Thursday, April 18, 2013


I think the entire world is aware of what happened in Boston. No need to explain. I'm sad about it. A lot of people are, even if they were not directly effected by it. I did not know of anyone at the Boston Marathon, but the images are horrifying and I can't help but feel emotional. I think when something like this happens, an act of terrorism, I am effected more than I would be from something like a shooting, whether it be multiple victims or just one.

I commend the people who were first responders. I honesly don't know how I would react in that situation. Would I run to help or would I run away? I hope I never find out. I hope I'd be a person to run and help, but I just don't know. Fear changes things. REAL fear.

As we all know there were 3 deaths. It's amazing to me that there weren't more. But 178 people were injured. These aren't minor injuries either, many of these people lost limbs and/or had debris in them. As many as 10, 20, 30, 40 pieces of debris. It's almost unthinkable. People will remember this event as vividly as we remember 9/11. Terror does that to people.

Recently I signed up to run a 5k and I am not even a runner. I am not even in any kind of shape to run. But I was pretty much asked (indirectly) to run and I was also (indirectly) asked to be a Captain of the AmeriFace team. I am an active volunteer for AmeriFace, I am a Pathfinder Coordinator for the Chicagoland area. AmeriFace was there for me when my son Jesse was young and I had a hard time dealing with his cleft situation. Once I got myself together, I became a volunteer so I could help others like they helped me. How could I NOT volunteer for the 5k? It will help the organization I feel most passionate about and this is for my son. I will do this, I CAN do this. Since Monday's events in Boston, I feel even more passionate about doing this run. I want to run for AmeriFace, but I also want to run for the people who were in Boston and CAN'T run anymore.

Unfortunately it takes events like this to appreciate the things we have. Our freedom, our loved ones, our health, our able bodies. I may not be the healthiest person, but I can get out there and give it my all, and I plan to do so.
"The mission of AmeriFace is to provide information and emotional support to individuals with facial differences and their families and increase public understanding through awareness programs and education.

We support individuals whose facial differences are present at birth, as well as those who have acquired facial differences as a result of illness, disease or trauma, such as stroke, cancer, accident and burns."

Please join me on July 6, 2013 in the Color Vibe 5k by registering at the links below. If you don't want to run (or walk) and would like to support me, you can make a donation to the AmeriFace team by visiting this link. Team AmeriFace there's a box that says, "Team AmeriFace Color Vibe 5K"

Join Team AmeriFace at the Color Vibe 5K in Chicago-Aurora!
Register NOW at
Choose "Team AmeriFace"
Password "smile"
Charity Code 32-0085490

Be sure to let us know you've joined the team at

Then download the Sponsorship Packet at

Thank you for your support!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

He's Three!?

Although Jesse doesn't want to admit it, he's 3 now. He still proclaims, "I'm 2!" When did my baby turn into a little boy?

We've been busy. We had my niece and nephew's birthday the week before Jesse's. Then his birthday. We planned a party at our house for immediate family and a few close friends. Jesse had an ear infection a few days before, so I got him on anti-biotics to clear it up as soon as possible. It worked, but the day of his party he started coughing. I thought it was related to the ear infection drainage, but it wasn't. He was sick. Sick for his own birthday party. He was ok the first couple hours, then he was passed out sick on the couch. He missed cake and present opening. When he woke up, we let him open presents, but by then almost everyone was gone.

Since his birthday was the following day, Easter, we decided we would celebrate then. I was supposed to work at the restaurant in the morning, but the head server called me at 9am and asked me if I wanted the day off (she knew it was his birthday). Even though I needed the money, I took the offer and stayed home with my baby on his birthday. We let him play with new toys. The weather was nice so we spent time outside. We had a few friends over and celebrated again, this time there was cake.
Bubble Blower, an Easter gift

Loved his new Big Wheels

One thing that Jesse's always had issues with, due to his clefts, are sucking and blowing. He started sucking shortly after his palate surgery just before his 1st birthday. Since then we have been working on blowing. We have used bubbles, cotton balls, whistles, straws, etc. There are many techniques used in helping a child blow. This year it was very important to me to watch my son blow the candles out on his birthday cake. I didn't even want to practice with candles because I wanted it to be special, for me and for him.

We sang "Happy Birthday", his face lit up with joy. I had my camera ready for all the necessary birthday cake shots, then the moment of truth came and he did it! Blew each candle out one by one, but he BLEW! Most mothers wouldn't be proud of such a task, but to a cleft mom, it meant the world!

A funny thing happened a few days later. Jesse had gone to bed and we had a ton of leftover cake (as we were expecting to serve it to 15+ people). He had come out of his room and popped around the corner to the kitchen, saw his cake and asked, "Is it my birthday again?" I was so sweet and innocent.