Saturday, September 11, 2010

Soccer Mom...What???

So the other day I was referred to as a "soccer mom" by someone who had only met me mere minutes prior....and that got me thinking about how readily people like to stereotype others, most of the time, without even knowing them. Now, I know my kid plays soccer (at least for this week) but I don't think I would categorize myself as a "soccer mom". In fact, what IS a soccer mom?? Wikipedia says: a soccer mom is "a middle-class suburban woman who drives a mini-van, and spends a significant amount of her time transporting her school-age children to their sporting events or other activities" (for the record, I do not reside in the suburbs and I do not drive a mini-van). I get so confused with all the titles of types of people, it's exhausting to keep up! I'm not one to really put people into "categories"...I don't think it's fair and most of the time, doesn't do the individual justice. And I'm typically wrong, so why even bother. My question on this one is Why do we do it? Why do we immediately put people in boxes? And who cares to be quite honest? Is it fear, jealousy, what?? (and by "we" I mean women in general).

I will readily admit that I have a hard time making girlfriends. I have a few true girlfriends from childhood, college, work, and most recently since I've become a mother. I can probably count the number of friends who would drop anything for me if I really needed them to on one hand. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to be a guy to save my life, but man, being friends with girls takes patience! Give me a bunch of guys, a few drinks, some food and a sporting event and you've got yourself a good time!

However, as I've gotten older I've come to appreciate the differences women have to offer in a friendship. Not only do we discuss parenting, but there are different life lessons, situations and other relationships we tend to want opinions on. I now cherish these talks. I crave the comraderie and the banter. I love the difference in personalities and the strength my friends exude. I wouldn't trade them for the world and I'm thankful for them everyday. I can't even begin to want to categorize them, they each have their own special uniqueness. So here's my suggestion...take it with a grain of be you and let me be me and how about we don't categorize eachother? That's the beauty of get to be yourself.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today, We Remember

I can remember every single thing about that day. The color of the sky, the crispness in the air, the smell of late summer, the panic stricken phone calls, the anxiety, the fear, the relief to know my loved ones were safe…all of it. I am profoundly grateful to have been living in the neighborhood where the Twin Towers stood on Sept 11, 2001. I lived through it not only on that day, but for years after. The construction, the visitors, the tourists, the protestors and the anniversaries…all of it. I still have the shoes I wore on Sept 12th….after not being able to go back to our neighborhood on the 11th, we lived with my relatives (thank you!!) for 13 days, but on the day after, we had to know if we still had an apartment to go home to. So we walked downtown, through eerily quiet streets covered with debris coming into contact with only Police Officers and National Guardsmen who kindly helped us get to our destination. We found our building had been padlocked shut but were relieved to see it was still standing. Those shoes are in a box, still dirty, I’ll keep them forever.

Today is the one day of the year where I wish every human on the face of this earth would just take a step back and stop for a moment and live by the saying “do unto others as you would have done unto you”. Be thankful for what you have, give from your heart, love with your entire being and be kind. Because as we have learned from that day and other days since, life is short; don’t let it pass you by….LIVE it. So in honor of the memory of 9/11/01, I’m posting an article written by Will Femia, not only because he’s my husband but because of the content.

And because honoring the memory of that day means we should continue to move forward and live, I’ll be spending my day at my son’s first soccer game, over looking the skyline of New York City being grateful.

How will you be spending your day??

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School, First Day of School....

I would imagine this will be an annual post until my kid is a Senior in High School....for now he's a Kindergartner....HOW DID THAT HAPPEN??? Wasn't it just yesterday he was a brand new baby who needed us 24/7 for EVERYTHING?? When did he become a wise cracking, baseball hat wearing, independent kid who at the ripe old age of 4 (almost 5) thinks he knows more than me?? His energy is limitless and his thirst for knowledge amazes me...I hope it continues for the rest of his life. So as we say goodbye to the toddler years, we welcome with enthusiasm the next phase in our lives....SCHOOL!!! Happy First Day of School to all the kids in our lives no matter what grade you're in. Embrace it (you have a lot of years left!), take advantage of learning new stuff, question it, challenge it and soak it all in. Don't forget to thank your teachers, THANK YOU Teachers...for taking on the responsibility of educating our kids, for loving them, disciplining them and helping them become better people every day! Here's to a great school year....I'll follow up in June 2011 :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month

So, September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month.....Here are some statistics to digest....

What if I told you…

- The American Cancer Society’s Annual Report shows $1 BILLION in total public support and it’s Extramural/Intramural Funding in Priority Areas shows only $4 MILLION is directed to childhood cancers. Less than half a penny of each of these dollars is directed to the #1 killing disease for kids under the age of 20

- For children between 1-19 years, cancer is the fourth leading cause of death overall, and the leading cause of disease related death. It remains responsible for more deaths from ages 1-19 than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS COMBINED

- Approximately 46 U.S. children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single day

- 1 in every 330 children will develop cancer before the age of 19

- National Cancer Institute’s Federal Budget was $4.6 billion from this total ALL twelve major pediatric cancers received LESS THAN 3% of this budget

- For every six research dollars per patient with AIDS and every one research dollar per patient with breast cancer, a child with cancer receives only 30 cents

- Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet there are many cancers that are almost exclusively found in children

- 1 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer dies

- 3 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer suffer from long-term or late onset side effects

- Common cancer symptoms in children are often suspected to be common illnesses and thus treated as such causing cancer to be found at later stages

- Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage when the disease would react more favorably to treatment have largely failed

- Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that their disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that their cancer has spread to distant sites

- Cause of childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented

- Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS yet pediatric AIDS receives four times the funding that childhood cancer receives

- On the average, 12,500 children in the US are diagnosed with cancer each year

- On the average, one in ever four elementary schools has a child with cancer

- 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer

- Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas and relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia and relapsed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

- Every day 9 children in the US are diagnosed with a brain tumor

- Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death from childhood cancer

- There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors, making effective treatment very complicated

- Because brain tumors are located at the control center for thought, emotion and movement, their effects on a child’s physical and cognitive abilities can be devastating

- At this time, brain cancer research is underfunded and THE PUBLIC REMAINS LARGELY UNAWARE of the magnitude of this disease

- The cure rate for most brain cancers is significantly lower than that for many other types of cancer

- The funding for pediatric cancer clinical trials has gone down every year since 2003, and is currently $26.4 million. By comparison, NCI funding for AIDS research was $254 million in 2006; funding for breast cancer topped $584 million the same year

- We may spend 3-5 times the amount of research money per patient on most adult cancer cases than we do on children with cancer

- In general, children with Central Nervous System (CNS) cancer do not share the favorable prognosis of those with many other common pediatric neoplasms

In the coming weeks/months our family, friends and anyone else interested in getting involved will be working on establishing a foundation to honor Declan, to help current/future children (and their families) and to perpetuate awareness, understanding and the search for a cure!

Please wear your gold ribbons this month… Tell people what you know about Pediatric Cancer… and, if you would, honor Declan by sharing his story, his life and how our beautiful little boy effected you.


CureSearch Website:
CureSearch represents the combined efforts of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF)

The National Cancer Institute:

American Cancer Society:

Pediatric Cancer Foundation: