Monday, September 29, 2008

Shana Tovah

We had the Tashlich program at the boys' school this morning. David took Sofia to school so I would not have to race back and forth, and E picked her up after school in case I didn't make it in time. I dropped the boys at school, ran around doing last-minute errands (like buying a new soup bowl to replace the one Sofia broke on Saturday morning!), then back to school.

The kids did a cute program, including an Interpretive Dance piece by Sammy's class. Very cool. Then we walked in groups down to the river, about 3 blocks away. Each child was to reflect on things they wish for the New Year, things they are sorry for and things they would like to change. It's neat, because they kids write their stuff down, and we hand it back in each year. So we were able to see what they wrote last year!

Then we all gather on the bridge and throw bread-crumbs, sybolic of our individual sins, into the water. Then a walk back up the hill. It's a lovely ceremony (culminating in a blast of the Shofar - my boys both had theirs). But it was horribly muggy and buggy today, so I'm covered with mosquito bites and very uncomfortably warm!

A hearty "Todah Rabah" (thank you) to K from Shuki's (the local Israeli store in Framingham) for the Slippery Elm - it helped a lot!

My deepest wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and sweet New Year (even if you are not celebrating with us right now!).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rainy weekend

Friday night dinner was lovely. I had taken two of K's kids home after school ( I just can't fit 6 kids in my minivan, we only got the 7-seater, and none of them are big enough for the front seat yet). The boys are extra girl played really nicely all afternoon, and Sofia managed to not be too horribly toddlerish.

K and her youngest (in Micah's class) arrived around 5, and dinner ws making the house smell yummy - I made a turkey breast (just olive oil, honey, orange juice, and some salt & pepper), and fresh challah, and warmed up some leftover drumsticks for the kids, and rice and veggies.

Because the room that should be a Dining Room is 1) small and 2) chock-full of toys, we entertain in the kitchen. Which is also small. And our table is not huge. We can comfortably put 6, tightly squeeze 8. So now we set up my parents' old bridge table also, for the kids. This time, only the 3 boys sat there, since both of K's daughters wanted to be near her.

But it was nice. This is the family we vacationed with this summer, and the 6 kids get along great. Theirs whine and fight exactly the same as ours.

It's been pouring since Friday, so yesterday morning we were all too tired/lazy to get up and go to shul. Just stayed home and relaxed most of the day; I even got to take a nice long nap! Of course, Sofia has already broken one of my new bowls - good thing they are only $1.99 at Christmas Tree Shop!

Around 3:30 we left to visit friends up in Woburn. David went to college with these two, and they have 2 daughters; one is a year older than Sam and the other is about 10 months younger than Micah. Micah and the younger one got along GREAT. We saw their new house, and then went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. The girls brought GameBoys, so the 4 kids sat at one end of the table totally not bothering us. Sofia chowed. She really likes spicy food!

Poor Sammy has a head-cold, and doesn't feel great. David has been sick all week. And now I'm afraid I am getting it, too. YUCH> It sucks to be sick over the holidays, especially when I have to sing for 3 solid days (I'm the Cantorial Soloist here in Ashland). I hope I manage to keep it at bay.

NO soccer again today because of the rain. Sam is supposed to go to a birthday party at 1:00, but we'll see how he feels.

Cleaning out Sofia's room. I have a big bag and box of clotthing for Laura to take home this week for Lilie, and two giant vacuum-pack bags of hand-me-downs in sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7 waiting for Sofia. Her closet is CLEAN. I still have to go through the dresser drawers, but I've been doing that more often, so it should be quick.

L'Shana Tova Umetukah - Happy and Sweet New Year to all. (Rosh Hashanah starts Monday night, it's the Jewish New Year, and I won't be posting much this week until after Wednesday night.).

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm So Excited!

Ok, once you read this, you will realize that I am the only one who will be excited by this, but please, gentle readers, nod your heads and pleasantly say "uh-hu, that's nice" to me.

You see, it all started about 12 years ago, when I met a wonderful man named David. Eventually I married this man, and all was lovely - except that I had to accept his Black Octogonal Corelle meat dishes.

You see, we keep kosher, and what that basically means is that we don't eat milk and meat products we have separate sets of dishes (and pots and pans) for milk and for separate sets for Passover (a whole other set of rules on top of the regular kosher rules) our wedding china.

We picked out a lovely, cheery set of every-day dishes for dairy (unfortunately, the pattern was discontinued soon after our wedding, and we are running rather low on bowls). We also picked out a fancy formal china pattern, but so far we only use that on Passover. If we were to use it during the rest of the year, we could not use it on Passover, which would make it tough to have my gigantic seders.

We eventually got some inexpensive sets for Passover-every-day, too, one as a gift and one as a desperate purchase at Target.

But David, lovely man that he is, refused to part with his Black Octagon Correlle dishes. For those of you unfamiliar with Corelle, it's really thin "break-proof" glass (doesn't break easily, but I have managed to shatter my pre-David set into a bajillion pieces). It's at least 15 years old, which means it's gotten quite a lot of wear and tear. So there are visible knife marks and scratches on just about every piece.

And it's BUTT UGLY!!!!

I have been wanting to get rid of these dishes since we took up housekeeping together many years ago.

So FINALLY, I have found my dishes. And I informed my darling husband that I would be spending some money (oh, the horror!).

I did compromise with him. These new dishes are just as plain, devoid of printed design, as the Black Octagons. But there is a swirl pattern in each piece, and they are a lovely "Claret" (sort of brownish/burgundy) color.


(see, I told you I would be the only one excited by all this. Thanks for humoring me.)

I have had a busy social week. Wednesday night I went to dinner with a group of moms from the day school, to celebrate our friendship with one particular mom who is undergoing chemotherapy. She had a great time, as did we all. Last night I got to go our for a drink with my friend D (David had gone out with her hubby on Tuesday).

Yesterday afternoon, Sofia was walking around with a toy phone, very seriously saying "Yeah, uh-hu, eat, eat, ok. Bye." over and over again. Apparently that's all she hears me talk about...

Here's a nice article someone sent to David.

Tonight our friends who we vacationed with are coming for dinner (on the new dishes!). Tomorrow we'll go to shul, then in the late afternoon visit some college chums of David's and go to dinner with them and their daughters. I don't know if the boys will have soccer on Sunday; it's monsooning right now. Sofia's music class will not meet this weekend. In the afternoon, Sammy is going to a birthday party (cute story: I asked the birthday boy what he wanted me to get for his birthday. "Oh, anything Polemon or anything that I could return at Target." I asked, "So it's ok if I get you a potholder?" "Yes, as long as the gift receipt hasn't expired." This morning I bought him a potholder...oh, and some Pokemon cards....)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just musing

What a morning. Micah was too tired to get dressed, and was moving vvvveeeeerrrryyyy ssssllllooooowwwwwllllyyyy. Sofia was in a MISERABLE mood, and kept screaming, mostly at Sam - who was, of course, in a bouncy and excessively happy mood (just to be out-of-synch). the boys got to school half an hour late, and then I had to turn right around and drop off Miss Sofia. Framingham seems to have construction EVERYWHERE, so traffic is a nightmare.

Glad to be home, at least for another hour or so. I can't decide whether to nap or go get my (miserably short) nails done.

Just finished making our Rosh Hashanah card for 5769:


I have to send it out in email - I only print it now for the great-grandmas.

I'm getting more and more frightened by Politics. There are several interesting articles in Newsweek this week about Palin. She really scares me now.

High Holiday services are shaping up nicely, although apparently there are some personality conflicts again (I love walking in "blind" each year...). I finished the Handout, and we are done with the Rosh Hashanah outlines. Rabbi S. still has to decide which Enlgish readings can be assigned out for Yom Kippur. Oh, and I should probably practice singing, right? I'm trying to learn a lovely tune for Psalm 23. I have the sheet music, and a recording, it's just got a lot of syllables to fit into the melody line.

Micah is doing really well with piano lessons. The teacher is very impressed; he had not planned ot start him on 2-handed playing so soon. Micah is very very focused.

Sam started with a new guitar teacher on Sunday night, here at our house. Sam seemed happy, but has yet to pick up the guitar again this week. Less focused...

Sofia was crabby and low-energy yesterday, but would not take a nap. Crabby again today; I hope she's not coming down with a cold.

David is sick, post-nasal drip, sore throat, etc.

I'm trying hard to stay healthy; I hate having to sing while sick. The first year I had a cantorial gig, I went to the emergency room the morning before the first services, because I had a sinus infection! So far, so good, I'm just trying to avoid getting breathed on by anyone.

I'm gonna take a nap now...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Front Fell Off

It's time for some more humor:

Nice Weekend

My Shabbat Dinner was lovely. We had a great turn-out (although two of the prospective member families did not show up!). We stayed very late, after all was cleaned up. The kids built a "train" out of 160 chairs, about 5 chairs wide, and had races climbing from one end to the other. The cantor's wife and son were away, so Cantor stayed and played on the train with the kids, which left the last few of us grownups to relax and shmooze a bit.

David's best friend A showed up at our house very late that night (he lives in California). Saturday, the two men took the two boys for a nice long hike, so it was girl-day. I biked Sofia over to the new playground at her school.

(Almost forgot, the 'scary' story. So while at the playground, I overhear two other adults. The man is very very loud, and very opinionated. "You know the reason we can't even have religion in the public schools, or say anything about Jesus? The &^*% liberal Democrats!"

Funny, here all along I thought it was because we have separation of church & state and not everyone in this great country of immigrants is Christian!

But he scared me a bit, so I called my friend and spoke to her a bit in Hebrew just to feel more secure. He wasn't the kind of person worth confronting; I feared he would attack me - and my daughter - even further if I tried to correct him).

Then we took a drive so she could fall asleep. While she napped, I got about 7 scrapbook pages done (I'm still working on our December 2006 trip to Israel!). When she woke up, we went over to Ashland Day for a little while. The boys got home around 6, and I had leftovers from the Friday night dinner. We grownups stayed up fairly late. I had been planning to go to shul for the Selichot program (traditional late-night service and learning session a week or so before Rosh Hashanah), but it started at 9 and I was still putting the kids to bed at that point.

Today I took the boys to soccer, David took Sofia to her music class, and A stayed home to do some work. He doesn't have kids, and I think the sheer amount of noise in our house was a bit overwhelming for him. When we all got home, we had pizza at the park. Then David went to work, and I took the kids and A for a ride (trying to get Sofia to nap, but no luck).

Back home, the boys watched a movie on TV. Sofia started ripping apart my room, so I took her for a quick drive and then for a walk. When the boys were done with the movie, we all went over to the playground again; David met us there.

Back home, quick dinner, David left for the airport (off to Philly), and Sam's new guitar teacher showed up at 5:45. It went well. I gave Sofia a bath during the lesson, but she is bouncing around her room now with Micah (who has also showered), while Sam is now in the shower.

Some playground shots:

And now for some comic relief, forwarded via email by my friend J:


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* The consumption of Chardonnay may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may cause you to think you can sing.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.
* The consum ption of Chardonnay may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.
* The consumption of Chardonnay may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

Now Just Imagine What You Could Achieve With a Good Dry Red!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recording Done!

Yeah, I am burning the disc for my Bar Mitzvah student now. Ok, there may be one or two tracks where we can hear Sofia screaming in the distance, but I got everything recorded. Whew!

Did I mention that I have been appointed "Playground Mommy" at the boys' school? Yup. I'm so good at following rules (HA) that now I'm in charge of making sure other people's kids follow the rules, too. Fortunately, they are all wonderful children...

I'm having so much fun prepping for this dinner tomorrow night. I feel energized, and proud that I'm getting so many people to attend. It should be fun. David just requests that I do not freak out while I'm there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Living in a daze

Miss Sofia will NOT go to sleep tonight. This is unfortunate for a number of reasons:

1. She's a little kid and needs to sleep
2. I MUST finish recording all the tracks of the service for my bar Mitzvah student
3. I have other work to do
4. It is really tough to type when she's on my lap (it took me 7 tries to type "really")
5. I can't think straight when I'm arguing with her.
6. I'm TIRED! I want to go to sleep!

I have more than 100 people coming to the dinner this Friday; this after one of the staff members suggested we cancel because there was only one reservation on Monday. The caterer needed a head count today, but she's usually good about making extra food. And I'm having the Membership Committee pay for a bunch of prospective member families.l which also means I'll have strong support from the clergy. Yeah! I love running a successful program.

We need a school photographer We used Slayton Studios last year, a national group, but they lost their local-area photographer (to motherhood) and don't have another one yet. And of course I'm in charge of finding one, since I'm the Yearbook Lady.

They had the first Hot Lunch today, and Micah apparently came back for 4 helpings - he ate 16 pirogies! The moms who do lunch were VERY impressed.

I think the new rabbi and I have finished the outlines for all the High Holiday services. I'm still editing the handout, and I need to put together the Children's Service. Some friends have given me a few ideas and skits, I just need to pull it all together. Oh, and practice!

My class is really interesting. The teacher is a good teacher, and the readings are really interesting. I vented on the T21 board about a comment a fellow student made (something about a "Downs baby"), but otherwise everyone is very nice.

David and I went into town to have dinner with our friend S from North Carolina last night; she's here for a convention. Always fun to see S, we have great conversations together. But I was a zombie driving home!

I have to find someone to help me on the day before Rosh Hashanah: the boys have a Taslich program at school at 10:00, and both David and I need ot attend. Then dismissal is at 11:30 - which happens to be when Sofia gets dismissed...7 miles away. Her teacher is going to see if there is any room in the Lunch program, but she thinks it's full.

In the middle of all this, I also have to think about Micah's birthday party (Oct. 26, day after his birthday). Yeah.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sofia checking Daddy's hair

She's learned a lot about nit-checking this week!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Let's see, David took Sam to Yankee Stadium on Saturday! They left really early in the morning, stopped in CT to pick up David's father, and got to the stadium before lunch. Sam had a blast - it was a really hot, muggy day, and the Yankees lost, but they had fun.

I had a nice time, too. I took Micah and Sofia to shul, dropped Sofia in babysitting, and left Micah to hang with the other boys in the lobby, the school wing, or the courtyard. He's such a little wheeler-dealer; I kept checking on him to find him chatting with the older (10-14 yr) boys. When I suggested he come in to catch the candy (they usually throw candy to the Bar or Bat Mitzvah kid), Micah said "Ari will get it for me" - so he's going to have his agent do his work...

Sofia fell asleep on the way home, and I passed out shortly after we got home. It was nice and relaxing; Micah actually played quietly in his room for 2 hours! When we woke up, I took them out for some errands, and then home for baths.

I put Sofia's hair in cornrows! She looks "wicked cute" - I promise I'll post pictures soon.

I'm in class now, about to start....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

No More Tail for Sam




Boo Hoo. We had to cut Sam's "tail" tonight - I found 6 more nits.

This morning, I was exhausted (having not gone to sleep until after 1:30), so I wasn't going to bring the boys in first thing. I wanted to re-check them anyway.

I spoke to Sofia's school, and they said to have the school nurse check her first thing (preschool is in same building as grades 1&2). I have spoken with this school nurse before, she's a lovely and helpful lady. She not only checked Sofia, but she checked both boys, too! She found 2 more nits on Sam, but then said both boys could go to school. So they did.

I have to keep checking everyone for the next few weeks (I even checked my babysitter tonight, and told her to stop by any time she felt itchy). I'm almost done with laundry.

Sofia is still awake (and I think raiding a tissue box behind me). She took a late nap.



This morning I heard that one of the kids in the school was sent home early with nits.

At 2:00, I put my phone in my purse while I attempted to have Sofia participate in a My Gym class (again).

At 2:10 I found 4 messages on my phone, 2 from school and 2 from David.

Sam had nits.

Sam - my anxiety-ridden child.


So I packed up Sofia (forget it, we are not destined to do a Gym class this semester), and raced to the school.

Sam was still freaked out, but calmer than I expected. Micah was just being checked out by the nurse when arrived, and she pronounced him "clear", but we all went home together.

Which pissed off Micah.

So first I had to take all the kids to Target to buy the requisite shampooo and nit combs. And in Target:
- Sam had an anxiety attack
- Micah had a tantrum, and
- Sofia barfed in the shopping cart and then proceeded to climb out of the cart.

It was not so much fun.

I finally got them home. I'd bought a shaver also, so the first thing we did at home was set up in the driveway and shave Sam's head. Not bald, just 5/8". His hair is so thick, it still looks lovely, despite my horrible technique.

Sam showered downstairs while I threw a very poopy Sofia and a calmed-down Micah into a tub upstairs. I also started the laundry pile. Ok, I admit it - we have WAY too many piillows, blankets, and stuffed animals!

I bagged everything I could; later in the evening David took the bags to sit in the basement for a few weeks.

I've done countless loads of laundry already, and I'm not done.

I had to shave Micah, too, since I found not only nits but a live louse! YUCH!!!!!! And shaving Micah was REALLY not fun - he's got a very sensitive scalp (I think that's a side-effect of the allergies), and he was screaming and sobbing and saying "Done" (like Sofia) at the top of his little lungs. My neighbor came out to check.

David didn't get home until after 7pm, but at least he brought sushi (although they had not listened carefully to his order, and they put sesame seeds into the cucumber rolls that were supposed to be for Micah, so I had to make pirogies for him).

Kids were asleep around 9pm, and I ran to the all-night CVS to buy better combs. David and I did each others' hair (nothing, thank heavens!), and we watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" while we combed and folded laundry.

I'll keep the boys home tomorrow. Maybe Sofia too, although I didn't find anything on her. I'll check again in the morning.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So which one is the weird kid?

Last Friday, Sam had a melt-down when I told him that we would be going to the Sha'arei Shalom Torah dedication and Rabbi Installation that evening. He freaked partially because three years ago he'd had an allergic reaction there and broke out in hives all over his body for several days; partially because the services are held in the Ashland Methodist Church building; and mostly because I didn't give him any advanced warning.

Ok. We talked him through it, and forced him to go to the service. David ended up taking the kids home mid-way through the service because it was so incredibly hot.

Well, let's focus on the "advanced warning" part. Fair enough, usually he knows when we'll be going there (that's the congregation where I am the High Holiday Cantorial Soloist, so he knows that he'll be there for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur evening services [I send David and the kids to our regular shul for the mornings]).

So yesterday I gave him some advanced warning about the change in our Friday morning schedule this year. We'll drive Micah to school, then turn around and drive Sam to the Ashland school where he'll get 30 minutes of "Coping Skills" therapy. I'll drop Sofia at her school, pick up Sam, and get him back to MWJDS an hour late.

Another meltdown: "I DO NOT NEED COPING SKILLS!!!!" (thus proving how badly he does need this!).

So is he the freaky one, for not being able to handle things and for going ballistic at the slightest provocation?

Or is Micah the freaky one: "Dad, why does Sam get so upset about these things? I mean, sometimes I get angry at you, but you are only doing things to help us learn and grow up well."


I got to miss most of the meltdowns and commentary (and arguments with the babysitter - Micah is still lobbying for E's dismissal), because I started attending my own class last night. "Family and Sexuality in Jewish History". Very cool class. The teacher is a history professor at UMASS, and I've taken a few other classes with him; he really knows his stuff.

After class (7 - 9:30), I also went to the Rabbi's house to work on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah's "Family" service outline, so I didn't get home until after 11:30.

This morning, Sam had another melt-down in the car. He's also not feeling great, having a very stuffy nose, so that doesn't help.

While Sofia was playing on the playground at MWJDS, her physical therapist called to tell me that she would be doing Sofia's PT sessions after nursery school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which gives me an extra 30 minutes to myself! But it also put a crimp in our original plan, which was for Sofia to take a 12:45 My Gym class - she fell asleep as we pulled into the parking lot. But I spoke to the gym teacher, and we will instead try a 2pm class.

And since E's class schedule got switched, I had to bring Sofia with me to Tae Kwan Do. I also had an extra girl, classmate of Sam's, plus Micah's piano teacher called in sick, and it was pouring rain. So the three older kdis and I spent a good hour chasing Sofia around TKD until E arrived to take her home. Yikes!

I'm glad I have not started Sam's guitar lessons yet; he's still trying to adjust to the school schedule, and he's tired and cranky by late afternoon.

Oh, check out Beverly Beckham's latest article. Wonderfully said, as usual.

Oh #2: a friend suggested that the rash on Sofia's face looks an awful lot like the rash from a Wheat Allergy! So now I am going to try pulling wheat from her diet for a period of time, and see if that helps. "Cause I needed more food issues in this house, right?

Oh #3: Check out this very powerful video.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Opinion

So a friend asked my opinion of Palin, and somehow I couldn't stop typing:

Flat-out, though, I hate Palin! Beyond the fact that she is for everything I am against (she's anti-choice, pro-gun, pro-drilling, etc.), I hate the fact that she's being used as a shining example of what a mom of a kid with DS should be like.

She does NOT represent me, and her child will not be like my child. We will parent differently, we make different choices. And we have different opinions about what other people should have the right to do.

I chose to have a child with DS. David and I had discussed it back when we were dating, and we both knew enough about it to know that DS was not a big problem for us. But we could name some other medical issues where we would have made a different choice. One that, for now, we have the right to make.

Palin would take away that right. And although I know what joy Sofia has brought to us, I would hate to think of the miserable life a child would lead in a family that flat-out did not WANT to have a child with DS; that could not accept the differences; that could not provide the necessary support to help that child grow to his or her full potential.

The rumors last week about whether or not she was really Trig's mom were revealing, too. Ok, so if she is indeed his mom, she still showed an incredible amount of stupidity by flying 8 hours and then driving 45 minutes to a back-water med center when her water was already leaking. If she cannot make sane choices about her own health, how can I expect her to make sane choices about our country?


I have to add more to my position (I've been reading a few other blogs, and feel the need to clarify). I firmly love the fact that the United States of America has separation of religion and state. Or that it's supposed to. While I realize that the majority of people in this country are some version of Christian, there are more than a few of us who follow other religions.

Jewish tradition is clean. The life of the mother takes precedence over the life of the fetus - even during labor. But once the head has emerged, mother and child are equal. (see Mishnah, Ohalot 7:6). This does not give permission to willy-nilly abort for any old reason, but it also does not mean that there is never a reason to abort.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

No Longer a (Parrothead) Virgin

Yes, I finally attended my first Jimmy Buffett concert! Yeah! I now believe that the world would be a MUCH MUCH better place if everyone attended at least one Jimmy Buffett concert, especially the pre-concert tail-gating party.

R&J and the babysitter showed up at our house at 8am (the concert was moved to 3pm due to the impending storm). We caravaned down, picked up two more guys named Dave (David's business partner and his best friend), and got to the parking lot around 9am. Set up the tent, the grill, the tables, the food. Commenced eating ... and of course drinking.

David, Dave, and R (yes, she's wearing a shell-bra, a grass skirt, and rubber boots!):

R's hubby J:

Our tent...

I was most amazed by how kind everyone was. We met so many people, sharing drinks, jello shots, stories, and laughter. Everyone was warm (well, sweaty, too!) and welcoming. There were people I normally would NEVER meet, but we sat down and chatted and had a lovely lovely time.

The concert itself was great. Fortunately our seats were inside the pavilion; it monsooned during the show, and the folks in the lawn seats were drenched. He played a long concert, more than two and a half hours.

We tailgated (no alcohol this time) for more than an hour afterwards, to avoid the traffic and continue the party. I was so beat by the time we left. We had to stop by another friend's house to make an appearance at her previously scheduled party, but I really wasn't feeling well by then, so we left after 20 minutes. I was asleep before 10pm.

Today was busy. We went to a picnic for the day school. We took 2 cars, so I left David and the kids there and I went to the Open House at shul. I had to staff the table for my Early Childhood Education Committee, and I had been scheduled to sing (they ended up not needing me, whew). It was HOT, since it was all set up in the parking lot with no shade, but it was ok. David and the kids eventually showed up, and he then took Sofia home.

After that, I took the boys to REI so they could climb (there's a rock-climbing structure at the local store, open to the public on weekends). Sam was awesome, climbing the two toughest faces like the pro that he is becoming. Micah tried a simpler face a few times. The first time he only got a few feet up; the 2nd time he got about half-way before he stopped. He's the kind of kid who needs to know he's going to do it all perfectly before he'll really try it. So he studies Sam.

I took the boys for a snack, and David and Sofia met us and we went into Newton for kosher Chinese food. Then came home, got them to bed, and now I'm the only one still awake.

I start school tomorrow night, and Sofia starts in the morning. Yeah!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finally Friday

Wedensday was a bit of a whirlwind. I had to go to Hebrew College for "Convocation" (beginning of school-year address by the new president to the students). David and then E stayed home with Sofia, and I got home around noon.

Miss Sofia hadn't napped yet, and I tried to keep her occupied while I finished up the desk. Then we drove off. I had to pick up a toddler climbing structure that someone from shul was donating to the school. I had planned to pick the item up, then get the boys, and then later drop the structure at the new school site, but it took up so much room in my car, I had to unload it before I could get the boys.

I had planned to stay on the playground that afternoon, but we had some drama in Framingham - some depressed drunk guy told his wife "I'm gonna get myself killed by the cops" and ran off wielding a knife. A 9-hour manhunt ensued. They locked down several schools in the area. The boys' school was not in lock-down, being somewhat further away from the danger zone, but they still followed certain emergency procedures like no outdoor play and escorted drop-off after school.

So I took the kids for ice cream instead of playing on the playground. All this time, Sofia still had not napped, since she sort of freaked out about the play structure in the car (it invaded her space too much!). After ice cream, Sam had therapy, so the little ones and I stayed in the car and relaxed a bit.

Sofia fell asleep just before we got home at 5. I collapsed on the couch too, letting the boys watch TV a while to chill out (Sam was really stressed about the guy - fortunately they did catch him before he did anything to anyone).

Woke at 6:15, realized that 1) David was going to be coming home late, 2) I needed to get supper going, 3) E was bringing her friend over to meet me when they got out of class at 6:30, and 4) Rabbi S was coming to work on High Holiday outline!

It was sort of a zoo. David didn't get home until after 8:30 (by which time the boys were asleep but Sofia had woken up and was watching TV again). Fortunately E and A could stay and guide the boys through bed-time, so I could start my meeting with the Rabbi. We did get all of Yom Kippur outline done, whew!

Thursday wasn't as bad: Sofia had "Meet & Greet" at school, and then we stayed home a bit and cleaned up. David came home to take us to lunch, but Sofia fell asleep in the car on the way out, so we got take-out and came back home again. I had to unload the bookshelf and move it over so the desk would fit properly, so that kept me busy all day.

Picked up the boys, played on the playground a while, then came home and cleaned. Fortunately E arrived as soon as we got home, so she prepped dinner. First Micah and then Sam and then Micah again had melt-downs. As I was leaving at 6:30, Micah followed me to the door and said "Mommy, as soon as you come home, can you please fire E?" (She'd been trying to get him to eat broccoli).

So I fled the house, and went to a "Handbag Party". I thought that this was going to just be a "see what my products look like and then maybe buy something" but instead, it was much more fun. I got to make my own cigar-box purse!

Here it is, hanging open to dry - - outside has all the stickers, and inside has green velvet with a gold-trimmed pocket:

I had a blast - I love making things!

This morning, Sofia seemed to have a bit of a fever, so David stayed with her while I drove the boys to school, and we missed the second Meet & Greet. I'm not worried, she didn't need the transition time, and after she pooped, she seemed much better. So I've been cleaning the house (in preparation for the cleaning ladies, who have not been here in a month!).

Tomorrow we are supposed to go to the Jimmy Buffett concert. Because of the impending storm, they just moved the time of the concert from 8pm to 3pm. So apparently we are leaving at 8am (parking lot opens at 8:30) to meet R&J and J&M for a brunch tailgate instead.

Sunday I am supposed to sing at a festival at shul. Not quite sure what I'm going to sing! But at least if the Jimmy Buffett concert is in the afternoon, I'll have time to regain my voice!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My little wild child

Sofia's "engine was running hot" this morning (a very sweet phrase Micah's kindergarten teached taught him last year). David first heard her at 5:45 am - she was flushing the toilet...repeatedly. He pulled her out of there, but a few minutes later he had to go look for her again. She'd gone into the boys' room, and was making Micah's new plastic dolphin ("Dolly" of course!) squeak. He pulled her out of there, and plunked her in our room in front of an Angelina Ballerina DVD (what else!).

In the car on the way to the boys' school, she was kicking and verbalizing like crazy. We dropped the boys, and then parked, and she made a bee-line for the playground. But she wouldn't let me set one foot on the playground.

"Momma - DIT!" ("sit" in Sofia-language).

After about an hour on the playground, we attempted to run a few errands. We got her bangs trimmed (she climbed into a chair by herself, because she had a better view of the TV that way). I had to stop at the pediatrician's office to get some papers signed for Micah's meds, and Sofia just plunked herself into the toy area. And didn't want to leave...until she decided to say "bye" to everyone in the building first.

As soon as we pulled up to the office supply store, she screamed "RUN", because that's where she likes to do her running. Sure enough, as I was attempting to submit a copy job, she was running off down an aisle.

I let her run around a bit, and I checked out the furniture. I finally found the perfect desk for the boys! It was on sale for $99. It doesn't match anything in the room, but nothing else matches, either. And this one is big enough for everything I need to put there. But it turned out to be too big for the space, I'm going to have to move the bookcase now...

I finally resorted to driving around until she fell asleep! She slept nearly 2 hours, which gave me time to start building the desk, and then have a nice chat with the babysitter (whose college schedule got completely switched on her!). Sofia woke just as I was about to leave. Whew.

Picked up the boys, and took Micah to his first piano lesson! He loved it. The teacher said Micah was already way ahead of what he (the teacher) had expected. Micah insisted on practicing as soon as we got home - he can already play a bunch of songs!

This year I put both boys in the same Tae Kwan Do class, but I think Sam is going to want to switch to the 5:30 class soon, since most of his TKD friends are in there instead. That's going to be a long afternoon for me - especially if E's friend cannot cover the 2:00 - 4:30 time slot (E's class got moved). I can't even imagine what I'll do if I have to watch Sofia at TKD again - I'll pass out, that's for sure!

Since David was going out tonight, too, E stayed until Sofia was asleep, and I got to mostly finish the desk. I just have to nail the backboards on (not while kids are sleeping, though), and then figure out how to fit it into the corner...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Country Faire

We went to the Spencer Country Faire this afternoon. It was broiling hot, but kinda' fun. We went on a few rides - Sam and i did the Flying Bobs, and David attempted to take Sofia on the merry-go-round, but she's apparently terrified of plastic horses! She's not at all scared of the animals in the petting zoo, however! She could have stayed in there for hours.

I've been really bothered by the whole "who's the mommy" conversation about the Palin family. Brief summary: yesterday rumors splashed all over suggesting that Sarah is actually Trig's grandmother rather than his mother, and that her daughter Bristol is the mommy. Lots of interesting stuff presented as "evidence". Today, however, the Palin camp releases the fact that Bristol is actually 5 months preggers now (making it impossible for her to have given birth in April).

Ok, so that should be the end of it, right? But it's still bothering me, on a few accounts. Mostly because the reports of how Sarah gave birth are somewhat horrifying - after having her water break during a speech in Texas, she flew 8 hours back to Alaska and then, rather than stopping at a hospital in Ancorage, drove another 45 minutes to the hometown med center instead. Knowing that she was 4 weeks early with a child with an extra chromosome (and all the potential health risks that come with that), she did this?

There is no way that this is pretty. If Sarah is indeed the mom, she showed incredibly bad judgment, risking the health of both herself and her baby, by traveling that far after she started leaking. And of course, if she's not actually the mom, well, then she's just flat-out lying to everyone. Which really does not sit well when it comes to the person trying to be "a heartbeat away from the presidency".

And although the whole mess of maternity issues is frightening enough, I saw a lovely note on today:

Here is Palin's response to a candidate questionnaire for the
Alaska 2006 gubernatorial race:

11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance?
Why or why not?

SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers,
its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our
Pledge of Allegiance

Not even close! The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892, and the phrase "Under God" was not added until 1951!

What the *&^% are the Republicans trying to do to us now?!

I'm going to try so hard not to think about this any more...