Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Jacqueline's Emotional Surprise

Amber Calls Out Andy Cohen

Dina: What am I Doing Here?

Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Dina: "The Reunion was Very Hard to Watch"

Teresa: We Love Hard, We Fight Hard

Dina: The Ladybug Event was Perfection

Amber: I Felt I Like I Was Being Hazed

Melissa: Continue to Pray for Teresa's Family

Why Amber Shares Her Cancer Story

Dina: I Was Team Santa

Teresa: I Don't Blame Jim

Bobby's Unacceptable Behavior

Amber: Dina is Jealous

Melissa: "We are Heartbroken"

Dina Reacts to the Sentencing

Kathy Talks Kevin Jonas

Amber: Dina Was Planning a Blood Bath

Jim and Amber Were on Different Pages

Dina on Bobby's "Bizarre" Behavior

Amber Calls BS on Dina

Nicole: Words are So Powerful

Teresa: "Kudos to Dina!"

Teresa: I Love the Show, I Love My Fans

Praying for a Positive Outcome for Teresa

"Tipsy Melissa is My Spirit Animal"

Dina's Lose-Lose Situation

Jacqueline on Her Status with Teresa

Why Teresa Told Dina the Rumor

Amber on Her Cancer Scare

Teresa: There was an Agenda to Hurt My Family

Melissa: I Do Feel for Amber

Dina: Gia's Beautiful Inside and Out

Nicole: This is Not 'Jerry Springer'

Amber on Her Meltdown with Teresa

Amber's Emotional Call to Teresa

Teresa Thanks the Fans

Dina: Florida Will Be the New Scary Island

Teresa: I Wish I Never Heard the Rumor

Amber on the Shocking Rino Rumor

Victoria Gotti's Big No No

Jacqueline's Emotional Surprise

Jacqueline talks about hearing Nicholas say "I love you" again.

This was an emotional episode for me to watch. Talking about Nick's Autism diagnosis is still very new and painful, although there's hope. My husband told the truth when he said I was very emotional. I still have my moments of weakness, but I gain my strength from those moments. The support of my husband, my family, my friends, and all those that have reached out to us have given me my strength, hope, and encouragement to keep up the fight to recover our child. Thank you for that! XO!

I need to clear up my husband’s memory of what the doctor actually told me regarding my pregnancy when my son's heartbeat wasn't found. What he said wasn't really fair to the doctor. Let me explain: I had gone in for an ultrasound to check the baby’s heartbeat around my 6th week of pregnancy. The doctor wasn't able to be in the room with me that day, so a technician did my ultrasound. They weren't allowed to read the results to me without the doctor being present. I had to wait to hear from him. I left for Atlantic City to shoot our first Bravo promo pictures for Season 1, where I wore that fuchsia pink dress. We were just finishing up when I got the call from my doctor telling me that they couldn't find my baby's heartbeat during my ultrasound. He told me that my hcg levels were high enough that we should have been able to see something on the monitor. It was his opinion that it looked like it could be another miscarriage. After having 5 previous miscarriages, I was devastated to hear that news again. I cried the whole way home. The doctor told me I could wait it out to see if I would miscarry naturally or come in and have them assist in terminating the pregnancy. I decided to wait it out another week and then go in to check for the heart beat once again before deciding. I prayed a lot that week. Sure enough, a week later, there was a beautiful heartbeat! My baby was thriving! We were thrilled! We consider him our miracle baby! We waited a long time for him. He is truly a blessing.


I was very excited and grateful to get the opportunity to write for Parenting Magazine for the past 6 months. It gave me a great platform to share our Autism Journey and help others. If you missed my articles, you can read them on my website www.JacquelineLaurita.com where I have them posted. I was in their magazine and also in their online blogs. The scene you saw was my first video blog. As you could tell, I wasn't used to talking openly about the diagnosis. It was still very raw and painful. I did my best. The people at Parenting Magazine were wonderful, and I thank them so much for the amazing opportunity they gave me.

At the beginning of an Autism diagnosis, it's really important to make sure that everyone involved in your child's life is on the same page and knows the roles they will have to help in your child's recovery. My husband and I make a great team. We both know our roles. I do most of the gathering of research, sifting through and organizing it all. I research everything from therapies, therapists, doctors, special diets, reading food labels, supplementation, sensory toys, soft clothing, schools, charities, going green in the house, how to deal with tantrums, sleepless nights, books, learning DVDs, you name it and I've probably researched it. If some information comes my husband’s way, he passes it on to me. I deal with most of the day-to-day things with Nicholas such as dressing him, feeding him, getting him ready for and driving him to and from school, and giving Nick his supplements in the morning. Chris does the evening supplement doses. That's a job in itself. Chris drives CJ to school.I go to school classroom observations and meet with therapists. We both go to IEP meetings and doctor visits. Chris has taken over a lot in the cooking department while I take Nicholas in his daily Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatments. Chris handles all paperwork for insurance company billing and I make sure the therapists are paid. We both speak at Autism events and conferences to spread Autism Awareness. We both take the time to learn as much as we can from others. Our amazing niece/babysitter, Sarah, picks up all of our slack when we can't be there.

We both work hard but we always make sure that we take the time for each other. Chris is my rock! We also have to make sure we dedicate special one-on-one time with our son CJ so he gets the attention he deserves as well. With all of our new responsibilities to juggle, mixed in with our usual everyday demands, I think we do a pretty darn good job working as a team.  It does get stressful at times, but we will stick it out and fight for our child. We will never give up. It's a joy and a challenge every single day!

Neither Chris nor I want to see any of our kids struggle, so it's very painful to see how hard Nick has to work everyday to reach his goals. We've learned to appreciate and celebrate Nick’s accomplishments no matter how small it may seem to others. The moments that parents of typical kids often take for granted are the moments that we cherish the most. Those moments give us hope. It shows our child is progressing. It's what we pray for.I used to disappear and go upstairs for a cry during our weekend family gatherings, because it was very hard for me to see my child not interacting with our family in the way that I wished he could. I wished that he could interact and entertain our family the same way that his cousin, Joey, who is 2 weeks younger could. It was difficult not to compare or notice their differences. It broke my heart. We all were struggling with his diagnosis, and everything that came with it, in our own way. It's really hard to focus on other things when you're worrying about your child. Somehow we manage. It had become our mission to recover him and help as many others as we can.

At this point in time, Nicholas had started preschool at a typical school with an IEP in an inclusion classroom. He gets about 6 hours of therapy there. ABA, Speech and Language, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Self Help skills, Yoga, Music Therapy, Art, Gym, Library, Therapy Dog, etc. He loves school and his teachers are amazing with him.

We also have him in after school home therapy programs for 2-3 hours a day. Above and Beyond Learning Group (ABLG) (http://ablg.org/) comes to do ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) with him. It teaches him compliance. ABA is a very effective therapy for children on the Autism spectrum.We also had been working with a woman by the name of Lisa Gold, who was referred to me by someone whom she had helped with getting their nonverbal child to speak. Lisa refers to her type of therapy as "Naturalized Autism Therapy" (http://www.theautismtherapist.com/#!lisa-b-gold-ma/c1sja). Her ways were less traditional than our other therapists. She has a very different approach that other ABA therapists might not agree with, but I will say that she did believe in our son and taught our family to defy expectations. Lisa was big on parent training! Parent training is a very important piece to your child's recovery. Make sure you ask for it if you're not getting it. She taught us to push our child a little harder and that it was OK to allow him to cry while we wait for him to request. Then, and only then, could we reward him for his efforts with a positive reinforcer that he enjoys. I believe that extra push she taught us, along with the ground work and efforts of his other home therapists, school therapies, and his special diet, helped Nicholas to bring out his first few words after many months of silence and babbling. We are grateful to her for that.

Lisa and Nick’s music therapist, Jenn Goodman (aka.. Jammin Jenn)(http://www.jamminjenn.com/JJMTC/Welcome.html) both worked really hard along with my husband to get Nicholas to say, "I Love You" again. Jammin' Jenn has done incredible things with Nicholas! She is AMAZING and Nicholas LOVES music and responds to it well. Jenn used The Barney "I Love you, you love me" song as a tool to help teach him "I love you." Lisa used lollipops for positive reinforcers.  That "I love you" was the sweetest and most precious gift to receive. Who cares if we had to bribe him with a lollipop? He said it! That moment was much more emotional than what you saw in that scene. To me, it meant there was hope. If he was capable of saying that and all that he had accomplished thus far, I believed he could do so much more. Since then, he continues to surprise and impress us with his accomplishments.

The lollipops we use for positive reinforcers are either Revita pops (http://revitapop.com/), Yum Earth Organic Pops (http://yummyearth.com/), and sometimes Dum Dums (http://m.dumdumpops.com/).

Nick also has a speech and language therapist Mali DeSantis from Therapeutic Services LLC. (http://www.therapeuticservicesllc.com/index.html) who has does amazing things with Nick and helps to organize our household in ways to help Nick speak.

And he takes Gymnastics from Brian’s Team (http://briansteaminfo.com/home/). He enjoys that very much. It helps with his coordination, muscle tone, and to socialize. He is starting swimming lessons very soon as well. He loves the water and has no fear, so I have to make sure he knows how to swim.As far as all the RHONJ drama going on around me at this time, well, like I said, it was right up there on my priority list with bleaching my a--hole! Been there, done that, LOL, and it wasn't a place I wanted to go back to!

To hear more about our Autism journey, and other happenings in our lives, go to www.JacquelineLaurita.com.

Go sign up on my new beauty website http://altruisticbeauty.com/ to have a chance at winning some of our giveaways until the website launches!

Best wishes to all! XOXO!

Amber: I Felt I Like I Was Being Hazed

Amber Marchese dishes on her experience this season on #RHONJ.

We made it Housewife friends! As it was my rookie season, I felt like I was being hazed in a sorority, but as hard as it was, I made it! I learned so much about how strong I am as a person and some areas that I can work on. I learned that I really do have a “no surrender, never retreat” mentality. I will go to bat with anyone, at any time, and will defend myself and my family at all cost. I also witnessed the undying love that my husband has for me and his family. He was not going to let anyone hurt me and will unleash hell if someone tries. He is truly my modern day Spartan warrior. 

I am so blessed to have shared my experience and struggles with breast cancer -- the timing of my five year mark, the photo shoot, and growing my hair for five years then cutting it for charity -- it was nothing short of a miracle that the Bravo was able to catch that all. It was just meant to be and God was truly working his wonders. Cutting my hair was completely symbolic for me, since cancer no longer defines me. I will never forget, however the pain, fear, and anxiety is in my rear view mirror now. I can sometimes look back to remind myself where I came from, but it in no way defines my future. It is my promise to all of you, I will never take that for granted, especially knowing that there are thousands struggling with cancer every day. 

On to my perspective on the season finale! I am not quite sure why the twins make it a point to confront others in front of large crowds. As Teresa said, they had two weeks to call her and speak to her about what Victoria Gotti had said to us. If they had an issue or wanted an apology, so be it, but what ever happened to being a civilized human being and picking up the phone to call? They did the same thing to me. Two weeks went by without any phone call from them. In fact, they never returned any of my phone calls or texts! They decided to make a scene in front of an entire party. Difference is, this was at a charity event with children in ear shot. Can you blame me for not wanting to bring my babies to this event? I would have absolutely loved my children sashaying down the runway, but there is absolutely no way I would EVER allow my babies to hear what went on. I spoke with Teresa and I knew the twins never called her. So I knew exactly what was brewing, so did Dina. My children come first and mama was protecting her children. Dina was brazen enough to kick Jim and me out of the Florida home for less of an offense, why wasn’t Dina kicking the twins out because they were making a scene at her own charity function for children?! Can we say double standard? Where were her “heads rolling” that she claimed would happen if someone started anything at a Ladybug event? 

I will add that I completely understand how hurt the twins are. I can understand their anger. However, I cannot understand their way of handling conflict. That level of “hot headedness,” I would think, cools down at a certain age as we tend to calm ourselves, think clearly, and with wisdom. It is a level of discernment that should happen after a certain age or experience in life. 

Dina claims to be Teresa’s friend of 25 years, but does not back up her friend at all. If that was my friend, like Christine or Angelia, whom I have been friends for just as long, the twins would not have gotten to the letter T in stupid before I would be dragging them out of the event by their ears. Dina doesn’t have to agree with her best friend, but she should also never allow someone to call her friend of 25 years stupid, at her own charity function no less. Especially knowing what her friend is going through, which pales in comparison to some stupid rumor.

Since Dina has unwarranted venom towards my husband and has completely snubbed him for his previous contributions to The Ladybug Project, I am going to thank him on their behalf for coming up with the idea of the children's fashion show, as well as the connection to East Coast Stars. Since Jim did not attend, he also made a sizable cash donation on behalf of our family. Jim had also worked hard before all the drama to make sure Ladybug even had a venue with all costs covered, including food and beverage. The venue was ultimately not chosen, but Jim had still worked hard to give Dina an option for the event. Instead she chooses to focus on Jim’s comment about her IQ after she interrogated him at an extremely inappropriate, charged moment right after his wife was attacked. Despite her inappropriateness, Jim still ended up apologizing to her. However in my opinion she should have apologized to him for being so glaringly insensitive. 

It may seem as if my perspective is harsh for an end of season blog, LOL! But it is what I was feeling at the time. I owe it to you all to give you my honest interpretation of it. However, at the end of the season, I came out having a certain amount of respect for all of these ladies. Being on a reality show is hard; it pushes us to our limits and it is nothing short of psychological warfare. I truly hope you will support all of us, equally. Teams are good, and appreciated; however, keep the hate towards other Housewives out of it. Perspective are OK, different points of view are what make the world go round, however, when your perspective rises to a level of cruelty, it takes the fun out of our jobs. Allow us to be ourselves, with the good moments and even the moments when we could have handled ourselves a little better. At the end of the day, the Housewives are girlfriends that have strong personalitiesand disagreements -- we love, we hate, and we make up. That’s life. 

I have would like to thank: Denee Lockhart, Amy Malkoff, J. Vincent Jewelers, Cate Scaglione Photography, Castle Couture, Action Media Productions, Elinet Cakes, Christine’s Restaurant, Historical Names, East Coast Stars, Zaboyon, Greenhouse Flowers, Johnny Donavan PR, Anthony Palmieri stylist, Tony Bowls evening wear, and finally, my husband Jim and my mom, Pamula Aguero. 

It was an amazing experience that I would not change for the world. I want to thank all of you for you love and support. This was a wild ride. 

Many blessings to all!

Amber Marchese