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Maria's Blog (24)

Two Weeks Post-Op

Here I am, once again, on the other end of a stressful, life-changing event. A little over six months of knowing about the genetic mutation, about four months of trying to find a doctor, and two months of waiting for the surgery. I can wholeheartedly say that I am on the better end of this experience. All of the worries I had and the anticipation of the outcome are gone. Just. Like. That. It’s as if the anxiety I was experiencing was removed with the breast…


Added by Maria on February 13, 2018 at 10:00pm — No Comments

What I’ve Learned...

When I first learned of my genetic mutation back in June, I don’t think I had a clue about what I would really be facing in the coming months. When I spoke to the geneticist, I handled it the way I’ve handled any distressing news -- like a soldier.  

I think back to when my pediatrician and I realized that my youngest son might have autism; the doctor grabbed me by the arm, looked into my eyes and said, “are you…


Added by Maria on January 8, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

One Month Away...

The final countdown has begun. One month. From what I’ve heard, the wait is the worst part. I hope that is true. The distractions that are keeping me busy have been awesome. A girls getaway, a trip to Rhode Island for Thanksgiving, a family ski trip, and going to the gun range to name a few. However, the fact that I have to rent a recliner because I won’t be able to get out of bed and that I need to buy bras to hold the four drains that will hang from the side…


Added by Maria on December 21, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

My Last Mammogram

I have been getting mammograms since I was 30 years old. As I have said before, my strong family history of breast cancer required me to begin mammograms 10 years earlier than the typical protocol. Everyone knows that these tests are extremely uncomfortable for several reasons. First, there is the strange woman grabbing your boob--kneading it like a piece of pizza dough--to get it to sit on the hard, cold, plastic machine in just the right spot to obtain the perfect image of…


Added by Maria on November 19, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Adding a New Addition to the Family...A PUPPY!

My children have never lived in a house without a dog. My husband and I got our first puppy when we were engaged -- a decision I made without his approval. Although he was very apprehensive about my decision back then, as soon as he laid his eyes on that…


Added by Maria on September 13, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

I Don't Want Cancer

No one wants cancer, and most people don’t have to deal with it until they are actually diagnosed. Unless you’re like me and are considered to be high-risk. Both my mother and my grandmother had breast cancer. My grandmother’s metastasized and she died at forty-four, which is my age now. My mom also had stage four colon cancer. Miraculously, she is a survivor. My maternal uncle has had esophageal cancer and currently has a very slow growing kidney cancer. We’ve always thought there…


Added by Maria on July 11, 2017 at 7:30pm — 2 Comments

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone...WAY OUT

As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone within reason (I’m not looking to break a hip at my age). In the past, there was that time I tried out for my college basketball team, never having played before, and made it. Then there was the post-baby endurance races that started with a 5K, included a few sprint triathlons, and concluded with a half-marathon. The half marathon put me on a hiatus from over-exerting myself to an extreme. The last three miles…


Added by Maria on February 26, 2017 at 12:00pm — No Comments

My Hopes for My Children

Today, raising children is tricky business, and when I say tricky, I really mean downright terrifying. We live in a very scary world, and thinking of the atrocities that are taking place outside of our safe little bubble can really give someone an ulcer or heart-attack. And I don’t think that the world was ever less scary. As a matter of fact, there were much worse times to raise children. It’s just that when you have your own child, your world changes and everything you do from…


Added by Maria on February 1, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Traveling with Kids

Over the past few years, my family and I have been lucky enough to take some really wonderful vacations. Before our youngest son, who has special needs, entered public school, most of our extra money was spent on therapies so there was a few years lag on family vacations. The first family vacation that we went on as a complete family of five was while funds were still relatively tight, so it was on the less expensive side. That particular vacation is still my favorite to date (we…


Added by Maria on December 5, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

You Must Travel

You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world. ~ William Hazlitt

When I was a child, my family did not travel much. My parents owned and ran a deli and it was very hard for my parents to leave their business, so I only have a few memories of traveling as a child. There always seemed to be a “situation” when the entire family traveled together. For example, there was the time we missed about six flights…


Added by Maria on October 11, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Resenting My Forty-Year-Old Metabolism

At the start of this year, I vowed to get back to myself. That meant a few different things, one of them being to lose weight and get fit again. Last year I lost some weight, but it crept back on and, even worse, I became heavier than I had ever been (except after a pregnancy). I had very few options for clothing because everything was either tight, or didn’t fit at all. It was very frustrating to say the least. So at the beginning of this year, I started pilates regularly, got a…


Added by Maria on June 13, 2016 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Keeping the Fire in Your Soul Alive

"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me."― Erma Bombeck

The first thought I have as I begin this blog is that I am blessed. There are too many reasons to list right now. I always first think about my children, and that when their needs…


Added by Maria on May 31, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Communion Time Comedy

This year we are preparing our middle son for his first Holy Communion. Right now, I am in the thick of sending out invitations, arranging entertainment and figuring out menus. We decided to go big this time: 130 people are invited!!!! We love seeing family and friends for happy occasions, and are thrilled we have a chance to host this time around. In addition to my preparations for the party, my middle son and his fellow second graders have been preparing all year for their first…


Added by Maria on April 11, 2016 at 8:00pm — No Comments

Grief Through a Child’s Eyes

Almost 10 years ago, I lost my father unexpectedly. I was the mother of only one child, who was three and a half years old at the time. He was a bright child, but when we received the news of my father’s passing, he didn’t completely grasp the depth of someone dying. He cried, but when we got to my sister’s house he was happy to see and play with his cousins. He opted out of going to the wake in exchange for hanging out at a friend's house to play with the children, and I was fine…


Added by Maria on March 21, 2016 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

What I Know Now As A Mom That I Wish I Knew Then

Seriously, I could go on and on regarding this topic that looks back at the much younger, and dare I say it, very naive version of me as a mom. I started motherhood with a colicky baby (possibly the worst colic ever!!!), who turned out to have a sensory disorder. This child did not eat solid foods until he was two and a half because of the sensory disorder, and the doctors were stumped for over a year as to why he would gag every time he tried to eat any food with a consistency…


Added by Maria on February 19, 2016 at 8:30pm — No Comments

"Me Time"

This year, in an attempt to devote more time to taking care of myself, I bought a planner. When you are the default parent, creating “me-time” can be nearly impossible. My youngest son started full-day preschool a little over a year ago. There were many reasons that this was a HUGE transition for me. For the first time in almost 13 years, I would not have anyone to take care of six hours a day. Also, my youngest has special needs, so I went from an intense 20 hours a week of…


Added by Maria on February 2, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Musical Beds

In my house, we play musical beds. There are five beds for five people, and only two of us consistently sleep in one place. The non-traveling sleepers are me (my bed is by far the most comfortable bed in the house, if not the world) and my oldest son, who has recently moved into his own room complete with a futon, or “puton” as he mistakenly called it, before I corrected him, he convinced me to buy for him at Ikea when we were shopping to furnish his new, and more private,…


Added by Maria on November 19, 2015 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Shopping for a Halloween Costume

Shopping for a Halloween costume can be tricky business, especially when you have several little people to please. Many variables have to be taken into consideration, from comfort and warmth, to the children still wanting the same costume when Halloween rolls around. Then there is the obscure costume that is not sold in stores and has to be handmade (you can find almost any “how to” on YouTube - FYI!) In case you have these costume troubles, give yourself a lot of time and prepare…


Added by Maria on October 14, 2015 at 9:30am — No Comments

When People Stare or Snicker

I read an article that really stuck with me the other day.  The author was a mom of a baby girl with a cleft palate.  Her daughter had not yet had the corrective plastic surgery to fix the cleft palate, and in the article the author discussed how she feels about people staring at her daughter and how her feelings have evolved. It was brilliant. And it made me think about the feelings I have when people stare at my child, who has been diagnosed with autism.

The other…


Added by Maria on October 6, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

Parenthood Post 9/11

As I think back to that fateful Tuesday, September 11, 2001, my life was in a very good place. My husband had just graduated from law school and I had taken a leave from my teaching job to pursue a master’s degree in literacy. My dad was still alive, we were living with him and we were trying for our first baby. We had so much to look forward to at that time…

After my husband took the bar exam, we rented a condo in Miami for six weeks. We…


Added by Maria on September 10, 2015 at 8:30pm — No Comments


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