Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pink Dyson

Ok, another giveaway! Check out the Pink Dyson button -->

This is all part of the Giveaway Carnival.

Sofia discovers YouTube

Uh oh, I've created a monster. I took a moment to check out a cool video on YouTube (link below), and now all Miss Sofia wants is to see and hear more music on the computer!

We've been exploring videos from the Hip Hop Hodios, Chutzpah, and The Lee Vees. All cool.

Here's what we started with:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Odd Experience

I got to go to a "concert" tonight at our synagogue, by two Israeli women. It was not quite what I expected. One was sort of a singer, the other was sort of a storyteller. Unfortunately, the storyteller would frequently sing, and the singer would frequently talk. And they were very Orthodox women, talking to a group of very Conservative women. It was not a good match. The frames of reference were so off, it was sort of painful.

One of their songs was about braiding challah, and the lyric went something along the lines of "help me see that there is meaning in this work" - I just wanted to yell out "get that woman some therapy!" Two of the stories, although traditional Chassidic stories, were so offensive to women that I had to fight myself not to stand up and walk out in the middle (fortunately I did get to escape with a friend at the intermission).

But another story really bothered me: this one was also a Chassidic folk tale, about a "crippled" groom who tells his bride-to-be (who has of course rejected him because he is a cripple) that before they were born he realized that she was supposed to be the cripple and he chose to save her from that fate and take it on himself instead. UGH. Besides the use of the word "crippled" (over and over again), it really bothered me to think that any of my kids need "saving" from their particular gifts.

I feel strongly that each of these challenges - Down syndrome, dyslexia, food allergies - serves a purpose, and that my job is to both help my children learn how to make their ways successfully in this world with those differences, and to learn for myself how to deal with things better.

Harump. I'm a grumpy mama now. Oh, and the singing was just painful! Oy.

(Oh! But the one cool thing about the concert was that the last song they did before intermission was the song used in the Gifts photo montage!)

To cheer up, I direct you to Nicole's Blog, She's got some really powerful comments about her wonderful daughter, along with some horrible stories of the insulting and idiotic ways people can look at our kids, and some ideas for how to respond back.

In other news, both my Hebrew teacher and my program advisor want me to continue taking Hebrew. My advisor wants me to take the placement exam for the in-house class, but then I'd need to find a babysitter and shlep into Newton for class. My teacher is going to talk to her director about a plan she's wanted to implement anyway, letting people take twice as long for this particular class - apparently I'm not the only one who's had this problem at this level.

Miss Sofia refused to nap today, and was really really tired by the end of Tae Kwan Do (although she kept trying to join the class and practice her kicks!). So she fell asleep just before we got home - I dropped the boys off (the babysitter had already arrived) and drove around another 10 minutes. Whew.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'All Bloggy Giveaway

Congratulations to AutumnFawn, winner of both the hippos and the coffee card! Thank you all for playing!

Rocks In My Dryer is hosting a Fall Y’all Bloggy Giveaway carnival on her Bloggy Giveaways site!

Ok, two prizes. The ever-popular $10 Starbucks gift certificate, and/or a new, unopened box of Alex-brand Whistling Hippos:
Leave a post below, and let me know which one (or both) you want to win. I'll figure out the winner on Friday afternoon 11/3, sometime before sundown. Congratulations to AutumnFawn, winner of both the hippos and the coffee card! Thank you all for playing!

In other news, Miss Sofia has added two- and three-word phrases to her signing repertoire, including new words like "helicopter", "butterfly" and "want".

Turns out my old guitar is actually SMALLER than the crappy one I bought for Sam, so he will use mine from now on (whew, saved some money and storage space!).

Micah leaned over my shoulder while I was reading a book, and spelled out a word! (Actually, it was only a syllable, separated from the rest of the word by a line break and hyphen, but he sounded it out perfectly).

My parents are back from Spain and Portugal.

David's cousin and sister are both still pregnant (cousin is due this week, sister has another month).

It got COLD today! It was 26F when we got up, only 32F on the way to school. Fortunately it did warm up a little by afternoon. I took Sofia to a playground for a while, and then she played more when we picked up the boys.

David just told me he hasn't read this blog in several months. Hmmmmm..... Maybe I should say more (tee hee hee).

I feel positively narcoleptic, I think because of the weather change and still recovering from last week's bug. I did manage to take a nap this morning (while Sofia watched TV, grrr), and I went to sleep early last night, but I'm exhausted now. Maybe it's also the backlash from being freed from Hebrew homework!

Preparations for this Wednesday include: I found a "crystal ball" (actually a paperweight), so I will be the fortune teller at the neighborhood pizza party. The dads will get to take the kids house-to-house. My guys have opted to wrap themselves in toilet paper as mummies. Yeah, an easy costume! Miss Sofia might be wearing her fairy princess skirt and wings, but I doubt.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Peaceful Shabbat

I'm more relaxed than I've been in a long time, and that tells me I've made the right decision: I'm dropping the Hebrew course. It remains to be seen whether that also means I'm dropping the whole Masters program. I have a call in to my advisor. Hopefully I'll be able to drop this, and next semester take a regular text study class (which is what my Masters is in), and later (in a year or so), take this 4th semester of Hebrew in person at the college rather than online.

But I am so much happier already, just making the decision!

We went to shul this morning, and I got the nicest compliment from a friend:
You look so happy when you are with your daughter!

It's true. I just adore Sofia. And even as she drives me insane with the intensity of her toddler-ness, I'm so proud of her and all she's been able to achieve so far, and I have so many dreams for her future. I am really having a great time with her!

After services and lunch, we cam ehome and relaxed. The kids and I watched "Angels with Dirty Faces", a great Cagney movie, while David of course slept. I also worked on the music players for the boys - for Micah's birthday, I bought them both little mp3 players, and I've been transferring music from my iTunes for them. (Yes, I bought for both even though it was Micah's birthday. I can justify it by cost and by the fact that Sam spazzes out when Micah gets something he wants and by the fact that Sam's the one who has been requesting one for a while [but he chose half as many songs as Micah!]).

Thursday for Micah's birthday, we went to dinner at Bugaboo Creek. They have a giant talking buffalo head on the wall, and Sofia was so funny, watching the buffalo. And Micah got to "kiss the moose", which is the big thing there. After dinner, David took the kids home, and I met some girlfriends for drinks (I also got to go to the bookstore by myself!).

Friday there was a funny bit with Sofia: on Fridays just before school ends, the kids celebrate Shabbat together in the cafetorium, and the parents are invited to attend. The students all sit on the floor in a big circle, for prayers, a story, and a presentation by one of the classes, and then they do Israeli dancing. Well, during the story, Sofia kept walking over many of the kids, patting them on the back and waving and smiling into their faces! She looked like she was running for office, greeting each one individually. Some of the kids, especially the older classes, were very cute with her, but some of the young kids were annoyed. It was interesting to watch. Eventually, she settled into the lap of one of Sam's classmates, and contentedly listened to the rest of the story.

Tomorrow morning is the last day of soccer - hooray - and the trophy ceremony.

Ok, another passing thought: I am reading yet another book about King David, and there is a mention about all the various infertile women in the Bible - Sarah, Rebekkah, Rachel, Hannah... And the other night over drinks, I was listening to all the other women talk about the problems they'd had with fertility. So I got to thinking: do women like the biblical Leah, or like me, "count" any less because we are fertile, because we have no trouble getting pregnant? Do I love my children any more or less fiercely because I could conceive on schedule? [note, I do not think so at all, but it did make me ponder a bit...]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Micah's 6th Birthday Party!

We survived it - but only barely. 15 rambunctious little boys at a video arcade! Plus one toddler and one stressed out daddy on the phone and one stressed out mommy trying to hold it all together. Whew!

The birthday boy:

Blowing out the candles:Sam hugs his brother:

Of course Sofia had to try out the games, too!

She sat "driving" this game for a very long time:

Monday, October 22, 2007

To Sleep, perchance to...

stop stressing about everything! Oy. I passed out (with the TV on) at about 10:30 last night, but I woke up at 12:30 for more than an hour. I was worrying about silly things, like the fact that some families let their kids behave like banshees during the Friday dinner and how can we get the parents to get off their butts and stop their kids? (That was a biggie for me).

So today I'm spacy and tired again. Sofia and I had a fairly relaxed morning after dropping off the boys, but we left the house at noon because there was no way she was going to take a nap in the crib. She was asleep in 10 minutes. I drove around for a good 45 minutes trying to figure out what to do. I ended up dozing in the car in the middle of Framingham commons for a while.

It was a gorgeous day, so we stayed at the school playground a long time. Then I took the kids to Shoppers World to try to find Micah another sweater - he refuses to wear Sam's hand-me-downs, and he'd left his hoodie at school over the weekend. Fortunately we did find something decent.

Ok, Sofia's screaming in the crib. Gotta go.

- - - - - - - - -

Added much later:

Sofia woke up at that point to finally poop (it's been a while), and fortunately she went right back to sleep.

I just spent the past several hours totally avoiding my Hebrew homework, and making a mock-up of the yearbook for the boys' school. What am I going to do about this Hebrew class???

Ok, I know I had more profound things to type, but Jon Stewart is calling...(not really, but The Daily Show is starting now...)


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Micah-isms, and Barf-Fest continues

Well, I made it through the dinner Friday night (PLEASE, if anyone who attends the dinner reads this, PLEASE consider helping out - I love serving you and your family, but I'm just a volunteer, with my own family too!). I left both Sofia and Sam home with the babysitter, and David got home to take care of them at 6. So it was just Micah and me, which was lovely. He had a grand time, because he had a lot of friends, and he was very helpful setting the tables.

But it really was a lot of work for me, and I'm so grateful to the shul's custodian for helping me serve and clean up!

I collapsed into bed as soon as I got home...and then the fun began. At 3am, Sam started barfing. And at 6 am, so did I.

We stayed in all day Saturday, while Sam and I alternated barfing and sleeping. David did about 40 loads of laundry (did I mention that Micah also pee'ed in his bed?). I just couldn't drag myself out of bed all day. Finally, at 4:45 I took a shower. We did manage to go out to dinner with our friends N&P to celebrate their anniversary, but all I had was some potatoes and rice, and I practically fell asleep at the table.

I must have had a fever at midnight, because I was freezing but David said my skin was very hot. After I took some acetaminophen, I felt much better 'tho.

So this morning, Sam and I both felt well enough to go to soccer. David stayed home with Sofia, so I could just sit and relax at the game, and the weather was really nice, so it wasn't too bad. When we got home, I took a quick shower (hadn't had time in the morning), and then we met David and Sofia at our friends' house for a reunion of the Chaverim Club (young parents' club) from shul. It's been 10 years since we all met.

We stayed until 5:30 (well, David left at 2:30 to catch a plane to Baltimore). The boys and Sofia had a blast. But I think I have an ear infection now - I'm really dizzy. This is NOT fun. I feel awful. (And I can't seem to do my Hebrew homework at all!).

Anyway, here are the Micah-ism of the week:

1) Last Sunday, as we were leaving the renaissance festival, Micah insisted on buying a red rose, which he named "Rosie". He talked to Rosie the whole way home, and every day this week, he's checked on her. He even has a coffin ready for when she dies (I did explain that Rosie has a very short life expectancy).

2) On Wednesday, I was driving my guys and another boy, M, to school. The 3 boys all sat in the back, giggling and talking. There was a momentary lull in the conversation, and then Micah chimed in:
"Behold, I am Zeus, G-d of Flashlights!"

3) This is the best. On Friday, after my sleepless night with sick Sofia, I drive the boys to school, and they are argueing like crazy. Sam is in the crabby start of this tummy bug, and Micah was just really irritable (he also refused to put on socks or sneakers that morning). The big argument was :

Sam would not turn down the volume on the imaginary DVD player!

Micah was ballistic. "IT'S TOO LOUD".

Nothing I did would help. "Micah, I turned it down up here." I saud, trying to give in to his fit of fantasy. "No, it's too loud!". "

"Micah, you realize there's not actually a DVD player in the car, right?" "Sam has to turn it down!"

I could not wait to get to school and get them out of my car!

Just remember my mantra:

I love being a mommy. I love being a mommy. I love being a mommy.

Uh huh.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mid-year Review, barfing baby

Ok, it's been busy the last 2 days. Yesterday morning, Miss Sofia had her half-year review. David and I met our Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and Developmental Specialist, and they put Sofia through about 45 minutes of games and challenges.

She did really well, but of course it's always difficult to get your kid tested. Actually, the testing itself wasn't so bad (except when David and I had to clamp down on each other to keep from "helping" her or cueing her).

But scoring is hard. Instead of the lossy-goosy "she's doing so amazingly well", you get a number. That number represents how old the "typical" child would be doing those skills.

So here it is, Miss Sofia's score, at 32 months of age (scores in parenthesis are how she did back in March at 25 months):

  • Fine Motor 26 (23)
  • Gross Motor 22 (11)
  • Cognitive 27 (19)
  • Social/Emotional 30 (26)
  • Self-Care 29
    • Feeding 35 (27)
    • Toileting 19 (15)
    • Dressing 33 (27)
  • Receptive Language
    • Verbal 18 (16)
    • Sign 18 (16)
  • Expressing Language
    • Verbal 16 (15)
    • Sign 24 (?)
Only Verbal Language counts on the scoring, but K does a sign score just so we know what's going on. However, I very clearly remember last March, that Sofia scored ABOVE her age for expressive sign, so I was quite concerned this time. K looked at the scores again, from this time and last time, and thinks she just madea scoring mistake last time. Which makes sense, but bugs me because all this time I've been so excited about how well she did!

But you can see that she made a huge leap ahead in Gross Motor, and is doing great in Self-Care and Social/Emotional. She's doing great in everything, really, I just thought she was doing even better in Fine Motor and in Language.

Oh well. It's just a benchmark, it doesn't change anything on her IFSP, we're not making any changes to her services. And the public school will come do their own evals in January before placing her in the preschool anyway.

Sofia went off to her playgroup while the ladies scored the results and David and I signed paperwork. Then I had exactly one hour - just enough time to get my nails done! When I came back to pick up Sofia, I was delighted to learn that several new kids had joined her group, including another boy with Down syndrome. I met his mom over a year ago, and we've been in touch only on email since then, so it was nice to see her. But we had an interesting chat as we put the kids in their carseats: she really feels that she's had to fight to get her son appropriate services from EI, which was a real shock to me, because I have considered EI to be a great experience for us. So I got all paranoid, thinking maybe I'd missed something and had not gotten Sofia everything she needed.

I talked about it this morning with the Developmental Specialist. I guess some people are more concerned with the Titles of the people giving their kids treatment, and less with the skills and strengths those people have. For instance, our Dev.Spec. is officially a Psychological Specialist (or something like that). However, she has been so incredibly important to Sofia's language and fine motor growth, I can't imagine what we would have done without her! Our original OT (who dared move out of state - I know you're lurking, J! We still miss you!) was great at integrating speech and motor skills for my little baby.

As Parent Liason for our EI center, I will suggest that they create write-ups, both of the general job descriptions and of each individual service provider's skills, to give to the parents when people are assigned. It might help clarify expectations and avoid conflict.

So we had a busy time yesterday, and Sofia didn't nap until we picked up the boys (although I fell asleep on the living room floor for a while). But then she stayed awake until midnight! We just could not get her to sleep again. She sat on our bed, watching late-night TV, while I dozed with my arm around her.

Well, turns out she's sick. I left her and David home while I drove the boys to school (he'd stayed up late, too). When I got home, Sofia was really crabby. She wouldn't cooperate with the specialist, and kept wanting to hang on me instead.

So after her session, I tried for an hour to get her to nap. She screamed bloody murder if I put her in the crib. So I ended up rocking her in the chair, and once she was asleep I put us both on the bed and I napped too.

I woke her up for lunch, which she just cried through, and then she started explosive wet farts. Eventually we ended up back in the rocking chair, and at 2 she barfed all over me. We were both drenched, but obviously she had to get something out. So we took a bath together, and then picked up the boys. She climbed a little at the playground, but then settled into cuddling again. Back home, she's been crabby all evening. I had my mother's helper eat with the boys and get them to bed while I rocked Sofia again. She was dozing on my bed for about two hours, but now she's crying. Gotta go!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pain? Disability? Hardship?

I just read an interesting article in last week's Newsweek, about Holly Robinson Peete and the widow of Brandon Tartikoff. The article is part of a series about women and power. In this article, there is an emphasis on the hardships and pain that both women have faced: Tartikoff's husband died of cancer and her daughter suffered brain damage from a car accident, Robinson-Peete's father (Gordon from Sesame Street!) died of Parkinson's and her son has autism.

The article made me wonder, though, about the words we use to describe life. Is it a hardship that my daughter has Down syndrome? Do I feel pain because one son has dyslexia? Are Micah's food allergies a "disability" to him?

I spend so much time looking at all the positive things about my kids - how incredible they all are, what their unique talents and personalities are, how they handle their individual lives - that I sort of get pushed back when I hear the "sad" words applied.

I'm NOT sad that Sofia has Down syndrome. I'm thankful that she is able to do so much and that she is so much fun to be with, and I consider myself so lucky to have been included in this special world of T21.

I'm less positive about Sam's dyslexia, because of his personality. This will always be a challenge to him, and he gets so anxious about everything. So I worry about him. But I wouldn't trade his creativity for anything.

I fear for Micah's health, if he eats something he is allergic to, but I also know how to deal with it - a few weeks ago he accidentally ate some crackers with sesame, so I gave him Benadryl and watched him carefully for 2 hours, but the few hives that appeared quickly went away. And I am so impressed with how he handles it himself. He's very cautious (usually!) and very clear about what he can and cannot eat. He's calm, and neither panics if he's near something he can't eat nor gets overly jealous about it.

So I don't consider that our family has received an unusual amount of "pain" or "hardship". Ours is just more concrete, more definable, than others. We have a loving family, the monetary means to live the way we want, the resources to get our children the best education and health care available, and the community to feel comfortable and at ease with ourselves.

It will be interesting to see how the Transition from Early Intervention to public preschool goes. My online friend A recently wrote on our discussion board about getting her daughter's eval, and how it's difficult, because in every-day life, we are so accustomed to focusing on what our kids CAN do. Having to evaluate my daughter in terms of what she CANNOT do, or what she IS DEFICIENT in, requires a big mental shift. And, as A stated, it's absolutely necessary to define the deficiencies, because otherwise our kids would not be eligible for services!

Ok, enough musings. Sofia is sound asleep (yes, she fell the noon today, but only because we were out shopping all morning) and I should do some homework. I bought bth boys little MP3 players - it will be a birthday present for Micah and a treat for Sam, so don't tell! They were really cheap - 1 Gig for $25, little clips to attach. Should be fun. They'll be great for our trip to Israel in December.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Renaissance Festival

Today was busy. After our morning sojourn at soccer (45 minute drive and 3 hours trying not to get too frustrated watching little kids "play" soccer), we headed to King Richard's Faire, the local RenFest.

We haven't been to a festival since the one in Pennsylvania 2 summers ago. That one is bigger than this, and when we'd gone there it was Pirate Weekend, so the boys were just a little less impressed today, but we had fun.

There was indeed a Pirate session for the kids. Here are some pics.

David and the kids watching the pirates:

The boys getting Pirate badges from the captain (not ONE person thought Sam was a boy!):

Sofia enjoying the spectacle (but I had to take her out from the joust - she HATED it!):
We also got to do some archery:
Me helping Micah (yeah, really, it's not because I WANTED to shoot!):

(ok, I lied - I really really wanted to do it!)

Sam takes aim:

Unfortunately, David is depressed today, so he's not all that enthusiastic. I'm not sure how to help him - he can't seem to clear his brain.

Sam and Sofia fell asleep in the car on the way home; Micah stayed awake for dinner and a bath. Oh, Micah also insisted on buying a ROSE before we left. He calls it "Rosie", and he's just so CUTE about it!

And speaking of cute, here's a photo from the other day, of Sofia watching a "Signing Times" video. Notice the boys' underwear fashionably worn on the outside of her pajamas:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great Shabbat service

This morning, we had "Camp Shabbat" at our synagogue. They had a regular "grownup" service upstairs in the double-classroom, and in the social hall we had the rabbi who is the assistant director of Camp Ramah, the Conservative Movement's summer sleep-over camp in Palmer, MA.

It was so nice - brought back so many memories of my time in USY (United Synagogue Youth, the Conservative Movement's teen youth group). It was a very kid-friendly service, with the rabbi asking the kids a lot of quesitons about the service. Micah and Sam, of course, had plenty to say. Sofia lasted through the service, too. During the (abbreviated) Torah reading, Micah, Sofia and their two friends B & A [brother and sister same age as my 2] sat on the floor in front of the reading table.

After lunch, they had a panel of teens who are seasoned summer campers. CJP (Combined Jewish Philanthropies) has done extenive studies proving that the best way to ensure lasting connections to Judaism is through 3 things: Jewish summer camps, at least 8 years of extensive religious or day school, and peer-group visits to Israel in the teen years. So this was a chance for us parents of young kids to hear about the camp experience.

It's very interesting for me, especially because Camp Ramah (among other places) has a Special Needs section of the camp also, and there are options for partial or full inclusion as needed. I know Sofia will go eventually (hopefully in the inclusion program), but I had a lot of questions for them about Sam. I'm not convinced that he'd do well at summer camp. Between the moodiness and the anxiety, I was very glad to hear what their process is for figuring out who qualifies for the special needs program (they'd work with us, the school and his psychologist to find the best situation for him).

It was a blast, and we were there until 2:45. Micah made friends with the visiting rabbi, exchanging "secret handshakes" and chatting away. (The guy is very young, just out of the seminary, and he and his wife have a very adorable 17 month old who were also there. Ah, youth!).

Sofia was asleep when we got home, so she snoozed while I took down the lights form the Sukkah and the boys played and David started a chat with the neighbors. It turned into a 2 hour chat with a LOT of people, because today we all got a notice about the mishegas of our "trsutee" land - basically, the 24 houses on this street co-own the land behind us (conservation or wetlands or something like that). The Trustee who was supposed to collect the taxes from us each year never did, but claims he did, and if people did pay, he never paid thw town, so now they want everyone to pay a flat fee, regardless of how long you've lived here. It's a big mess, so we'll have a homeowner's meeting this week and consult all sorts of lawyers. Stay tuned.

We took the kids to our favorite sushi place, Michi Kusa, in Framingham. They eat well there - edamame, age tofu, Sam and Sofia split salmon teriyaki and Micah gets 2 special cucumber/avocado makis without sesame, while David and I pig out on sushi. And the owner knows us (because we are there so often) so it's really fun.

Boys were basically asleep when we got home, I think Sofia is down now.

Tomorrow brings soccer and maybe the local renaissance festival. Hopefully the weather will be good.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Challah Braiding

I went to a neat program tonight at the local Chabad center. Learned how to double-braid a challah (6 strands), and I just baked the most delicious-looking challah for tomorrow night. I also got to see my friend S and spend time talking to the lady from the bookshop, whom I've never formally met but who is always really nice at the store. It was really fun.

Now David is online trying to figure out all our travels. I think this is what is going on: Thanksgiving week, the kids are going to my parents and David and I are going to Quebec. Then early December he's off to Melbourne (and he's really unhappy that I won't pull the boys out of school for 2 weeks, but tough). Then we head out to Israel Dec. 21 or 22, until probably Jan. 2. Whew!

And I've been online searching for flights for the Girls' Weekend in January (MLK) - J's stepmom has given us the use of a timeshare somewhere.

Miss Sofia gave us a scare today. This morning she was being a real pill - bouncing all over, demanding to be held, spilling her food all over. I was trying hard to make breakfast and lunch for the boys, so I told Sam to take her upstairs to David. Well, Sam did take her upstairs, but didn't close the gate (we've been getting lax). Suddenly - THUMP THUMP THUMP - Sofia is at the bottom of the stairs.

Oy. Thank Heavens she's ok. Scared the daylights out of us.

She was really bouncy all day, and of course she didn't take a nap until we got into the car at 2:45 to get the boys. She slept 2 hours (transfered to the crib when we got home), so apparently she was up watching TV with dada while I was making challah!

Sam started guitar lessons on Tuesday. He liked it. But of course the teacher told me to get his guitar repaired. That $20 guitar would cost $30 to "repair" (it lacks a metal rod in the neck). Silly. So I told Sam that if he really makes it through the first 5 lessons, maybe I'll get a real guitar

Now I need a piano tacher for Micah. He's been playing "Heart & Soul" really well already. My friend C has the name of a guy who will actually come to the house (which is great, except that the other day, Micah informed me that his teacher should be a girl and have long straight hair).

Resolution made: When Sofia starts nursery school in February, I'm joining the local Curves, and now I'm considering Weight Watchers. Sigh. When did I get this big?

Monday, October 8, 2007

End of an extended weekend

The boys go back to school tomorrow - finally! They've been off for 5 fays, and we've been fairly busy, but I can tell Sam is in need of a bit more structure, and Micah is getting bossy and irritable again. So back we go.

I ended up staying awake until nearly 2am Saturday night, playing with my new toys (I finally did figure out how to synch the iPhone with Entourage; so far so good). Sunday morning at 8:15, David rolls over and wakes me - "Don't you have to leave now?" Yikes! I had exactly one hour to get up, dressed, and get the boys to soccer! Fortunately David stayed home with Sofia, so we actually got through HoneyDew (our Sunday morning breakfast treat - egg and cheese english muffins, and a VERY large coffee for me!) and made it soccer just 2 minutes late. Whew! Micah's team only had 4 kids, and the team they were playing only had 3, so it was in interesting game. And Sam still didn't feel well, so we left before his game started.

That also worked out ok, because then Micah got to E's birthday party on time (instead of an hour late). Then I took Sam home, and David and I (with some help from Sofia) sorted through our enormous CD collection (well over 1,000), while Sam watched an Elvis movie.

Then David said "Don't you have to pick up Micah?" Ooops. Made it in time, 'tho. Got home, we continued cleaning the house and did a little relaxing (which means the kids watched a movie in our room while David tried to nap and I played on the computer more).

Then an old friend of David's, from grade school, came to visit with his family. Turns out then live about 10 minutes away (funny, because they were in school in CT, where we all grew up). And even funnier was that his wife and I recognized each other - she'd brought their daughter to the PreSchool program at MWJDS this week, when I was the substitute music teacher!

We had a nice isit - they brought pizza. Their kids are little, so Sam went back upstairs after pizza, but Micah stayed down and played with their older girl a bit. The mom is a pediatric allergist, so we had a lot to talk about, between food allergies and the day school!

I stayed up late again last night, too. This morning I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. It rained today, which we REALLY need, but the grey day made us all drowzy. But we did get out for a while. to go see a magic show sponsored by the Autism Alliance, and then we had lunch with my friend R and her girls and another of their friends. The magic show was cute, but Sam was a bit nervous (as usual) when people were switching seats (he thinks that once you sit down, you MUST stay there, and doesn't understand "open seating" at all). And Sofia just kept clutching my neck and looking away from the stage. She kept saying "done" as in "let's get out of here now, mom".

When we got home after lunch, Sofia had already fallen asleep in the car, so I transfered her to the crib, told the boys to watch movies downstairs, and I fell asleep for 2 hours! I needed it - but of course now I'm up again. Sigh. But at least I did some homework tonight...but now I'm blogging instead of more homework...

Oh, and we had sushi for dinner tonight. Yum!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Teething toddler, iPhone and more

Ok, so Sofia is teething, and that makes it really tough for her to fall asleep. And she's also coming out of her naps anyway because she's getting to be a "big girl". But tonight, after taking two short cat-naps this afternoon (one in my arms, one in the car), she just could not settle down. I let her watch some Signing Times videos, and eventually she passed out on my bed (face-down, snoring).

As she watched the video, I worked on trying to figure out all my new technology. I am starting to get used to the phone, and I LOVE the computer, but I have a few complaints:
- I've been using Entourage for years now, to handle mail, contacts, calendar and notes. Unfortunately, without a decent third-party app, I cannot synchronize Entourage to the iPhone. So I have to do a pass-through from Entourage to the Mac applications.

Unfortunately, the Mac applications are just not as robust as Entourage, especially the Address Book. I just spent several hours trying to move my contacts over. I'm just unsatisfied with the amount of information that Address Book can hold, and that can be imported. I can't move the "Children" fields, and the Group coding all gets lost. And editing Address Book is really annoying - maybe I'm just not used to it yet, but it's clunky.

So for now I've synched it, I've got a nice list in the phone. Maybe I just won't synch it anymore, and maintain both the phone and Entourage; just synch the Calendar (which is the biggie for me).

David just got home from drinks with his friend A, and apparently they talked about a bajillion different topics, because he's all oer the place in his conversation now. And I'm still typing, so I
think he's getting annoyed ;)

We spent a lovely afternoon with our friends in Sudbury. Their boys are best friends with our boys, and we get along with the parents well. It was a nice relaxing afternoon - we just sat on the porch and chatted and watched the kids.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Greetings from my iMac!

Yippie!!! I'm typing in front of a 20" screen, screamin' fast iMac. This is FUN!!!!!

"Nuff said - I'm too busy migrating all my info from the laptop...

Just checking in

It's been a busy week as usual. Today was another holiday (Shemini Atzeret), and tonight and tomorrow are Simchat Torah. So the boys were out of school again today (and tomorrow), and tonight we all went to shul and danced like maniac, celebrating the Torah. Sofia had a blast, waving a flag in the air and marching around the room, and then she settled into the arms of our friend T, who is definitely on the verge of being ready to be a grandpa! They looked adorable together.

This afternoon the kids and I went to R's house and her daughters and our friend D's daughters and my boys all played together. Micah accidentally ate some chips that had sesame in them, but the Benadryl I quickly dosed him with seems to have worked fine - no other adverse reaction. Whew!

It was gorgeous weather all week, so we were able to eat in the sukkah every night. Today and tomorrow are HOT and muggy, 'tho. Yuch.

The other night, I got a phone call from one of the CJP volunteers. CJP is Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the umbrella organization for many Boston-area Jewish organizations. Anyway, the woman who called turned out to be someone I had known back in USY when I was in high school! She'd seen my name on one of the lists, and even though she wasn't supposed to be the one to call me, she did!

I'm so glad she did, not only because it was nice to hear from her, but it turns out she's a Geneticist in Boston, and we ended up with her taking my phone and web info to pass along to new parents getting a diagnosis of Trisomy 21! I'll be so glad to help people who are just discovering the unique (and wonderful) world they are about to enter. (Oh, and she's a nice single doctor - anyone know a nice Jewish boy for her?!)

Ok, why am I up at 12:55 am? Because I keep taking naps in the afternoons because I'm so exhausted! Oy. I'd better get to sleep.

Oh, and October is National Down Syndrome month!