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.