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Momo Fali's: July 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sugar, Sugar

I had my first migraine when I was eight years old. I remember being in the school nurse's bathroom, alone, scared, vomiting up my cafeteria lunch with my head hurting so bad that I wanted to crack it open on the corner of the sink and let the pain spill all over the linoleum floor. Ah, good times, good times.

I have tried a lot of different medications in the last thirty years, but none of them really work. Five weeks ago, I decided to take things into my own hands and see if giving up sugar would help.

It's not no-sugar, but it's so-low-it-may-as-well-be-no-sugar. And, you know what? It did help. In a four week span, I had one headache. ONE. That's unheard of.

But, in the past week (and I'm totally blaming this on my trip to Chicago) I have let myself enjoy bread, and wine...and chocolate again. Which is probably why I'm typing this at 5:00am and have been up all night with a headache.

Yep. It's time for me to get back on the wagon.

At the very least, my teeth are very happy about this situation. The Honey Nut Cheerios, however, are ticked.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pulling No Punches

While driving the car, I looked in the rear view mirror to see my seven year old son lean slowly across the back seat toward his older sister. His movements were deliberate so as not to be seen by me.

Then in a hushed tone I heard him say, "Hey, Sis. Let's play slug bug so I can slug you."

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Forget's Chicago that Rocks

I learned many things at the blogging conference I just attended in Chicago. There were a lot of sessions, and speakers, and sponsors...and parties.

The first thing I learned is that you can't physically be in three different places at once, no matter how hard you try. The moment I arrived, I had a trio of gatherings to attend. I chose to go to a volunteer meeting where the coordinator told us not to show up at our 7:00am shift hungover. Which led me to raise my Corona in the air in agreement and exclaim, "Hear hear!"

I also found out that no matter how much you love your roommate, you may not like her as a bedmate. Unless, of course, you like waking up with another woman lying on half of your body with her face nuzzled in your neck. Did I mention the snoring?

I learned invaluable information, such as how to use your Blackberry to find a dive bar near the Sears Tower that serves $3.00 margaritas and cheese-stuffed pretzels. I found out that you can pay a bum to show you to the train station and that meeting your favorite bloggers is kind of like meeting your best friend and a celebrity all at the same time. That's not my line, it's his.

I was taught that free beer is awesome, sun-dried tomato and goat cheese canapé turns to paste in your mouth and that deep-fried macaroni and cheese may be the world's most perfect food. Though you may want to have a defibrillator handy.

I found out that my favorite author is more than amazing in person and that she won't sign her latest book when it's a copy you checked-out from the library and carted to Chicago. What? I was totally going to pay the library to replace it. Don't judge me, people.

If it wasn't for the conference, I wouldn't have been educated in how to drive a Tahoe (thanks for the loaner, Chevy), how to win an iPod Touch (thanks for the raffle, Hanes) and how to find hidden hotel suites giving out free clothes (thanks for the shirt and jeans, GAP).

And finally, I learned that it is great to see old friends and that you shouldn't take Ambien before saying goodbye to your new friends, because when they are hugging and crying, you'll be laughing and chasing unicorns.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Random Realizations III

1. If your son decides to eat some fruit, make sure he doesn't leave 1/4 of a watermelon sitting out where your puppy can eat it...rind and all.

2. When you are driving a car to Chicago that is on loan from a very nice company (Hi Chevy!) you may want to make sure you know where the windshield wipers are before you go driving in the rain.

3. And, when removing a very heavy, rear seat from said car, make sure you don't let it swing down and hit you in the ovary.

4. The summer breeze through the screen door isn't quite as bug-free if your five month old, 50 pound puppy goes right through it to get to the mailman.

5. Ironing on a humid day is not fun.

6. No matter how prepared you are for a trip out of town to meet a thousand people, you will never be prepared for the zit you'll get. In your eyebrow.

7. If you think the Vietnamese people at the nail salon are talking about you, that's because they are.

8. No matter how crazy your kids make you and no matter how much they fight, when they are not home the silence will be deafening and you'll miss them a lot.

9. When you are on a sugar-free diet and there is homemade wine in your refrigerator, it's pretty much torture.

10. No really. Ironing totally stinks.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting to Know Me: Bag o' Meds Edition

These are my meds. Don't harass me and ask you to give you good stuff, because I don't have anything like that.

These are my prescriptions for asthma, insomnia, migraines, sinus problems, womanly stuff (is too a medical condition) and anxiety. You try having a kid who almost died twice and see if you're not a little anxious. Hearing words like "bacteria" or "swine flu" send me into a complete tizzy (is too a real thing).

My son actually tried to outdo me once. This was his collection during one of those aforementioned near death experiences. He is always trying to compete with me! That boy is such a one-upper. I have no idea where he gets it.

I have tried to go without my medications. I'm currently on a no-sugar diet to help control my headaches, I have tried St. John's Wort and Melatonin for insomnia, and my mom once put me on mega-doses of vitamin C to try to ease my breathing problems. FYI...if you try mega-doses of vitamin C, be prepared for your colon to hate you.

Though if you're colon does end up hating you, I think I have something for that.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting to Know Me: Bed-Head Edition

This is me in the morning. You screamed, didn't you? Because of my insomnia, I'm both a night-owl and an early bird. You would look bad too.

Note the oily skin, black circles under my eyes and the surly expression which stays until I've had a cup of coffee. Thank you, God, for electricity and for whoever had the idea to grind up coffee beans and run hot water over them.

Ironically, back in the 80's I tried to get my hair to look like this...only with bigger bangs. Thank you, God, for curling irons, teasing combs and Aqua Net.

Tell me boys and girls, do you get up early or stay up late. Or, if you're a sorry sucker like me, both?

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Getting to Know Me: Insomia Edition

A week from tomorrow I am leaving town to attend a conference in Chicago. I have a scholarship that pays for my conference pass, and I didn't think my 11 year old car would make the six hour drive, so Chevy is sending me a 2009 Tahoe. Then one of my roommates went and won a prize from Johnson and Johnson and is paying for our room. If I were Napoleon Dynamite this would be the equivalent of shocks and pegs. I am "Lucky!" Were it not for my my bar bill, this trip would be free.

One of my roommates is flying in from Oklahoma and I already know two of my roommates from a very ill-fated meet-up last year. But, because I spent most of that night in tears, hiding in the bathroom and fielding calls from the ER, I don't feel like they really know me at all.

I thought I would dedicate a few posts to the three of them. It's a little something to help them see who they'll be singing karaoke with.

First of all, I am an insomniac. I have a horrible time sleeping because I lie awake thinking about things like a fellow blogger's son who is in the hospital, or the fact that I just told my roommates that I would sing with them when I am actually completely tone deaf. I used to take Ambien, until I got addicted to it, but I was able to convince my doctor to give me a few pills to help me get through this trip.

Only problem? It makes me hallucinate in between taking it and actually falling asleep. Night before last, I went on Twitter during that time know, because I had to test the Ambien. (Mom, Twitter is a social network where you can tell people what you're doing in 140 characters or less. You can check it out...if you ever get a computer.)

So roomies, here are some of the things you're in for. I give you my Ambien tweets...

Where I talk to my husband about a deer that I never saw - Am telling my husband the story about the deer from the other day that I TOTALLY remember. He says, "None of it happened". Foiled by Ambien!!

I nod off, the first time - MomoFaliStarted typing a blog post, fell asleep and woke up to a screen full of "b's". Hai Ambien!

I hallucinate, the first time - Let's just say there's some Kung Fu Panda up in here...and the movie isn't even on.

I nod off a second time - Just tried to send an 1133 character update (it was blank, as I fell asleep with my hand on the space bar). Twitter is so picky!

I hallucinate a second time and misspell the name of the most famous ship...ever - There's some Kung Fu Panda/Titantic stuff going on in my house and my daughter keeps talking about swim lessons (but she's really in bed).

I make up names for far away lands - A place called Ambeinland would have streets paved in silver and all the chocolate and beer you can eat. And, comfy pillows.

I finally come to my senses - And spekaing of comofy pillows. Goodnight.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wide Load

I will never claim to be a petite flower. I am 5'10" and have palms that make Meadowlark Lemon look like an extra from The Wizard of Oz. Also, you know you're old when the first basketball player that comes to mind is Meadowlark Lemon.

My seven year old son does not take after me in the height department...yet. Because of his small stature and his medical issues, some of his gross motor milestones have been reached much later than typical children. It is sometimes impossible for a seven year old to do something that is normal for his age when he is the size of a child who is four.

One of the things he's had trouble mastering is swinging on our swing set. He isn't big enough to hop on the swing himself, so he has always just made do with swinging on his belly.

But, day before yesterday I talked him into giving it a try. I promised him that even though his feet don't touch the ground, he would be okay if I put him on the swing and stood nearby. After I pushed him a few times, I could tell he really loved it. I explained the concept of "feet out", "feet under" and he took to it immediately.

A few minutes went by and he said, "Mom, I want you to swing too!"

I smiled. "I wish I could, buddy."

He continued...feet out, feet under...then realizing his mom's size is also not so typical, he said, "But, we would need a bigger swing. Maybe you could use that brown one."

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

In Heaven You Don't Have to Watch Your Step

In our house, we discuss faith a lot. We attend mass regularly, I work at the Catholic school where both kids are students and we often pray as a family. When the children are older, we'll probably drink beer and play bingo together...because, that's what we Catholics do.

But it seems I have more explaining to do in the faith department, because as we passed a cemetery the other day, my seven year old son asked, "Mom, is that heaven?"

No son, that's where people walk their dogs and don't pick up the poop.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Yesterday morning, my seven year old son was playing in our back yard. I looked out the window to see him talking to himself...non-stop.

I watched for a few minutes then I walked outside and asked, "Who are you talking to?"

He replied, "My friends."

"What friends?"

He held out his arm and pointed toward the garage, "The cars. The cars are my friends."

I found this oddly comforting. Not the fact that my son was going all David Hasselhoff on me, but because these friends of his were real objects.

When my daughter was young, she had an entire entourage of imaginary friends. Friends we couldn't see. We would get in a lot of trouble when one of them was sitting on the couch and we didn't realize it. For the record, you can smash something that isn't even there.

Her favorite friend was Simba. Simba went everywhere with us. Simba ate with us, watched TV with us and even ran errands with us.

And, one time, we accidentally left Simba in a church pew.

After Mass, as the entire congregation was beginning to exit the church, we stood at the back of the building trying to comfort our crying daughter who was throwing a fit because we were leaving her friend behind.

Trying to talk sense into her did no good. Our little girl was crushed. So we did the only thing we could think of doing. People watched as my husband walked back to our empty pew, grabbed at the air, "picked up" Simba and delivered him to our daughter's waiting arms.

Now do you see why I'm happy about my son's new friends? You can't take an SUV to church. Though I will say, his friends do cost more to feed.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Reasons I Love America

1. Freedom of speech

2. Vegas, baby

3. Maryland crab cakes

4. The Grand Canyon

5. Baseball

6. The Great Lakes (okay, not really...but, they always get the short-stick and I kind of feel sorry for them)

7. Hawaii is ours

8. The United States Marines

9. Tiger Woods

10. Rolling Rock


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Last Saturday, my 10 year old daughter and I woke at 4:00am to volunteer at breakfast for the Special Olympics. My daughter worked, literally, like it was her job. Running from table to table, wiping them down, pushing in chairs, throwing away trash.

She worked so intensely that she was sweating, and at one point a man pulled me over to his table where a group of people told me they "had never seen a kid work as hard as the girl in the blue shirt". When my kid walked over, they gave her a round of applause. I got to puff up my chest and tell them she was mine.

My seven year old son's defective heart has been acting up lately. He's been complaining of a "funny a butterfly" and yesterday his cardiologist hooked him up to a monitor. He has five large leads stuck to his chest and he wore the monitor over his shoulder all day as he ran and played yesterday. He has been a perfect patient. I'm proud to be his mom.

My husband has been working like a maniac. Long, long hours at the office, then hours more from home in the late evening. He often doesn't eat dinner until 10:00pm, and stays up until the wee hours on his laptop. Then he gets up at 6:00am to walk both dogs, rain or shine, sleet or snow and on the weekends he spends lots of time with his kids. Everything he does, he does for his family. He is a good man.

As for being proud of myself? Well, at least I have that whole being able to hang a spoon on the end of my nose thing.

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