Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Encounter

I had what many moms of kids with DS will recognize as "An Encounter" today. It was interesting.

I've been taking a course at the boys' school, taught by the local Chabad rabbi (who is a terrific teacher). The course is sponsored by the Jewish Learning Institute, and is called "Talmudic Ethics: Finding Your Way to Good Decisions". The course is offered nationally, and we are covering a variety of weighty issues. So far we discussed murder, euthenasia, and today was abortion.

Today, we also had a guest, a fellow who is taking the course in California, but is here in MA for the week and took this week's session with us instead.

Sofia comes with me to class; the first two classes, she slept nicely in the stroller, but today she was awake and exploring the classroom or sitting on my lap "reading" the textbook.

As you might expect, a discussion about abortion prompted me to talk a wee bit about having a child with DS, and how 90% of fetuses with DS are aborted. Later in the discussion, as we talked about supporting a family who is "talked out of" terminating a pregnancy, I mentioned how the DS community works so hard to support each family, regardless of the choice they make.

("Mention" is putting it mildly - I sort of launched into a 5 minute soap-box speech).

When I mentioned that there is a waiting list to adopt babies with DS, the gentleman who was visiting from California was flabbergasted. "How could there be a waiting list? Why would these people [the adoptive parents] want a child like that? Why would they want to take care of this adult all their lives?"

I launched into a speech about how amazing this whole experience has been, how I have found out so many wonderful things about my friends, my community, and my own strengths, and how having Sofia has been the best experience of my life.

Mind you, I know the rest of the folks in the class. The rabbi is around my age, but the other students are all in theri grandparent years, including the guest. There is a couple from my shul who have been just wonderful to us since Sofia was born; the lady even mentioned at the beginning of class how Sofia is the darling of our shul. So the regular students and the rabbi were all smiling and nodding - they have all experienced how wonderful life with Sofia really is.

Apparently, not the guest. He kept going, mentioning the old joke about retirement (which begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies). "These kids don't leave home."

I was able to very calmly and matter-of-factly say "yes they do." I went on to explain that I fully intended for my daughter to go to college, to live independently, to have her own adult life.

We continued the conversation as we walked out of class. I was guiding the guy to the front door of the building, and Miss Sofia got out of her stroller and walked ahead of us. "Obviously, she has a very mild case of it."

"No, actually, she has 'it' in every cell of her body."

"Oh. Well, you would barely know she has it to look at her."

The conversation fizzled out around then, and I was able to cordially say goodbye. It wasn't really until after he was gone that I was able to take stock, both of his words and mine.

While I am flabbergasted at his words (my girlfriend on the playground said "hm, he must have a not so mild case of idiocy"), I am very proud of my own reaction. I did not get upset, I did not get defensive. I felt as if I was smiling a knowing smile, and I could see my other classmates doing the same. We know a secret - how wonderful life with Sofia really is.

Which makes me even prouder of my community!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Must be something in the air...

Many of our online friends whose toddlers have that special extra chromosome report that recently their child is behaving...well, rather oddly. Separation Anxiety, Monster Behavior, you name it.

La Principessa has whatever else is going around - call it Toddler-ness, I guess. She's a maniac. Last night, we tried desperately to get her to sleep in her bed. After 6 times of her being sound asleep and snoring but as soon as we walked out of the room she popped back up like a Jack-in-the-Box, we gave up, and she slept with us. Which means that at 5am, she started her morning stretches, in our bed.

She was crabby crabby crabby all day. In the morning, she just kept throwing tupperware and pots on the floor and yelling at me. She would not let go of David. She refused to take a nap after school; by the time E arrived at 2:30, she was wild-eyed and just rolling on the floor, watching a Signing Times video (I tried some of the older, gentler, ones, to see if that would make her sleepy). E said that after her nap, she was even more crabby. Tonight, she's back in bed with us again. Don't know what's going on, but I sure hope it passes quick! When I tried to put her to bed last night, she kept clutching at me, reminiscent of how Micah acted for his first 2.5 years (a period of time I recall as HELL).

Here she is snuggling with Dada.
(Yeah, he looked awfully cute today!)

The rest of the weekend was nice, but a bit hectic. We had fun with our friends on Sunday night, but their kids were just a tad wilder than I'm used to. Let's just say that Sammy and I had to vaccum the living room in the middle of the evening, due to the 100 formed pieces of PlayDoh - and bazillion scraps of it - all over the carpet! Yikes! Am I really such a strict parent that I can't handle all these other kids?

Monday was also lovely. David went to work for a while, so the kids and I relaxed. Sam was thrilled to realize that he hadn't left the house since Friday. In the afternoon, 2 other families came over, but moms are very dear friends of mine, and the kids are all friends. The all ran around, along with the kid next door and the various other kids who were visiting him (I kept peeking into my backyard to see who was there - "There's some kid with a bow and arrow out there, I have no idea who he is...").

Sofia ran with the pack, like a trooper. She and Miss G, the princess from whom we get most of our girlie-girl clothing, took some time upstairs to play away from the boys, but for the most part, they were outside sliding on the slide and blowing bubbles and chasing balls with the rest of them. She didn't nap, so she went to sleep fairly early, but around 11pm she came staggering into our bedroom and would not go back in her own room.

I spent most of this evening working on the Yearbook. It's almost done! I'm meeting the other committee ladies tomorrow night with "final" proofs. Yippie! I am so proud of my work.

David was supposed to fly to Edmonton tonight, but after spending several hours in the airport, his flight got cancelled. He's home sleeping now, but has to leave at 3 for a 6am flight. It was nice to see him, even for a little while. Sofia is snuggled up with him now.

The boys and I got caught in an absolute downpour on the way to Tae Kwan Do. It was over quick, and the whole time we were at TKD, the sky was sunshiny. As soon as we left, it poured again. Stopped by the time we got home. Sam had a freak-out on the way home about his birthday party again. We can't have it at REI, at least not on Sunday, so again I suggested we just have his friends come here for an afternoon in the yard with pizza. At first he was fine, but then he started screaming and sobbing about how our yard was too small and there were too many kids (13). Sigh. I think he's stressed - we have to decide whether to go back to this same TKD place next year, and we have to decide now or lose the time slot we want. Stressful. Poor baby.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Great Article

The "Gifts" authors list had this article to share - it is a very lovely article.

Once again, makes me think about how incredibly lucky we are, not only to have Miss Sofia in our lives, but to be part of such a wonderful community, both locally and our extended DS-family.

La Principessa and I just took a walk with her tricycle (Kettler with a push-bar, hand-me-down from neighbors), and she pedaled the entire way! Tremendous progress. She still "steers" sideways, so I have to maintain a lot of pressure on the push-bar, but her feet stayed on the pedals and she was able to maintain reciprocal motion for a long time! Photobucket (We don't have this model, ours is older, but similar.)

Hanging out today. Friends from Worcester area coming over around 4:00 for a barbeque on my NEW GRILL! I used it last night. Awesome.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Whew, the end of the week!

What a long long week it was. Nothing major, beyond the stress of Tuesday (see previous post). But busy, non-stop.

Let's see...the problem I alluded to on Tuesday regarding Micah attending the school next year turned out not to be a problem, so never mind. Just keep in mind the source when someone tells you something "alarming" before you panic.

Wednesday wasn't too bad. I worked on the yearbook while Sofia was in school, and mid-afternoon E watched her while I went to Sam's IEP meeting. My boy now qualifies not only for a Learning Disability, but also for an Emotional Disability. He shows signs of Depression, but we think it's actually just Anxiety, not full-blown depression. So in addition to seeing his private-practice therapist, come September he will also see the public school psychologist once a week, and she will work with the day school staff to address the school-related issues (so the private therapist can concentrate on the home front issues).

We had a terrific Lag B'Omer picnic in the evening at the day school's "new" site (we purchased property, but have not started building the school yet). It was raining at the beginning of the picnic, but then the sky cleared and everyone could play on the fields. David (yes, he was there!) and another dad were in charge of "baseball" (mostly just pitching to the kids), while my boys and a lot of the older kids played soccer or capture the flag. Sofia had a grand time trying to get away from me; fortunately, she loves not only her own Dada but our friend E, so she was well cared for.

Thursday after I dropped off the boys, Sofia and I went to Home Depot and I bought a new grill! Hooray! A Fiesta Blue Ember, with 3 burners and a side burner and an LED light and a bottle opener (ok, no wine cork, I guess it's not totally perfect). unfortunately, the already-assembled one would NOT fit into the minivan, so I had to bring home a box. I spent about and hour and a half this afternoon (while the babysitter was here) assembling the bottom, and when David can help me lift the uppper portion tomorrow, I'll finish it. Can't wait to cook!

Monday, Sofia had seen the Cardiologist - we have to schedule a sedated echo in July - and also had her blood tests for the Endocrinologist. Endocrin called Thursday with the results. The TSA level, which last time was 7 (under 6 is normal, above 10 they treat, in between they just watch), this time was 4.4! So we'll just continue to watch.

This morning, we saw Dr. Buie, our dear GastroInterologist. Sam started going to this delightful man at the wee age of 2 months, for about 5 years. Right before Sofia was born, I'd taken Sam for his checkup, and found out the doc had written a chapter in "Medical & Surgical Care for Children with Down Syndrome"! So once Sofia started showing similar gut problems like Sam, she started being a patient, too. Anyway, the reason we were back again today was that her celiac results had been elevated at her routine screening (same one that indicated thyroid issue).

I'm pleased to report that Dr. Buie doesn not think she has Celiac at this time. Whew. We will continue to monitor it, adding TTG and IGA levels to all her routine bloodworks, and continue our wonderfully varied diet. It was good to see this man, who takes the time to explain things carefully and clearly. He also had suggestions for Sam (fish oil supplement to help with anxiety) and David (Niacin Supplement to help with Cholesterol).

We stopped by Micah's allergist while we were in the building, to get refills on all his prescriptions (Mometasome, Bactroban, and Albuterol inhaler). Of course, as soon as we left Dr. Buie's office, Sofia started to develop a stomach bug - she pooped several times throughout the day (including at the allergist's office), and has an awful rash now.

But we had a nice day. It was too late to take her to school when we were done with the doctors, so we went shopping instead. I had to get my dad's birthday invitations printed (we are celebrating his 70th birthday in July!), and we walked around Shoppers World. She fell asleep in the stroller, so I got to try on some clothing, and actually bought a pair of shorts, 2 sun dresses, and a bathing suit!

This afternoon, E watched the kids a bit while I built the grill. David had taken the minivan down to CT today - he had a client in New London - and he went to my folks' for dinner and to pick up the couch. He's on his way home now (almost 10 pm), so it was just me and the kids all evening. We had a nice time. We watched 2 episodes of the BBC production of "Robin Hood." We're all really tired, so it was nice to sit still together. I hope the boys sleep late tomorrow. Micah was up at 4:30 today, and Sofia shortly after that. I have not gotten much sleep this week - they keep waking up early, and Sam's just a wreck from being tired (and he had some standardized tests at school this week, too).

Best Wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and heartwarming Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

School School School

So today was all about who should go where to school and when.

This morning, Micah told me that his friend J is saying that he (J) will not be returning to MWJDS next year. Beyond the fact that J is Micah's best friend, J is also one of only 4 boys in Micah's entire class - it's Micah, J, E, and one other kid who I already know is not coming back.

So I stopped J's mom this morning to find out, and she said indeed, they are considering a different school, but had not decided. Ok. But she also told me some other possible issues that are making her look around. I am not at liberty to divulge yet, but they would affect Micah's ability to stay.

Combine that with the tantrum my husband threw yesterday about the tuition increase, and it was beginning to look as if I should seek alternate schooling for Micah. So when I dropped off Sofia, I went into the school (which is where 1st and 2nd grade is also held). I ran into our OT, who is on both Sofia's and Sam's IEP, and who I trust and really really like. We chatted a bit about Sam's IEP (which is tomorrow), and then she took me in to meet the school nurse.

I felt so much better after talking to the nurse, that I am seriously wondering if Micah would not be totally better off going to public school next year.

Then i went home, and checked on-line, in case Sam's IEP turns out to be too much for MWJDS to handle. The OT and I agreed that the public 4th grade is WAY too big for Sam, so where would he go? Well, I found a lovely school for dyslexic children, not far from here. The tuition? Oh, a mere $33,800 per year!!!! (I guess that kind of puts out tuition into perspective, huh?).

Ok. My girlfriend D called to see if I could meet her for coffee. Sure, but I was so rattled when I met her, she suggested I have some calming tea. Great. Had the tea, had a nice conversation, then went to get my hair cut...and FELL ASLEEP while my hair was being blow-dryed! Sound asleep.

Got a coffee (and a muffin) and went to David's office to pick up Sofia. She fell asleep before I got home, so I had a little quiet time. E came, I raced off to get the boys and go to TKD. Then home, and met R for dinner - and my husband stopped by the restuarant to give us dark chocolate M&Ms before he went out with his friend.

I'm going to sleep now!


Oh crud, the Ashland Override LOST by 49 votes. Closing the school libraries and losing some professionals, including some SPED folk. YUCH!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ain't Nothin' like a hug at the supermarket

The Stop & Shops near us all have a lot of people with Down syndrome and some other disabilities working there. At the store we usually go to, there is a fellow named O. Sometimes when I say hi to O, he says "I don't know you, ma'am." (you can just hear his mom coaching him on strangers!). However, Thursday, when Sofia and were there, O came over and gave me a BIG HUG. It was wonderful. He started telling me about a friend who had died, and how his job is pretty easy but fun.

Thursday night was the Celebrate Israel event in our area, so I took the kids (R and I stayed with them on the playground a long time, then we did a BJ's run). There was Israeli and line-dancing, and Micah and Sofia were dancing like crazy. Sofia really loves to dance. We were playing with my neighbor's daughter, who is about to turn 2, and Sofia kept going to my neighbor while S kept asking for me.

Friday, I ran another dinner at shul, and this time I had over 90 people! It was really great. I've finally got it to be easy; the caterer cooks everything, so I all I have to do it put the pans back in the oven during services and then set up and serve. We hold the service in the Social Hall also rather than the Sanctuary, and Micah (along with Murray the Moose, who is visiting us from Kindergarten this week) sat right between the Rabbi and the Cantor for the entire service. Sofia sat on the floor with our neighbor S (yes, we got to spend 2 evenings with them), and followed every move the Rabbi made. When he stood up to make an announcement, she stood up and tried to get everyone else to stand also.

This morning we went back to shul. Sofia was good in babysitting, and the boys both went to the big-kid service in the chapel. I helped in babysitting a bit, because the sitter was alone (supposed to be 2, but the other didn't show), and some of the bat mitzvah guest kids were very badly behaved.

It was a day for bad behavior. This afternoon, while David took Sam climbing at REI, Micah had his long-anticipated playdate with N. N is 3 years older than Micah, but otherwise they get along great. Unfortunately, N is NOT a very well-behaved boy. I had already explained to the mom that we no longer use computer or TV or Nintendo on Shabbat, but the boys have both been wanting to show each other things on their NIntento DS. So I said I would allow them to use it for just a few minutes, to show, but that during a playdate and on Shabbat, we would not have a long session on the DS.

Well, when N arrived, his dad was carrying the Nintendo, and the boys wanted to immediately look. I said they could have 5 minutes. N started whining that this was too mean, but they went upstairs. After a few minutes, I yelled up a 2 minute warning, and I heard N tell Micah something about "She's mean, that's not enough time!"

They argued with me at the 5 minute point (which was really more like 10) but eventually they both shut down the systems (actually, N would not shut down, only close it, and had to yell at me that he would lose data if he shut down).

So then they played a bit, but whined a lot that this was boring. I sent them outside (I was exhausted, and Sofia was starting to drag, too). They played skateboards for a little while, but then the real whining came when they wanted to go back on the Nintendo again. I said no, but there was a lot of "that's not fair" and "why do you have to observe Shabbat anyway?" (this from a kid in day school!) and rejection of all my other suggestions as "boring". When I offered to take them for a bike ride, the kid said he could ONLY ride his own bike and not borrow Sam's.

At that point, I'd had it, so I told them to get in the car. Now, to be fair, my Micah had actually decided that a bike ride would be fun. Although he'd been whining about "please can we use the Nintendo", he was not disrespectful. The other kid was. So I put Micah's bike in the car and we took N home. He yelled at me a bit, and when I explained that his behavior was unacceptable, he quieted down. I did offer to stop at a playground on the way, but N was having none of that.

When we got to their house, he got out and ran into the house. The father apologized rather weakly. Back in the car, I talked to Micah about his friend's behavior. He understood that N was behaving very disrespectully, and that he himself was NEVER allowed to behave like that, to me or to any other grown-up.

Since Sofia by this time was sound asleep, I ended up having a nice time with Micah. We drove a bit, and stopped at a farm for some ice cream. As he sat on my lap eating his ice cream, Micah said "It's important to make your friends happy, but it's more important to make your Mom happy."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Arte y Pico award

Amy from The Flege Farm thought I was worthy of an award!!!!!

The rules for this award are:
1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogging community, no matter what language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her/him the award itself.
4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. To show these rules.

Thank you, Amy! I have a lot of reading to do to cath up on all the blogs, and the two I would most want to nominate (Tammy and Pam), I don't want to add any extra work for them (i.e. having to post the award info!). And Amy would have been another of my winners anyway, so I'll get back to you on my own award winner picks.

(And apparently I cannot figure out how to post the award picture, but you can see it here.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's all about the Couch

My mother just got a new couch in her Family Room. And her old couch is sitting in her garage, waiting for a ride to our house, where it will come replace the futon in our living room.

But it's not waiting patiently. Oh, no, this was my mother's couch, after all, and patience is next to impossible. This couch needs to call in every three days or so, asking when it will come live with us. This couch needs to be out of my parents garage - presumably because Connecticut gets way more snow in May than Massachusetts does.

In the mean time, my husband is once again NOT home tonight - his meeting that was supposed to start at 5:00 for only about 45 minutes is still going on at 9:51. And he leaves for Albany tomorrow...through late Friday...and then is planning to spend Saturday in Worcester cleaning out the rental units (rather than taking Sam rock climbing, per suggestion of Sam's therapist).

Between the *(^ couch, my mother hanging up on me because I can't tell her exactly when I could find a babysitter long enough to drive down and back (4 hours round trip) in a vehicle large enough to carry a couch, and my husband...oh, and Sofia, who took an hour and a half to go to sleep...I'm a little annoyed, and any good mood I had from yesterday is starting to dissipate.

But thanks for "listening"! Knowing you all are out there really does help.

Happy Mothers Day (belated, of course)

We mailed out all our cards on Saturday afternoon, so what do you expect? I had a pleasant day. Micah was in our room at about 4am, and Sofia soon after. Poor Micah was having serious pollen allergy problems all day. Anyway, the boys had each made gifts for me at school. Sam wrote a page of "I Am":

I am the person who likes to play rock music on an acoustic guitar at Tae Kwan Do school on Tuesdays, who likes to play soccer on a cold windy day in spring, who likes to watch the Time Warp Trio on Sunday morning, who likes to read big war books in the dark black night with the light shining bright, who likes to play made up games with my small sister and nice brother.

I am the person who likes to see professional drawings in the Museum of Fine Arts, who likes to smell my mom's chicken with really sweet spices on Shabbat night, who likes to taste crusty cheese pizza with my family, who likes to listen to my mom's singing in my small bedroom at night before I go to bed, who likes to feel my little cousin Lilly's soft smooth hands touching me.

I am the person who gets scared in big crowds, who gets excited when I get a new book, who dreams for a DS system, who likes when my grandparents come to visit from Connecticut, who likes my two shofars, who likes creative arts, and who loves when my cousins come to visit me.

Gorgeous. They framed it, and put stickers of books, pizza, and soccer. A real treasure. (By the way, the "DS system" he refers to is a Nintendo DS.)

Micah made a "flower" with his picture, as well as a plaque. Sofia also made a card and planted a flower in a little flowerpot.

I got to sleep a little late, and they eventually made me breakfast in bed (after David went down to yell at them for watching TV instead of making breakfast!). We went to friends' home for their 3 year old's birthday party, and the big brother is one of Micah's close friends (plus mom and dad are good friends of ours). In the afternoon we cleaned out the garage a bit, and then went to dinner at a Hibatchi place that also has great sushi. Micah was really having allergy problems, so I had to run over ot the drugstore after we ordered so I could get him some Benadryl!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Greetins from the Mass EI Consortium

Yes, I get to stay overnight at a hotel WITHOUT my children :) [or hubby :( ]

It was a nice day. Last year, being the first year I attended, was probably a little more exciting for me, but I still learned new things, and this year I have friends to see, so it's fun.

At 8:00 we finished dinner, and my roommate (another mom) and I came straight up to the room. It's 10:00 now - she's asleep, and I'm about to be (really, I promise!).

I still have this sinus infection, and can "smell" it in my nose (yuch), but at least my ear doesn't hurt as much now. I'm SOOO glad for a break from the kids, 'though!

Yesterday, Sam freaked out about going to the Day School Music Festival (tonight), and was actually saying to himself in the car "Ok, I know it's hard to say no, but I really am just too stressed, and mommy's gonna be away and I want to be with my dad, and I really just can't do it." How can you say no to that? Poor kid. He was so glad when I told him it was ok not to do the concert. Sigh.

Micah's legs are a wreck, from all the scratching he does between allergies and those hives back in the winter. I've tried Aquafor, Lubriderm, Bactroban. Nothing seems to help. I think a little sunshine might help, but the kid insists on sweat pants and long sleeve shirts most of the year.

Miss Sofia has switched her biological functions clock so that she's pooping during preschool, which has her teacher less-than-thrilled. I hope that's not a long-term schedule change!

Nothing much else. Hugs to all my online friends, and to my real-life friends, too!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Ear Infections and Ticks

By the end of 10 days with my children (and without my husband), I seem to twitch a wee bit. Just a little. Oh, and I scream a lot. Loudly.

We made it through the week. Friday after school, we played on the playground for a long time, then went to Tae Kwan Do, to watch Micah get his Yellow Belt. He did great. The testing sheet has phrases like "textbook kicks", "perfect break" and "100%".

Then we went to my friend S's house for Shabbos dinner. Very nice time, except that the boys were really getting on my nerves a bit. Micah almost had a sleepover with EJ, but chickened out at the last minute. Sofia did NOT fall asleep on the car ride home (40 minutes), even though the boys did, so she stayed up to watch Battlestar Galactica with me.

Saturday morning, E came to watch Sofia and Micah, while Sam and I went to a Bar Mitzvah from the Ashland shul. It was a really wonderful event. This kid is son to a single (lesbian) mom, and he has a lot of learning issues, but he's a very sweet child and they are a loving and friendly family. She (the mom) met a wonderful lady last year, and now their family is even more lovely.

I read Torah, and it was nice to work with A again (she's been the Student Rabbi for the past 2 years, but she's graduating and leaving soon). And it was so touching to see the love in this family, and see how hard the kid worked. It was really tough for him, he has trouble speaking, but his tutor (who we know from Sam's summer-school!) walked him through his presentation of a Mitzvah chart. I was so glad to be there.

When we got home, Sofia was asleep, and I dozed off and on all afternoon. Sofia slept about 3 hours, which I knew meant she'd be up late with me, but I really needed the nap.

Sunday morning, I dragged the kids to the Unitarian Universalist church to witness the Committment Ceremony for my friend M's daughters. I say "dragged" because Sam adamantly did NOT want to go to a church - he was very rigid about it - but I explained that it was important to M that I be there, just as it would be important for me to have her at his Bar Mitzvah. So eventually we went, and we just stood in the back doorway. The ceremony was lovely, and we heard a bit of the sermon, which was also nice, before Sofia got to be too much for me. As we were leaving, Sam said, "That was a really nice service, Mom. I liked it." Duh!

We grabbed a bit to eat, went home to watch Robin Hood (BBC America's version), and then back to M's house for the big party. All three kids had a blast, and I got to sit and talk with M and her other friends - all very wonderful, warm women. I met M when my Sofia was about 3 months old. She had a baby, also named Sophia, with DS, born 3 months after mine, and our EI office hooked us up. We clicked immediately, kindred spirits indeed. Sadly, her Sophia died suddenly at 13 months. But, indomitable spirit that she is, M and her hubby went off to build houses in New Orleans and came back preggers. Baby Isabella was born Dec. 31 - two months after they also added Miss Olivia, a little girl in need of a home, to their family. So this was a ceremony for both the baby and the toddler (O just turned 2). And big sister M was thrilled.

So I sat with M and her friends and we talked about all the ways that life is both hard and amazing - DS, sudden and unexpected tragedy, seeing the value in individual lives, learning how to appreciate things more. Really cool stuff. One woman had just taken a group of 14-year-olds to New Orleans, and was telling us their reactions, as they processed the difference between their lives and the lives in NO.

Anyway, eventually, we came home, and David finally came home too. I felt awful - somehow in the midst of all this, I'd developed a Sinus and Ear Infection! So I skipped my graduate program event (bummed, since my friend S was presenting her thesis) and went to sleep at 6:30.

Today I managed to get in to see the Nurse and got some meds. This afternoon, the kids played a long time, and then I took them to Dairy Queen. When we got home, I discovered a Tick on the back of Sofia's neck! Yikes. Fortunately, my neighbor has a dog - and therefore also has a special tick removal tool. Whew. Ick.

Tired. Need to sleep. Sofia starts going to school 4 days tomorrow - yeah!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Shopping with Children

That should just be outlawed. I took all three of my children to not one but TWO grocery stores this afternoon - after 7 hours of school and more than an hour on the playground. Yikes! Sam was actually not bad, but Micah was bouncing around and hanging on the cart and grabbing his "favorite" foods (today it was Toffuti Cuties). Sofia was HUNGRY, and therefore screaming at me. We eventually bought a bag of popcorn, and when the guy tried to pack the "pop-pop" in a bag, she screamed at him (POP-POP!!!!!!). At the other store, she did NOT want to be in the cart, but she also did not want to hold any of our hands, and kept trying to escape. Lots of yelling.

Remind me NEVER to try that again, ok??!

I also had to take them all to get some copies made. While waiting, Sofia and Micah kept hanging on either the counter or on me (they started fighting over me, actually!). Another lady was watching, bemused. I was expecting one of the boys to have a large envelope of papers for me, so I asked:

"Hey, did either of you get an envelope for me at school?"


"Yes, a big envelope full of paper."


"Neither of you?"


"Are you sure?"

"Yes, mommy, no envelope."

And then Micah paused...and said,

"Oh, I got an envelope."

"Soooo, YES envelope?"


The lady behind m just cracked up.

I'm still trying to put my kitchen back together post-passover. Most of the Pesach stuff is packed, or at least stacked neatly in the family room. There are still abotu 5 or 6 boxes or bags of every-day stuff to be unpacked. So I warned my cleaning lady that tomorrow when she comes, she should just "clean around it".

I did a lot of work on the Yearbook today. H came over in the morning, and then she and S came back in the evening (while Sam fell asleep on his own, Sofia wandered the house and Micah yelled "I'm bored" every 10 minutes.). The yearbook is coming along really really well!

I also presented my paper last night. I had all of 10 minutes, and there were only 3 other students plus the teacher. The students seemed interested. And subsequently I thought about asking my other 3 friends who also "did" Upsherin with their kids for their input. I think I might have another way to write about it. D, thanks for your input already!

I feel much better than I did earlier in the week. Tuesday night, instead of staying on the computer all evening, Sofia and I watched episodes of "Robin Hood" on BBC America, and I got some decent sleep. Last night, she also showed up in my room in time to sleep.

This morning, all three kids were up incredibly early (way before 6am!), so I hope going to sleep late tonight helps tomorrow morning!