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Sunday, July 21, 2013


MRS. LO'S SATURDAY MORNING BLOG. "WHY IT IS MEDICALLY NECESSARY FOR MRS. LO TO SIT IN A ROWBOAT ALL DAY" - when I went on the Family Cruise 3 weeks ago, my first cruise, I adjusted incredibly well to being at sea. That should have been my first clue. I could literally do cartwheels down the hall on rocky seas when other passengers had trouble walking. However, upon disembarking, my knees buckled and I could not get used to the sensation of being on land. The world was moving like a cruise ship but I wasn't on a cruise ship. I saw my primary doctor and he gave me medicine for vertigo, which was helpful. Then I saw my ENT and he diagnosed me with "MDDS," or Mal de Disembarquement Syndrome. This rare and temporary condition occurs when your brain adjusts so well to the pitching and tilting of a cruise ship that the brain is unable to "re-set" to being on land. Hence, the incredibly uncomfortable feelings of vertigo all the time. "Great, Dr. Munzer, I'm so glad you diagnosed me, now how do we fix this?" I said, cheerfully. "Oh, there's no cure for it," he said equally cheerfully. (I'm sorry, is it the ringing in my ears, did he say no cure?). He explained that this would go away on its own, in time, and the first thing I should do is stop the vertigo medicine, which just masks the symptoms and does nothing to improve the condition. I asked him how I was supposed to get through the day. "Just power through," he said. Crew parents will recognize this to be a term used in crew, maybe in other sports, to mean just suck up the pain and keep going. "Is there anything at all that makes you feel better?" he asked me. Well, whenever I go in the motorboat with Big Coach or sit in any of the crew shells or kayaks, yes, I feel great. "Then do that," he said. So, yesterday, with the world pitching and rolling in my office, I left, went down to summer camp and went in the motor boat with Big Coach. Normally, that's a harrowing ride but for me it was heavenly. And I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening watching the kids at practice, while lying in a rowboat. Just what the doctor ordered. Of course, I had to explain to Big Coach what I wanted to do. "You want to sit in the motorboat?" he asked, "and you don't want it to go anywhere?" Exactly, I said. "Are you tricking me into something?" he inquired with a raised eyebrow
. "No, coach, it's doctor's orders." He was confused by my request, but way too busy to ask any further and basically said help yourself, Mrs. Lo, as long as I don't have to drive you anywhere during practice. I promise to be especially thankful for my balance when it comes back to me. It's funny the things we take for granted until their gone. Remember to count your blessings, everyone, and have a great day! Mrs. Lo

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How Mrs. Lo Went on a Cruise and Lost Weight

Mrs. Lo had never been on a cruise before.  Everyone said get ready to gain weight, so I got ready.   I brought stretchy clothes and extra roomy T-shirts.  In fact, I lost 8 pounds in 5 days.  Now, I usually don't weigh myself.  But it so happened that I went to the doctor right before my cruise and right after.  The best advice I have for other cruisers who want to lose weight or at least stay the same weight:  just do what your kids do, assuming you have very active children.  Christian, my 13 yo, wanted to go to the gym every day, but he needed to have a parent with him, so I ended up working out at the gym every day.  Also, I was with the Little Kids a lot and they don't walk so much as do that combo walk-run that kids do when they're excited all the time.  Let's play mini-golf, run!  Let's go to the arcade on the 12th floor, run!  I also swam and snorkeled with the kids, and took every dance class that was offered:  ballroom, salsa, and cha cha.  Both of my kids, Christian in particular, had no patience for the overcrowded elevators.  So we took the stairs, 10 floors up and 10 floors down, over and over.  At first, I objected because I was wearing heels.  "You told me when you lived in New York, you walked all over Manhattan in 4-inch heels," quipped my 13 yo.  Why, oh why, does my son remember everything I say, it's like walking around with a stenographer.  I should note that I ate just what I ate at home, nothing more, nothing less.    Thus, now that I am home, I think we know what all this means:  pass the pasta, Anthony, Momma needs to get back in shape!  Remember to count your blessings and have a great week, everyone <3 Mrs. Lo

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The LoBiondo Family Cruise of a Lifetime: complete with wailing infant in the next room

The entire LoBiondo Family, who make up "LoBiondoFork", just returned from the cruise of a lifetime, Nana and Pop pop, Anthony's parents, took all 11 of us on a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.  It was their treat, although Anthony and I decided to upgrade to a bigger room with a balcony as our own treat.  It was wonderful to have all the family and cousins together and the kids couldn't have been happier.  The Little Kids swam, snorkeled, played miniature golf, hit the arcade and generally enjoyed life to the fullest as only two little kids can.  The 3 teenagers, including Christian, enjoyed the sports, from the gym to the basketball, dodgeball, and table tennis.  Christian won a rock climbing contest, beating out college-aged kids and apparently setting a ship record.  Mrs. Lo was having a pretty good time too, until the first time I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a wailing baby.  I was really confused.  We were surrounded by our own family, the youngest of which is Little Michael, age 9.  And our neighbors next door were way too old to have babies.  Then John, our stateroom attendant, explained to me what was going on.  "That's not their baby, Miss, that's their grandbabies (did he use the plural?).  Your neighbors, they have their kids on board and their kids have babies.  The kids like to go to all the activities.  When I was coming in this morning at 4 am, I see the kids, they're at the Disco Dance Party."  The first thing I did was count my blessings, because the "grandparents" looked to be about my age.  Better them than me, is the first thing I thought.  So our room is next door to the Grandparent Dropoff, last stop before the young parents hit the party scene.  No wonder those poor babies are crying.  So I did what any good lawyer would do, I made myself look discheveld, which wasn't hard, and called for the manager.  I explained that I couldn't go down to see him, they would have to send him up to see me, because I hadn't slept in 3 nights due to the Grandparents Dropoff situation.  Gerard, the manager, couldn't have been nicer.  "No problem, Miss," he said, "I can get you something to help you sleep all night."  You mean, special pillows, I said.  "No, Miss, something from the ship doctor."  Did he just offer me drugs?  I managed to stay drug-free all these years, I don't want to end up in Betty Ford because of my cruise.  Actually, Gerard, I was hoping for another room, where there is no baby next door.  "Oh, sorry, Miss the ship is booked full up."  Well, maybe the Captain can sleep in the Library and I can have his room, I joked.  "Hmmm, a room just for sleeping, let me see what I can do."  Thankfully, Gerard came through, and we ended with a second room, where I could go just to sleep at night.  It was on the same deck where the crew sleeps.  It wasn't the Captain's room, but after 3 sleepless nights at sea, I didn't care, I was just happy to get a good night's rest.  And it was one more room for the Little Kids to play in and the teenagers to shower in, the ship was starting to look like LoBiondoFork.  I promised several readers that I would explain what "LoBiondoFork" is.  For those of you under 40, there used to be a show in the 80's called "Dallas."  The extended Ewing family of Texas all lived together in a sprawling mansion-ranch they called "Southfork."  The LoBiondo Family all lives within walking distance of each other in Newburgh, and we joke that our houses put together are "LoBiondoFork."  All in all, it truly was the cruise and vacation of a lifetime, with beautiful memories and of course, lots of pictures.  Remember to count your blessings, everyone, and have a great day! <3 Mrs. Lo

Saturday, July 6, 2013

When is Mom Too Old for a Bikini?

WHEN IS MOM YOU "TOO OLD" TO WEAR A BIKINI - short answer: when the time comes, my kids, who are merciless with their honesty, will be the first to let me know. Today, three generations of the LoBiondo Family will embark on a cruise to Bermuda to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Nana and Pop pop, Anthony's parents. We feel very blessed to have our whole family together and this whole trip was my in-laws' treat. While packing, I had the Style Channel on. Some British woman appeared on screen and pronounced that at 47, one is officially too old for a bikini. (I will be 48 later this month). Uh-oh, I said. I looked at my swimsuit collection. All two-pieces. Except for the Speedo suits I use to swim laps at the Y, and they're not really cruise worthy. It never occurred to me that it might be time to go out and get "mommy suits" with skirts. In fact, although my mom had a killer figure back in the day, she always wore a mommy suit with a skirt. And a bathing cap with little flowers on it, if she was going to swim. I didn't bother to ask my husband his opinion, he's so supportive, that he's almost blinded by love. Like when I came home from the hospital after giving birth to Christian. My husband truly thought I looked great, and had me believing I had lost almost all the baby weight. Then my brother stopped by the house. He gave me a pat on the belly and said, "Hey, Sis, I didn't know you were having twins ... looks like they left one in there!" It's funny now, but it was a tear fest back then. And both my sons have taken on the mantel of my little brother when it comes to honesty. I have cowboy boots I've never worn out of the house. I almost did, one time. My boys stopped me at the door. "Oh no, mom, please, don't wear those out of the house. Ever. We thought that was for one of your costume parties." So I asked my kids, do you think it's time to for your mom to start wearing mommy suits? "What's a mommy suit?" You know, the one piece, with the skirt on it. "Like grandma wears?" Exactly. "No, mom, how could you embarass us like that, please don't get a mommy suit," said Christian, my 13 yo, and I might have seen an eye roll too. "If you don't want people to see you," offered Little Michael, my 9 yo helpfully, "you could just stay in the room all day." Thanks, kids, I guess. I do appreciate the brutal honesty, I could always count on my brother for that, and now I can count on my sons. I guess I won't
make any drastic wardrobe changes for now. Remember to count your blessings, everyone! We are feeling very, very blessed at this moment, as we embark on this trip. Thank you for reading Mrs. Lo's Saturday Morning Blog, have a great day, everyone!  Mrs. Lo