Muscle Man

posted by Momo Fali on April 17, 2009

My son will be seven in a few weeks, but he looks more like a four year old. The cardiologist says it’s because of his GI problems, and the gastroenterologist says it’s because of his heart. The geneticist threw her hands up and said, “It’s not us!” All we know is that he’s small.

Lately, however, he appears to be going through a growth spurt. In order to boost his confidence I mentioned it last night.

I eyed my boy, then looked at my husband and said, “Doesn’t he look bigger?” Then I turned to my son and said, “You’re huge!”

Taking this as a valid compliment, my son looked up at me and said, “YOU’RE huge!” and in order to one-up my comment, he added, “Actually, you’re HUGE-MONGOUS!”

I tilted my head towards my husband and said, “Uh-oh.” I backpedaled and explained that calling a woman “huge” isn’t really a compliment, but it’s okay when you are talking about a boy’s muscles.

My son looked at his dad and said, “Yeah. Like Daddy’s.”

Somehow this whole thing completely backfired on me.

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.

Underwrite That

posted by Momo Fali on April 13, 2009

My husband and I were recently discussing our latest attempt to obtain life insurance for our six year old son. Our applications for coverage are always futile because of my boy’s underlying heart defects.

My son and my 10 year old daughter were sitting nearby and heard us talking. She asked, “Why won’t the company give him insurance?”

We don’t hide the fact that he is different, so I picked up my son, squeezed him and answered, “Because of his heart.”

Then my son, in his dramatic fashion, replied, “What are they talking about? My heart is beautiful!”

Indeed, it is, son. Indeed, it is.

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.