Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I spent a week at the mall this morning...

Ok, not really. It just seemed like a week. It was really only 1 hour. But it was with Micah and Sam. After taking them out to eat breakfast. After dropping Sofia at playgroup.

Back up. The boys didn't have school today due to "Professional Development Day." Our school takes this task really seriously, so there are many progreams for the staff to attend...which means we end up with our kids home during weekdays every so often.

So at least I got to sleep a little later. At 5:55, I heard Sam open the gate at the top of the stairs and go down to watch TV. For once I did not hear Micah's wake-up waltz. At about 6:40, Miss Sofia came wandering into my room (last night I switched from the crib side to the toddler rail!), calling "Hi Dada". Dada's in Minnesota, she'll have to make due with me. She cuddled for a few miutes, but then wandered down to find her brothers.

I finally got up around 7:30, showered and got them moving. Sofia had breakfast at home, since she was going to playgroup, and Micah grabbed a breakfast bar on the way out the door. We dropped off Sofia, and I took the boys to this coool little diner in Framingham. Sam complained the entire way - he didn't want to go there, but Micah wanted "warm cereal" (i.e. oatmeal) and I knew they had it. Both boys got hot chocolate, but when Micah offered Sam a bite of his oatmeal and banana, a banana slice fell into his chocolate, resulting in The Great Hot Chocolate Massacre, wherein Sam had to give Micah his remaining cocoa, and then the waitress brough another but took away the un-banana'd cup instead of the contaminated cup.

It was a long (but still yummy) breakfast. The we went to the mall. Got there about 4 minutes before the stores opened, so we bounced between Build-A-Bear and The Lego store, waiting to see which opened first. Lego won (those mommies can recognize eager/impatient children!). But selecting one single Lego item is nearly impossible, especially when you are a 6 year old with a gift certificate from your birthday.

So we looked, then went to Build-a-Bear to get Micah the bear clothing I promised him at Hanukah (somehow, he got a Patriot's uniform and pink sequined sneakers for his bear!), and Sam got his very own koala. He also paid for an army outfit with his own money (oh, we'd counted out their piggy-bank contents before we left the house).

Quick stop at Stride Rite for foot measuring. Micah is an 11 1/2 extra-wide, poor kid! Takes after Mommy. Then back to Lego, where the minutes stretched...and stretched...and stretched. Ugh. It was soooooo tough for Micah to select something. Amazingly, however, Sam picked out one specific thing and stuck with it! So hopefully Micah will grow out of this, too.

Eventually we made all our planned purchases. I did take them through Talbots Kids for a moment, but they were not interested in clothing. So we raced to their school to pick up Sam's friend (whose mom is a teacher there), then raced to EI to pick up Sofia. The three boys were bouncing around the Gross Motor room, and I think they may have frightened some of the toddlers.

Eventually we made it home. The boys sat downstairs building Legos and shouting, and Sofia and I watched a Signing Times video (gosh, how unusual!). Actually, I slept for a few minutes, too.

Eventually, the yellling got to be too much. I packed them back into the car, went back to school to drop off the friend, and took my kids to see "Alvin and the Chipmunks". (I REALLY am a good mommy, huh?!). Sofia was very very tired, and sat on my lap, but did not fall asleep. She was not thrlled about being in a movie theater; it's very loud for her, but when the music played she perked up and danced! Otherwise, she vegged in my lap munching "pop-pop" (popcorn - which Sam was really upset that I got because "that's just so bad for you, Mom!" Yeah, like his whole pizza was any good for him...).

After Alvin, we came home, finished building Micah's Lego ship (it had to be Star Wars again), and I prepped for my class. E came, we started dinner, and I left for my first night of class.

Very very cool class. "The Place of Nature in the Bible". Teacher started the first Jewish Ecology program back in 1988. The really bizarre thing about the class is that, of the 5 students (including me) who were there tonight, I was the only one raised Jewish! The rest are either Jews-by-choice or working their way towards conversion or one woman didn't find out she was Jewish until her teens. The teacher said she'd actually expected at least half the class to be non-Jewish (Hebrew College has a joint program with Andover Newton Theological Seminary, so many students study in both buildings). I can't wait to delve into this (she promised we would).

I'm also the only student taking it for credit, and the only one with any Hebrew, so I will have plenty of extra work. But it's so much fun to be back in a text class! Right now we are working on Genesis Chapter 1.

So when I got home (around 9:40), I immediately jumped on the computer, looking up articles and Hebrew word roots and printing out items for next week. Now it's 11:48, and I should probably go to sleep!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This is getting to be exhausting!

Whew. Tuesdays really wipe me out. It's Tae Kwan Do day. Fortunately, Sam's guitar teacher called this morning to cancel today's lesson, so I didn't have to race from school to TKD. The boys (mine plus one) got to play outside for a few minutes in semi-warmish weather. But following Sofia around TKD for 2 hours is really difficult. For a while, I had a 4 year old watching her (hey, J did a better job than when I had 6 year old G watch her and Sofia ended up toilet-surfing!). Then Micah came out of class early with a belly ache. Oy.

But we made it home, and my mother's helper was here to take part in dinner and bedtime craziness. She's terrific. I'm going to have her stay home with Sofia on Tuesday afternoons from now on.

This morning, Sofia and I went to the mall for OT and a little shopping. Then we came home and hung out a bit.

Yesterday, we met up with a little friend at the supermarket, and Sofia and S walked around the store holding hands. It was SO cute!

After shopping, we went home to meet K for Speech Therapy, and at noon we went back to the EI center for our Down Syndrome "Meet & Greet". We've had something like 7 new babies with DS since September!

The Meet & Greet was terrific. two families with twins (in each set, one twin has DS), two other infants (including my friend N's daughter), a little guy about a year old, two pre-toddlers (K is 20 months, S is about 2 years), and Miss Big Girl Sofia, who played and played and pretty much ignored me entirely.

K had also invited the two current "First Call" people from the area, moms of girls who are now about 11 years old each. I've met both of them, and I'd spoken with one way back when I got my amnio results. They both gave a nice presentation about what is available in our community, who to contact for what, etc. Then I took over, welcoming people, talking about "Gifts" (which Mass DS Congress now hands out to new parents!), and talking about how we new families have to build upon what the previous families have already done.

So after I spoke, the two First call ladies pulled me aside and warned me that they've been waiting for me! Apparently, at least in Metrowest, Down Syndrome really does come in waves, and Sofia is at the leading edge of a new wave. The Metrowest group has been fairly cohesive in that 10-12 year old range, but they don't have much for our cohort. So now I've got another hat to wear - I'll be the new family group coordinator...

It was so nice to see all the new babies and meet the families. A really nice group!

Sofia fell asleep in the car before pick-up, and I nearly fell asleep on the way home, so I let the boys watch TV while I napped - and Sofia stayed asleep nearly 3 hours! David went out with the guys for dinner, so I was a bit relaxed about bed-time. I let the kids dance:

Don't know where Micah gets it! Notice Sofia trying to do a head-spin...

Sofia and I watched the 2nd CD of Anne of Green Gables. She fell asleep a little after 9pm.

Monday, January 28, 2008

"Do you even know your own strength?"

Micah asked this last night at dinner. Besides being very cute, I thought it was quite profound. Do any of us know our own strength, before we need it?

I forgot to mention that when I picked up the boys on Thursday from school, I briefly spoke with the Curriculum Consultant. She and Sam's reading teacher had given him and evaluation, and apparently the reading teach was crying, because they were SO PROUD of how well he's doing! That was a terrific birthday present for me, on top of watching Sofia's eval go so well.

Oh, one more thing that happened on Friday: at pickup I was talking to another mom, and found out that her kid had hives for several weeks, too! It really IS a virus!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to condense one month into 5 days

Whew! What a whirlwind it's been!

- drop boys at school
- take Sofia to EI early, play until time for playgroup
- go to pediatrician's office ot see what to do about Micah.
- call allergist, find out they can take us (otherwise pediatrician would have seen us)
- call David - can he pick up Sofia?
- drop Sofia's carseat at EI
- pick up Micah
- zoom to Newton-Welleseley to see Dr. Anne. Come up with lengthy list of things to check.
- 2 blood draws!
- pick out toy from gift shop
- zoom to Ashland
- pick up Sofia and her carseat about 2 minutes before David's meeting starts
- run home, get money for me and for Micah from his bank
- take kids to lunch
- take kids to GameSpot
- help Micah pick out a game - he paid half - the the Nintendo DS
- pick up Sam
- wait around while Sam plays with his friend on the playground
- drive home - finally look at calendar, realize I've missed my own doctor appointment!
- call doc, reschedule
- also realize that 2 medical students from Operation Housecall are coming at 6pm!
- get home, frantically clean house
- feed kids early
- students arrive promptly at 6pm = talk to them while trying to make the kids seem both interesting (Micah was glued ot the Nintendo) and semi-sane (not possible).
- try to get kids to bath and bed while also talking to med students. David arrived 7:15, to find Sofia stark naked at the top of the stairs, banging on the bathroom door because Sam was in the bathtub and she wasn't.
- students left 9pm. Fall asleep.

- drive boys to school, fighting with Micah
- coffee with the girls (it was my birthday!) until Sofia put on her coat and said "Bye" and walked to the door.
- home on the computer while Sofia watched Signing Times. Work on prep for Friday Night Dinner.
- glance at the calendar again and realize the 11:30 appointment is really at 10:30!
- yank a new diaper on Sofia and race to Ashland Public School for PT Eval. Sofia was tired and crabby, so she kept fighting with the woman, but she did a lot more than the woman expected. "I've never seen such a strong child!"
- load Sofia in car and drive for 30 minutes until she's asleep
- find a Subway sandwich shop where I can pull up right in front and leave my sleeping child in the car while I get us food. Holliston.
- Back to Ashland, waiting for the next eval.
- Wake up Sofia for the eval, which was supposed to last 1 hour.
- 100 minutes later, finally leave. Those ladies (Inclusion Specialist, OT, and preschool teacher) were having SO much fun with her! They were very impressed.
- race to pick up the boys, also pick up some stuff for the Dinner.
- whew, a few hours at home, boys on computer and nintentdo, Sofia watching movie, I work on the computer prepping for dinner
- E arrives, and eventually David gets home
- dinner at Legal Seafood for my birthday. Drink too much wine.
- get home, fall asleep.

- Micah in INSANE mood. Return of the Demon Child From Hell! At 7:45, when I usually leave, he was still in pajamas!
- finally get out of the house, but Micah refuses to buckle in. "Micah, if I have to come back there and buckle you, you will be very unhappy!" "I'm ALREADY VERY UNHAPPY!"
- Call school to warn them about Micah
- drop boys at school.
- Gotta get gas! Still no breakfast.
- race to shul to set up for the dinner. Tables not up yet, find custodian, set up.
- Can't leave in time to go back to school for 9:30 meeting with new on-call nurse, so have a quick phone conference with her instead. Continue setting up.
- Whew, setup complete. Go to breakfast.
- Off to my 11:30 doctor's appointment. 3 phone calls between parking lot andentering building!
- Drop off Sofia at the babysitting, which closes at noon.
- Try to check in, find out they wrote down my appointment for 11, not 11:30!
- Eventually get them to take me.
- Have a small but annoyingly painful procedure (ok, replace IUD with different kind).
- pick up Sofia at 12:01
- She falls asleep rather quickly; sit in front of the boys' school until 2pm
- Get boys
- Race to Target, get air matress for my parents to sleep on
- Race home so Sam can get tutored by E, and we can all change for dinner
- Back to Shul for dinner.
- Dinner was really fun, but service was more than an hour, so kids were a little bouncy, but well-behaved. Micah stole the show by being hysterical during L'Cha Dodi
- Home by 9:20, bathe the kids, settle my parents down
- passout

- Micah awake befoe 7, which means so am I.
- breakfast, showers, dress for shul
- Sam and his classmates read Torah beautifully, and I managed to do a good job on the Haftorah.
- Nice lunch.
- load extra stuff to go back to school into my car.
- Leave shul 1:30, back home with my parents, and my friend S and her son
- hang out at home. Sharon and I go through the large box of clothing my mom brought up in December - we both got a good haul!
- Parents leave 5pm. Order pizza
- Havdalah, then David gets pizza.
- after friends leave, baths and bed.
- pass out while putting Micah to bed. Pass out quickly upon moving to my own bed.

- drive to another friend's house, with Sofia and Sam.
- hand Sam off to his friend's dad
- go to a Craft party with Sofia - have a blast!
- meet David at Fresh City for lunch; he already dropped Micah at the first of 2 birthday parties
- get a newspaper, find houses to look at
- go to an Open House in Sudbury
- help some kids get their car out of a snowbank
- see some other Open Houses, but don't go into anything else.
- Bookstore, bathroom and train table
- Go pick up the boys at Plaster Fun Time (site of 2nd birthday party).
- End up taking home Micah and J, while J's dad takes Sam and S swimming.
- we're home now waiting to exchange boys...

I'M TIRED!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Never a dull moment!

So, today was a plunge right back into reality. The boys are a bit wild in the morning. Micah climbed into my bed at about 5:45, and was really just bouncing off the walls. I could really see the effect of too much antihistamine.

I finally got them to school. Since our regular coffee date had to cancel on us, Sofia and I ended up just goig directly over to EI and hanging out in the playrooms until her class started. She was very funny - she grabbed a baby doll from one classroom, and then took it to the bathroom, pulled over a ladder, and climbed up onto the diaper table with the doll so she could "change" the diaper!

Eventually I could leave, and I went directly over to the pediatrician's office to talk abotu Micah. They suggested seeing if I could get right into the allergist's office, so I called and I could.

But the allergist is at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, which is about 30 minutes away. So I had to make sure David could pick up Sofia, then I had to bring her carseat back over to EI. Then a quick stop for coffee and a book. Picked up Micah, had a chat with the staff about this weekend's Shabbaton.

Drove Micah to Newton. I love his allergist and her nurse. They are both very sensitive to Micah's style, and both noted immediately how he was bouncing off the walls.

We decided to do a full blood-work panel, and Dr. Anne and I poured over a list of things to screen for. Then I had to take Micah down to the lab for the blood-draw. Oy. He got nervous, but I managed to keep him busy giggling so he didn't get too upset. He was not too thrilled, but we managed to do the draw, and then they wrapped him up...and THEN they spotted the other half of the list! Ooops. They'd pulled 5 vials; they needed 4 more. I grabbed him from behind and said "Do it now!".

He was good. We promised him treats, they gave him a gift certificate for the giftshop and the coffee shop (and me for parking!). So we made it out, and then had to race back to Ashland to pick up Sofia, because David had a meeting at 1:30 (we got there at about 1:20!).

Stopped home for a moment, then I took them both for lunch. Then I'd promised Micah a treat, so we went to GameSpot and he paid half and I paid half for a Pokemon game for the Nintendo. He was so happy!

We picked Sam up, stayed to play a bit, and on the way home I realized 1) I'd missed my OBGYN appointment, and 2) we had 2 medical students scheduled to visit at 6pm for Operation Housecall (where they send the students to homes where at least one kid has "Special Needs", to see what real life is like). So I cleaned up the house, fed the kids, and the students arrived.

They stayed 3 hours (planned on 2, but we got to talking!). David didn't come home until 7:15, so the first half was me talking and the kids showing off. Eventually I sent the boys up for baths, and Sofia took off all her clothing and demanded a bath too. When David got home, she was butt naked at the top of the stairs...

Got the kids to sleep, finished talking to the students, and now we're both working on the computers and watching the PBS special about Jews in America.

Tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY!!!!! Planned: drop off the boys, go to coffee with Sofia and my friends, then take Sofia to two different evaluations at the public school. And out to dinner with David!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back from Florida

Well, I'm home. My luggage is not - apparently the bags never make the connection from West Palm to Boston at the layover at JFK. They should show up tonight.

David is still on his way home with the kids, but I've already picked up the sushi, so dinner is ready!

I had a great time this weekend. Yes, we all woke up early every morning. Whenever I called home in the morning, David would tell me to sleep! But sine I usually wake early, I couldn't stay asleep (I could nap easily, though!).

We had flown Thursday, so we stayed with my grandma in WPB. Took her out to dinner, and we all just collapsed into pajamas after dinner and went to sleep early.

Friday J made us join her for a walk around the complex, then we got up and out fairly early But we wasted a lot of time driving around (it was fun and interesting, but really the best swim day). By the time we got to the condo (in Jensen Beach on Hutchinson Island), the clouds had come in.

We checked in but could not get to the room for a few hours, so off we went to get our nails done and then grocery shop. We bought a bunch of healthy snacks, and plenty of wine.

Back at the condo, we ended up hanging out on the porch drinking 3 bottles! We also ate all the snacks that were supposed to last all weekend. We talked and laughed and talked and had so much fun. After several hours, we got hungry, so we stumbled across the street to the local restaurant. Good food (and more wine!). Then we came back, and rented "Meet the Fockers", which was surprisingly funny. We only made it through half the movie that night; finished the rest the next day.

(Oh, when we got back to the hotel, we met a dad with two little boys, one of whom has DS!)

Every day we woke up early, because that's what we are all used to. So I got to sit on the porch and watch sunrise over the ocean, which was gorgeous. Satursday morning, we sat on the beach for several hours, then in the afternoon we walked around a flee market. At night, we went to a restaurant down the street, and then sleep early (ok, maybe we're getting old!).

Sunday was cold and rainy and windy, so we went to a movie - 27 Dresses. Wow, James Marsden is GORGEOUS! I swear, I was drooling. Yum.

Then we drove up to Vero Beach Outlets and did some MAJOR shopping. I got a leather jacket for aout $30! Then dinner up there, and back to the condo. Another early night.

Monday, we had appointments for massages. It was a one-woman office, so we had to go one after the other. While one got a massage, the others walked around Old Town Stuart, which was cute.

Back to the condo, and I finally went into the hot tub for a little while. Then a quick shower, and we attended the Wine and Cheese party. That was more fun than we'd expected. We met some nice people, especially the "cruise director", a guy our age who I want to fix up with my friend S, and a Jewish lady from the Cape whose grandson goes to school in Framingham. We drank a lot again, so we walked back to the same restaurant across the street and had another yummy dinner.

Today we had to get up and get to the airport. Long day of flying, and our suitcases did not make the connection in New York, so I have to wait for them now...

Missed the kids and David, but boy, I wish Sofia would go to sleep!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

greetings from Florida - no post!

hmm, trying to blog from my iPhone. Will this work?

Yeah, it worked! Well, I'm in West Palm Beach now, with my friends J & R, for Ladies Weekend. No kids!!!!! (and no husbands - they're with the kids)

Tomorrow we are off to the condo. Ahhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Argh! Google Analytics driving me insane!

Ok, who is reading this blog?! From the map in Google analytics, I can see that I have readers all over the country and the world, but I can only figure out some of you!

Please, if you are a regular reader and have not left a message in a while, say "hi"!

I know, I know, it's 11:48 pm and I have not started packing yet. I've still got tomorrow, right?

Apple finally released the iPhone update that allows us to customize the Home screen. Yeah, no more Stock Quotes!

Miss Sofia had her PT consult this morning. The PT made her walk up and down the stairs (we were at the mall, for our regular OT appointment), and we all followed her around before the stores opened. He (the PT) said he can see that she's thrusting her left leg very hard, not walking smoothly with it, but that she is self-correcting very well. And the OT and I noticed that she wasn't swinging the leg nearly as much as last week.

So we think maybe it was a growth spurt that had her swinging out so far, in addition to the low tone weakness. He said her ankles are not too bad, a little bit of turn-out but not much, and recommended NOT getting boots. (So after the appointment, I took her to Stride Rite for some adorable sneakers!).

Sofia was full of opinions about the whole thing. She did not want to walk on the stairs, and certainly not down the center. Every step, she inched closer and closer to the side so she could hold the rail, because the PT would only let her hold one hand. She was very funny with him, alternately flirting and yelling.

After shopping, she got angry at me at one point, because I wanted her to go left and she wanted to go right. So she laid flat down on the floor. Didn't kick or scream, just hid her head. Then, suddenly, she stuck her hand up in the air and waved "bye" to me. So I said, "Oh, you want me to leave? Ok" and started walking away [not really, of course!]. The instant I walked away, she popped up and started walking where she had wanted to go!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Whew, I survived the Snow Day

Yes, it really snowed a lot, so it was a good thing school was canceled. The day was not too bad, considering. I got up when Sofia awoke (around 7:30). Micah watched TV, Sam was drawing and bouncing around the living room.

Sam went outside mid-morning, and then I got up the energy to go attempt to clear the driveway. I did manage to use the snowblower for the top, flat part, but then the darn thing kept clogging. I called over my neighbor, who had just finished his driveway, to help me unclog it (I've never used the snowblower before!). He ended up using his snowblower to do our driveway - MUCH THANKS!!!!

The only thing that would ever get Micah to go outside to play was the temptation of playing with the 11 year old next door. My boys both adore A. So the three of them played outside for a while (I went in when they came out, so Sofia did not have the run of the house!). Then they all came here and played. After lunch, Sam and A. played guitar - they have both just started taking lessons - and apparently they made up a song!

Sofia watched an awful lot of Signing Times videos, but she now can sign several days of the week! I spent about an hour on the phone with the caterer for the Shabbaton dinner on the 25th. Oh, and I booked our spa appointments in Florida! Yeah!

Not much of a day, really. I didn't have a lot for dinner; Micah's tummy is still bothering him (we've decided "Mr. Creepy" is the name of the 'bug' in his tummy that's making him poop so much). Sofia only got halfway out of pajamas - I put her in tights, but left her pj shirt on.

At one point, I was reading, and Sofia brought her "Where's Chimpy" book over and started reading it to me. She would point to the pictures and tell me various things in them! It's totally her favorite book right now. Very very cute to watch her looking at it. (I just wrote a thank you letter to the author - of course, the book was written 20 years ago!)

Just got a link to this terrific story: Meanest Mom on the Planet

Ok, time to pack, and NOT stay ont he computer all night!

I should probably go to sleep already

It's 1:15 in the morning, and I've just spent the past 2 hours catching up on all the blogs in my blog-roll. There are some really stupendous writers out there, and far too many people going through unbelievably bad things with amazing grace and courage.

The boys and I cuddled into my bed and watched a silly movie on Lifetime until about 10:25. Micah kept saying he was bored, Sam kept yawning. So I finally said it was time to go to bed. "But we're totally not tired."

I said, "I'll sing, and I bet you'll be asleep in 3 minutes."

Micah: "Ok, but I'm totally not tired!"

10:27, I started singing.

10:30, Micah was softly snoring. (Ha! 3 minutes flat!). Sam murmured "I'm not tired" before snoring.

So I cleaned out the humidifiers (burned my leg by dropping Sofia's unit and splashing my leg with hot water!), and have been reading blogs. There are so many, but especially of note (and in NO particular order):

That's not to say the others aren't totally wonderful, but these all gave me something extra to think about (or, in Pam's case, to worry about!).

I really MUST try to go to sleep now (but I'm totally not tired!).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

This should be interesting

I'm going to try to blog while the boys are still awake...and bouncing around my room. Hmmmm.

School has already been canceled for tomorrow. We are expecting about 12" of snow. Yeah. And David is on his way to El Paso TX. Which means I will be home, alone, with all three kids, all day. And our driveway. Yeah.

So right now, it's 90 minutes past their bedtime, but I'm letting the boys continue to bounce, in hopes that they'll be slightly subdued tomorrow morning. (Yeah, who am I kidding?)

I've had a migraine for days, my normal January migraine due to the weather pressure.

Today, I (bravely? insanely?) took my three kids plus one extra (Sam's friend J) to Chuckie Cheese for two hours. I have to say, once you get past the noise and the cost (fortunately, J's mom gave me coupons), it's really a perfect place, because all the kids and parents get their hands stamped upon entry, and you have to leave WITH the correct group! So I can find a table, and worry about following Sofia around, and not worry about the boys. Micah plants himself in front of the Star Wars game or a driving game, and doesn't care about tickets. Sam is on a mission for tickets. We had a pizza (ok, the boys each had one skinny slice, Miss Sofia had three!) and lots of soda (free refills). Then we took J back to our house.

I set up the soccer goal that my MIL got the boys for Hanukah, so the three kids played outside for a while, then we went in and they watched TV. J's mom (a friend of mine) and sister came to pick him up and ended up staying for dinner, which was a lot of fun.

Then Miss Sofia stripped naked (in the living room) and headed directly for the bathtub. So I had her in there for over 30 minutes (Sam joined her). She went right to bed after that.

I braided Sam's hair just like Sofia's...

Ok, both boys are "bored - and not even close to tired." What should they do? Hmmmm...

Friday night was a really nice dinner with just the 5 of us. Saturday, we actually made it to shul, and it was nice. Afternoon, the kids and I were playing outside for a while, then David took the boys to a science program at the library while I took Sofia for a walk. She promptly fell asleep, so I put her in the crib and spent 2 whole hours cleaning out my basement! Amazing.

We took the kids to the local restaurant for dinner. The staff there always comments on how well behaved they are, and David and I are always amazed, because we think they are wild. But I'm glad other people think they are good.

Oh, my neighbor let us borrow their old Ketler trike for Sofia. I've been saving up Pampers points for 3 years, trying to get this thing! She loves it.

Wish me luck tomorrow! And I'll have to figure out how to clean off the driveway. Oh no!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Need to Blog

I know, it's been a few days. Busy days, filled with the "normal" routine of our lives. But now it's the end of the week, and I can take a little (tiny) break. So here are the highlights of the week.

The nicest thing said to me this week: On Wednesday, I left Sofia home with E when I picked up the boys (and saw my therapist!). It was a beautiful day - we've had really warm weather all week - so I had another mom watch Micah on the playground while I drove Sam to his therapist (yup, Wednesday is Therapy Day). It is rare that Sam and I get to be alone in the car, and he is almost always much more relaxed and sweet (because there is no one taking my attention away!).

He was talking about chorus (the kids in 2nd grade and higher almost all sing in the Makelha choir at the school), and about some upcoming concerts (they occasionally go to nursing homes and things like that). He asked if I would be there, and I asked if he wanted me to be there.

He said yes, he likes it when I am at his concerts. "It's like you're always there for me. You hold me up." It was such a sweet thing, brought tears to my eyes!

The "just stop going to meetings" moment:
In two weeks, we are having the day school Shabbaton, which means we will all be together (students, family, staff) for Friday night services and dinner and Saturday morning services and lunch, and it's going to be at our shul this year (the shuls are taking turns hosting us).

So Thursday, they finally got around to having a meeting for all the parents who go to our shul. And somehow I ended up co-chairing the Friday night dinner!

Just kick me if I try to go to a meeting, will ya?!

The "hm, this is different" moment:
We have started Sofia's IEP evaluations. On Wednesday, the Inclusion Specialist observed her at playgroup, and today I took her over to the Speech Therapist, whose office is at the town's kindergarten building. Of course, both ladies were very impressed with Sofia's abilities, and the speech therapist is going to recommend at least 3 days a week in the inclusion program, with both one-on-one and in-class time for speech.

But here was the weird part. We have made this commitment to sending our kids to Jewish Day School. We have bought into the rhetoric about day school education, about pride in this choice. In some ways (which can cause plenty of problems, but that's another issue), the day school kids are "special" in the community.

But here I was, going into the Public school, and not only was I lost, I sort of felt as if I had done something wrong by sending my kids to "private" school.

No one said anything derogatory, everyone was very nice. But when she asked about Sofia's brothers, I was suddenly struck with the self-imposed "difference".

This is going to be an odd experience for me, sending Sofia to the public preschool program. I am going to try to remain calm and open-minded, especially since I do think the teachers and staff are really wonderful and it's totally the right program for her right now.

But it was odd to be in the situation of not feeling admired for the day-school choice.

The Don Corleone week:
I did take Micah to the pediatrician on Monday (the warning lights on my car went off about a mile after I left the house in the morning, so I cancelled the Toyota appointment). She couldn't find anything specifically wrong with him, and we think it's a virus.

He's still fighting it. The hives have gotten better. I give him Benadryl every night at bedtime, and he's taken a few oatmeal baths. But his mood swings are INTENSE. He goes from bouncing off the wall happy to screamin furiously for no particular reason, without any warning.

The poor kid is really uncomfortable, but wow, when he gets angry, it's something to behold. And he's very conscious of his body. The other day, his arm must have fallen asleep, because he complained to the teacher. She (about to go out for gall bladder surgery, and really not feeling great herself) let him go to the school "nurse" (really, she's the Office Administrator; we have a nurse on-call). R let him hang out on her cot for a while. Then he complained that his elbow felt like a hammer was pounding inside.

His vocabulary is great; he is very descriptive. And VERY serious!

The "he's losing his marbles" week:
Poor David is overworked, stressed beyond belief, still sick (taking the leftover Amoxicillin he found in the closet, which is helping). He comes home very late every night, and this week has had to leave very early several times for 7:30 programs. He had an annoying time at the Partners' Annual Meeting yesterday, so that just added to the stress.

I don't know how to help him, other than trying not to bother him with house and family issues. But at the same time, I don't want him to feel excluded.

The Signing Times addict:
My mother-in-law ordered Sofia three new Signing Times videos, and they arrived yesterday. Miss Sofia is a complete addict! All she wants to do is watch "aLLLLLLLLL" and eat. (oh, and now she's unplugging the Nintendo...)

I have to figure out whether any of the Signing Times videos really focus on potty training! (She's gotten much more enthusiastic about that, by the way. Now, when we suggest it, she goes straight to the bathroom, and picks the seat up to put it on the toilet.)

The Bath Toddler:
She's also a bath addict. Yesterday, I gave her a bath. Then I got her into pajamas, and Sam got into the bath. As soon as she saw that, she took off pajamas and diaper and wanted to get back in the bath. When I told her no, she screamed in fury.

When Sam was done, Micah took a bath; again, Sofia stripped and wanted in. Oh, she was sooooo angry at me! Mean Mommy!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend

Whew! When last I checked in, Micah had just barfed all over the rug. Friday, I kept him home from school. David was able to drive Sam, and my babysitter was able to come at noon, giving me enough time to do the grocery shopping before I had to pick up Sam. I was backing out of the garage to go shopping, my minivan slid down the driveway, and landed rather solidly in the snowbank at the bottom of my impossible driveway! Fortunately, E let me use her car. I called David, and he said "nah, don't bother with AA, I'll get it out when I get home."

Yeah, right. So our friends come for supper - always fun when S&R join us - their son is one of Micah's good friends, and they are both really fun. They arrived early, so the kids (their daughters didn't come this time) watched a movie upstairs while I cooked and we all chatted. Miss Sofia passed out on my floor, so she missed the dinner (I'm not worried - she eats ALL DAY).

After they left, David attempted to move the minivan. Yeah. No such luck.

So first thing in the morning, I call AAA. An hour later, they call back saying they are having trouble locating a truck! But eventually someone showed up:


Yes, they did get the car out, and David said it was ok when he drove it down the street and back up the driveway. But tomorrow I have to take it to Toyota, because three different warning lights are stuck on.

So we never made it to shul as planned, since the car didn't get moved until 10:30. But later in the afternoon, David's cousin and her family came up, and later Laura and Lilie joined us (actually, Laura dropped off Lilie, and drove to my friends' house to trim their dog!).

We had a very nice time together. The babies are adorable, and Miss Sofia was fascinated with them.

Sofia & Lilie:


Baby Ian all snuggled in for the ride home:

Big Cousin Micah and Little Cousin Lilie:

I was out-of-sorts, though, and needed a little retail therapy, so before dinner, H and I took a ride over to CVS, and sat on the floor examining hair colors until we picked one (eggplant!), and then came back and she helped color my hair. It came out really nice! Just a little tiny shine of purple on top of the black. Perfect color for me!

I made a feast of spaghetti and meatballs, and we had a terrific visit. Sam went to sleep right after dinner, but Micah was up until nearly 10pm. Micah has not been feeling well all weekend, and he switches from happy to insanely angry to whiny at the drop of a hat.

At 2 am, Micah was in our room, whining that he did not know where to sleep.
"So go to bed"
"No, I don't want to sleep there."
"Then sleep on the floor here."
"No, I don't want to sleep there."
"Where DO you want to sleep?"
"I don't know." (this was yelled, which is really special at 2am).

Eventually I got him settled at the foot of our bed (I think he really wanted to cuddle in with me, but I REALLY didn't want him too - it's very uncomfortable for me). David is not feeling well, with a head cold and aches, so he was semi-lucid for the whole thing, arguing back at Micah (in retrospect, I guess it was funny, to hear them both arguing in their sleep, but at 2 am, I wasn't so pleased with it).

This morning, I found Miss Sofia in her crib stark naked. The diaper was on the floor. It took me a minute to find the pajamas, and when I showed them to her, she very emphatically announced "DONE".
"Oh, you don't want to wear these?"
"DONE!" (with hand motions this time).
Ok, I can take a hint.

Oh, did I mention the hives? Friday, just before he went to bed, Micah came in complaining his back itched. Nothing new, he's had excema since he was born. But when we looked, his back had several large splotches of hives!

I gave him Benadryl, and waited. They didn't respond quickly, so I did check with the on-call pediatrician about how long to wait before using the EpiPen and would I need to bring him to the ER if I penned him. Fortunately, they did start going away, so we didn't have to pen him.

But Saturday night, same thing - more hives! And today, he was sooooooo whiny. He was supposed to go to a birthday party at a gymnastics place. When I told him where it was, he
announced "No, I'm not going to gymnastics. I hate gymnastics."

I eventually got him to get dressed and into the car (originally my friend was to drive him, but between the hives and the whining, I felt I should go).

As soon as we left our street, he started whining that he was hungry, and worked himself into a full fit (he's had several over the past few days). Then he almost fell asleep, but was still awake when we arrived at the party. But only barely, and really hungry. So after about 15 minutes of him refusing to participate in the party, we left. I took him to Starbucks ('cause I desperately needed a coffee!). and as soon as he got some food, he was fine. Sigh.

Came home, found David asleep again, Sam watching TV downstairs, and Sofia wearing just shirt and diaper, watching "Signing Times" and trashing our room. I attempted to check my email, and Sofia wandered downstairs. Then Micah yelled "Mom, Sofia stinks!"

I found her at the bottom of the (carpeted) stairs, wearing only the diaper, but she'd pooped, and it was leaking...on the carpet. UGH!

Ran her upstairs, cleaned her up, threw her in a bath, had Sam come watch her in the tub, and ran back down to clean the carpet before Micah walked on it. All the while, David is vaguely moaning from our room "What happened?"

Ok, got it all cleaned up. Time to get dressed for the gala! Got dressed, discovered that the babysitter (our former nanny, not our current mother's helper) was running really late, started stressing. But we made it in time.

Lovely evening, except when I was told to save a seat for someone and had to move another couple and then another couple moved and my husband got angry at me but then I let other people explain what was going on and then he was ok. (Whew, I'm sorry, that's just stream-of-consciousness).

Nice evening, and of course we won one of the raffle baskets (Spa stuff, yeah!). David's company had donated enough for a large ad AND something like 300 raffle tickets, so I had a good chance of winning.

Now we're home, David went straight to bed, I'm typing. He's sick, I can feel it starting in my own throat, I'm not sure what to do about Micah, and Sofia appears to have diarrhea. Yeah. Gonna be a real fun week!

Oh, Sofia has gotten the hang of the potty training - now she grabs the little seat and waits for help to put it up on the toilet. She did pee on the rug on Friday, but not since then...

And she loves to take off all her clothing!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sick boy, Popping Girl

Well, Micah just barfed all over the place. His tummy has been bothering him for a few days, so hopefully he just got rid of it all, but WOW what a mess - and smell! Poor baby.

Miss Sofia, on the other hand, actually pooped on the potty earlier!

And Sam...well, he's just nuts. Exhibit A: He's been stressing about summer camp, and told me that he wants to go to a camp that's just for rock climbing. When I reminded him that, as an Upper Camper next summer, he'll get to do rock climbing, he was unconvinced, so then we stated talking about the arts component (he goes to an arts camp). He told me he is afraid of Cray-pas, because they are oil-based "and if you bang them together they can explode". Oy. Ok, then Exhibit B: Sam went to the early Tae Kwan Do class, which generally has younger kids, plus the older sister of a kid with DS (the sister is there as the aide - she's a higher rank belt, and takes her own class later). Anyway, on the way home, Sam was very upset. Apparently one of the teachers (higher-ranking older students) had been teasing some of the kids (including the sister/aide) and "said some bad words" (which in Sam's world, could be things like "stupid" or "dumb"). Sam was very very upset, and made me call the office on the way home.

The teacher did call back, and not only apologized, but explained to Sam that in no way was he trying to be mean to the kids, and he has a really great relationship with the sister/aide. Sam felt better afterwards. I think he just did not understand the humor of the friendly teasing that might have been going on (I didn't hear any of it; I was too busy chasing Sofia around).

I love being a mommy. I love being a mommy. I love being a mommy. (yeah, I'll just keep saying it...)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

First day back to school

Woo hoo! The boys went back to school today. Both of them were excited (actually, both thought they had school yesterday!), but I think they were nervous, because they started fighting before we left the house. It was a long day for them, and I could tell they were very tired when I picked them up. But they are asleep now (whew).

And my mother's helper came early in the morning and stayed home with Miss Sofia, so I could go for my physical. Which first meant no breakfast (have to fast before the cholesterol test) and no COFFEE, so between drop-off and the appointment, I wandered around Target like a zombie.

Appointment was good. I love my doctor, and thankfully I'm in good health, aside from needing to lose some weight and to exercise more - nothing new there, right? I DO have a plan, by the way. When Sofia starts the preschool, after she turns 3 in February, I fully intend to join the Curves down the street, because I'll be on my own for hopefully 4 mornings each week!

After my appointment, I met my friend R at our nail place for manicures - we have the snow-date for the Gala this weekend! Then I got some watches repaired (can't find a replacement band for my pink Speedo, just sent them an email), and stood in line at the post office to send out some stuff (DANG - I forgot to mail the hats to Miss Chelsea again!).

I stopped home to pick up the bedspread that Sofia had barfed on last week, and she was very excited to see me. She got angry when I left again right away, but I came back in just a few minutes. Then E left, I ate a quick lunch, and Sofia and I parked in front of the day school for a nap.

Sam had his therapy appointment (yeah!), and Micah had a tantrum in the car. Got gas, drove around, stopped at the drugstore for no apparent reason. Then picked up Sam and went HOME.

I managed to beat Micah at chess again, but only barely. The kid is GOOD!

I think Miss Sofia is teething, 'cause she's chewing on her fingers like crazy. OH, and we had our first experiments on the POTTY. This afternoon I put her on for a minute or two, and then again this evening - and this time she pee'ed! She was So unhappy about it, though. But we made sure to offer tons of excited praise. I'll keep trying. She's so ready. The other day, she "told" David that she had to go, but he thought she was just commenting on the fact that he was about to change her diaper...until she pee'ed all over the changing table...

I'm exhausted - I didn't sleep well at all last night. And both David and I had dreams about driving off of cliffs! What's with that?!