Posts Filed Under Ramblings

Taking Chances

posted by Momo Fali on April 27, 2009

Roughly 14 years ago I went paraplaning with some co-workers, one of whom would become my future husband.

If you have never seen a paraplane, it is a glorified go-cart with an enormous fan on the back. As you drive the go-cart across a field, the fan fills a parachute which acts as your wings. Before you know it, you’re alone, 700 feet in the air with steel strapped to your rear end and nothing connecting you to your friends on the ground but a walkie talkie.

Photo courtesy http://www.sunflightcraft.com/

Because of a technical malfunction, my husband had no radio contact. He flew around, without flight instruction, for almost a half an hour and absolutely loved the experience. I, however, spoke clearly with the people on the ground, and was so terrified that I made only one loop around the farm because I feared I might buy it.

I had always thought I would be more of a daredevil, but the paraplane set me straight. A few years later, I was conveniently pregnant when my husband went white-water rafting and sky-diving without me.

I am fine with that. I own the fact that I don’t take chances.

About a month ago, I put word out that we were looking for a puppy. I also, half-heartedly, asked someone to stop me.

Our 11 year old dog has been a great big pain. She is finally at a point where she’s calm and controllable, so why would we think about starting from scratch?

A few folks tried to talk some sense into me, including my best friend who knows me all too well. She knows how busy my life is, and how having a dog throws a wrench into just about everything you do.

But then, a childhood friend sent me a message that simply said, “Go for it — life is short.”

And that? Was all it took.

Life is tough enough thanks to the worrying we do over whether we’re raising our kids the right way, if they’re doing well socially and academically, if they’re going to get hurt playing sports, or get plucked off the street by a stranger. Having kids is a pinch of love and a whole lot of stress. It’s all about taking chances.

Add to that, the fact that my six year old son walks around at risk of a stroke every day, or that he needs open heart surgery, or that his life has been one, big, uphill battle.

Life is short for all of us, but for some people, life can be risky without ever intentionally taking a risk. Some people don’t have to fly a go-cart through the air or jump out of a plane. My son is one of them. His life is risky because he exists. All I needed was a reminder.

That is the reason my fingers have become chew toys and why we are going through paper towels like they’re going out of style. My little boy wants to run and romp and play with a puppy and he deserves the chance to do so.

Life is short and we went for it. And, I am so glad we did.

Not So Picture Perfect

posted by Momo Fali on April 14, 2009

There are some amazing photography bloggers out there. I am not one of them. As much as I would love to have classic and beautiful pictures of my family, most of them are blurry, or too dark or every subject has a nasty case of red-eye.

I do not own a fancy camera, because I’m sure it would do no good. It’s not about the equipment, it’s about the operator. However, it doesn’t stop me from trying.

This is what happens when I try to set up a nice shot of my sweet dog, Blue, in front of the fireplace. Yes, people who live in Ohio still have fires in April.

So bright I nearly blinded her.

Too ghostlike.

Too dark and blurry.


She moved, AND grew tired of this experiment.

And, this? Is as good as it’s going to get.

There But for the Grace of God Go I

posted by Momo Fali on April 9, 2009

I really didn’t want to write this post. I’ve sat here, for the past 24 hours, trying to find the right words. I don’t think words can possibly convey what I’m feeling, but I will do my best.

I am a mom of two preemies. My daughter was born during an emergency c-section ten weeks early and weighed just over two pounds. My son was taken from me seven weeks too soon because his congenital heart defect was worsening in utero. He tipped the scales at three pounds, eight ounces.

Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time in hospitals. My daughter stayed in intensive care for her first five weeks of life and my son has had nine surgeries and has been hospitalized numerous times. When he was an infant, if he so much as got a cold they admitted him, partly because of his underlying health problems, but also because he was premature and very, very small. On his first birthday, he weighed just thirteen pounds.

When you have a child who is premature, small and sick you seek out other parents who are in the same boat. Especially those who can still manage to have a sense of humor about the awful situation into which they have been thrust; the kind of people who understand the lingo, and the acronyms and what it’s like to have therapists practically coming out of your rear end.

We know our children’s medical history as well as we know our own phone number…probably better. We know the ins and outs of the health insurance industry, our doctors consider us family and pharmacists become our good friends. Parents of preemies know what it’s like to feed your kid every three hours, round the clock, for their first year just so they can maybe gain a few ounces.

We watch our children fight and claw their way to milestones like little soldiers. We can commiserate and we understand each other, and every now and then we have to help pick each other up…because sometimes all the hard work and struggles of raising a preemie don’t pay off. Sometimes the soldiers just can’t fight anymore.


This is Maddie. She was 17 months old and was still fighting up until the very end, which came day before yesterday. My heart breaks for her parents. Parents who were just like me and my husband up until Maddie died.

We are not in the same boat anymore. My family is sailing along on occasionally choppy waters, while their vessel has been completely overturned.

I am giving thanks that we have been very fortunate and I will hug my kids a whole lot tighter tonight. In Maddie’s memory we will continue our fight. Rest easy, child. Struggle no more. You have fought hard enough.

Then All My Friends Asked For One

posted by Momo Fali on April 6, 2009

On Friday night I attended a jewelry party. Although, it wasn’t so much a jewelry party as it was a chance to get out with the girls, drink some wine and play dress-up with gold and silver that belonged to someone else.

The jewelry sales consultant organized a game for us, so that we could earn tickets for a chance to win a door prize. She would say a letter and we had to pull something out of our purse that started with that letter.

Being that I’m highly competitive, I felt my purse was well-stocked and that I could win the prize for sure. I’d collect all the tickets and walk away with that $5.00 bracelet if it killed me!

A few years ago, on a girl’s weekend, my best friend emptied the contents of her purse on the dining room table. You had to see it to believe it because you name it, she had it. There were oodles of things which had no place in a handbag. I seem to recall her saying, “So there’s my packing tape. Oh, and my Alice Cooper School’s Out album from 1972!”

As much as I missed her company, I am thankful she and her Mary Poppins purse weren’t there to compete with me on Friday.

The sales consultant started with “P” and a lady I’ll refer to as Quick-Draw proudly held up her phone. It wasn’t more than a nanosecond.

The next letter was “G” and before I could get my gloss into my hand, someone held up gum.

Next came “M”, and I can’t even tell you what the winner had that time, because I was busy thinking about tossing the contents of my purse across the room.

But, it pays to be patient so instead I held tight and waited. When the consultant said the letter “D” and all the ladies were trying to find their drivers licenses, I not only won the ticket, but I also won for originality.

That’s right, I pulled out my dog’s tranquilizers. After 11 years, that mutt is finally starting to pay off.