My Katie just turned eight in January of 2011…..she is the third in line of my four children….she has three brothers.  From the time she was about two and a half until about six she wanted to be a mermaid….she really believed that someday it would be possible….I would just tell her that she could be anything that she wanted to be……as long as she worked hard and tried her best.  I knew she would eventually figure it out….that being a mermaid was not a possibility…..well even though she’s not going to grow sea-legs someday….she loves the beach, the water, the sand, finding spider crabs, playing with seaweed and swimming in the water……the quote below was written by her when she was about five years old…..

“I wish to be a girl by the sea.  I know what I want to be: a mermaid.”





Katie’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Trelfa, gave her the name “Katie-Burrito”.  Katie, however, changed the spelling to “Katie-Borreato”.  Katie actually sings a burrito song….and did so for her class this past year….and two other second grade classes.  I am pretty sure that the song is heard on a television show….but I am not sure which one.   Here’s the Katie-Borreato song…..

“I am Katie-Borreato.  I ate a borreato…..yum, yum, yum.  With plenty of cheese and plenty of beans..yum, yum, yummy, yum.”

 Mrs. Trelfa also called her “itchy burrito” for about a month….because she was covered head to toe with poison ivy…..but that obviously went away…..now she is just “Katie-Borreato” again.





Over the past few weeks…some of the Marino’s took turns getting sick…..Gregory and Zach were sick….and me too a day after Gregory….but we are now feeling better…the three of us….however….it was Katie’s turn to feel a little under the weather…nothing major but just not herself.

My Katie girl..though…when she is not sick…and someone else is sick…she takes on the role of an amazing mama…she just has that innate ability to take care of you when you are not feeling well…and knows exactly what to do to make you feel better.  A few weeks ago when I had a terrible headache….as I ran upstairs to get my PJs on…..she took my phone…googled headaches…and when I came downstairs…the lights were down low…she had the love seat all set up with the ottoman at the end…extra blankets where my feet should go…she said my feet needed to be elevated…and cold wash clothes for my forehead…so sweet.

And the other day when Gregory was not feeling well…she was missing for about an hour…well I knew she was in her room..but not really aware of what she was doing…well she came downstairs with two string-bracelets that she made him…picked out all of his favorite colors…and told him that she hoped he felt better…then sat with him…checked on him…asking him if he needed anything…so sweet….

My Katie is a girly-girl…and it is fun…she loves to shop, get her nails done…. get a pedicure (well who doesn’t!)… & she loves make up…doing her hair…going to the salon…any type of make up…air brush make up)..buying  shoes..she knows what goes together and what does not go together…in fact…when my 15-year-old has questions as to what looks good together and if it matches or not when getting dressed…he turns to his nine-year old sister…and when we picked outfits out for Easter…okay see below:




Well….the shirt that Zach is wearing….I did not pick that out…I picked out something else…and she said: Oh no Ma…he won’t like that….get this one.   And she was right…he loved what she picked out.

I am so proud of my little mama Katie…she is sweet and fun…and I am thankful for her….and especially wanted to share the picture above of the Yankee”s pasta she made for us the other day! 

Go Yankees!

Love you Katie-Girl!




February 14, 2010-“Live, live.  Have fun.  Be yourself.  Happy Valentine’s Day Mom and Dad!” 

February 15, 2010-“Good times Good times.  Have fun.  Live your life.  Make it good.”

October 9, 2010- “Mac and cheese makes me smile”.

April, 3, 2011- “Be a great person in life.”




October 13, 2012:





(a truly embedded speech therapy session)

This post goes out to my beautiful daughter Katie Lila….and also to a little girl I work with…thank you to her mama for allowing me to post her name here: Taylor.  So thank you to both Katie and Taylor.  What is so incredible about the “speech session” below is that Katie was the “therapist“…and in watching her interact with Taylor it was a very strong reminder that therapy really needs to be embedded into the families daily routine..and that it is our job as therapists to teach parents to become their child’s best therapists….so that they are constantly using speech and language strategies in their daily routines to help elicit language. 

What I also have learned from the many special educators I have co-treated with over the years is that we need to “pair” ourselves with a desired activity…so that the little one we are working with then has more of a desire to engage in an activity with us….this is especially important when the little one is struggling with her desire to be social and interact with their peers, their parents, siblings, or family members.  The goal is to find the desired activity…..so that it is motivating enough for the little one to show a “desire” to interact. 

I also wanted to post some information about pragmatic language….what pragmatic language means…and how we can address this component of language development during play with the little ones we see for therapy….or as parents to be embedded into their daily routine.  Please read the information below regarding pragmatic language. 



Social Language Use (Pragmatics)

You have invited your friend over for dinner. Your child sees your friend reach for some cookies and says, “Better not take those, or you’ll get even bigger.” You’re embarrassed that your child could speak so rudely. However, you should consider that your child may not know how to use language appropriately in social situations and did not mean harm by the comment.

An individual may say words clearly and use long, complex sentences with correct grammar, but still have a communication problem – if he or she has not mastered the rules for social language known as pragmatics . Adults may also have difficulty with pragmatics, for example, as a result of a brain injury or stroke.

Pragmatics involve three major communication skills:

  • Using language for different purposes, such as
    • greeting (e.g., hello, goodbye)
    • informing (e.g., I’m going to get a cookie)
    • demanding (e.g., Give me a cookie)
    • promising (e.g., I’m going to get you a cookie)
    • requesting (e.g., I would like a cookie, please)


  • Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation, such as
    • talking differently to a baby than to an adult
    • giving background information to an unfamiliar listener
    • speaking differently in a classroom than on a playground


  • Following rules for conversations and storytelling, such as
    • taking turns in conversation
    • introducing topics of conversation
    • staying on topic
    • rephrasing when misunderstood
    • how to use verbal and nonverbal signals
    • how close to stand to someone when speaking
    • how to use facial expressions and eye contact

These rules may vary across cultures and within cultures. It is important to understand the rules of your communication partner.

An individual with pragmatic problems may:

  • say inappropriate or unrelated things during conversations
  • tell stories in a disorganized way
  • have little variety in language use

The above was sourced from:



 Okay….so now back to the therapy session my Katie had with Taylor….note that Taylor struggles with pragmatic language and her desire to be social…however…she has made and is making significant progress…everyday making steps in the right direction…showing more of a desire to be social…and in her ability to functionally use her language to get what she wants and needs….remember the examples given above:

  • greeting (e.g., hello, goodbye)
  • informing (e.g., I’m going to get a cookie)
  • demanding (e.g., Give me a cookie)
  • promising (e.g., I’m going to get you a cookie)
  • requesting (e.g., I would like a cookie, please)


Back to the session again…..I was at baseball for my Andrew’s game…and Taylor and her mama happened to be there….Katie and Taylor ran off and played close by us…but near the woods on top of the pitcher’s mound…..and Katie decided that she and Taylor were going to make a salad (they picked twigs, branches, leaves and grass)…put it on the pitcher’s mound…and then topped it with home-made Rainbow Magic Sauce….how cute they were together….and Taylor’s mama said that Katie sounded like a mini-Kim…meaning…she was using the right language strategies to elicit spontaneous language…asking questions…but not too many….doing a lot of commenting…describing the play…and being silly and fun….throwing the leaves up in the air…making the salad…and then adding the Rainbow Magic Sauce.  Well Taylor just thought this was wonderful…you could see it in her eyes….she was making great eye contact…engaging in a little back and forth conversation….adding to the conversation…laughing…answering some yes/no questions…and truly DESIRING to be social with Katie!  

And….an added bonus:…..Andrew has a baseball game right now as I am typing…Greg took him to the game…so I am home with the my other children….well Taylor happens to be at the baseball field again with her mama….and her mama just texted me….and what did Taylor ask: Where’s Katie?  How amazing…looking to be social with my Katie…desiring the social interaction…initiating a conversation with her mother…asking a question. 

What you have read above is huge progress for Taylor….and makes me very happy and proud.  What you also have read is how we can easily embed strategies into any activity……and you also have read how Katie paired herself with a very motivating activity…so that Taylor truly had the desire to interact and play with her.  And how wonderful it is that today Taylor wants to make Rainbow Magic Sauce again….to be topped onto a delicious salad made of: twigs, branches, leaves and grass…yummy.

Oh….I should end the post with this….after the salad was made…Katie decided that they should throw the salad up into the air…..so as she got ready…Katie picked some salad up in her hands….so did Taylor….and Katie counted: one….two….and then Taylor added the three…making great eye contact….laughing….smiling….and then the two of them threw the salad in the air…it was just adorable.

~The power of Rainbow Magic Sauce~



Mean Sandy….and my sweet sweet Katie




On Monday, October 29, 2012….the wrath of Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island…and for 7 days the Marino’s of Miller Place were without power and warmth.  But that is nothing compared to the devastation seen in Long Beach….Fire Island….Breezy Point….Lindenhurst…Staten Island….and so many other towns and counties.  The saddest of them all for me: (cited from:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/bodies-of-two-missing-staten-island-brandon-moore-connor-moore_n_2059596.html)

Two young brothers swept from the arms of their mother by the violent sea at the height of Superstorm Sandy were found dead in a marsh Thursday, a tragic exclamation mark on an epic storm.

The boys, 2-year-old Brandon and 4-year-old Connor Moore, were sucked into the swirling floodwaters as their mother, Glenda Moore, tried to escape her SUV after it stalled Monday in the deluge on Staten Island, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm that has claimed 90 lives.

“Terrible, absolutely terrible,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said as he announced that the bodies had been discovered on the third day of a search that included police divers and sniffer dogs.

“It just compounds all the tragic aspects of this horrific event.”

Police said the 39-year-old mother had driven from her flooded home toward her sister’s house in Brooklyn when the car became stuck about 6:10 p.m. Monday, forcing her to confront the rising water and the relentless cadence of pounding waves as she clung to her boys’ arms.

“As the water swelled she lost her grip of her children and they were swept away,” police said in a release.

Kelly said the mother “was totally, completely distraught. She started looking for them herself, asking people to help her look.”

After the boys disappeared, police said, Moore fled and in a panic climbed fences and went door-to-door looking in vain for help in a neighborhood that was presumably largely abandoned in the face of the storm.

Police said she flagged down an emergency vehicle about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and authorities began their search. Police said she told them she tried to find help and eventually gave up, spending the night trying to shield herself from the storm on the front porch of an empty home.


As a mother myself it is unfathomable to think about what this mother is going through right now…it brings me to tears.  Makes me feel blessed that we only lost power and the food in our refrigerator….blessed that we are only dealing with issues of getting gas…waiting on long lines…and now following the odd and even days rule….today being an even day because it is the 10th of November…and if the last number on your license plate is an even number…you can get gas today.  And I feel thankful….for our family and friends close by (who had power)…for helping us with so much laundry…meals and warmth over the seven days.

What I am also thankful for are the memories mean Sandy created for the Marino family:

playing charades…playing scrabble…huddling with my four children and my husband over the fire….snuggling them up on the floor in the den…all of them together….keeping each other warm….and feeling safe…..my best memory though is this one:

On Monday night….the night of the Hurricane…our four children decided to go into the basement…they each brought a flashlight…and my oldest his guitar….they played cards…just hanging out spending time together…and then Zach decided that he would play his guitar…and quickly taught himself how to play the song: Everybody Talks by Neon Trees (happens to be a favorite of theirs)…..and for the next 20 minutes or so…he played the song…and all four of them sang together.

So I feel thankful and blessed that mean Sandy only took our power and food….because as you watch the devastation she caused across Long Island…and in the five boroughs of NYC I realize how lucky some of us really were and are.




My Katie has been a little sad lately…..and seeing her so sad breaks my heart….when she came home from school on Friday…she still seemed just not herself.  Katie and I love to shop together…get our nails and toes done…all of that “girlie stuff”….but Katie needed to spend time with me…and it needed to be quality time…so the two of us decided that Friday’s would now be: Fancy Feast Friday….we were going to make a very fancy dinner..and enjoy as a family.

We even used the fine China…which I am really not sure why I registered for when I first got engaged…so silly….November 6, 2012 was our 19 year anniversary…and November 8, 2012…was the very first time my Charleston collection by Lenox was eaten on…..we also put our drinks in fancy glasses…wrapped up the silverware with napkins and then tied with pretty ribbon…..we prepared dinner and set the table…working hard from 3:30 until 8:00 last night…..and Katie even printed up the menu as seen above.

It was such a wonderful four and a half hours with my Katie…she was so happy….excited…and proud of herself…and us…for making dinner so fancy…and seeing the smile on her face was what this mama needed.

And as Thanksgiving is upon us…..I am reminded once again of how thankful and grateful I am for all that I have in my life…for being spared the devastation that impacted this Island…..hoping that over the next weeks and months…and more….those who suffered will somehow manage to move forward.  My heart goes out especially to the mama of those young boys…may she find support and love in those around her.





16 Responses to KATIE-BORREATO

  1. Debbie Trelfa says:

    Katie borreato!!! I miss you too!! I wanted to thank you and mom for the Christmas gift! Yum, yum cupcakes! Your brother Gregory was a wonderful delivery boy. Come and visit me soon! Have a great Christmas, New Year, and week off. I think November 19th should be Borreato Day too! We can eat burritos, sing your song, wear a borreato hat, and make up a borreato dance!!

    • Kim says:

      You made Katie’s day……I read your comment and she had the biggest smile on her face. Glad you liked your gift….enjoy the holidays with your family!
      And Katie loves all of the suggestions for Borreato day!

  2. Katie says:

    No no borreato day will not be on thanks giving cause thanks giving is thanks giving so it will be on……19 of Novembe! Ok ok! Bye bye

  3. Katie says:

    Hi it’s Katie this is fun I miss mrs. Trelfa I wish u were a 3 grade teacher happy borreato day I made it up today and right now borreato day will be on um….um…Thanks giving day it coming up 😀

  4. Grandma says:

    Katie you will always be my favorite baking assistant. Love you much.

  5. Kelly says:

    you are such a good mommy =)

  6. Debbie Trelfa says:

    Yay! I love that girl! I am going to miss her!!

  7. Jen says:

    Did Katie read the Secret too 🙂 just like her mama, always has positive thoughts

  8. Caryn Fleming says:

    Smiling through your website!!!! You know how I feel about you and your delicious family. You are all things good and always doing for the greater good. You forgot to mention the kitty ears that she wore for a year : )

  9. admin says:

    Thanx melis. I love it too!

  10. Melissa Farina says:

    That piture of Katie is priceless. I love it.

Leave a Reply