for me to hoist him on the toilet in the nurse's office and make sure he gets a proper hand washing because he can barely reach the sink.

Yesterday, I was leading a group of students downstairs when we ran into my boy in the hallway where he announced to the whole lot of us, "I need to go poop!"

I said, "Well I can't take you right now, because I can't leave these students. You'll have to go by yourself."

Just then, I looked up and saw the school nurse and asked her if she would help him, which she was happy to do.

After school, we were driving home and I asked him, "Hey, did Mrs. C help you in the bathroom?"

He said, "Yes."

Knowing he had pooped, I wondered if he had been bold enough to ask her to wipe him, so I further questioned, "Did she just help you wash your hands? What did you ask her to do?"

But instead I found he was bold in a totally guy kind of way when he replied, "I asked her to get me a book."

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Sound of Music

I normally don't touch on anything too deep around here, but I am about to reveal some very troubling information from my past. Really, really bad music choices.

It all started when I was five years old and would lock myself in our bathroom where the acoustics were best. I would take my handy-dandy tape recorder and belt out "The Way We Were", and my childhood theme song, "Rhinestone Cowboy". Also, whenever Donny and Marie were on you couldn't peel me away from the television.

When I was seven, I got an 8-track player. One with a shoulder strap so I could walk down the street, looking cool, while The Village People, Olivia Newton-John, and The Bee Gees blasted from the speaker.

After that, I moved on to Journey, Loverboy, Prince, and Pat Benatar. Wait. I was Pat Benatar. Then Night Ranger, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi.

In high school, I was all over the place. I listened to pop music, like U2, but obscure bands played on the sound-system at my very contemporary, retail sales job and I liked that music too.

This is also when I developed my love for Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, and what my best friend refers to as "hippie music". My husband calls this my tree-hugger period. Whatever, dude. If that's the case, I will forever be hugging trees. Trees are groovy and Stephen Stills rules.

My husband is also a Zeppelin fan and he's more than fond of Metallica, my son likes classical music, and my daughter gets her kicks from country. We have learned to get along. We have learned to appreciate each other's music. Well, except for my daughter's taste in country tunes. Unless, of course, it's "Rhinestone Cowboy."

Tell me, boys and girls, what do you listen to?

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Weiner and a Hound Dog

Here is the winner of the Photofiddle.com giveaway. Ladies, please don't be intimidated by a) my manicure or b) my raspy voice. Nails don't stay pretty when you work with second graders and wash your hands 50 times a day, and the voice is the result of a sinus infection and lungs full of mucus. See how much the hand washing helps?

I asked my son to show you his Elvis impersonation and you will note he stays in character throughout the clip. Well, at least his upper lip does. He is a consummate professional.

video

Congratulations, Chuck!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

They Played Me Like a Fiddle

Thanks to everyone for your concern for my son. He did extremely well, and I'm pretty sure it was because heaven was stormed with prayers on his behalf. Blog readers are awesome.

I have never done a giveaway of any kind on this blog. It's not because corporate America isn't beating my door down, because they are. The e-mails are relentless. You don't know how many tubes of lipstick I have turned down. Not to mention the pain relievers and feminine hygiene products. One question, where are the free shoes?

In all honesty, I have never done a giveaway or a review because that's not what this is about. This is my creative outlet, not a place to offer up goodies and bribe you to show up. Not that I am above being bribed, because I've entered into many a giveaway. And won exactly nothing.

There is also a small matter regarding a certain agreement, with a particular company, who may or may not reside permanently on my sidebar, and who shall remain nameless.


But, last week I realized that the real problem is that these companies have been going about their approach all wrong. If you really want me to talk about your stuff, then kick me where it hurts. Right in the sentiment. Also known as "girl parts".

So when Photofiddle.com showed me that they could take one of your pictures and turn it into artwork, and that they would let me give away a $50.00 gift certificate in the process? Well, hot diggity! I jumped on board.

One, because I love the idea. Two, because I know what it's like to have no money. And three, because Valentine's Day is coming up, and who really ever comes up with an original Valentine's Day gift? You are all welcome for the awesome idea.

You can take a picture of a pet and have it turned into a watercolor-style, like this...



Or, a picture of your child can be turned into an oil painting-style like this...



Or, a photo from your honeymoon can be changed into impasto-style, like this...



And, there are plenty of other options for you to choose from.

To enter this $50.00 gift certificate giveaway, just leave a comment between now and 6:00 PM EST on Sunday, January 25th. Even if you don't win, you can get a 15% discount at Photofiddle.com by entering the code mom15 on the shopping cart page in the promotion code box.

Happy Photofiddling, everyone!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Mask

If all goes as planned, tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM my husband and I will be arriving at the hospital with our six year old son for surgery.

This is not major surgery. It is as minor as minor can be. The ENT could probably do this tube surgery with his hands tied behind his back.

But, there is enough risk to my son that they changed the location from an outpatient surgery center, to a main hospital. Plus, it requires general anesthesia and that always makes me nervous. But, more than anything...there's The Mask.

My boy has developed an extreme dislike for The Mask they use to put him to sleep. He's terrified of it, because he knows it all too well. This will be his ninth time on an operating table, and sixth time under general anesthesia.

Two years ago, when he was in preschool, a group of firefighters visited his class and when one of them demonstrated a breathing apparatus, my son had a complete meltdown just hearing him breathe through it. He's that scared.

He doesn't comprehend the fact that this surgery is no big deal. He's certainly been through worse. He doesn't remember having a catheter inserted into his thigh that traveled all the way up to his tiny heart. He doesn't realize that he stopped breathing in recovery after his tonsils were removed. Or, that he had to stay in the ICU for that surgery because, for him, it was a risky operation. He doesn't know there were times we didn't know if he was going to live.

His only concern is The Mask.

Personally, I'm looking forward to this surgery. His hearing loss is so bad that it's like we've been living with a 90 year old. Everyone walks around yelling all the time, and even with our voices raised he still says, "What?" about 50 times a day. We can even see that he's starting to read our lips, as if to say, "I'm done trying to listen to you people. I'll just watch you talk."

With the exception of the moment when they wheel my son down the hall to the operating room, tomorrow will be a good day. He'll have a lot less pressure in his ears and his hearing should be better instantly.

Unfortunately for my son, the anesthesiologist won't let me drive him around in a car until he falls asleep in the back seat, or rock him into a deep slumber. The Mask is unavoidable. And that stupid, little piece of rubber? Well, it breaks this Mommy's heart.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Look at what my husband found, in the far reaches of a cabinet while searching to see if we had any more cans of coffee. The cabinet goes so far back that it ends up behind our dishwasher. That's my excuse anyway.

He didn't find any coffee. Not that either one of us could think about drinking, or eating, anything after seeing this.


I found it particularly interesting that the forgotten potatoes look healthier than my spider plant.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Uh, That's Not a Bug

My son is currently on his fourth round of antibiotics since September. He has chronic sinus infections, and this latest one has been dragging on for about a month.

As most of you know, antibiotics kill bacteria. Lots of bacteria. Even the good stuff. This is why people who take antibiotics often get what my Dad refers to as a case of the thin dirties.

To combat diarrhea, I give my son some very pricey probiotics. I break open a capsule and pour 5 billion CFU's of powdery acidophilus and rahmnosus goodness into some applesauce, and it easily goes down the hatch.

For those of you who don't speak nature, acidophilus and rahmnosus are live cultures that help to restore balance to the intestines. They are good bacteria, and ingesting them allows my son to walk around with regular underwear on, instead of plastic pants.

This morning, I was opening a capsule when he asked me what it was. I told him that his antibiotic is killing the bad bugs and the good ones, and the probiotics put the good bugs back in.

A little while later, I heard him coughing in another room. After he stopped hacking, he came in and told me he didn't need the antibiotic anymore.

I said, "Yes, you do. You're not better yet."

He insisted, "No, I don't need it!" Then he opened a tissue, showed me a chunk of something green and said, "See? I can spit the bad bugs out."

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Perspective



The way I look at the world has changed. It’s not because I’m getting older and it’s, for sure, not because I’m getting any wiser. It’s because I am the parent of a child who doesn’t fit the mold.

My son is not typical. He is not autistic, he doesn’t have Downs, there is no disease, disorder, or diagnosis of any kind. On one hand, that’s something for which I am happy. On the other hand, it can sometimes be frustrating.

The geneticists were sure there would be some way to classify him, but after extensive testing they came up with nothing. He is an enigma.

His expressive speech is that of a three year old, yet his teacher says he’s gifted. He is still in need of therapy, but our county agency doesn’t want to pay for it anymore because his I.Q. is too high.

He has a hearing loss, but it’s not something a hearing aid can help. He loves music, but can not sing you a song. He can read a book, but can’t tell you what it was about after he closes the cover. Yet, he can take a computer test on that book the next day and get every question right. So far this school year, he has taken 103 such tests.

His defective heart is stable enough that he can ride roller coasters and play sports, but an anesthesiologist at an outpatient surgery center won’t touch him because he’s a “heart kid”. Something as simple as ear tubes requires a trip to the hospital. A tonsillectomy meant an overnight stay in the ICU.

He’ll be seven in May, and as of Sunday he weighed 37 pounds. He can ride a bike, but can barely reach the pedals.

His is different. He is special. And, you know what? It's all in how you look at things. My kid’s clock may turn counter-clockwise, but he still knows what time it is.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Yesterday afternoon, I took my sick son to an urgent care where he was seen by a kind and capable nurse practitioner. She quickly assessed him and wrote a prescription before sending us on our way. I kind of wanted to tell her this story. Kind of...

When our daughter was born ten weeks early via emergency c-section, my husband and I got a crash course in medical terminology. We learned all about NG-tubes, picc lines, desats, brady's and many more words I hope you boys and girls never need to know.

We spent hours in the intensive care unit each day and picked up invaluable information from the neonatologists and our child's primary care nurse. For 35 days straight, we sat at our daughter's isolette reading her chart, working the monitors, and reapplying electrodes. By the end of that journey we felt like medical professionals ourselves.

Our son was born premature a few years later, but because of his heart condition he was immediately transferred to a children's hospital where they had equipment to better care for him.

It was déjà vu with a twist. We were thrown into a familiar situation, in unfamiliar surroundings. Yet, we figured we were ahead of the game. At the very least, we knew the lingo and could communicate with the staff.

Or, so I thought.

Because I'm sure the nurse practitioner who met my husband upon our son's admission was quite surprised when she introduced herself, only to have him say, "We'd like a real nurse, not one who's just practicing."

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

He Descends From George Jefferson

Yesterday morning I was giving my son some medicine when I accidentally bumped his head on a kitchen cabinet. Without even thinking I said, "Bonk!"

My son laughed. So I tickled him a little and said, "You're bonkers!" He laughed even harder.

Then I remembered where we would be fifteen minutes later and I said, "By the way, when we get to school you can't go around calling people bonkers. I was being silly, but it wouldn't be nice to say that to your classmates."

To which he replied, "Okay. I'll just call them crackers."

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hooked by the Horns

Dear NukeDad,

I had fully anticipated the Buckeyes eating Bevo for dinner last night, but apparently our defensive linemen are vegetarians. Who knew? Oh, that’s right…you did.


Congratulations on the victory. A year which gave Mack Brown his 200th win, and gave Colt McCoy an NCAA record for completions, also gave us Buckeye fans our third bowl loss in a row. You must admit, however, that we gave you a run for your money. You can't tell me you weren't a little bit worried. Give our quarterback a couple of years, and then we’ll talk.

At the very least, our band sounded better than yours. Oh, and as far as fans go, you can keep this guy...


Sincerely,

Momo

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Bring it, Longhorns

Dear NukeDad,

I thought I'd make sure you don't want to back out of our little wager. You know, the one where you write a groveling post after Ohio State beats Texas tonight in the Fiesta Bowl.


Just in case you haven't heard of him, this is James Laurinaitis. He's going to do some ball stripping, intercepting, serious tackling, and maybe a little sacking. He's a nice guy, so he won't pop any one's head off, but he could if he wanted to.


Actually, you may remember him from scenes like this...


Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.


Sincerely,

Momo

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Word Police

My six year old son, who has a penchant for blatant honesty and who often makes people uncomfortable (Read: Me) with his embarrassing remarks, has begun to develop some manners. Recently, he started apologizing in advance before hurling insults or doing something wrong.

"Mom I'm sorry to do this, but I'm going to step on the dog's tail."

"Mom I'm sorry to say this, but you have really big feet."

The good news, is that he is finally understanding right from wrong. The bad news, is that he still doesn't mind being wrong.

Last week, we were watching A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out!") with the kids when Ralphie's father blurted out, "Smartass."

I said, "Whoops. I forgot that there was a bad word in this movie."

My son asked, "What? What bad word?"

I replied, "I'm not going to say it. It was bad."

Completely dissatisfied with my answer, my boy questioned me further. "Did he say stupid?"

I shook my head.

He asked, "Was it dumb?"

I said, "No."

Then came the pre-apology.

"Mom I'm sorry to ask this, but did that guy say balls?"

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