Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Migraines and more migraines

I hate this weather! Whenever the barometer changes (i.e. January, June and July in New England), I get migraines. Every day. "Auras" (the flashing light patterns in my eyes) and headaches and dizziness and locked-up spinal column and all.

So each morning, I take my Fiorocet (which contains a barbituate - Butalbital - so it is supposed to knock me out) and I have a large mug of espresso. Then I drive my kids to Dover (10 miles away) to get Micah on the bus and Sam into MWT's car. Then Sofia and I drive back to Framingham for Early intervention or whatever meeting or appointment is on the schedule.


I dumped Sofia in her crib and I passed out on her couch the afternoon when T left, but Sofia did NOT sleep - instead, she tossed out every stuffed animal and kept right on complaining. Now I think she's trashing her brothers' room (she's closed the door, so who knows what she's up to!). She's quite happy.

I had a great on-line Hebrew conference last night with the substitute teacher. Each week we have a 20 minute conference, and I seem to be the only person doing the evening session in my class. The teacher is in Israel for a few weeks, so although she's correcting the homework, someone else is doing the conference. I had so much fun talking to this new teacher. And I can really hold up my end of a conversation in Hebrew now! It's way-cool!

Micah liked camp MUCH better on his 2nd day. He and SK were together all day (several of the adults I know at camp either stopped as they passed our bus stop or emailed me to tell me how Micah and SK were so cute and actually finishing each others' sentences). He's also made friends with another kid at our stop, P, and they seem inseparable, too.

Sam also loves camp, and is already planning for the day when he can be a CIT (counselor-in-training). And he drew his own version of "Starry Night", which was quite lovely. (He goes to an Arts camp; Micah is at a more traditional summer camp).

David and I are going to see "Ocean's 13" tonight; we watched the director's commentary for "Ocean's 11" last night. Such a fun movie.

My friend S in Chicago called to tell me all about her mom's new boyfriend - I'm so happy for her mom, but the conversation was hysterically funny!

Oh, Miss Sofia was very specific about what she wanted for lunch today - ICE CREAM. She signed it over and over again.

Monday, June 25, 2007

An Allergy Mom Visits Camp

Micah started daycamp this morning, and yesterday was the Open House. I was so nervous! Fortunately, I know a ton of adults who work there (it's the local big Jewish daycamp), and Micah knows plenty of kids there. One of the nurses is a friend of ours from shul.

But it's not a peanut-free camp, and they don't send out a whole lot of information ahead of time, so I was really nervous about the allergies. So when we got to the Open House, first Micah and I spoke to the two nurses, then we had an excellent and thorough talk with the 4 teenage bunk counselors and the grown-up Unit Head, and a chat with the bus counselor. I'd prepared an Action Plan document for all of them, and I felt much calmer when we were done. I think he'll be just fine.

This morning, I had to get him on the bus for the first time. The Transportation Coordinator was not entirely sure of the exact location of the Dover bus stop, and the bus was about 12 minutes late. When it did arrive, I was on the phone with the camp office, talking to another mom in the parking lot, getting yelled at by someone from the Town Hall (because I parked "wrong"), and we were across the street from the bus. So I grabbed Micah and Sofia and the backpack and the phone (the other mom helped with the bag), and ended up dropping Sofia in the middle of the road! Yikes. But eventually we got the kids on the bus, and I let the camp know exactly where their bus stop really is...

So we have to go pick him up soon, and then come home to wait for Sammy (I'll be meeting M at Micah's bus stop from now on in the morning, since she passes right by!).

La Principessa has a big cut on her forehead (that's what we get for letting a 6 year old girl at shul take her for a walk), and she didn't fall asleep until after 11:30 last night, but she just took a good nap. Hopefully she'll get back on schedule soon!

Friday, June 22, 2007

A low-key week

With Sam off to my parents' house for the week, things have been delightfully calm around here. Micah wakes up early every morning and goes downstairs to watch the Disney Channel (switching to Dora and Diego later). Sofia has been sleeping late (partially because for 2 days she just did not nap!). There's no one fighting and screaming and getting upset about the unfairness of life and how he hates having a little brother. It's been VERY nice!

Which sounds awful to say - life is calmer without my eldest son in the house - but in the meantime, Sam is having a fabulous time in Connecticut, getting spoiled by Grandma (he got 2 Lego kits, 2 "guys" from Star Wars, an army-print rain poncho, and REAL Crocs (I told her to get the $9.99 pair at Target, but NO!), playing with my sister's twin girls (same age as Sam, and they all get along great), singing old songs with Pop (my dad was definitely born about 80 years too late for his musical taste), and swimming at the pool club. So hopefully when Sammy comes home on Saturday, he'll be relaxed and calmer.

My lovely toddler is a riot. Aside from not napping, she's been really really active. Yesterday, we were home for a bit in the afternoon; Micah was playing Nintendo and I was online. Sofia kept circling between my room and the bathroom, and every time she came in, she was holding or doing something different: holding a purse and saying "bye", brushing her teeth, brushing her hair, wearing my underwear (as a vest, of course). She's such a clown! Right now she's stopped to read a book, and she's been exploring toys all morning.

Yesterday David and I celebrated our 9th anniversary! We drove into Brookline, went to Fugakyo for delicious sushi, then roamed Barnes & Noble for a while. It was nice - we have such a good time when we are alone together. Wednesday night, I had Girls' Night with J & R - also a blast - and R came here for dinner on Tuesday, since her girls are away all week. The babysitter has made tons of money off of us this week; besides last night, she watched Micah for 4 hours on Wednesday while I took Sofia to playgroup and ran some errands, and she was here...uh....ok, I dont' even remember earlier in the week, but I know she was...

Yesterday I took the kids to the pool for a while. Mrs. G. had to talk Micah into putting on his bathing suit and at least TRYING the water. Fortunately, he did finally go in, and even put his whole head under for a moment, on his own. But then he was on the playground for a long time. Sofia, on the other hand, is a fish. I did put the Bubble on her this time. She complained for a moment, but got used to it fairly quickly. Later, I took it off so she could walk around, but when she wanted to get back in the water, she very clearly signed that she needed the bubble back on!

Oh! So last night, at the bookstore, I went to the Parenting section to check on "Gifts" (It took a while to find the book, it was on the bottom shelf and just spine-out, so I switched it with a face-out book!). Then I picked up "Yoga for the Special Child". The intro is just lovely, reads like another chapter in "Gifts"...right up until the daughter is 13 and gets sick and DIES! I was so upset. She'd done so well, the pictures of her were just lovely, and I was so anxious to find out how she'd done as an adult (born in the early 70's). And she died! It was so sad. (But the mom seems to have really done a tremendous amount of work with kids with special needs all along).

Sunday I have to take Micah to the open house at his camp. I'm nervous! I know he'll like it once he's there and involved, but I also know he's going to COMPLAIN all about it. Oh, and I worked out the bus logistics - I can put him on the same bus he would have taken to the pool, but in Dover at 8:40 instead of Framingham at 8:10. So that solves my problem of getting Sam into M's car at 8:10 (and if M is running late, I can meet her in Dover, which is on her way). Same timing works in reverse - pick up Micah at 4:10, plenty of time to be back home at 4:50 for Sam.

Ok, Sofia is tapping on the laptop (yesterday I found her standing on my desk chair, typing on the computer). Seems like a fine time to go. Happy weekend to all!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Awesome Audiology

Sofia had her Audiology appointment this morning, and she did great. She's "in the 20's" across the board, which means her hearing is way-good. They were very happy with the results, and we'll go back in 8 months, February, instead of the usual 6.

Yesterday we went down to CT for Father's Day. First we met up with David's parents, at a diner (of course) for breakfast, and then went with them to the Ferrari show at the Capital in Hartford. Then we went to Papa's Dodge in New Britain for another car show. Then we said goodbye to David's parents, and headed over to my sister's house for a get-together with my parents and sister and her family.

I left David and the kids there and did a quick run to Crown, the local kosher meat market (since our butcher closed in March, there's nothing local). Then I went back. My parents arrived about an hour later.

It was an ok day - stressful when we have to see both families on the same day (since his father resents the time we go to my family, and my family is just plain stressful). But the kids had a great time, and we left Sam with my parents for the week.

Saturday we all drove out to Lime Rock Race Track in Lakeville, CT. It was a gorgeous day. I'd packed a picnic, and we all had a lot of fun.

This morning, Micah was exceptionally well behaved (no one fighting with him!). The babysitter came at 10:30, and I took Sofia to audiology. Then we raced home, and I traded children. Sofia and the sitter went for a walk and took a nap, while Micah and I went to the movies to see "Shrek The Third". It was cute. He was a little scared, but he mostly enjoyed it.

We hung out in the afternoon, and when David got home at 6, went to the pool for a little while (it closes at 7). Back home for supper, then bedtime - Micah's almost asleep, Sofia is currently sobbing in her crib for the fourth time...

Friday, June 15, 2007

School's out (yikes)

Sam finished school on Wednesday, so I've had all three kids together for two whole days. Yesterday wasn't too bad: the sitter came in the morning so I could go to the eye doctor all by myself (I'm now trying out bifocal contact lenses...interesting). Then I got home, slapped together some sandwiches, and hustled them into the car to go see the allergist.

Fabulous news on Micah's allergies: SOY is down to a non-allergic state, as is MINT, so we get to try those again. Also Haddock is potentially ok now. I'll test all of those. A few others went down, but Zucchini had a big spike up, and we added asparagus.

After the allergist, I actually took them all to Chuckie Cheese's. It was loud, but otherwise it really wasn't horrible. I spent $20 on tokens (plus another $7.50 on a soda and some cheese sticks). Micah planted himself in the Sega Star Wars game (no tickets), while Sam went on a mad quest for tickets. After we ate, I followed Sofia around the place, as she checked out every machine...and the walls...and some booths...

After that, I also took all of them to the grocery store. Poor Sofia had only slept 10 minutes in the car on the way to the doctor, so she was sooooo tired, but I had the boys hold her hands and let her walk a bit (since she did NOT want to sit in the wagon).

I had a good ECEC meeting in the evening (Early Childhood Education Committee, at the synagogue) - it was me, my co-chair, the two former co-chairs, our VP, and the directors of the nursery and religious schools. We got a lot of information, which we really needed.

Today has been long. Micah came in to snuggle, and I was stressing about my computer (it's been crashing a bit, and I need to get a full backup done today), so I got up to take my shower. When I got out, I realized I was a full hour early! So I slept in a chair downstairs for a while. Then I was off to Toyota, for what we thought was an hour and a half appointment. David stayed home with the kids. Three hours later, I finally got home! He was stressed, but I'd gotten lots of Hebrew homework done.

Sam flipped out at something Micah had done, and head-butted me in the eye (by accident). I was livid and in pain, so I sent him to his room, but then the cleaning ladies arrived - and we realized I had not restocked supplies. So I left the kids with the ladies and raced to the store.

Micah was a huge help to the cleaning ladies, dusting and polishing along with them. Sofia followed the vaccuum cleaner around. Sam mostly stayed in his room.

Then the kids watched a movie while I napped, and now Sam's off to a birthday party. We're headed to Concord for Shabbos dinner tonight, so all I had to make was challah (have to go bake it now).

Tomorrow we are planning to go to Lyme Rock, race cars in CT, and then Sunday back to CT for two Father's Day celebrations, and we'll leave Sam there for the week with my folks.

Finally spoke to both summer camps today about the boys' various needs, so I feel like I'm a little more organized. We had our first OT session on Tuesday with the new OT (who had done our infant massage sessions two years ago, so we know her). Sofia was all over the playground at Sam's school, fearless, and climbed up the slides all by herself multiple times. M was very impressed.

Oh, and my darling daughter has a new word. "No!" I was not planning to teach her this word, but apparently she's been listening to her brothers...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Micah's graduation and Sammy's sleepover party!

What a weekend! Micah graduated Nursery School on Friday. It was so sweet. He really had a lot of fun, singing all the songs and getting his diploma and playing with his friends.

And Sam turned 8 on Saturday! Silly me, I agreed to let him have a sleepover party. He's been planning this since January, and since he picked the 6 boys early on (and never strayed from the list), we've had lots of time to prepare everyone.

There were 2 Sams and 3 Jacobs, plus 4 other little boys (including my two and one friend for Micah, the little brother of Sammy's friend). They all got along great. It was unclear if 5 of them were actually going to sleep over - except for our next-door neighbor, none of them had ever slept over a friend's house before - but EVERYONE stayed!

I jokingly call them "The Island of Misfit Boys" because many have odd quirks, like Sam - food allergies, anxieties, autism-spectrum issues, and things like that - but they are all sweet boys, and since I know them all well, I know how to handle their individual quirks.

Since it was pouring rain, they had to stay inside. They built Legos, ate pizza, did the pinata, had s'mores and cake (David and the other dad who stayed tried to build a fire outside, but it was raining too much, so I "roasted" the marshmallows in the oven), and then watched the original Star Wars movie ("episode 4" in the boys' world; "The First One" for those of us who saw it when 30 years ago). Then they got in pajamas, Sam opened his gifts (mostly Lego gift cards; we go this afternoon to buy "Jabba's Rafter"), A. read a story, and they WENT TO SLEEP! (ALL except fidgity M, who had to sit in another room and read to get himself settled down - eventually he did).

It was a lovely evening...and at 5:22 am, we heard the first little "mouse" on our staircase...then a herd of elephants...and then they started arming themselves for a coup! (We do have an awful lot of swords and shields and plastic weapons). We realized we needed to get an adult presence down there really quickly! So David ran down and put on "Scooby Do" - and there was almost complete silence as they settled in to watch!

Sofia was cute - she stumbled through the crowd like a drunk in a bar-fight, waving the boys off and going about her business. She had fun watching them, and enjoyed watching movies, too.

It was a really fun (and long) morning, with more Star Wars (episode 6, the original 3rd movie) and some "Tom & Jerry". I made brunch for parents, so I got to visit with them for a while. David had to take Micah off to his gym show at 9:30, but they got there late, so he missed part of it.

Then David stayed home with Sofia and Micah while I took Sam to another birthday party. I had coffee and browsed the bookstore with another mom, then we came home. A short (5 minutes, maybe) nap was all I needed to revive (well, that and the 4 cups of coffee), so I went across the street to my neighbor's Creative Memories workshop - I got 9 pages done!

Today Sam still had school, but Micah is done. Of course Sofia is still a little under the weather; she's had a low fever off and on for more than 2 weeks, and she's fussy and has bad diaper rash, so I took her in to the pediatrician (got to give them a copy of "Gifts" while I was there). One ear is a little red and goopy, so now she's on Amoxicillin. Hopefully that will help.

Micah's friend (yet another Sam!) is now over for a play-date, but I'm not sure they are getting along. Right now they are ok, pretending to be knights, but moments ago S said he wanted to go home. We'll see how it all pans out.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

She sure is ACTIVE!

That daughter of mine is on the go. This morning, after a brief play-period in the block room at Micah's school, I left Sofia playing (with another kid) while I went down the hall to deliver Micah to his classroom. When I got back, Sofia was gone. A frantic search by me and one of the teachers ensued...and then one of the dads found her, in the boys' bathroom, playing with the "water table" (aka the toilet). The teacher and I had LOOKED there, but didn't see her! Oy.

Then I had an ECEC meeting upstairs in the office/sanctuary wing, and she kept wandering off. She figured out how to open the chapel door (we'd tried meeting in there to look her in). She escaped into the sanctuary, where Micah's graduating class was practicing for tomorrow. I found her studying kids' shoes, much to the chagrin of Mrs. K.

She bounced around during a trip to iParty (had to get a pinata for Sam's party), but then she fell asleep, so she was asleep during my whole lunch meeting (MWJDS Adult Ed Committee). I woke her up to pick up Micah and his friend, and she was quite the LITTLE KID at the MWJDS playground. We stayed until after 4pm, because I had Micah's friend and JT, and both their moms came to get them. Now we're home, and the kids are watching the old Batman movie (the Adam West and Burt Ward movie!). Miss Sofia is sort-of wearing one of Micah's pajama shirts (she's got the arms on, but never made it through the neck hole, so it looks like a vest). She's also grimacing repeatedly at me; I'm not sure why.

Yesterday was hellish. I was shaking by the end of the day. It started off as normal as usual - after I dropped off the boys, a quick errand at Target and then off to playgroup. It was the first day of the new session, and La Principessa was totally in control of the room. I think she expected it to be a drop-off group, because she all but ignored me the whole time. When I told her to wash her hands before snack, she walked over to the sink!

I took her home a bit early, because she was viisbly fading, and she did fall asleep in the car. I woke her up when our Developmental Specialist arrived. She revived very quickly, and was a demanding dynamo for the session.

But during the session, Sam's school called 3 times, to tell me he said he wasn't feeling well, but was obviously fine since he was running around on the playground like crazy. He said he couldn't breathe. I think he's just got a bit of post-nasal drip from the pollen, and it's making his throat itch, and he heard another kid "feel sick". I even spoke to nurse at the pediatrician's office, and she agreed with me, he's a hypocondriac. But since he'd gone to the office 3 times, I had them give him Benadryl, and I went in early to pick him up.

When I got to his classroom, I gave him the choice of getting a strep test and missing his therapy session, OR just staying in school. "Uh, I think I'm ok to stay now." Great. So then I had 45 minutes to waste...

Picked him and A. up, had to wait around at the therapist's office because she was running late. Drove A. home, and then made the mistake of calling my mother back on the way to pick up Micah. Mommy dearest once again wants me to fork over more than $100 on a moment's notice, to go in with her and my sister on a gift (this time it's airfare for my grandmother to come up for my uncle's wedding...I'm not sure why my uncle and his kids aren't paying for this one....). When I hesitate, mom makes snide remarks about my "priorities" and about how I "let" my husband manage the money.

It REALLY ticked me off. I'm still really angry. Of course David said we can come up with the money if we need to, but I'm torn between saying "my finances are none of your business" and giving her a list of our "priorities": 3 kids, 2 in private schools, one income which is at the mercy of when the clients pay their bills (so while sometimes we have a real paycheck, sometimes we don't), $60 every time I fill up the minivan with gas just to cart the kids around town (I want a hybrid minivan!), and incredible prices on food and supplies. And yes, we occasionally spend money on treats, like travel, which is really important to us. But we plan for it. I also have to spend a boatload on my uncle's wedding weekend - besides the 10.5 hours round trip in the car with 3 small children, there's a hotel room, food [because I doubt my uncle will have much vegetarian fare for us], a wedding gift for my uncle, a wedding gift for my cousin (her party is the night before), a baby gift for my other cousin, and a dress for me to wear to all of this!

Argh. Ok, I'm done ranting (I think). Anyway, I got home with the kids, and sent Sam to his room to rest. I made dinner, and our mother's helper arrived, so she could feed Sofia. I had to leave for an EI meeting, and David was going out with the neighborhood guys. As I was telling E what time to put the kids to bed, Sam started bouncing a tennis ball around, and it flew right past my face. I walked out.

Tomorrow is Micah's graduation, so we're all going to sleep late, maybe go out for breakfast, and then go to school. After the ceremony there is a brunch, so Sam might not get to his school at all.

(Sofia is carefully playing with some towels, and she's quite funny!).

Oh, the program last night at EI was really interesting, but it scared me. It was about presenting disabilities in the public pre-school and nursery school setting. This mom had started the ICARE program in her town, and it's basically about reading good "about disability" books at age appropriate levels. It was a lovely program, but when I compared it to the incredible diversity unit that we do at MWJDS, I was appalled. The public schools typically get 30 minutes A YEAR to present this information! Yikes!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Warrior Princess

There are few sites more amusing than a small girl, dressed sweetly in a rose-colored cotton dress, pink leggings, and a messy side "Pebbles" partial pony tail, stumbling into your room with that "new walker" gait, holding a purse in one hand and wielding a foam sword in the other! The gleeful giggle really made the picture complete.

Of course, that same warrior princess has been sobbing in her crib for the past 45 minutes, refusing to fall asleep. I've tried the normal bedtime routine (which was rocking her with song), I've tried leaving her there (hard for me to do), I've let David have a try (no luck), and I tried sitting on her couch and "shhhhhhshing" for 10 minutes. Still crying. Sigh. Last night she had Night Terrors for a full 30 minutes - screaming wildly, thrashing about, but not even opening her eyes at all, and not responding to our attempts to comfort her. I guess it's brought on by the fever she's been running from the teething.

We had to say goodbye to J, our Occupational Therapist, today, since it was his last session with us. He's moving to Florida, as I mentioned before. I tried not to cry as I watched him work with my daughter, but boy, it was tough! He'd better keep in touch!!!! (I know he's reading this ;) )

We instituted the new Traffic plan for drop-off at Sam's school this morning, and I realized that I'd never even told David what the plan entails - and I'm the committee co-chair! But it was raining like crazy today, so it was a fairly easy start, since no one wanted to get out of their cars anyway.

I did a little scrap-booking this morning, and realized that I have not printed photos (except for the first 2 days of Israel) since October. So I spent a while this afternoon sorting through, and I came up with 1030 photos that need to be printed! Yikes. Now I have to figure out the cheapest method.

I'm tired. I actuallly fell asleep in the car waiting to pick up Sam, while Sofia and Micah and his friend J were playing in my car! Morah A. had to tap on the window to wake me up when it was time for the kids to come out. Between the rainy weather and the eggplant parm (which was delicious, but gives me migraines), my head hurts alot.

I went into Barnes & Noble this morning, and got to see "Gifts" actually on the shelf. It's not on the front table yet, but it's in the Special Needs section. Very cool to see. Then I went to Old Navy and bought myself some clothing :)

Sofia's hearing test got postponed, so tomorrow morning is free. I might see if Toyota can fix my car (quickly!). New playgroup begins on Wednesday (we're in the same group, with the same staff, but new families).

Sunday, June 3, 2007

David's Party

We had SUCH a nice evening! It was a very long day. I had to read Torah in the morning at Sisterhood Shabbat. David has a bad sinus infection (of course he won't call the doctor), and Sofia is still running a fever, so I left all four of them home. I stayed just for Torah reading, and then did my errands and came home.

I think we ended up with 43 guests, plus us, the babysitter, and 8 kids (including mine). I definitely need a bigger kitchen! But it was a really fun time. It's intersting how peoeple split into regular groups (David's college friends, the Day School parents, etc.), but the more fun thing was to see the unexpected conversations - like my sister and BIL and David's friend from high school and his girlfriend. Not people I'd ever imagine together, but they had a nice conversation.

The Day School crowd left around 11:30, and the WPI crowd stayed until after 1am. David was a bit woozy, from too much alcohol (which flowed freely). (I'd forgotten to buy Tequila, and the neighbors all wanted margaritas, so I called D to buy some one her way, but in the meantime, neighbor B ran home to his house with several glasses to fill up!)

Both David and I really appreciated how much our friends enjoyed themselves. We feel very lucky to have so many wonderful people in our lives, and we were glad that so many saud "so when are we getting together".

We went to sleep at 2am (Laura and I watched David open his gifts first). Today we are relaxing, while Sam is off at a birthday party for a classmate. Sofia STILL has a fever. But she's walking almost all the time now!

Friday, June 1, 2007

A Better Day

Sofia did stay up late last night again, but since I'd napped when she did, I felt much better today. She's still fussy, but the Motrin does seem to help. She fell asleep on my bed around 11:30 am today (after we dropped off the boys and did a quick run to Target, we came home to see our OT, and then relaxed), and actually stayed asleep when I transfered her to the car at 1:00.

The boys are next door on the slip-n-slide right now. It got past 90 degrees today, and very humid - Yuch.

(Too cute, Sofia just looked out the side window and saw the boys - a most adorable giggle emerged!).

I'm trying to prep for David's party tomorrow. I've got close to 60 people coming! At least the house is clean now (ladies came today). I have to read Torah tomorrow morning, and there's a lunch (so we don't mess up the house), and then PREP.

(Now Sofia's yelling for the boys out the window, although the window is still closed).