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Momo Fali's: December 2009

Thursday, December 31, 2009

True Love

The day before yesterday was my daughter's eleventh birthday. Though she enjoyed receiving a new Wii game, a Target gift card, a gym bag and some cash, I'm pretty sure her favorite present was this handmade card from her little brother.

Because people throw around that heart and soul stuff all the time, but when you say blood you really mean it.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Random Realizations: Holiday Edition

1. You know you are a true chocoholic when you realize there isn't a chocolate nut cluster in the world that stands a chance against you.

2. Or, a peanut butter blossom.

3. If your son has never had an instance where he has scratched his crotch in public, you can be sure he will do it for the first time in the middle of his school Christmas play.

4. When he's standing directly in front of the principal.

5. And, you can be sure he'll do it for a second time when he's performing during the children's Christmas Eve Mass.

6. While standing in front of an entire congregation.

7. And your priest.

8. You may underestimate how bad of a charades player your sister says she is, until she acts out West Side Story by simply belting out, "Maria..."

9. If your daughter gets a camera for Christmas, it's possible that she will think she is the next Annie Lebovitz and you will have to pose for pictures for days on end.

10. And, during those days on end when you've been living off of beer, wine, egg nog, rum, Bailey's and apple pie, you probably won't look very pretty in those photographs.

11. When you are 38 years old and your parents still spoil you, you'll feel like a kid again.

12. If you are participating in a White Elephant gift exchange, you won't feel so bad about contributing something tacky when you receive a clock from 1982. With dust on it.

13. If you have to make three different trips to the carry out in the middle of your family gathering, you will realize that you are related to a forgetful bunch.

14. Either that, or they drink a lot.

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Speaking of Cut

For as long as I can remember, my husband, our two kids and I have gathered around our dining room table for a traditional dinner on Christmas Eve. First, we attend church, then come home and I put a ham in the oven.

The only problem with this arrangement, is that the children's Mass, in which my kids often participate, is at 6:00 PM...which means we don't get home until after 7:00. I don't like to leave the oven on when we're not home, so Christmas Eve dinner is always a very late one.

This year I tried something new. I pulled out my gigantic, electric roaster and threw the ham inside before we left for church. That way we came home to a fully cooked ham.

Actually, it was a little too fully cooked.

And as we sat around the table aglow with candlelight and set with my mother's Christmas china, my daughter didn't let it go unnoticed when she said, "You know, I like dry meat. It's easier to cut."

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thinking Positive

Not too long ago, I almost saw a pedestrian get killed. Cross-traffic was stopped at a light, or so this woman thought, and she stepped off the curb and into the crosswalk. A car ran the red light and missed her by inches.

The scene often runs through my mind in slow motion. I picture her hair getting blown by the passing car that almost ran her down. Yet, in my memory, her hair isn't tossed by a whoosh of air. It is a gentle breeze because the picture runs so slow.

I feel much the same way about the time my son stopped breathing after one of his surgeries. I remember the frenzy and the near-constant push of medication. I remember my son screaming and then suddenly hearing nothing but the nurse yelling at him. But, all of that craziness also drags on in my mind. It's as if remembering it at the pace at which it happened is too much for me to endure.

When I go back to the moment when my aunt told me that my cousin had died, I see her mouth move sluggishly as she said, "He's gone". When I recall standing next to my niece in the ICU when she took her last breaths, the blips on her monitor barely move in my mind.

I think painful memories work that way. They travel through us at a rate so as not to shock our hearts into stopping.

But, I want the good memories to slow down. I need pictures of happiness and light to linger in my head. Those images are far too fleeting.

My New Year's resolution is to stop walking around in a perpetual state of anxiety and make my brain happy. To nurse my soul and to stop letting bad thoughts plod along slowly. I want to make the good feelings last longer than the rotten ones.

All of the negative, slow motion moments in my life are wearing me down and it's high time I sent them packing.

Then, I'm going to invite bliss and ask it to kick up its heels and stay a while.


Monday, December 21, 2009


Next week, my daughter will mark her 11th birthday. We were discussing this momentous occasion when she suddenly said, "I remember being so scared about turning 10 last year!"

I replied, "Really? Why?"

"Because I knew I'd be in double digits for the rest of my life!"

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nothing Says Christmas Like a Speculum

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Monday, December 14, 2009

My Husband Said I Looked Like a Dog

So, you know how you have a lot to do when there's less than two weeks before Christmas? And then your kid gets a cold so bad that he throws up when he coughs because he's so full of mucus? And then your dog gets a massive bladder infection and ear infection? Oh, and you have to fly to a black-tie, corporate party in Atlanta because your husband's company just KNOWS you hate to fly? Yeah, me too.

I don't know about you, but I was able to hold it together with all that stress...especially because I got some Xanax to help me get through the flight. The flight which had me so crippled with fear that I could barely function.

On the way to Atlanta on Saturday, the medicine helped a lot, until we hit turbulence. When my husband saw me holding on tightly to my tray table, he ordered me a vodka and cranberry. That drink was, without a doubt, the best drink I have ever had...until he ordered me a second one. One-and-a-half Xanax and two drinks. What plane?

When we arrived, we heard from the dog sitter that the dog was doing okay, my mom told me that my son was hanging in there, and I had lived through the flight. Things were going great!

Until after the party when my right wrist started itching. I silently thanked my mother for passing me the genes for spider veins and sensitive skin and I chalked it up to a cheap bracelet I had been wearing.

But, by yesterday morning I knew it wasn't just sensitive skin. I had hives. If you have never had the pleasure of having hives, let me describe it for you. It's like being covered with mosquito bites...everywhere. A thousand of them. On your scalp, your eyes, inside your ears, your shoulders, your elbows, your forearms, your hands, your stomach, your crotch, your thighs, your knees, your shins, your ankles and, my personal favorite, the soles of your feet. I was scratching so much that my husband said I looked like a dog...with fleas...and bedbugs.

The concierge brought me some Benadryl, but by the time we got to the airport yesterday I was feeling miserable. While everyone else was printing their boarding passes, I was all, "Hey Delta dude, is there a medical clinic up in here?"

There was. It was upstairs next to the USO, where there were military personnel all over the place. Then I was all, "Hey folks, thanks for risking your lives and protecting my family, but can you get out of my way because I have HIVES!" They were happy to oblige, likely because they thought I was crazy as I kept taking off my shoes to scratch the bottom of my feet. Also, I may have slightly resembled a leper.

The doctor immediately gave me a shot of steroids, a pack of Prednisone and then asked me if I realized that my blood pressure was 160/104. Really? Maybe that's because I'm agitated and want to tear my own skin open and I would rather take off all my clothes and wriggle around on a bed of nails or rub up on the scratchy side of a velcro rug than be here talking to you.

The doctor assumed that the hives were from the Xanax, so I had to white-knuckle it all the way home. And when we flew through clouds for a good five minutes and I couldn't see anything out the window and we were flying through "rough air", I'm sure that I no longer looked like a dog.

Because this chick? Was sweating like a pig.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

This Barbie is No Doll

I'm not sure why, but lately I have been reminiscing a lot. Maybe it's my age. Maybe it's the holidays. Or, maybe it's because I'm getting on a plane tomorrow and am fairly certain of my impending death.

No matter the reason, I have mostly been thinking about my old friend, Barbie. Barbie, Mel and I were inseparable. Here is a picture of the three of us as kids...before things turned ugly.

I think we were such good friends because we could all relate to each other. We were such misfits! I had not yet grown a neck, Barbie could never stay out of her mom's makeup bag and loved to wear "Nair shorts", and Mel...well, we could rarely get her out of the trees thanks to her freakishly long arms.

Eventually, I grew a neck and when Mel hit puberty, the rest of her body caught up with her ever-growing arms. We changed. Barbie didn't. Some people just never grow up.

The Nair shorts became shorter and shorter, and sometimes she didn't wear shorts at all. Instead of just wearing red lipstick, she started wearing blue eyeshadow too. And, in high school, when she had her first sip of warm beer, we lost her for good.

Barbie turned to Coors Light more often than not, though she did end up getting married. But, she had so many kids that she ended up losing her mind and once gave away all of her family's food to a strange woman in Ohio.

I heard through the grapevine that during the last couple of years she has completely flipped out and tells everyone that she is, in fact, a weasel. The whole story is just so sad.

Today is Barbie's birthday. Wherever you are, Barbie, and whether or not you really are crazy, and whether or not you think you're a human or a carnivorous mammal that looks like a rodent...I miss you. I am wishing you a happy birthday.

Oh, and by the way, Barb, you have been blunked.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Get What You What

The other night, around sunset, my son asked if he could turn on the Christmas tree lights. Before I had a chance to answer, my daughter turned to him and said, "Can I turn on the lights tonight? You always do it."

My son replied, "Sure." Then his face turned red, his eyes filled with tears and he said, "As long as you smile really big like I do when I turn them on."

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Keep Your Eyes on Your List, Santa

Here are some pictures of the Christmas decorations in our living room.
Here is the tree...
Here is the mantle.

As it turns out, I've had a couple of elves helping me add decorations.
Let's take a closer look, shall we? Here is what my son put on the tree...

And because the puppy was chewing on a Barbie, my daughter took it
out of the dog's mouth and put it up on the mantle.

It looks like Santa is on the naughty list this year.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Draw Your Own Conclusion

Last week, during a family game of Pictionary, my son drew this...

He claims he was trying to draw a man with big ears. But, it looks to me like he drew something else entirely. I mean, we all see it...right? It's pretty clear to me that this is a unicorn.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Things That Drove Me Crazy Yesterday

1. Art Garfunkel.

2. Seeing dog hair on my floor.

3. My son's aim in the bathroom.

4. The fact that the laundry never stops.

5. Holiday shopping on December 1st and seeing the store has been ransacked and stock is depleted.

6. Heartburn.

7. Dry hands.

8. Bills.

9. Cold weather.

10. Thinking it was Wednesday and it was only Tuesday.

11. Realizing that even though I'm halfway through, this is going to be a very long week.

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