Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, since Sofia stayed up until midnight AGAIN, this morning I decided to call the pediatrician. I had to take her in the afternoon, since I was busy at Sam's school all morning - Portfolio Review, Parent Info session about the recent Math assessment (they used the G*MADE test), and then I drove 4 kids to the nursing home in Waltham where they did a choir concert.

So after lunch with some other moms, Sofia and I picked up Micah and raced to see Dr. G. She was the only one in - I like her, but she's not my first preference to see. Oh well. But she could not find anything specific. Sofia's ears were ok, throat was red but quick strep test was negative. Tylenol or Motrin. Yeah.

After we picked up Sam, I took all three to the grocery store, and then Sofia fell asleep on the way home. Finally - I also took a nap when we got home, while the boys watched "Born Free".

Sofia woke in time for dinner (David is off with his buddy, shopping at Cosco), and we all ate. Then Sam showered while Micah played "Pots & Pans" over and over again. Sofia really seemed to enjoy the concert!

But when I sent Micah up to bathe, it turned out Sam had used all the hot water. Sam also had a complete melt-down tantrum (again), because I wanted him to clean up and put things AWAY, and he really hates to put things AWAY! Argh.

Anyway, I wiped Sofia down with a wet washcloth, and then took her temperature - 100.3. Yikes. More Motrin. Now Sam's asleep, Micah's supposed to be asleep but he keeps trying to talk to Sam, and Sofia is playing with toys in my room (as usual).

I did a lot of cleaning so far, and I'm trying to get ready for the cleaning ladies tomorrow and then David's 40th birthday party on Saturday. Nearly everyone is coming!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Up 'til midnight again, and Bad Toyota guy

Yup, Sofia was awake until midnight last night. We tried. We did the normal bedtime routine: bath, pajamas, grooming, a little exploring while the boys got ready, a book, then dark room and singing. Nope.

We tried just letting her cry in the crib. For an hour (with frequent "it's ok" breaks for me). Nope.

We tried making her sleep on our tummies. Nope.

We let her watch TV with us and play in our room. At 11:00 she got in bed with us to watch "The Daily Show" and "Family Guy". Eventually she nodded off, head at our feet, chewing on her spare toothbrush. She's teething, for sure.

Then Toyota kept my car all day, but eventually did nothing except ORDER the replacement part, which means I have to go thru this another day next week. The guy at the dealership was AWFUL. I have to make sure I ask for my friend J next time - he's the only decent one there. This guy, RON K., was rude to me (when I said the key-fob was not working well, he sarcastically said "Well, I guess that's important to you."), and then he got the info wrong and had my car scheduled to be done late afternoon, when I'd specifically said (multiple times) that I had a car-pool to do and needed the car by 1:30 at the latest. Argh.

Ok, Micah's having a little tantrum now. "Mamma, I need to do 'lectronics!"

Monday, May 28, 2007

Our Memorial Weekend visit in New York

What a wonderful weekend! On Thursday afternoon, we drove down to Forest Hills, NY, and stayed with our friend C&R the their daughter G. Quick summary: Friday we went in to Manhattan to walk around the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Saturday just the Rothkopfs took the train in and went to Ellis Island (we met up with Sam's classmate T and her family there!), Sunday we all drove down to another friend's house in NJ for a party, and we drove back today (Monday).

But it was so much more than that. C&R's daughter has Familial Dysautonomia (FD), a rare genetic disorder (see the FD website - G is the lovely young lady in the cowboy hat!). She just had her Bat Mitzvah (which we unfortunately missed - I'd been saving the wrong date for more than a year). She is such a delightful young lady, and my children just adored her (ok, Micah's adoration stemmed mostly from her ownership of a new Nintendo DS Lite and a Playstation gamecube).

Miss Sofia also took to R, sometimes even preferring his arms to Daddy's arms! I think Sofia really likes height (C&R are a whole lot taller than me and David). She was so comfortable in their apartment (they did a great job of baby-proofing for us). The boys were relatively well behaved, and didn't get too loud (I was very nervous!).

But Sofia is also teething, and has decided that bedtime is no longer 7:30 pm; instead, she's been up until midnight almost every single night (including right now). She's so busy playing, and has absolutely no interest in sleep. She also barely napped some days - Thursday, she didn't fall asleep in the car until about 10 minutes before we got to their house, and with that 10 minute nap, stayed awake until 12:15 am.
Friday night she did go to sleep a little earlier (no nap, again), but Saturday she took a nap when we were coming back from Battery Park, so then she stayed awake until midnight again. Sunday night she went to sleep in the car around 10:30, and now here we are at home, 11:10, wide awake.

Micah and Sam had a great time playing video games, but Micah also had many tantrums when we went into Manhattan. Getting from the subway to Battery Park in the morning, he banged his knee, and proceeded to have a tantrum all the way to the boat. David punished him with no video or TV for a month, which was of course not practical, but I let David be the arbiter of when Micah had earned it all back. He was fairly well behaved yesterday and today.

Ellis Island was hot and a lot of long waits for the boat (both ways, we were the first family to NOT make the boat, which both times meant a half hour extra wait), but the museum was very moving. It was good to hook up with the other family (although Micah was so loud I thought my friend J was gonna smack him!), and after they left we had a little time to ourselves too.

Friday at the Met was hot and crowded but also fun. C's Aunt Edna came along, too, since both she and C&R have handicap parking stickers (so we could park nearby - one of the problems with FD is that G cannot regulate her body temperature and easily overheats). At the Met, most of them saw the Barcelona Artists exhibit (but I got stuck with tantruming Micah and hungry Sofia, on the roof garden), then we saw "Arms & Armor" and the Egyptian exhibit after lunch.

We mostly just hung out at their apartment at night, eating in and having great conversations every night. I feel very content and relaxed now. Very content. It's almost bouyant.

But I'd like to get my daughter to go to sleep! She's teething like crazy, so that's not helping, either. Right now she's chewing on her spare toothbrush (I keep one for chewing, one for brushing - she refuses to put most other things into her mouth, except food).

Some new words: "shoes" both verbal and sign, and signed "Ice Cream" very vehemently when hungry. We also think she said R's name out loud this morning. And she's walking all over the place now.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

She's a TODDLER!

Today, I walked into the living room and found my precious baby standing on the desk chair, reaching for the higher shelves in the bookcase.

Right now she's "sorting" the pile of papers on my floor.

She's teething again, and has been joining me for late-night TV for several evenings.

She pushes other kids (especially her brothers, but also kids at playgroup).

She yells at her OT. And at me.

This afternoon she climbed up on my bed, propped up a pillow, grabbed the remote, and settled in.

She will hug any man who comes near her, but will barely wave to women (she's afraid I'll ask them to babysit!). Today she practically lept into the arms of her brother's friend's dad (who IS really cute, I admit!).

And she's decided that "Cheese" (sign and verbal) is her all-purpose "feed me" word, so she says it about a gajillion times each day.

Today she flat-out refused to eat carrots, previously her favorite food.

And although she does not say the word, she knows how to shake her head to indicate NO.



Blood from a Stone

Actually, it was blood from Micah, but just as difficult. I have been holding on to Sofia's 2-year checkup lab test order for a few months now, and Micah has his allergy re-check in a few weeks. Quest Diagnostics just opened a walk-in lab in Framingham, and I figured I'd go see if they could handle the orders (Sofia's stays in Framingham, but Micah's has to go back to Newton-Wellesley, and when David gets his blood workups, it's gotta get back to Bridgewater). If there was one place they could all go, locally, that'd be great.

So after gymnastics, we dropped Ben at his house and I took Micah and Sofia over to the lab. It took the phlebotomist, S, a while to enter all the info into the computer (and then she found out she didn't need to type in the items for the RAST test individually). Micah was getting a wee bit nervous. So he wanted Sofia to go first.

Sofia did great. S had a tough time finding a vein, and actually had to poke her twice, once on each arm, but my little princess barely cried - more from fear of the rubber gloves and discomfort at the tie around her arm. She did great. But Micah just got more and more nervous.

Then it was his turn. OY. It took forever to get him into my lap, forever to get him to pick an arm (and then he kept changing his mind), he started kicking and screaming. It was just not pretty. S got the needle in fairly easily, but as she was switching to the second vial, I noticed that her hands were shaking like crazy (they hadn't been when she did the stick). I was sweating and dizzy. Micah was just a maniac.


So we finally got him out of there. I had promised to get him a new game for the Nintendo if he did this (hey, we got the blood out, right?), so we went to the mall. Selecting a game took FOREVER (although now he's happily showing it to Sam). Then I took them over to Stride Rite and Sofia got new shoes. Micah tried on sandals and sneakers, but was unsatisfied. As expected.

The day started off just as terrific. Both boys were in bed with me; Micah had pee'ed in my bed, so everything smelled; I had a horrible itch on my back and David is away, so I ended up going to my doctor thinking I had some sort of rash (it's just dry skin); Sam had a hissy fit this morning because he could not find sweat pants that fit him - I explained that I've looked everywhere and cannot find his size, and he screamed "You have to look harder!". I made him wear one of the many pairs of courderoys in his closet. Eventually he calmed down, but it really set me off. Oh, and I forgot to put coffee in my espresso machine, so I got plain water instead.

But Sofia did fall asleep before I went to pick up Micah and Ben, so I had them eat their lunch as a picnic in the gym parking lot, and sent them inside while I stayed in the car doing puzzles and relaxing a bit.

After the mall, we picked up Sam at Tae Kwan Do, and we took the pretty (and slightly longer) route home near Wayside Inn. It was a nice drive. And I dropped off the DVD I made for J. I want this to be my new business: taking people's home movies and phots and putting them on DVD. It's fun.

The boys are playing Scooby Doo on the Nintendo, Sofia is exploring the clean laundry, my sheets and blanket are being washed. Sam and I had sushi, Micah had Mac & Cheese, Sofia had lots of stuff. (Oh, and her first food avoidance - she refused the honey carrots today, adamantly.)

The kids are off for Shavuot tomorrow and Thursday. Tomorrow morning I am co-leading the preschool service at TI. Sofia's DevSpec. is going to meet us at shul (I'll put them in a nursery school room) at noon, and we'll eat lunch there. Then the mother's helper is coming to watch Micah and Sofia while I take Sam to his therapist.

David just got to Quebec (he was in Montreal yesterday and most of today). He's coming home tomorrow night. He sounds tired and sad.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Where did all the 2 year olds come from?!

For the past two years, I have been part of a wonderful on-line community ( While the kids in the group are in a variety of age-groups, we do have quite a cohort from Sofia's year. And for a long time, all the moms (and a few dads) were content to write about the little details of our sweet babies lives.

Well, they've all turned 2! And what a lively bunch of toddlers we've got! It seems like every other post now is "look what s/he got into today". It's amazing to watch an entire gang of supposedly "disabled" children explode into the exact same type of wild, self-centered, stubborn behavior as their 46-chromosomed counterparts.

La Principessa had been in a MOOD all day - er, make that all week. She is stubborn, demanding, loud, and mischievous. She's also a bit spitty today, so she's not feeling 100%. So I'm exhausted.

I made a DVD to send down to our friends in Florida, and when the kids and I watched it (for proofing purposes), every time David's picture appeared, Sofia cried out for him. It was very sweet.

I finally got up my courage to go into Barnes & Noble and talk to the manager about an author event - and the manager was out! But I got the name of the person, so I'll try another day.

I'm downloading video for J now, and will make her a DVD from her memory sticks. This is fun.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I finally stopped!

Whew, what a whirlwind week it's been. Monday was the first evening with my mother's helper (yeah!), so I got to take a short bike ride with Sam after supper. Monday night, all hell broke lose. At 10:30, I went in to check on the boys, and Micah had peed in his bed. So we had to change him and all the sheets. At about 3am, Sam started throwing up! David changed the sheets while I helped Sam, but unfortunately David ended up spilling some of the puke onto Micah's bed, too! Sam slept on our floor for a few hours, and then threw up again - I got to do clean-up this time while David helped Sam.

Of course we were exhausted, and I knew Sam couldn't go to school, but when Micah was bouncing around in our bed at 8am, I realized there was NO WAY I was letting him stay home all day! So I got David to stay with Sam while Sofia and I took Micah to school and I went to my dentist appointment. David wanted me to take her, because the staff there always asked about her. Poor Sofia is a bit terrified of the dental hygenist's gloves, so she just sat quietly in the corner while my teeth got cleaned.

Relaxed and napped with Sam and Sofia (Micah went to gymnastics with his friend, and then back to their house for a while). Got my neighbor to watch Sam while I picked up Micah. Unfortunately, it was an awful pollen week, so poor allergic Micah's eyes were practically swollen shut from allergies. Apply Benadryl... which of course makes Micah BOUNCE.

David got home in time for me to leave (but I had to make dinner for the kids first). I showed up at the restaurant for Girl's Night (with J, R & D), and all I could say was "I really want a cigarrette and a Jack Daniels!" Ok, so I don't smoke, but the JD was good. Nice evening out (although for once the service at The Agean was less than great; the bartender was downright rude).

Wednesday I took the boys to school, along with their new sleeping bags (I'd picked them up before dinner) and suitcases, then took Sofia to playgroup. Then we got home, packed, Sofia had a bath, and we headed down to New York for Toby's dinner (see previous post). We got back home around 1:30 on Thursday, just in time for me to go pick up the boys from school.

Friday was a complete whirlwind, too. I dropped Sam off, picked up my friend's daughter, and took the kids to nursery school. I had to run the Friday Night dinner. When I'd checked the reservations the previous Friday, there were only 8 people, but somehow I ended up with 62! I did a little prep before school, then took Sofia for a quick errand and then home for Occupational Therapy (J said "You never stop, do you?" when I told him our schedule). Of course Sofia wouldn't nap after that, so we rested a bit but then I put her in the car to run errands...and she promptly fell asleep.

I ran into the local Judaica store to get birthday presents for the evening, leaving my sleeping child in the car for the first time (fortunately, the store is tiny and the parking space was right in front). Then we went back to the shul to get ready for the evening.

The caterer for the next day was using most of the kitchen, so I only had a tiny counter over the meat sink to work on. This was the caterer I had thought was doing this dinner, but it turns out my predecessors had not told her the date. But she did help me by getting the meatballs and eggplant, and gave me instructions for what to do.

Sofia woke up as I was setting the tables, so I retreived Micah from school and had him play with her in the Social Hall while I cooked. D picked up Sam from school and dropped him at shul so I didn't have to go back out. I cooked until about 3:15, at which point all three of my kids were absolutely melting down.

We went home to rest. E showed up at 4 to tutor Sam, and I asked if it was possible for her to stay as Mother's Helper until David got home (fortunatley she said yes!). Sam wanted to come back with me, so we got to shul at 5:15.

The dinner went off great! The food came out yummy, everyone seemed really pleased at the change in menu (no chicken!), and the storyteller was a hit. The only problem was that the service went too long, and another couple who had come to say Kaddish got really angry (they had to leave by 7, when we hadn't gotten to Kaddish yet). But the rest of the evening went well.

I do have to learn to ask for help, 'tho! I promise, here on my blog, to make a better effort to get people involved. I am very grateful for everyone who did pitch in when they arrived.

So we were all exhausted when we got home, and it's been pouring rain since Friday morning. So today was a good pajama day. Micah is still miserable from allergies, and it's definitely affecting his mood. David took him to today's birthday party, but I guess Micah was very anti-Daddy in the car, saying things like "The 10 commandments says we have to love mommy and daddy, but not the same amount"!

I ran to the grocery store, and made a yummy dinner (talapia, honey carrots, corn on the cob, and bisquits), but it was marred by Micah's screaming fit (he was fine once he ate, but it took a while to get food into him), and Sam's meltdown (hey, if my brother can get attention that way, so can I!). Then Sofia did a strip-tease in her high chair, which at least made everyone laugh.

Sofia had a late nap, so she's still up (drawing on David's notepad), but the boys both passed out quickly. Tomorrow Micah has yet another party, and Sam is going to the zoo with our old nanny and her boyfriend. David has to drive up to Montreal tomorrow afternoon, until Wednesday.

I did get to sleep a bit more today, with a nap late in the afternoon too. I needed to just hang out and watch TV all day!

This week, Wednesday I have to lead children's services for Shavuot, and then on Thursday we are driving back down to NYC for the weekend (staying with C&R in Forest Hills). Sam is really looking forward to going to Ellis Island - his class just finished a multi-month unit on Immigration, cumlimnating with a big "arrival" ceremony at Ellis Island on Thursday. He had a lot of fun (although he was annoyed that his character's name got changed from "Samuel Ferraro" [an Italian soccer player] to "Samuel Fenton").

I got my copies of "Gifts", and have handed several out, to CK, JLB, the EI office, and Toby. I also have a copy for my Pediatrician's office, my OB office, and JS, who spent so much time with me that day after I got the amnio results. The book looks terrific!

Ok, I have to get Sofia dressed for bed. G'night!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Honoring a LifeTime Achievement

David, Sofia and I had the pleasure of attending a benefit dinner last night in the Bronx, for the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center. My "great aunt" (actually my grandmother's cousin) Toby was presented with a lifetime achievement award. She was a founding board member, 65 years ago, for this community center.

We love Toby. Whenever David and I go into NYC, we make a point to go visit her, even if only for a few hours. She's an amazing lady. She is still working, in her 90s, as VP of West Bronx Housing, President of Concourse North Bronx Jewish Community Council, Secretary of the Bronx Jewish Community Council, AND Info & Referral Specialist at a social service agency (serving "the elderly" - who are frequently people far younger in years than she!).

She has been an inspiration to me, and I was delighted that we were able to attend the event. Miss Sofia was a very well behaved attendee, clapping enthusiastically during the speeches and chowing on all the yummy food. I also got to meet Toby's two sons, who are my father's contemporaries - I've never met them before.

It was a little sad to see how her sons don't get along with each other, and how they seemed less than enthused about the whole event - I think that they may have grown up resentful of all the energy their socialist parents put into other people. And it was sad to see how Toby is getting weaker physically. But she's still as sharp as ever, and was completely surprised that we were there (only 2 people there knew we'd be there!).

We slept at my mom's cousin's house in Riverdale, so it was nice to visit with them, too, and we drove home in time for me to go pick up the boys after school. Sam had slept over Sam D's house, Micah at Ben's house. They both had a great time (and when we arrived at Micah's school, he was so busy playing he didn't want to leave yet!).

Now David is sleeping and the kids are watching a movie and I'm about to start unpacking. Will put some photos up shortly...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

My breakfast-in-bed arrived at 5:30 am, brought by an eager Sam. I sent him back to the kitchen with an appreciative thank-you (and instructions to put the yogurt back in the fridge!).

The kids all came cuddling around 8:30 (breakfast, too). I got some beautiful cards, and a small blue tote bag (David, being color-blind, was positive it was pink).

Eventually we all got dressed and fed and left the house. Sam had a birthday party at Tae Kwan Do, so we dropped him off and joined 3 other moms for food at Cafe Decadence (where David felt a bit like a fifth wheel). Then we took a little drive, and went back to pick up Sam. Sofia fell asleep on the ride, so David relaxed in the car a bit with her.

After pickup, we headed to Target. Sammy and I got some alone-time, picking up some much-needed supplies (diapers and things like that). Then we headed to A's 2nd birthday party for the afternoon. It was lovely and outdoors (which means Micah got a bad allergy attack due to the pollen, AND he got a bloody nose, so I gave him Benadryl). We were there until after 6pm.

Yesterday was somewhat nice, too. We got up late'ish, eventually went to shul. I put Micah and Sofia in babysitting (Micah was off-the-wall all weekend; high energy and low tolerance for things not going his own way). Sam went to the big-kid's service. Originally David took him, but when I got there, Sam wasn't happy to be there and David was getting upset, so I sent D off to the sanctuary. Sam eventually got into things, adding a lot to the Torah discussion. Lunch was nice (and I made a good effort to get into the Social Hall quick-fast, to satisfy David's need for me to be at the table right away!).

We came home, and David took a nap while the kids and I relaxed and had some quiet time (although no one else slept). Then we loaded up 2 bikes and the scooter and drove all the way to Lexington, arriving at the Rail Trail at 5pm.

David was a bit grouchy and strong-willed the whole day (he really wanted to go to Lexington, even though it was already late in the afternoon). I tried to hold it all together as well as I could.

David wore his roller-blades and pushed a sleeping Sofia in the jogging stroller. Micah tried to scooter, but eventually I ended up carrying him (and the scooter) on my bike with me. When we got back to where we'd parked, Sam and I took off for a short ride on our own, which was really really nice.

Then we tried finding dinner, and it was a disaster. Lexington was already getting crowded, and we made the mistake of driving to Moody Street in Waltham. By the time we got there and found parking, the restaurants all had one-hour or more waits, and Micah totally melted down. We skipped dinner.

Micah fell asleep (after screaming) in the car, so I fed the others when we finally got home, after 8pm. Whew.

So now it's Sunday night, the kids are cleaned and sleeping, David is morose (and now hungry), and I don't know what to think about any of it.

Happy Mother's Day to all.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Falling into place

Hmmm, it all just falls into place sometimes, doesn't it? I am thrilled to announce that I just hired a Mother's Helper! Sam's new reading tutor, E, a student at Framingham State College, just told me that once school ends next week she's free for the summer, and is looking for Mother's Helper work. She's a sweet girl, and the boys already really like her. Sooooo, next Monday, she'll be joining us for the 5pm - 7pm mishegas.

Sofia's not feeling great today - she just took a long afternoon nap, and now she's a bit crabby. I do hope she's not getting sick!

We had the Mother's Day Celebration and Shavuot Program at Micah's school this morning. Very cute, and Sofia really enjoyed sitting with the kids for the singing in the morning. (I'll try to put up some video later).

And most exciting, my order of "Gifts" arrived yesterday!!!! I gave CK and JLB their copies this morning. It looks so cool. SC from MDSC wants to put my article in the next newsletter; I've emailed R to see if that's allowed. That'd be cool.

I've been really tired, too, and with the rain today came a massive migraine, but I managed to get a nap in this afternoon, and I feel a little better now. We're going to friends tonight for Shabbos dinner (David is meeting us there; he still hasn't left the client site), nothing much planned for tomorrow after shul, and 2 birthday parties on Sunday.

Oh, my mom was passive-aggressive about Mother's Day. I know she wants us to come celebrate with her and make a big deal about her, but we simply can't. And I've gotten to a point where I am (somewhat) comfortable just knowing that my own household comes first. But it's still stressful to have to deal with her when she's like that. Especially when she did come and take care of my kids so I could attend the conference!

I am still processing all the information I learned at the conference. I enjoyed making new friends (especially J and D and A), and I feel very empowered. I'm trying to get the kids' paperwork (IEPs and medical stuff) organized, as suggested in several seminars.

Ok, Micah is demanding my attention now...Wishing you all a peaceful weekend.

(Oh! Sofia said "row row" this morning in babysitting!)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Early Intervention Conference

Greetings from the Early Intervention Consortium! As a Parent Contact, I was invited to attend this terrific conference. I got here a little late (had to drop the boys at school first; my parents are watching Sofia and picking up the boys after school).

The keynote speaker was very good, but some of what he said saddens me. Basically, by "labeling" someone with a diagnosis (dyslexia, Down syndrome), we segregate them from the rest of the community. And it made me sad for what the future might bring for Sofia. But at the same time I realize how hard I fought to actually GET a label for Sam (dyslexia), while I fight to NOT label Sofia with T21.

The first workshop I went to was about the Parent Leadership Project, which is how I'm here. The second was an excellent workshop on Advocacy. I had drinks with J, another DS mom, and then we had a nice Parent dinner (M from our playgroup is here also, with the baby). Now I'm in the room, rooming with another DS mom.

It's been really nice to meet everyone, and I feel like I'm learning alot about the resources that we have and how to fight for our children's rights. And it's just nice to not be home!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Lag B'Omer and Cardiology

Well, today was a good day. After I dropped off the boys at Sam's school (Micah gets a ride from there to nursery), I had my Torah study session, which I've missed (we've skipped it for about 5 weeks in a row). Always a nice conversation; today we discussed the idea of a Sabbatical, taking time off from normal routine to concentrate on yourself.

Then Sofia and I went to Children's Hospital in Waltham for her annual Cardiology checkup. She "passed" with flying colors! We can now dismiss three of her "issues": the cleft mitralvalve is so minor it makes no difference, the VSD seems to be clearing, and the PDA is sort of a non-issue. So officially she has an ASD and Pulminary Stenosis. They did not do an echo today (it's tough to do a non-sedated echo on a two year old; they move around too much). We'll come back next year, probably also no echo at that time. If we determine that she needs to go to the CathLab, it won't be at least until she's 4, more likely 5 or 6 years old. But if the right chamber isn't dilated, we won't have to do anything! And she no longer needs to take antibiotics before dental work (new finding from the ADA). Yippie!!! (Oh, and she weighed in at 21 lb, 15 oz!)

Sofia fell asleep in the car on the way back, but I had to go buy ice for the school, so I transfered her to the stroller and did my grocery shopping by balancing everything on top of the stroller, including 30 lb of ice! Whew.

Then I met JB over at the new school site, to drop off the ice and eat my lunch.
Then picked up Micah, and went back to MWJDS to meet J for an OT session. Sofia was walking all around, taking breaks just to eat.

The kids played after school, then we came home and I fell asleep, while the boys went across the street to have a water fight with the other kids, and Sofia trashed my room by dumping the laundry everywhere. Then we picked up the pizza and went to the picnic!

We held it on the new school property, which is incredibly beautiful. It was a really lovely evening. And I got all the Brandeis alumni to pose with their kids for a shot for the Brandeis Review. Very cool:
Drove JT home, listening to the three boys cackle about "flaming cow dung" when we passed the farms in Holliston. Sofia somehow managed to fall asleep during all their yelling, and even stayed mostly asleep when we got home and I changed her into her pajamas. The boys both peed in their pants, and Sam put his right on top of my (cloth) purse for the ride home, so I'm doing laundry now.

Ok, I stayed up way too late, playing on the computer last night, so I'm shutting down for the evening (ok, soon. Really!). G'night!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


No, not the philosophical definition ("...the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). The kind of Determinisim that makes Micah pick each chip out of a chocolate chip cookie, or that makes Sofia continue to reach for the shower curtain long after I've pulled it out of her reach, or that makes Sam ...uh...have a tantrum over the teensiest tiniest thing. It's really fascinating to watch it in action.

Whew, busy weekend. After a lovely evening with S & R and their kids for Shabbos dinner, we slept late on Saturday (I'm sort of on a "shul-strike" from TI, a little burnt out). I had the wildest dream, 'tho: I dreamt that Sam wanted to go to Chabad for services, so I took him with the intention of just dropping him off and finding him a ride home. I wandered around the building, and everyone was very pleasant, but I kept running into really ridiculous obstacles, like a half-door to get to the school wing but my dress kept riding up so I couldn't figure out how to maintain modesty, or making too much noise by opening a door during some moment of total silence. It was a very interesting dream, really delving into the dichotomy of the pleasantness vs. the discomfort there.

So we relaxed on Saturday morning (the boys got Sofia out of her crib, but locked her upstairs while they went down to watch a movie, so eventually she started screaming again). In the afternoon, David had said we could go look at barbeque grills, since ours is rusting away. So we went. Mind you, the night before, he'd had me enter a bid of $160 for some Farscape videos on eBay (but we didn't get it). Well, apparently he did the bills on Satruday morning, because when we got to the stores, he flipped out about the money. So no new grill; I bought a new grate for the old one (piece by piece we are rebuilding it).

David had a bad afternoon, and just disappeared onto the front porch for a few hours. It didn't help that in the morning we got some sad news from is mom: their old friend A.S. passed away. She'd been very sick for a long time, but still, it was sort of sudden. So David moped all day.

Saturday evening, D & E and the girls came over for dinner, which I grilled and we ate on the back porch. We had a nice evening, but the guys stayed separate from us for a while, deep in conversation (we of course had our own conversation, just as deep! D's a very good friend to me.) The kids all got along fairly well.

At night, after the kids were asleep, David and I watched "Brother from Another Planet". What a cool movie! I really enjoyed it.

Today was very busy. Again, the boys watched a movie in the morning, but this time they left Sofia in the crib, so I got up a bit earlier with her and we joined them for Star Wars Ep. 6. Then I made breakfast, we all got dressed, and I took Sam over to AS's birthday party. When I got home, Micah was watching a video, so I rested on his bed with a magazine. Eventually I fell asleep for a bit, until he woke me up. David and Sofia were passed out together on our bed:so I drove Micah to Z'a birthday party, and called David when it was time for him to wake up, pick up Sam, and then meet me to give me the kids and trade cars. After I dropped off Micah, I got my glasses fixed at Lenscrafters, and then set off a security alarm while looking at camcorders at Circuit City.

Then David showed up with Sam & Sofia, so I sent him off to the airport (he just landed un Detroit tonight), and we went back to pick up Micah at the Gymnastics place. Micah was the LAST person to finish eating - most of the other kids had already gone home. And he didn't even have the cake, just ice cream and chips. Sooooooo slow!

I drove the kids up to the Sudbury Valley Trustees farm where the was a faire, but we missed most of it. Then we stopped to play at the wooden playground in Wayland, and then back to Chabad for a Lag B'Omer picnic. It was really fun (although expensive - food and games all cost $), and I certainly knew a lot of people there. The kids had a blast. Micah hooked up with S, our "distant cousin" (S's uncle is married to one of David's father's cousins), and Sam hung out a bit with EJ and a bit on his own. When the Rabbi spoke, Sam listened intently (but said he didn't really understand much), and when the Rabbi led the singing of "Hinei Ma Tov", Micah let out a very loud "shevet achim" from the top of the playground climbing structure. Sofia chowed on a hot dog and french fries, and then took a walk with my friend S.

Then I raced home, got them all bathed and now they are sleeping! Hooray. I have the evening to myself. My current "projects" are putting together photos for J, making a DVD for T&M, or scrapbooking.

Tomorrow Sofia has her Cardiology check-up. It's the first time we're seeing this docter, since the woman we've been seeing since pre-natal moved to Toronto last year. Hopefully Sofia will pass with flying colors again. Then in the evening we have the MWJDS Lag B'Omer picnic - I have to get ice in the morning, then take T home afer school, then take J home after the picnic (I hope I remember all of that!).

Friday, May 4, 2007

Micah'ism of the day

After most of our dinner guests had left (S. got to drive home alone, so she stayed for a while waiting for her hubby to get the kids to bed), and Sam and Sofia had already gone to sleep, Micah had two chocolate chip cookies... and he picked every single chip out and lined them up on the table, "so I can eat them at the end." (Boy, he's somewhat frightening in his intensity!)

I actually got email from my high school friend J. this afternoon. I'm in shock! I have not heard from her in ages (other than a simply signed holiday card each year). I hope I hear more!

Nice Shabbos dinner tonight, but now my tummy hurts. Off to bed.

Sigh - Transitions are tough

Our beloved and wonderful Occupational Therapist/Team Leader, J., just informed me that he and his family are moving to Florida in June! I'm heartbroken - and really really nervous. J. has been with us since Sofia was 3 weeks old. He meets us twice a week, and has taught me so much about how to help my daughter achieve all her incredible goals. He is a teacher, a friend, and a terrific person.

We'll still have K.., our Speech Therapist, and T., our Developmental Therapist (they are both wonderful, also), and they'll get us a good OT (personality issues have already been discussed at the office, so I will not get assigned to W. - whew!). But John has been our anchor from the very beginning. I'm so nervous about the future!

Ok, just got off the phone with Sam's therapist. Whew. Sammy's a sensitive kid, and flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. But he "uses the time well" in his sessions, meaning he is able to communicate his feelings, either verbally or through play, and they work out some possible behaviors.

Right now, he's upset about going back to the camp he went to last summer, especially
since Micah is going to a different (larger) camp. I think he does not like the long ride in M's car, but he doesn't realize that Micah's bus ride will be even longer. And he's totally not remembering how much he liked it last year!

I took Micah to the allergist yesterday for his skin. She thinks it was either a contact dermatitis, from sun or sunscreen, or allergic reaction to the different molds and pollens in season in FLA this time of year. So I'm slathering him with his Mometasome and Bactroban, and giving him Tavist in the morning and Benadryl at night.

Just cleaned up the house in preparation for the cleaning I have to go feed Sofia, who is rattling the stair gate like an angry prisoner.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Well, we've returned from the land of sun and pink flamingos. The kids are asleep, so of course David and I are both madly typing away - we had no Internet access for 5 whole days!

We fared well, although Micah has to go to the allergist tomorrow due to a horrible skin reaction (from the sun? from the sunscreen? from what?). He's feeling ok, but it looks awful around his neck, and it hurts when I put cream on it.

Anyway, highlights of our trip:

1. We visited Mike and Tracy Keirnan and their 3 beautiful daughters on Sunday. What a wonderful day we had. They have a lovely house, with a pool (of course, since this is Florida). We spent a few hours at the house (and even Micah got into the pool, eventually), then had lunch and then went to the beach for a while. The kids got along just great (see photos on the new page on our Photo Site). It was fun to see all of them together. Tracy and I had lots of great talks about the issues we face with Sofia and Rachel. David and Mike got into lots of geeky aerospace engineering conversations. It was so much fun!

2. We went to Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld on Sunday. We survived, although I must say I enjoy StoryLand and Dutch WonderLand more, with their much smaller crowds and more rides with less waiting times. But we had fun, in the blazing heat. Sam got frightened in the Haunted House, Micah got scared just waiting in the line for it. Sofia lost it on the carousel and in "It's a Small World". We waited to go on the TomorrowLand ride but it broke. We did manage to get on Pirates later in the evening, when the line wasn't too bad. The kids and I got soaked in the splash park area, which was nice. We even had a "Magical Moment" (damn it!): we stayed through the 10pm fireworks, and both boys fell asleep. Sofia had been sleeping for a while, so she woke up when we took her out of the stroller to put Sam in. We borrowed an abandoned Rental stroller to get Micah out to the gate, but then David had to carry Micah while I carried Sofia and pushed the stroller...until Cast Member Jerry came up and offered to carry her for a while through the parking lot.

3. We have a WALKER!!!! Mid-afternoon at Disney, we took Sofia to the toddler spot, and she promptly picked herself up and walked many steps across the fake pond. (See video).

4. Micah actually spent almost as much time in the pool on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as Sam; he really enjoyed himself.

5. I invited some woman who was attending David's conference to sit with me and the kids at dinner on Monday (David had to go to an awards presentation), because I was starving for adult conversation. It was nice.

6. I read almost all of "The Memory Keeper's Daughter"; I still have 2 chapters. More thoughts on that later, but right now I can't believe I got enough time to read almost a whole book!

Best quote of the weekend: On the way to Disney, Micah turned to Sam in the car and said "I'm going to be Jack Sparrow. Do you want to be the dog?"