Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Amelia and Daddy:
Lazy Sunday at the Hudson River Park

Amelia is doing really well -- besides getting over a pneumonia, she's been doing great. The newest thing Amelia is doing is this acrobatic rolling/sitting up/belly crawl thing. She doesn't do it all the time, but it's starting. Although, the sitting-up-in-the-crib thing is a pretty regular routine now.

Amelia loves school and gets really excited when the bus comes in the morning to take her. Here's what happens:

8:30am - Amelia's nurse, Luiza arrives and buzzes up to me to let me know she's arrived

8:40am - I put Amelia in her stroller and we head downstairs to meet the bus

8:42-9:15am - the bus rounds the corner onto 10th Street from Hudson St., I pick Amelia up out of the stroller, while Luiza grabs her Tinkerbell backpack and feeding pump backpack. We carry her to the little bus and I pass Amelia off to the lovely woman who takes her and straps her into her carseat on the bus. Meanwhile, as Amelia gets strapped in and Luiza gets situated, I run around to the window where Amelia sits (just behind the driver) and wave...blow kisses...and make an ass out myself for the whole neighborhood to see! I love it and it makes her and all the other kids crack up.

HOWEVER, somewhere in this lovely morning routine -- some bitchy, grouchy, dumbass cabbie, scooter driver or whoever will inevitably shout out TO ME ...."awwwww, come on lady. WTF????" To which I respectfully yell back "REALLY? You think they're waiting for me to finish my goodbyes, Jackass????? They're strapping her into her seat, Moron!!!!!" Yesterday I even had my neighbor downstairs with me. She gave our verbal assaulter the finger. Ah, I love NY!

Yesterday, while I was shouting at stopped traffic, Nestor went off to play in the 8th Annual Tony Darrow Celebrity Golf Tournament for UCP, NYC. Nestor's been doing this fundraiser outing since it started -- long before Amelia arrived in our lives.

Back story: It was at one of these tournaments, 3 years ago, when we had first returned from California (where Amelia was born) that Nestor bumped into Ed Matthews, the CEO of UCP, NYC. He asked Nestor how things were going and to be honest, we were in a very dark place at that time. Ed asked "how can we help?". Three days later, Ed, his second in command, Linda Laul and their "get-it-all-done-go-to-gal", Chrysanthia Kaputsos were sitting in our living room, cradling our infant girl and putting together a plan for us. UCP, NYC has been incredible to us, holding our hands through some of the most slippery slopes we've ever had to navigate, as parent's of a child like Amelia -- and they continue to do so. It feels like there is no way they could possibly give of themselves as much as they've given to us day in and day out ...only to come to realize that this is, indeed what they do for everyone. These folks at UCP are angels.

Back to yesterday....Nestor left early in the morning with our neighbor and good friend, Joe Lisi so that I could have the car to drive out to where they were playing this year (about 45 minutes away) and come to the dinner reception and show in the evening. What a fun time! The food was fantastic (I think I ate 5 lobster tails and who knows how much sushi) and the show was, as always, very entertaining. The acts are always great, but it's the shenanigans that happens between the performances that's always fun to be around. Tony Darrow is known for his wiseguy roles in "Goodfellas," "Sopranos," etc. so he always invites his paisans to attend the fundraiser. All the celebs sit together and it's really a blast.

There is always a child honored at the event and this year it was a handsome, little boy named, Maximilian. He's turning 5 on Thursday. Max is small with little head control, he can't move his arms, he is in a wheelchair and his speech consists of sounds and lip movement, with no audible words. But I'll tell you what... he has the sweetest smile, charming personality and is so communicative in his own special way -- it lit up the room and everyone in it. And he is loved. So loved by his wonderful parents and grandparents, who were all there. They are lovely people and Nestor and I had the pleasure of speaking with them for awhile.

Nestor will be leaving next week for Puerto Rico to shoot a film for about a week. Amelia and I will be hanging here for those days until my cousin, Jen comes up on Thursday to drive back to MD with us on Friday. The fun thing is that we're going back to MD because my mother is getting Bat Mitzvahed on Saturday. That's right folks, my 68 year old Mother is getting Bat Mitzvahed on August 8th. She's been taking classes for 2 years and the day has finally arrived. My brother and his brood are all making the schlep from Albuquerque, NM for the event. Nestor will fly into BWI on Friday meet up with us.

I'm sort of happy it worked out like this though because Jen and I are best friends. With both of us having kids and being in different states, we don't see much of each other these days, so I'm really looking forward to getting out with her when she gets here. At least for a few hours while Amelia is with her respite worker and in school, Jen and I can get a glimpse of our lives before husbands and kids......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summertime and the living is...hectic!

So. Here we are. We've had quite the couple of weeks. Let's begin with the major efforts which was packing up the house upstate. I know, I know -- you're sick of hearing about it. Me too. So let me just give a big shout out to those who sacrificed weekends and holidays to help us make this thing happen.

  • Evelyn & Carlo/Titi Evelyn & Uncle Carlo
  • Karena & Jonathan
  • Mom & Dad/Bubbie & Zadie/Dona Ruth & The Good Dr.
  • Art & Terry/Titi Terry & Uncle Artie
  • Josette & Nick


That said, it's really strange for us to no longer have our beautiful place to go to anymore. Sad.

Moving on. After packing up the house into a Pod and having it picked up and put into storage, we brought several boxes, our luggage and a set of golf clubs back with us into the city and have been staring at them since. We've been able to unpack a couple of the boxes...but a few are now playing the role of "ornamental cardboard." Perhaps a coat of paint and they could live there? The luggage and golf clubs have been strategically camouflaged behind Amelia's therapy equipment in the corner of the living room...lurking under her therapy ball. Not too bad tho considering.

Because Amelia was off of school for a week and a half (6/24 - 7/6) before her summer session started, we took off for a couple of days (packing yet again!) for Baltimore to visit my family down there. We had a nice getaway and got to see everyone. BBQ at my cousins, Mitch, Barbara & Hannah's on the 4th and sparklers in the backyard. Lots of time with my sister, her husband and kids -- whom Amelia adores!

The big bonus for me was getting to see a friend of mine from high school, Jodi who has become such a wonderful friend and huge support for Amelia and I through our blogs(see Amelia's Friends link to "An American Mom in Tuscany: Jordan's Cochlear Implant Story"). She is a dynamic and fearless advocate for her son, who has Cochlear Implants and has inspired me beyond words. Also, I actually got to meet her son and daughter too (I've only read about them on her blog) which was really cool! I think she felt the same way when she met Amelia. We've become invested in each other's lives through our stories and actually meet the person who inspires it all -- and ourselves -- is!

We came back a couple days ago and Amelia started school again. Monday night, Amelia spiked a fever. Tylenol and motrin kicked it. Then, yesterday I got the call from school that she had 99.8, so they gave her tylenol and off we went to pick Amelia up from school and take her to the Drs. office. They did bloodwork and sent us to the hospital to get chest x-rays...and as we suspected, pneumonia. A very small case of it, as we caught it very early. Allow me to give you the back story that a couple of weeks ago Amelia was spiking fevers so we took her in for bloodwork and it showed her white blood cell count was at 33.4 (15 being the norm and 20 considered high) -- so her count was very, very high! Knowing there was infection somewhere( we would have had to have done a battery of tests to find out exactly where -- so we decided to treat the whole person rather than put her through more studies), we put her on 10 days of Biaxin. That cycle ended last you can imagine that 5 days later, when her fevers started again, we were disheartened -- to say the least. But, we caught it early -- 10 days on Augmenten and she'll be good as new. Amelia seems herself, just with heavier and thicker secretions -- but jolly and happy overall.

I also wanted to mention that I was able to attend the Bris of Judah Shai Leshin a couple of weeks ago and felt so blessed to sitting among all his friends and family. Carrie, Scott and Sam, he's going to take great care of you! My heart is bursting for you all. (See the Leshin's blog "In Through The Out Door" from Amelia's Friends.)