Jessie’s Head Injury

It’s been 3 weeks since my most horrific mommy experience ever. (This incident is up there with my Nightmare at the Pumpkin Patch in 2008.) I just wanted to document my experience in a blog post to keep and share with my family & friends… Jessie is doing much better and we are so thankful that she’s okay.

Thursday, July 11, 2012: It was a typical summer afternoon. We were packing up our things to go swimming. The kids are bouncing off the walls, excited that we are about to leave. They wanted Popsicles, so I thought it we could pack some & eat them at the pool. And then… Jessie (3) is crying in the other room. Marissa (9) came running out to tell me, “Mom! Jessie fell off the bed!” We have a loft bed, which is lower than a traditional bunk bed, about 4 feet high. I ran to the bedroom to find Jessie face down on the carpet, crying. I rolled her over and there was a dark goose egg, growing

Jessie got her new loft bunk bed in Oct. 2010

on the left side of her forehead. I quickly got a bag of frozen vegetables & iced her head. I wasn’t panicked at the time, because I’ve seen bumps on the kids heads before. We usually put ice on it and then they go about playing again. I carried her to the couch and she was still crying. She still wanted a Popsicle so I offered one to her. And then the horror began… Jessie looked up at me with a blank look in her eyes and said, “Mommy I can’t see. I can’t see the Popsicle.” I put my face up to Jessie’s and said, “Jessie, can you see Mommy’s face?” She said, “No.” I waved my hands in front of her eyes. Her eyes were not moving. She had a blank stare.  My heart sank. I was trembling with fear. I called Jim to let him know what happened and then called 911 for help. The dispatcher sent a firetruck and a paramedic immediately. 4 firemen and 2 paramedics arrived. She wasn’t crying anymore and was so cooperative. They examined Jessie & flashed lights into her eyes. Her eyes were not tracking the light. We needed to get to the ER as soon as possible. We needed someone to come watch Marissa while I ride in the ambulance with Jessie. I quickly called Jim to let him know we were going to the ER, my friend Mernie who lives in our neighborhood, and my mom who lives nearby too. Mernie and my mom arrived at the same time, so I told Mernie that Marissa would be fine with my mom. By the time they showed up I was already strapped to the gurney and being wheeled into the ambulance. Poor Jessie couldn’t see a thing. I did my best to remain calm, even though I wanted to freak out that she was blind. I prayed that this was only temporary. I think me being brave made Jessie brave. I noticed that the more calm I was, Jessie was calm. So for her, I kept it together. She wasn’t herself though. Her speech wasn’t the same. She had trouble putting words into a sentence. I was so scared. She was disoriented and blind.

We arrived at the ER at Hoag Hospital in Irvine. More doctors and nurses examined Jessie. They checked her limbs and lifted up her sundress to look for other injuries. Her head was the only injury. More lights flashed into her eyes. She still wasn’t tracking the light. Another doctor came in to take a look. He ordered an x-ray and CT scan. All we could do at this point was wait. Jessie started to complain her stomach was hurting. I had a feeling she was going to vomit. I tried to put a plastic pan near her face but she said she didn’t want it. It seemed like we were waiting forever for the CT scan. I was beginning to worry. The longer we waited, the worse my fears grew. Was she going to be permanently blind? Was she having internal bleeding? Will she need brain surgery?? 30 minutes seemed like an eternity. Just when I was about to get up and start losing my cool.. it was finally Jessie’s turn.

Finally, it was our turn for the CT scan and x-ray. By the time Jessie was prepped for her CT she had to vomit. (concussion symptom) After we cleaned her up, she was ready for the scan. Jessie was in and out of it. She looked like she wanted to fall asleep. I guess this was good so that she could keep still for the scans, even though it made me nervous that she wanted to sleep.

We returned to the same room in the ER while waiting for the results. By then, I noticed Jessie looking around. She looked up at the lights and I asked her, “Can you see, Jessie?” She was still out of it. She gave me a knod. I think by this time her vision was coming back. I was hoping and hoping that it was.

After a few minutes, the doctor came in with the results. Concussion and a skull fracture. What? Doesn’t that mean Jessie’s skull had a crack in it? Scary. It was a small, non-displaced fracture, meaning parts of her skull didn’t move. Thank God it wasn’t worse. Her blindness was caused by pressure to her optic nerve. So thankful this symptom was temporary!

Jessie resting w/ an IV lock on her arm.

It took 3 nurses to get an IV in Jessie’s arm, 2 to hold her down and 1 to stick her arm with needle. Poor thing, This was hard to watch, but it was quick. (She was on a no eating or drinking order, in case something were to happen and she needed surgery right away.) Once they got her IV in she was calm again. What a trooper.


The ER doctor told us Jessie had to stay overnight at CHOC Hospital for observation and have a neurosurgeon take a look at her. So we took another ambulance ride. The paramedics were so nice to Jessie. This was kid-friendly ambulance, with a fully stocked DVD library. They offered Little Mermaid to Jessie and she smiled. She was able to see by then. She laid quietly in the car seat that was strapped to the gurney.

Jessie rested most of the night. She never complained. She looked so peaceful as she slept. I started to breathe a little easier. So far so good. No other symptoms were occurring. She was stable.

My best friend Kimi showed up at around 10pm, even though visiting hours were over. She talked her way passed security and made it all the way to Jessie’s room without me even telling her where we were! She brought magazines & extra juice boxes to keep Jessie hydrated. It was great to have her there. She kept me and Jessie company for a while, until I was ready to finally get some rest after a long scary day. Thanks Kimi!

I posted an update on Facebook. The comments were overwhelming. So many thoughts and prayers for Jessie. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to think about us. I think God heard everyone’s prayers. The power of prayer is an incredible thing! I continued praying though the night, that Jessie would make a full recovery. Thank you, God.

The nurses checked Jessie’s vitals throughout the night. They checked her eyes with a flashlight. CHOC is a wonderful hospital with a very caring staff. The following morning we were greeted by my family: my sis Adrianne, her husband Adam, their son Gunnar and my mom and dad. Jessie was happy to see everyone.

The neurosurgeon Dr. Loudon came by to check on Jessie. He reviewed the CT scans and told us more about her condition: Grade 2 concussion and a non-displaced skull fracture. Only 4% of head injuries result in a fracture. After examining Jessie, Dr. Loudon said it was okay to discharge her that day and watch her closely for 6 weeks. The most crucial part during her recovery is to NOT INJURE that spot again, or the crack can worsen! (second impact syndrome) Okay, now I was planning on being a nervous wreck for 6 weeks!

Enjoying open space & soft sand to play in!

As soon as we got home, we moved the mattress on the floor. Jessie has been compliant (most of the time) about no running and jumping. It’s hard to keep a 3 year old down. But Jessie understands. She’s amazing. We spend a lot of time at the beach because she can play in an open area with soft sand around her. No furniture or playground structures to bump into or fall from.

Jessie & Shahla at LA Fitness Kid's Club

We’re into week 3 and I started going back to the gym. Jessie is having fun at the Kids Club. Shahla at LA Fitness in Woodbury is the best! She’s been caring for Jessie since she was an infant! The caregivers are awesome. They make sure she sits and watches TV or plays without jumping or running while I workout.

We still need to visit Fire Station 20 in Irvine to thank them! They responded to our 911 call so quickly and were so sweet to Jessie during a traumatic moment. Those moments are still a blur to me.  I’m just so thankful. We live in a high tech society with the quickest emergency response teams around. Maybe I’ll bake some cookies for those sweet firemen! Jessie will love checking out the firehouse and the trucks!

I don’t know what I would have done if this situation were any worse. She could have bled internally. She could have been permanently blind. Or.. I won’t even say it. All those crazy thoughts were going through my head at the time. I’m just glad that Jessie is all better. Heaven can wait. We need Jessie here! Whew.

3 weeks after her injury. Photo taken 9/2/11.







Categories: jessie, kids, mom | 13 Comments

#RazorParkCrush Event at OC Great Park

Suz Broughton & Marcy Massusa

We had a blast at the #RazorParkCrush event on Thursday 7/28 at the OC Great Park! The event was hosted by OC’s Blog Crush and sponsored by Razor. This was my first Blog Crush event to attend, and how fun that it was a family night! The kids were able to test out Razor’s latest products. The hottest item was the eSpark electric scooter. My daughter Marissa and her friend B. loved it! Just turn the throttle and hang on! I noticed a left hand brake and the really fun feature was the rear step brake. Sparks were flying all over the place as the kids stepped on the brakes! Fun! The scooter’s max speed was only 10 mph. Scary for me to watch at first, but the kids seemed like pros right when they took off. (List price for eSpark: $179.99 but I’ve seen them go for $123.99 on Amazon).

Marissa testing out the eSpark

Razor did an awesome job at showcasing all of their scooters. They even had a scavenger hunt using Twitter. Clues were announced by following the hashtag #RazorParkCrush or by following @RazorUSA and watching the Twitter stream. Kids (and parents) raced all over OC Great Park to grab the clues. Prizes included the eSpark scooter and the Graffiti scooter (it has chalk on the brakes to create Razor scooter art!).

The kids were also able to try out some target practice with the Razor water pellet guns. Pump action with a chamber to hold little water pellets.

It was a great evening for all! AND, I finally got to meet Suzanne Broughton IRL (in real life)! After 2 years of tweets (@SuzBroughton) and missing each other by minutes at our neighborhood Cherry on Top and other Foursquare checkins, it was a pleasure to finally meet her!

Suz and MaryAnne IRL!

More pics:

Testing out the water pellet guns

Marcy Massura greets Blog Crush attendees

Carolynn Santaniello aka @OCRealtress

MaryAnne & Marcie aka @SuburbanMama

A cast on the leg didn't stop him from testing the Razors!

Fun for all ages!


Looking forward to the next Blog Crush event! Thanks for having us!!


Razor USA on Twitter:!/razorusa
Razor USA on Facebook:

Categories: events, kids, mom | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

#Meetup4Maddie 4/21 at Il Fornaio Irvine


Meetup For Maddie

Register for Meetup for Maddie in Irvine, CA  on Eventbrite

Come join us at Il Fornaio (Irvine), the Authentic Italian Restaurant and Bakery. Support a great cause and mingle with friends and supporters of Maddie. All proceeds will be donated to the Maddie James Foundation.

What: #Meetup4Maddie

When: Thurs. 4/21/2011 at 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where: Il Fornaio Restaurant, 18051 Von Karman, Irvine, CA 92612

How much: $15.00

Included: Appetizers & one drink ticket for beer or wine

PARKING: 3 hours free! Keep your parking stub handy for validation.

Denise Vakili of Charms for Charity will have beautiful sea turtle charm bracelets available for purchase and will be donating proceeds to the Maddie James Foundation.

Check out the FABULOUS Silent Auction & Raffle items!!!

  • Callaway Diablo Edge Tour Driver 9.5! (valued at $150.00, Anonymous Donor)
  • Gift certificate to 8 bottle wine sampling for up to 16 people w/ private wine consultant for 2 hours! Donated by PRP Wine International. (valued at $350.00)
  • 5 tickets to a regular season Angel game at Angels Stadium. Donated by Deanna Diederich, Silpada Designs Rep. (valued at $140.00)
  • 1 Silpada Seed Bead Wrap Bracelet w/ a sterling silver peace charm. Donated by Deanna Diederich. (valued at $29.00)
  • Silpada glass bead bracelet w/ colors of the ocean. Donated by Amy Nord. (valued at $59.00)
  • Gift certificate for a 60 min. Deep Therapeutic Massage by Remembering Paradise in Seal Beach w/ Bel Reynoso. Donated by Kimi Okubo Rondon. (3 certificates)
  • Sterling silver necklace and earrings set w/ sea turtles donated by Daliano Designs. (valued at $100.00)
  • 2 handbags from Blvd. Bags. Donated by Christina Cho, CEO (valued at $143 each)
  • RACING: 2 helmet visors autographed by 2010 champion Jamie McMurray. Donated by Brad Zimmerman of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. (valued est. $400.00+ each)
  • 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup hat autographed by Juan Pablo Montoya, Driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet. He doesn’t sign very much, so this is a rare piece. Donated by Brad Zimmerman of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. (value est $100.00+)
  • 2 Daytona 500 Victory Lane hats autographed by the 2010 Daytony 500 Champion, Jamie McMurray. Very rare, only issued to team crew members and shop employees the week after the win. Only 200 hats made. Donated by Brad Zimmerman of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. (value est. $200.00+)
  • 1 – $100 Gift Card to Laguna Canyon Spa (donated by Pippa Terry, Skincare Therapist & Reiki Master)
  • 1 – Beautiful gift basket (valued at $225.00) donated by Carole Lynch, Broker/Owner of Lynch Associates Real Estate

If you would like to donate anything for the silent auction or raffle please contact MaryAnne at or call 949.422.9295 or Mernie at

Space is limited! Tickets will not be available once we meet capacity.

Purchase your ticket today!

Follow Maddie James Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.


MaryAnne & Mernie


Categories: events | Leave a comment

Are you a germaphobe?

germsAre you a germaphobe? I think most people who know me pretty well can say that I am a total germaphobe. I always have Purell hand sanitizer in my purse. I don’t wash my hands hundreds of times a day, or anyting..  but after playing with the kids at the park, handling money, touching the ATM machine, debit card swiper at Target, after a carousel ride or any ride at Disneyland we use sanitizing gel, and especially after using a public restroom, I’ll be sure to wash my hands and the kids hands. I don’t know where I got it from. I just have this thing about germs. You should see me in a public restroom when I have to help Jessie use the potty. Other women in there must think I’m a freak when I yell, “Don’t touch ANYTHING!” as we enter the stall. Jessie is 3. She loves to touch everything, she wants to be a good helper with tasks around the house, which is fine. But in a public bathroom I’m such a psycho mom. Jessie isn’t allowed to flush the toilet. If she even touches the toilet I freak out. I make sure she isn’t holding anything (sippy cup, a toy, etc) in case it drops to the bathroom floor. If it does, it’s going in the trash for sure.

Some might joke and say I’m OCD. I think I’m more of a germaphobe than OCD. I don’t have rituals like washing my hands exactly a certain number of times, I don’t flip light switches on and off or check the lock 27 times, or any certain compulsions. It’s more about the germs. I looked up germaphobe and found the term Mysophobia, which is related to the fear of germs.

What made me think about me being a germaphobe? I had a funny moment at Disneyland yesterday. I was with Marissa (9) and Jessie (3) and we just finished lunch. We used Wet Ones handy wipes to clean off our hands, I wiped down any excess mess from the table to be courteous for the next people to sit there. And as I was wiping down the table, I looked over at Jessie. She had her mouth on the back of her chair! It was a wooden chair with a pointy ball at the end of it, and she had the entire part of the chair in her mouth. UGH. The HORROR. I yelled pretty loud, “Jessie! Don’t do that!” I’m sure I scared her and the rest of the people around me trying to enjoy their lunch. I got kind of embarrassed and we left. I couldn’t stop thinking about her mouth on the chair and what germs could have infested her mouth. Bird turd, hundreds of people that touched the chair, dirty rags from the employees who even think to wipe down the chair. I had germy thoughts in my head for at least half an hour. I finally had to just let it go.

Extreme? Maybe. But the first step is admitting to it, right? How about you? Are you a germaphobe?

Categories: kids, mom | 4 Comments

Food trucking for Maddie at Irvine Lanes

Come join us for some food trucking at Irvine Lanes at #OCDinDinaGOGO on Wednesday, April 6th from 5:30-9:00pm. Participating food trucks will be donating a portion of their sales to the Maddie James Foundation.

Here’s the lineup w/ web & Twitter links:

Tropical Shave Ice - @TropShaveIce (So good, esp w/ mochi on top!)
The Burnt Truck - @TheBurntTruck (Amazing sliders!!!)
Dos Chinos@DosChinos (Latin Asian Grub)
The Lime Truck@TheLimeTruck (California Beach Cuisine)
Komodo@KomodoFood (Dangerously good food!)
Piaggo On Wheels@PiaggioOnWheels (Argentine tacos, empenadas, skirt steak tacos)
Tapa Boy LA@TapaBoyLA (Yummy Filipino food)
Fresh Fries@FreshFriesLA (Gourmet french fries!)



Categories: events, food | Leave a comment

Beach Cleanup at Seal Beach

MaryAnne & Kim Masoner

Handing funds to Kim of Save Our Beach

It’s Saturday, March 19th. Me and my husband Jim  were on our way to Seal Beach… Every 3rd Saturday, rain or shine, you’ll find Kim Masoner at Seal Beach for her monthly beach cleanup. Kim founded the over 11 years ago, and has dedicated herself to keeping our beaches clean ever since. I was excited to hand deliver the $900 raised from the #OCTweetup #SaveOurBeach event on March 9th.

Bill and Kim

Bill won the signed Wyland from the silent auction!

(A signed Wyland litho was also sold for $500 at the silent auction, donated by Eco Hero Kids. They will share the proceeds.) We had a fun and successful evening at Il Fornaio in Irvine. I was given the opportunity by Il Fornaio to host an event. (Thanks, Adrienne Sharar!) The venue, food & drinks were included. Free? Why not add value to an event, charge a low fee & donate the money to a good cause? I thought this would be a great opportunity to give back to the community. So I decided to work with Kim Masoner to help raise money for Save Our Beach, along with Big Train. Wonderful folks like Deal Gooder, YelpOC, A Charm for Charity, Eco Hero Kids and Sipper Photography donated raffle prizes. Rock guitarist Pat Hennessy donated his talent and entertained us with his music. What an incredible night. Many of Kim’s friends from Save Our Beach attended, along with OC and LA’s finest social media leaders. Everyone mingled, enjoyed the food, drinks & raffle. To read more about the event, please click here and read Big Train’s blog post. (Thanks Jim for an awesome recap!) Here are a few pics from #OCTweetup #SaveOurBeach (photos courtesy of Jeffrey Friend @JeffreyFriend,

Keep our beaches clean!

When Jim and I arrived at Seal Beach, we were surprised to see so many people. There was a dumpster near the Beach Cleanup canopy and people were emptying their bags of trash into the dumpster and going back to the beach in search for more trash. That dumpster was full of trash in just a few hours! What a great activity. You’re outdoors enjoying the beach, cleaning the beach and doing something good for our planet. It felt good to be a part of Beach Cleanup that morning. Next time we’ll bring the kids, so we can teach them how important it is to keep our beaches clean and live a more Earth friendly lifestyle.

When I first sat down with Kim Masoner, I was so inspired. We had one cup of coffee. As she was describing her beach cleanup to me, she mentioned the reusable grocery bags and how they dump the trash into the dumpster and reuse the bags. Nothing is wasted. Kim sipped on her cup of coffee, with just the cup. Me? I had a cup, a sleeve because my chai was hot, a lid in case I drove off with my drink and I didn’t want it to spill, and a stirring stick. Just to stir my chai while sitting there. I had a napkin that I didn’t use either. 4 pieces of excess trash. In just ten minutes I realized my coffee habits were not Earth friendly. I will remember to be more aware of my trash from now on. It’s those little things we take for granted. Excess trash isn’t good. Even a straw, which I need to sip my cold drinks. My teeth are a bit sensitive so I do need a straw. So many straws are tossed just after one drink. Now I know why Glass Dharma created reusable glass straws. He even has cute hemp pouches or bamboo hard cases for them. It makes perfect sense. And if you think about it, the drinks have to taste better when sipped with a glass straw, rather than plastic. Would you drink fine wine out of a plastic cup? Now I want a glass straw. Visit Glass Dharma or find him on Twitter @GlassDharma.

Ocean Minded

Ocean Minded. Very Earth Friendly.

Ocean Minded was at the Beach Cleanup. They handed out free trucker hats to beach cleanup volunteers and had their shoes & flip flops on display. Their footwear looked very comfortable. All their products are made of recycled rubber, leather hemp blend and other natural materials. One of their men’s shoes looked like a hip version of the Hush Puppy. I loved how all their flip flops looked! Definitely on my list of next flip flops to own! Retro-edgy cool design! You can also find Ocean Minded on Twitter @Ocean_Minded.

You can find updates on Beach Cleanups on the Save Our Beach website at Other beach cleanups are on the calendar in addition to Seal Beach. Kim is very active on Facebook and Twitter @beachcleanup. I encourage anyone who loves the beach to go to at least one of Kim’s beach cleanups and help out. She’s at Seal Beach every 3rd Saturday at 15 1st Street, Seal Beach, CA 90740 from 9am-12noon. Check her website for other beach cleanups too.

Kim Masoner's bed rolls

Bed rolls for the homeless. Made of grocery bags.

When Kim isn’t organizing her beach cleanups, she is hand crocheting bed rolls for the homeless with plastic grocery bags. They not only serve as padding and insulation from the cold sidewalks for the homeless, they are quite beautiful. She takes the different colored bags from each store and creates a pattern, as you would with different colored yarn. Amazing. She teaches others how to make these bed rolls, too. Here’s the video tutorial.

This is why I love social media so much. If it weren’t for Facebook and Twitter, I wouldn’t have met Kim. She’s just an incredible woman and an inspiration. Seriously. This woman will get you to move a telephone pole! (See photo below as she moves a telephone pole out of the wetlands with her group.) Kim’s a wonderful reminder that it’s all about giving back. And as she likes to say, “One person can make a difference.”

Kim helps move a telephone pole

Kim and others move a telephone pole from the wetlands!

Categories: events | 1 Comment

#OCtweetup #SaveOurBeach w/ @BigTrain is 2 days away!

The #OCtweetup #SaveOurBeach with Big Train is just 2 days away. We have received positive feedback about this event and I’m getting so excited! All proceeds will be donated to to help keep our local beaches clean. Thanks to Jim at Big Train a press release went out last week. Here’s the link to the one on Yahoo! News: and Kim Masoner, founder of Save Our Beach as been working hard promoting the event and collecting wonderful prizes for the raffle.

By the way, you do not have to be on Twitter to attend this event. It’s a fun networking event for anyone interested in social media, meeting new people and doing something to benefit our environment too.

Speaking opportunity: I have a feeling this is going to be the quickest 2 hour Tweetup ever. We’ll be having so much fun we’ll be saying, “Where did the time go?” I will do a quick intro at the beginning of the event and will offer up the microphone to anyone who would like to do a brief intro and shout-out their purpose in life and Twitter handle. Don’t be shy!

More info about the event:

Wed. 3/9 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Il Fornaio Restaurant
18051 Von Karman
Irvine, CA 92612
View Larger Map

Come join us at Il Fornaio (Irvine), the Authentic Italian Restaurant and Bakery. Support a great cause and mingle with the social media leaders of Orange County and Los Angeles. As a co-sponsor of the event, Big Train will be there to share their latest flavors of chai, iced coffees, teas and smoothies. All proceeds will go to support the Save Our Beach Organization, the group dedicated to keeping our local beaches clean. Meet Kim Masoner, who founded the organization 11 years ago. Save Our Beach has touched over 60,000 people at beach cleanups.

Appetizers, non-alcoholic beverages and one beer or wine included!

PARKING: 3 hours free! Keep you parking stub handy for validation.


We are looking forward to seeing Julia Holland’s Eco Hero Kids! These talented kids ranging from ages 8-11 will be performing songs about our planet! {{SORRY, the kids won’t be join us for the event. Due to illness & outdoor ed field trips!}} Julia Holland will still be in attendance and is donating a signed Wyland litho for the silent auction! Thanks, Julia!

PRIZES? So many prizes!!!

We will have some amazing prizes up for raffle. Each attendee will receive one raffle ticket. More tickets will be available for purchase.

Here are some of the prizes from our amazing vendors:

From Deal Gooder:

  • 2 Ducks vs Kings NHL tickets
  • 1 month unlimited fitness training from SeaBreeze Fitness
  • a gift certificate to get your taxes done for free from Liberty Tax.


Silent Auction:

  • From Eco Hero Kids — A SIGNED litho from Wyland! Sales from this piece will benefit Eco Hero Kids foundation and Save Our Beach!!

It’s not to late to jump in and participate! If you would like to donate anything for the raffle please contact me!

I’d also like to thank Denise Vakili of Charms for Charity for joining us. They will have beautiful charm bracelets and wine charms available for purchase and will be donating proceeds to Save Our Beach!

There are still tickets available. Hurry and purchase your ticket!

Register for OC Tweetup #SaveOurBeach in Irvine, CA  on Eventbrite

Categories: events | Leave a comment

Help get #Maddie on The Ellen Show

If you aren’t familiar with Maddie James story, please visit the website:

We are trying to get Maddie’s story on Ellen DeGeneres’s show and we need your help. I’ve already submitted the following request on her website and could use your help. If she gets hit multiple times with this request we could get her attention.

Here’s how you can help:

1. Visit Ellen’s page: “Submit to The Ellen Show” (On NBC4) here:

2. Fill out the form and copy and paste the letter below:

Dear Ellen, I’m writing to you as a friend of the Maddie James Foundation.  Maddie James is a five year-old girl in Orange County, CA.  Maddie was diagnosed in January with an inoperable, terminal brain tumor (DIPG).  This dreaded type of cancer progresses rapidly. Her doctors have given her six months to live.  There is no cure – the survival rate is less than one year.  She likely won’t make it to see her 6th birthday in June.  This heartbreak and tragedy resonates with people everywhere as they can imagine “what if it were my own child, niece, or granddaughter.”

Well, there is something that people can do.  Maddie passionately loves all things related to the sea and when the time comes, her ashes will be spread at sea. The Ocean Institute is in the final stages of fundraising for its planned Seaside Learning Center. With one million dollars in funds, the Ocean Institute will be able to begin construction this summer and these new facilities will become The Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. People from all over So California are rallying for Maddie.  You can read about her in the OC Register, And, watch a news clip from KCAL9 in LA. Please feature this family on the show and help us fulfill their dream to memorialize the spirit of an extraordinary little girl, Maddie James. Thank you for your consideration.

3. You  will need to submit Maddie’s photo. You can submit this photo of Maddie (below):

4. Save the photo to your desktop & upload. Here’s the photo URL:

5. Submit your request! Thank you!!

Join Maddie on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

Categories: Uncategorized | 65 Comments

What Are QR Codes?

Get ready for the QR code frenzy. Actually it’s already here. What are QR codes? QR stands for “quick response” it’s a 2 dimensional barcode (datamatrix) that was created in Japan by Denso Wave. It was released in 1999 and filed with the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) in 2000. It recently gained popularity because of mobile phones and the ability to scan, store and deliver rich content which can be decoded at a high speed.

A traditional barcode

Here’s the exciting part… A traditional barcode only holds a maximum of 20 digits (numeric only), where a QR code can hold up to 7,089 characters! Incredible. Here are the combinations: 7,089 numeric only, 4,296 alphanumeric, and 2,954 binary (8 bits).  Companies are realizing its marketing power and individuals are able to share contact information in a new and fun way. Another neat thing about QR codes is you can scan it at any angle, where the traditional barcode has to be scanned in a fixed horizontal position.

I created my QR code so quickly and easily with Social QR Code.  The site allows you to create a Facebook “like” button, Twitter handle, a YouTube landing page (wow, a TV commercial embedded on a printed piece of collateral?) or coupon. And for mobile app developers, one of the biggest challenge is getting users to the appropriate page. What if your  potential customer doesn’t take the time to search for that app, or can’t find it in the list of over 100,000 apps in iTunes? Now you can create a link that takes users directly a mobile app store. You can also create a V-card with your contact information. This is an amazing solution for delivering content to the masses. I’m really excited about this technology and I’m interested to see how companies take advantage of QR codes. The marketing possibilities are endless.

I can imagine real estate agents using this technology to store images of home listings with details about the property and listing price. Users can flip through listings on their mobile devices and have contact information at their fingertips. No more piles of fliers while shopping for homes. Speaking of shopping, how great would it be to have a wish list of your favorite shoes? Say you come across a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo’s (For example… Me? I’d rather shop for electronics) But let’s just say you were out shopping and deciding on a pair of shoes. You could scan the QR code and save it in a wish list on your phone. You could even share it on Facebook with your friends and have them help you decide on which pair to purchase. I can see lots of fun uses for QR codes.

Scan my QR code! It's my Twitter handle. @maryannewendt

Here’s my QR code! It has my photo and link to my Twitter handle embedded in this cute geeky square. You can even print your QR code on your business cards, so that it can be stored electronically. Ran out of business cards at a networking event? Keep an image of your QR code on your mobile device or laptop and your new contacts can scan them right off your screen. Also, no more OCR (optical character recognition) issues. My biggest issue with these new scanning apps on mobile phones is that it isn’t always accurate. Not with QR codes! Ahhhh. I’m really loving this solution.

Now how do you scan this code? I searched on iTunes for an app for my iPhone4 and found QR Reader for iPhone. (It’s a free app.) I just tried scanning my code on my MacBook Pro’s screen with iPhone4 and it works beautifully. No scanner attachments or laser readers. The QR Reader for iPhone uses the camera. It takes a photo of it and reads it. This technology is just amazing. Some might think, “geeky.” I think it’s very cool.

Happy QR-ing! :-)

Categories: iPhone, Technology | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Work in progress

I finally got around to adding to my hosting account. After importing blog posts from my free account and my old Blogger account, I noticed things did not import properly. Some YouTube videos are no longer embedded & some images are missing. I’ll have to slowly edit the posts to get them back to how they were before. And I’m still deciding on a theme and a header. So if you see some things change around here, it’s because I’m being indecisive. Please excuse the mess here! Thanks and I hope my friends and family who reads this are doing well.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 8 Comments