Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cluster Migraine, Day 3

Yes, I get migraines. And yes, sometimes they just hang on for days and days.

Monday, shortly after I blogged, I was working on the computer while Sofia watched her after-lunch TV shows (currently Miss Spider). Migraine approached.

Popped a Fiorecet, threw Sofia in the car so we could get our naps done. It took her nearly 45 minutes to fall asleep, while I was already getting very drowsy (the Fiorecet is a combination of Caffeine, which will give a quick jolt, and Butalbital, which knocks me out).

She fell asleep about 2 minutes before I got to the boys' school, so I managed to get about 45 minutes of sleep myself in the car. Migraine lingered all evening.

Tuesday, nasty weather, so migraine full-force. All this week, I've been trying to finalize school-photography plans and flyers, so it's been a little hectic. And this morning I was the songstress for the preschool program at the boys' school, so some planning for that.

Oh, and Tuesday Sofia did not have school because it was Parent/Teacher conference day (but I have requested a Team meeting instead, since I speak to her teacher nearly every day at drop-off). We dropped the boys, went into their school for about an hour for a Family Connection meeting, then I chased her around the building (she found the staff bathroom and immediately dropped-trou!)

Then I took her to the mall. There was a puppet show but she got scared, so we went to the Apple store (got a new case for my phone). Strolled the mall, chased Sofia around.

Had to pick up Sam at 12:45 to take him to the orthodontist and get molds made! Yikes! He's going to need braces.

That was only a 30 minute appointment, so brought him back and raced home. Babysitter came at 2:45, I stopped at hole Foods to get some lunch, and picked up the boys.

Off to piano lesson and Tae Kwan Do. Head still killing me. As soon as the boys went into class, I put my head down on the table and fell sound asleep for the entire 45 minutes - in the middle of the high-traffic area, with my friends and lots of people talking all around me.

Woke up enough to drive home. Since both E and David were home, I gave brief dinner instructions and then locked myself in my room. David thought I was asleep, Micah was very worried about me and kept checking on me. I had to finalize more photography crap, and then I got to sleep early. It was so good not to have to deal with any kid-stuff!

Today, head still hurts. David drove Sofia to school so I could do the Whimsical Wednesday program (it's sort of a "sale" program, bringing in preschoolers who might potentially come to the school in the future). Then picked up Sofia, did more work at home. Then she fell asleep in the car on the way to my therapist's office (left the car running int he driveway - it's a home office).

Raced from there to pick up the boys and go to Micah's 7 year well-child checkup. Sam kept acting up during the visit, and Doc and I laughed that, after all these years, Micah has turned out to be the Good Son! I talked to the doc about Micah's breathing problems. She likes the idea of a Relaxation Techniques "toolkit" for him; she really cannot find anything wrong with his breathing!

Home, just me and the kids tonight. All were whiny or needy, and I was a wreck. Finally I burst into tears - which at least got their attention (well, got Micah and SOfia's attention. Sam only a little).

I fell asleep on Sofia's couch with her, so when David got home at 10:45 from the D.A.D.S. meeting (Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome), he woke me up. Which is why I'm posting this at nearly midnight!

BEST thing that's happened this week (so far):

On Monday, after Sofia got home from school, I was changing her diaper and I noticed that she had red paint on her sleeve. I said something to her about it, like "were you painting with red?"...

... and she made the sign for Fireman and said "fire"! She TOLD me what happened in school!!!!!!! That's never happened before!!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Calgon, Take Me Away!!!!

Ok, it was a busy enough weekend without all the personalities involved, but...

First the summary:

Friday night, a mom and son from school came for Shabbos dinner. Nice, and we all got to sleep early.

Saturday morning, shul, including the Adult B'not Mitzvah class (grown up women who never had a Bat Mitzvah when they were 13). It was wonderful. I had several friends in the class, and it was a very moving ceremony. And I had Sofia in babysitting for 2 solid hours and the boys were off on their own, so relatively peaceful.

Saturday afternoon, my friend and her daughters came over to hang out. We chatted, and eventually everyone (including ALL the kids) had their nails painted. It was fun.

Saturday night, Micah's birthday dinner at Bugaboo Creek. David missed the bus from Logan, but managed to get to the restaurant not too late. Sofia fell asleep on the way, stayed asleep all through dinner, AND stayed asleep all night...until 5:30 am.

Sunday, David took the boys to soccer (actually, Micah skipped, but went to watch Sam) and I took Sofia to her class. Then home for ...lunch...and arguements... then Micah's birthday party at the Arcade (aka Hell).

Now for the personalities:

Sofia the Sleepwalker

When Sofia does not nap, it used to be that she would get Night Terrors, uncontrolled crying. Now, instead, she has begun to sleepwalk. Last night, I found her wedged into a corner of her bedroom, sobbing, blocked by 2 boxes of sweaters and the door of the bookcase.

Micah the Psychosomatic Asthmatic

Micah is continuing to have "labored" breathing.

Sam the Spaz

I get SO frustrated with Sam. He fights me on everything, and can't seem to get anything done.

David the Bear
David came home feeling left out of the family, and immediately tried to take over. Which meant he was screaming at all of us yesterday. I ended up on the driveway, trying to not cry, and my neighbor came over to give me a hug and commiserate.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Simchat Torah

We had a lovely morning at shul. When I woke up, my ankle felt a whole lot better, so I was able to walk without a problem. We arrived around 10am, during Hallel. Right after that, we took the Torahs out and started the Hakafot. I was thrilled to be able to have several chances to hold a Torah.

Sofia was very funny. She loves music and dancing, so she plunged right in, following the Cantor around and waving a flag or clapping her hands. But eventually she got tired, and she started having people hold her. By "people", I mean only "men". She would not even LOOK at my female friends, but to any man who would hold her, she was a snuggle-puss. My friend D was holding her, and I tried to take her back from him, and she pushed me away!

After the dancing, we sat the kids in the middle of the social hall floor, and the adults unrolled an entire Torah scroll around us. The Rabbi went through the entire scroll, pointing out key sections and stories. One of the MWJDS kids chanted the first few lines of Bereshit - he did great!

Then we took the kids up for the Children's Service. It went well, but the main service was ENDLESS, so we kept having to vamp for more things to do. I read two stories, we did a craft, I led songs, we found a snack, others led some games, and finally we said "enough - let them make noise inthe sanctuary, that'll get the service moving!"

Again, Sofia went to D, and he took her up to the bimah for the closing prayers. D's wife, who is a dear friend of mine, and another friend, told me they had a charming and fascinating Torah conversation with Sammy, who had stayed in main services while we were upstairs.

At lunch, Sammy and his friend A sat with me, and we all had a nice conversation with the Cantor's father-in-law about the day school. Sofia had finished eating, and wandered over to play with her friends on the stage. All of a sudden, I see her amble over to two guys from the congregation, insert herself right between them, hand them some "benchers" (little prayer books used at meals), and sit down to start some singing!

It was a late morning - the service didn't end until after 1:00. I took the kids home, and I got a migraine, so they played and watched Shrek while I slept a bit. Then we took Sam to his therapy appointment, and of course Sofia fell asleep in the car at 3:45. So Micah played on the Nintendo while I read and rested and we waited for Sam.

We stopped at Payless and did manage to find Sam some sneakers (and some hiking boots). Back home for supper...

But Sofia was very whiny when she woke up, Sam hurt his foot getting out of the car, and Micah was suddenly very fearful about his own mortality, because of the asthma attack last night. So I had all of them sitting on me in the Mommy Chair, sobbing.

But they are all asleep now. Phew!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Constant Movement

Yup, nothing ever changes around here, we just keep moving and moving and moving:

So they all went off to school yesterday morning. HOORAY! Sofia and I tried to play on the playground at the boys' school after we dropped them off, but it was just too cold. She was funny - she took off her mittens, but wouldn't give them to me. She insisted on giving them to a dad who was there. Then, when she wanted them again, she called for him to give them to her! She is so "man-focused" - she loves men, and will flirt with all our male friends, but won't give my female friends the time of day.

After I dropped her, I got a bagel and went shopping - actually "returning" (the coat and pants I'd bought Micah, the sneakers for Sam). I did find a coat that Micah actually likes, though! And I bought solar lights for the edge of the driveway! Hopefully now, fewer people will drive down the lawn; our driveway is very steep and somewhat curved, and it is very dark at night.

Sofia and I came back home for lunch and a little relaxing. I had a craft to work on, so I put her in front of a video. She sounded content, but when I finally came back upstairs, she was still watching the video - but she was stark naked! And somewhat blue from the cold...

So I got her dressed again, and we got in the car. I had the feeling she'd fall asleep before the playground (she did), so I had brought my laptop with me, and I sat in front of the boys' school for about an hour watching a DVD (Ironman - excellent film!).

After school was another sukkah party (same house as Friday). This time it was for Sam's class, and they had invited the 3 boys who had left the class for other schools. So it was fun...until the old dynamics started kicking in...and the fighting began...

Soon Sam got in a fight with one of the boys and was crying in a corner. He calmed down eventually, but it took a lot of effort.

Micah was running amok, trying to play with some of the boys.

Sofia, left to mostly her own defenses, continued her climbing spree. I was not standing right on the playground with her (a friendly 3rd grader was helping her). Suddenly, I look down the hill to see Sofia about to grab the top rungs of the playset:

I raced down the hill, and stood under her, trying to order her down. No luck. I sent Micah to fetch another mommy to help me; needed someone to stand under her while I went up and grabbed her.

About two minutes later, one of the other boys came over and said, "that's it, Micah has to leave NOW." It seems Micah had pushed him off the roof of the toy house.

So I yanked the three of them out of there, and we drove to my friend S's house for dinner. I screamed at/lectured them in the car, telling Micah that if he wanted to punch a wall, he should go right ahead, since he wouldn't believe me when I tell him not to do something, and if Sam wants to cry whenever life is unfair, he'd better get ready to cry alot!

They were somewhat subdued when we got to S's house, and I made them stay away from me. I plunked Sofia in the toy-room, where she stayed for hours, happily force-feeding a babydoll (she was sitting on the doll and jamming the bottle into its mouth, I SWEAR that's not how I feed my kids!).

And Micah met his match, in S's nephew, who kept picking on him. Both Micah and the other kid, at different points in the evening, went to S's husband and said "Next time I come here, can you please make sure that kid is not here?!"

So all was starting to calm down...

...when I lost my footing while stepping out on to the back porch, and twisted my ankle.

I'm pleased to say I did NOT spill my wine, however.

Hurts like heck. They had a spare pair of crutches to loan me.

Got home ok. Sofia stayed up watching the end of Ironman with me. She was snuggled in next to me, and just before she fell asleep, she turned her face to me and gave me the most adorable smile. I just melted.

Today was also a bit much. The boys didn't have school (it was Shemini Atzeret), so all three kids went to the dentist. Took three of us to hold Sofia still for her cleaning (she very emphatically announced "Done" several times during the process). She kept putting her hand in her mouth the rest of the morning, and when I tried to take them out, she's scream "Mouth! Mouth!" Poor kid.

Sam needs braces. We're going back next week to get the plaster molds made, and the following week I'll meet with the orthodontist to see what we are up against. His teeth are HUGE.

After the dentist, I took Sofia to school (she had PT , which I didn't want her to miss), and took the boys grocery shopping. Picked her back up and came home for lunch. By this time, my ankle was KILLING me!

After luch, I took a nap while the kids all played (fairly well, I might add). Babysitter showed up around 2:45, and eventually I got the boys out of the house to go to piano and Tae Kwan Do.

After that, we met my friend R for dinner at Bugaboo Creek (kids eat free on Tuesdays!), and then back to synagogue for Simchat Torah celebration. I was bummed, I usually love to dance but I couldn't even stand on my ankle. So I stood on the sidelines watching and chatting.

The boys had lots of fun - I spotted Micah riding on the Rabbi's shoulders, and Sammy was front-and-center for the final Torah reading. But right at the end, Micah had a bad asthma attack. We sat out in the hallway, used his inhaler and calmed him down. Poor boy.

Got home around 9:45, so they tumbled into bed. E said Sofia had not napped, so she'd gone to sleep easily.

Whew. Tomorrow I have to lead children's service again, then there is a lunch at shul. My girlfriend and her daughters might come back to the house for a while - her oldest is a special favorite of mine and we might do our nails together. Then Sam has his therapy appointment, and hopefully I can take him to find sneakers - the hole in his is getting larger and larger.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Busy Weekend

Whew! It was non-stop all weekend. Let's see:

1. I picked the boys and my friends' daughters up from school at 2pm Friday and went back to their house for a Sukkah party for Micah's class (one girl is Sam's age, one is Micah's).

Back home to rest for 45 minutes before...

2. Dinner at "Binny's House" (my friend D and her crew), in the Sukkah for Shabbat. Really really nice time. My kids are very comfortable around hers now. Sam and her younger daughter are the same age, and they get along well, and Micah just follows the 2nd son around learning geeky things like how to solve a Rubix cube or do card tricks. D's family is wonderful and warm and I loved spending time with them.

And the Sofia fell asleep on the way home and STAYED asleep for the transfer to the crib! I was worried, since she hadn't napped until the ride down there, and I had to wake her for dinner.

4. We took it easy in the morning (I won't say we slept late, since Sofia was up by 6am), and got to synagogue around 11:00. Of course, since it was a holiday (still Sukkot), the service went longer anyway. There was a nice luch by the Bat Mitzvah's family, and then

5. I walked with the kids and an extra boy down a few blocks to a sukkah party. Very nice time, lots of synagogue and school friends.

6. I walked back with Sofia, Sam and the extra boy to pick up the car at shul, then drove back to get Micah, and took them all home for a bit of playdate. My boys both like this kid, but they play differently with him, so when one was playing with him, the other was playing with Sofia. At one point, Sam and Sofia "climbed" (with a string/rope tied to the top of the staircase) up the "mountain" and put on firefighter backpacks and knights' shields... She loved it!

7. Took the kid back to his house and had pizza there. Sofia fell asleep in the car, stayed asleep to transfer to their couch, and stayed asleep back to our car AND back home to her crib! Slept from 6:00 pm until about 5:30 this morning.

8. I got to watch a movie last night ("Kissing Jessica Stein", very lovely, the scene with mother and daughter always makes me cry), and go to sleep early.

9. Soccer this morning. Left the house at 8am, dropped Sam at upper campus at 9am, spent the next hour and a half FREEZING in the raw windy weather at lower campus for Micah's game. Sofia climbed every structure on the playground without any help:


10. Spent a crabby car ride with crabby children, looking for a place to eat where we could ALL get something without complaining. Wound up at a deli in Framingham, shared eggs with Sofia. Food helped some of the crabbiness, but not all.

11. Some quick shopping - Micah needed new shin guards and Sam needed goalie gloves for soccer. We tried to find some shoes for Sam (no luck, and he's torn a huge hole in his sneaker), but MIcah actually got 2 collar shirts and a pair of shoes. We'll see if he actually wears them...

Back home for 30 minutes, to change and wrap a gift, then...

12. I dropped Micah at his friend's birthday party, but it turns out we were an hour early! But this family is VERY nice, and let Micah stay and play (they have 3 boys, and two of them are good friends of MIcah's). I had thought the party was 2:00 - 4:00, but it was really 3:00 - 6:00. Yikes! And I started by trying to drop him at the wrong house, and I was ringing the doorbell, wondering where the party was...

13. Ok, got rid of one child. Took Sam and Sofia to Shoppers World to do some monetary damage to the budget. We did well. Sofia needed diapers in all formats (diapers, overnights, and pull-ups), and I desperately needed new door handle covers, since she can now open all the doors (including basement and door to outside!). Over at Marshalls, we picked out a ski jacket for Micah (but it will be returned, he doesn't like it - surprise surprise), a fluffy pink rosebud sweater for Sofia, hats and glvoes for Sam, and ski pants and jacket for Sofia. At Bob's, Sam found sneakers (but in the car decided he didn't really like them), and at Old Navy, Sam got a jacket and 2 pair of pants (and we got pants for Micah, which were also rejected by picky-boy).

14. Went to another friends' house to eat in their sukkah. They have a 2 year old boy (the one whose hand I had to hold during services last week), and a kindergartener who adores Sam. And another friend came with his two daughters, one Sofia's age and one 18 months. So it was fun. And I called to the birthday party to see if I could pick Micah up a smidge on the late side...

15. So I picked him up at 6:30, and we raced back home for Sam's 7:00 guitar lesson. Of course Sam had a tantrum when we got home, mostly because he was stressed. Sofia fell asleep in the car, but this time woke up when I tried to transfer her, so she stripped herself naked for her bath...while the guitar teacher was there...

They are ALL asleep (she's on their floor again), and I'm about to pass out myself. They all go back to school tomorrow - HOOORAY!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Micah's breathing problems are all...

... in his HEAD!

Yup. We went to see the pediatrician today, and the dear doctor could not find a single thing wrong with the kid! His Peak-Flow results were even better than they should be, his chest is completely clear, all looks fine.

So throughout the exam, she keeps asking him questions, and we finally figure out that it's all really psychosomatic! The poor little kid thinks so much, and he's always been a bit obsessed with death, ever since my grandfather died (at age 102.5) when Micah was 4. Micah has a birthday coming soon, and apparently he told my mom that he was NOT looking forward to it because he "doesn't want to get old and die like Grandpa Benny."

Oy vey. Another nut case in my house.

So, at least there isn't anything physically wrong with him. He's just freaking himself out with worry. Hence the call to my sister yesterday (she's a cardiologist): "Aunt Melissa, can it be that you don't breath but your heart is still beating so you are still alive?"

What the heck am I supposed to do with this kid? Someone please suggest which parenting manual will cover this stuff!

Otherwise, it was a fine day. Sofia went to school (yeah!), and I took the boys for bagels and coffee and some browsing in the bookstore before the doctor's appointment. My neighbor kindly picked Sofia up from school so I didn't have to race from the doc. We all hung out a bit at home, then I dragged them out. Sofia napped in the car while I got the boys donuts, then I took them all for haircuts. Then off to the playground for a while. Sofia's friend L was there. We'd met L and his mom back before Sofia started preschool, and he was in her class last year. I think he's a little older, because he's in a different class this year. But he's a VERY sweet boy, and is extremely protective and solicitous of Sofia. It was adorable to watch him follow her around on the playground, moving bigger kids out of the way and helping her down the slide!

Tonight I took the kids over to my friend D's house for a yummy dinner and good company. Back home, a frantic "take out the garbage" fest, and now they are all asleep (Sofia is on the boys' floor again - this is working FINE for me!).

The boys go back to school tomorrow - YIPPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Oy What a Day!

Well, it's my own fault for not going to sleep until very very late (I was watching "Only You", the Marissa Tomei/Robert Downey Jr. movie). Sofia came into bed with me at some point, so from about 5:30 on I was awake trying to avoid her stretching legs.

She eventually dragged me out of bed to take her to the potty and feed her. The boys got up to watch TV, and I went back to sleep for a bit. I woke when David phoned in.

After I spoke to David, I realized Sofia had locked herself in the bathroom. I found her stark naked, "wiping" herself with a bit of toilet paper. She was fairly purple from cold!

So I cuddled her on my lap under the covers....until she pee'd on my leg.

Got up, got everyone fed (despite Sofia suddenly crying and demanding to be held the whole time), took a shower, and got us off to shul for Sukkot services.

Stumbled into shul, carrying my purse, Micah's med kit, my tallis (prayer shawl, in it's bag), the 2 books I was to read to the Children's Service, and the toy lulav & etrog. Found a row of seats for my clan.

I was trying to keep them all in their seats, stop the boys from arguing over the real lulav & etrog (which we'd picked up upon arrival at shul), keep Sofia from wandering, keep Sam from making Sofia yell by holding her too tightly, and pray, when my friend S came over with his two kids. The kindergartener loves Sam, and the 2 year old is my buddy. Since his mommy was not there, I was the next best thing. Which meant I had to hold onto his hand with my left hand, hold lulav & etrog in my right hand, use my knees to shepherd Sofia, and keep leaning over to stop the boys from arguing!

Eventually that part of the service was done, and it was time to take the kids upstairs for Children's Service. I knew I was supposed to be reading the stories, but I'd sort of forgotten to prep for the rest of the service. Fortunately, there was one family where the dad and 2 sons knew a lot of the answers to my "questions"...

I lead a discussion about the holiday, about the various symbols and customs, etc. Then I read a cute story, "Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake." Some of the older kids watched Sofia and kept her from leaving (or eating the Cheerios that were being prepped for the craft).

My co-chair led the craft (stringing Fruity Cheerios on pipe cleaners to decorate the sukkah), and another friend taught a song. We were planning to do another story out in the Sukkah, but the Rabbi came up and said he wanted the kids back in the sanctuary so he could tell a story.

So we took them all downstairs. Most of the kids sat fairly nicely in the front row while Rabbi talked, but Miss Sofia decided to explore the bimah ("stage"), so I was kept busy running after her. Eventually she settled in one of the comfy chairs ON the bimah, reading a prayer book, with her legs up and her head leaning on the side of the chair!

Well, we thought that the service was almost done, but after the Rabbi's story, the Cantor started in on the Supplemental Service (Musaf). There was no way all those kids would sit quietly for that long, so I herded them all out to the Sukkah, where they strung up their decorations and I read the other story. Another mom lead them in a little game, and we were about to sing a song when the rest of the congregation came out for the end of the service (which is where kids can participate more again).

Once I was "off duty" from the Children's Service, my daughter took over constant movement. I got her in to the Social Hall for lunch, but she was trying to be independent at the buffet table, and another mom almost fed her noodle kugel (which she now can't have because of the wheat). And Sofia was getting very crabby and stubborn, so she was yelling at me a lot.

Eventually I got her to eat, which gave me a moment to rest. The boys are on their own at lunch, because they have plenty of friends there. So I folowed Sofia around the building until I couldn't stand it any longer.

Sam went home with our friends (the family that did the Buddy Walk with us), but Micah was not able to find a playdate, so he came home with me. I felt bad for him, but I was also glad, because he has been having so much trouble breathing.

We drove a bit until Sofia fell asleep, but she woke up when we got home. i put in a movie and we all rested a bit until E arrived. I also spoke to the allergist and the pediatrician, and Micah has an appointment at peds tomorrow morning.

Then Micah and I went to Home Depot, trying to see if we could replace our old sukkah (which is still in the garage because I can't take it out by myself) with something more portable, but no luck. Then off to Sudbury to drop him at his piano lesson. I gave another mom my cell phone number, and then raced back to Natick to pick up Sam and bring him back to Sudbury just in time for their Tae Kwan Do class.

In the car on the way home, Sam was trying to figure out how the Earth revolves around the Sun and how seasons happen and how they are different on opposite sides of the world. It was a cute conversation. His mind just takes off on different tangents. He wanted to use the telescope tonight, but it's very cloudy.

Got home around 6:15. E had taken Sofia for a stroller walk, and Miss Sofia was asleep when they came back, but again she did not stay awake on transfer. But it wasn't my problem - I was going out to dinner!

R and I met at Samba, and awesome sushi (and tepanyaki) restaurant. Watermelon Martinis and some excellent sushi. Yum.

E text-messaged me while I was at dinner; Micah was freaking out about his breathing, so he's in my bed now. He was still awake when I got home, but now he's sleeping. I gave him Benadryl, which probably helped, too.

Whew! Oh, and I'm a bit freaked out from watching the new Christian Slater show, "My Own Worst Enemy", last night. Let's see, a family man, consultant, who travels frequently for work, but when he's travelling, he's really reverting to his original personality which is some sort of secret agent operative....David called, and I asked if he was really in Mexico, or actually in Russia...

Ok, got to get some sleep tonight. I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. We'll take Sofia to school, and the boys and I are going to try to get the sukkah out of the garage. Then Micah had peds at 11, and my neighbor will pick up Sofia at 11:30. But if Micah ends up needing an xray, I'll have to get Sofia and bring her and Sam over to my other friend's house first.


Tee hee hee. I just noticed that my last three posts go from "what a glorious day" to "not a bad day" to "oy what a day!". I can't wait for the boys to go back to school on Thursday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not a bad day

Ok, I have to admit I was worried. Last night, as I mentioned, my parents were both in rare form - really in bad moods, picking on me and the kids. It was stressful.

Well, I guess sleep helped a bit. Dad did not yell at any of my children today, and even took Micah to the playground when requested (much to Micah's pessimistic surprise).

Mom came with me and the kids to a Sukkah party an hour away, and I think she even had fun! The host family's parents were there, and she got into a nice conversation with them. I was able to talk to my own friends and follow Sofia around without too much stress. And I was finally able to meet DN, who is the sister-in-law of the host and also a dear friend of another friend of mine... we've heard about each other for a long time, and were glad to finally meet (and we got along great).

Looong ride back, more than an hour due to traffic, and we had to drop another kid off. When we finally got home, our former babysitter was here with her two current charges. She took Sam and those kids to the playground...Micah was late in deciding, which is why my dad took him. Mom and I slept, while Sofia puttered around the house - but the scary thing was that the back screen door was OPEN! I hadn't realized it, and sure enough I found some toys and books on the back porch when I finally woke up. Which means Miss Daredevil was outside by herself. YIKES! That was a lucky close call - I will be VERY VERY careful to check doors before I allow myself to nap from now on.

Dinner was ok, I grilled and the kids asked Mom to give them math problems to solve (she used to be a math teacher).

Micah had a rough asthma day, and at dinner time he got really scared that he was going to die. Poor baby. I'm glad we have the inhaler and nebulizer, and I hope that this isn't full-blown asthma, but rather just his RAD (Reactive Airways Disease), which looks like asthma but is far more temporary.

Sofia is currently asleep on the boys' floor. I'm afraid to move her yet...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Buddy Walk

What a glorious day! But first, the surrounding time...

So Friday, the boys didn't have school. Micah's friend (who is home-schooled) came over around noon, and the 3 boys spent a glorious afternoon together, getting along really well. It gave me some time to start on the t-shirts. The friend's family came for dinner, which was also fun, and then the kid slept over.

Saturday morning, I made pancakes for the boys (and a batch of wheat-free for Sofia), and then we all got ready for shul. This kid's family goes to Chabad, the Orthodox shul 2 blocks from our shul. So we parked at TI and walked down to Chabad (David and Sofia stayed at TI). My foot was aching, I think it was starting to get infected at the surgery point.

Nice enough time at shul (walked back after dropping the kid with his dad), but I was really in pain. We drove home, Sofia fell asleep in the car but woke up on transfer to the crib. David had to go to work - he says he was only gone 2 hours, but it felt like 6. Sam was ok, Sofia was just cranky, and Micah kept having tantrums, crying and slamming doors and kicking things. I was trying hard to finish the t-shirts, but he was being a real pill.

By the time David got home, I was in tears, but the t-shirts were done. David was starting to get really stressed. We packed up the boys for their sleep-over in Wellesley (friends). Drove them over, and of course Sofia fell asleep in the car. After we dropped them off, we went to the mall. This time Sofia transfered to the stroller fine and stayed asleep. Got David some jeans, and spent time in the Apple store. David had lost his iPod, but he wants to buy a 3G, but not yet, so we ended up buying me a new iPod Classic, but he took it with him to Mexico. When he finally buys his phone, I'll get the iPod.

Of course Sofia woke up when we got to the Food Court (Indian food, delicious, but all got so tummy-sick later!). We ate, and then limped back across the mall to the car to come home.

Then the fun started - David hadn't even packed yet, Sofia was wide awake, and I had to help him set up the iPod and do laundry and try desperately to get Sofia to sleep. No luck. She is completely attached to me these days, and wakes in a panic as soon as I walk out of her room, no matter how deeply she'd been asleep.

David had several tantrums, mostly related to the stress of getting ready to go on this trip he doesn't even want to do. So it was a really unpleasant evening. AND my foot was horribly painful. Eventually I soaked it and put a hot compress on, and that helped a lot. Today, David found a moleskin bandage, which also helped keep the pressure off.

Ok. So we didn't get to sleep until nearly 1am, with Sofia firmly pressed against me. David, realizing what a complete jerk he'd been all evening, kindly spent all night keeping her from waking me up, so I did get a bit of sleep.

This morning, finished getting him packed. 9:45, leave to pick up the boys. 10:30 Micah's soccer game ends, we get him, and race to Sam's soccer game, which also ended at 10:30.

Got the boys and their sleep-over stuff, and raced back to Framingham. Dropped David at the Logan Express Bus, and picked up babysitter E. Drove to Wakefield for the Buddy Walk.

Beautiful location, the walk 3 miles around a lake. Our friends, who we had vacationed with this summer, also joined us, so I had Team "Sofia's Fans" t-shirts for all:


Before the walk, the kids got to climb into a firetruck:


Sofia spent the entire 3 miles like this:

But the rest of us had fun:

Of course Sofia woke up in time for lunch:

And I got a picture with my three kids:

For those of you diehard Sofia fans, you can see ALL the photos at our photo website.

Drove back, dropped off E, and came home to find my parents had already arrived. Got all our stuff in the house, relaxed for maybe 8 minutes, then headed back out to Bugaboo Creek for dinner. My parents have been particularly critical this evening, which made us all even more exhausted.

I think all the kids are asleep - I locked myself in my room before Dad came out from trying to get Sofia down again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sofia's Fans

I'm attempting to make t-shirts for our team for Sunday's Buddy Walk. What do you think? I spent a small fortune at the craft store (I think I'll return a few items), but I got teal-blue t-shirts for everyone, and fabric iron-on sheets, and pens, and glitter and glue...

Back up: Wednesday morning, I had the worst migraine ever. I'd driven the kids to school, and then raced home because I realized I had not prepared for Thursday's Children's Service for Yom Kippur. So I was frantically searching on-line for a play about Jonah (didn't find one, but found a good version of the story in a book we have).

Suddenly, I could not see. And the migraine was INTENSE. I grabbed my migraine meds (later I wondered whether I'd grabbed the correct bottle, or if I'd taken my mood-meds instead). I waited until I could move a bit, then took a broiling-hot shower (my muscles were a wreck, and I was really in pain from the skin surgery on Tuesday). So I tried to bake it out with the shower, but I actually had to call David and ask him to come home and help me get up. I couldn't even get my baindaids on the surgery sites by myself.

It started calming down, and I took more migraine meds (Fiorecet) before I left to pick up the boys. I also stopped to get a latte (caffeine helps). By the time I picked up the boys, all the meds and caffeine had kicked in and there was NO pain - or feeling - at all.

But the headache did come back again, and the muscle soreness and skin-aches were intense. I'm so glad I didn't have to cook that night! We went to my friend C's for dinner, and then off to services (where I had to stand on my left leg 'cause my right foot hurt do bad!).

Services, however, went off great. Rabbi Sonia and I really work well together (it does help that I adore her! Although I also liked the rabbinical student last year).
Things just came together nicely. I felt like I did more singing, on more pages, than ever before, probably because we had trimmed so many English readings.

So the holiday went well. Laura and Lilie came up, and fortunately Lilie slept a little quieter than last week. Sofia loves Lilie, but gets a bit rough with her, especially when Lilie gets hold of one of Sofia's toys. We spent a lot of time saying "No, Sofia, do not punch your cousin!"

A friend of mine whose son used to be in Sammy's class showed up at the morning service, so I invited them back for break-fast, but I wouldn't tell the kids who the "surprise" guests were. In the afternoon, I made a honey cake ... and now I know why I never make honey cake, it's a very dry and dense item. But tasty with tea.

My babysitter showed up at 5:00, which was good becaue Miss Sofia was napping (on me). We left them home, and went back to shul for the closing service, then raced back. E had set up all the food, and all the company was there - my friend and her 2 kids, our next-door neighbors and their son, and R and J and their 4 kids. Plus the 7 of us, and E. Nice crowd. It was a lot of fun. I really love hosting people! But thank heavens for E, I could never have managed without her!

Today the boys didn't have school due to Professional Development Day for the teachers, but Sofia did. So after we dropped her off, we went to the craft store. We also rode our bikes to pick her up. Lunch, then Micah's friend came over (his family is coming for dinner tonight, and he's sleeping over, we hope, as long as they don't get tired of each other). I sent the 4 kids (including Sofia) into the back yard to play (it's fenced in), and I cleaned the garage! I've got nice organized piles of things to get donated, a pick-up scheduled for BigBrotherBigSister, and calls in to SMOC (for the couch) and BikesNotBombs (for the extra bikes). And there's enough room for David to get the sukkah walls out tonight.

Took the kids for a ride so Sofia would take a nap (works like a charm!), and took the boys to Dairy Queen. Now Sam's playing on the Nintendo and Micah and his friend are doing something downstairs. I have to go iron on transfers and sprinkle glitter-glue on t-shirts...

Tomorrow after shul, the boys are both having a sleep-over at their friends' house. Sunday they have soccer, David will pick them up, then he goes to the airport to go to Mexico for 2 weeks, while we go to the Buddy Walk. My folks are coming up at night. Monday, my dad will lstay here and work while mom comes with me and the kids to a sukkah party. Tuesday we have to go to shul. I have NO idea what we'll do on Wednesday. Thankfully, Thursday the boys will be back in school.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I should have posted this earlier this week, but to any and all of you, if I have in any way hurt or offended you in this past year, I deeply apologize.

I wish anyone who is fasting for Yom Kippur an easy fast, and to all, a sweet, happy, and healthy New Year.

Now if I can just get rid of this migraine and stop feeling so much like barfing, I'll be able to stand on the bimah without worries...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over (So does the toilet...)

I'm just really happy. No reason. I have three busy, time-consuming kids. My husband travels alot. I don't get enough sleep. But I'm lovin' life. I'm happy, I'm content, I'm pleased with how things are going.

I feel very lucky for that.

Let's see, what's new...

Not much. I had my skin check-up today. Since I had a malignant melanoma in situ 10 years ago, I have to go for frequent full-body checkups. Usually I see a Nurse Practitioner (she was the one who first spotted my bad Spot), but today I got to see an actual doctor. She was great. We removed 3 things - that spot on my right foot that comes and goes without warning, and two things on my back. And they "shave" the area instead of "dig" now, so no more stitches. AND she said I could come back every 4 months instead of 6 months, since I have to many spots to check. I feel MUCH better about that!

Sofia now knows how to open door-knobs. Drats. I tried putting her to sleep last night, and she kept waking up whenever I walked out. I finally shut the door - and about 10 minutes later she came toddling downstairs. Scared the &^*% out of me! So she slept with me until midnight, and it means I got to sleep early.

I took Micah and Sofia to the pediatrician yesterday. Sofia woke up with very chunky breathing, and since they said she'd been listless and very poopy all weekend, I though she needed to be checked. And Micah has been complaining about trouble breathing for a few weeks. I've been chalking it up to allergies and weather, but it was worth a visit.

Sofia probably has a stomach bug, so now she's off Dairy, too, at least for a week or so. Micah probably has a bit of a viral chest infection, so he is to use his inhaler for a few days every 4-6 hours, and then as-needed. Sofia gets nebs in the morning as needed, too.

The boys went on their Apple-Picking field trip today, so I made sure they took his whole med kit (inhaler, epipens and benadryl) with them.

Yom Kippur starts tomorrow night. I think I'm ready. I hope I am.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Girl's Weekend in Maine

Whew! Just got back from my weekend with my girlfriends in Maine (at J's house). We had a great tie. J picked me up at 9am, and we met R&D at the grocery store up there (after stopping for wine and mojito mix at a NH state liquor store, cheaper and tax-free). We all got to the house by noon, made a lovely huge salad and started drinking mojitos or wine.

After lunch we walked into Perkins Cove, shopped and meandered, and stopped for Rum Punch along the water. The weather was just gorgeous.

Back to the house to relax. We had a fire in the fireplace (which made it tough for me to breathe, but it was lovely). I napped on the couch while they all kept chatting and drinking and noshing.

We went to see a very baudy show at the local Gay Piano Bar! It was pretty funny, but very raunchy, and I have not been in an environment like that since I left theater. I'm glad we were not sitting up front, 'cause the comedian picked on people mercilessly! We had fun, though (and some good food).

We all got to sleep a bit later than usual - I awoke at 8:30 thinking "oh my, the boys will both already be at their soccer rides by now!". D and I walked into town to the spa and I had a fantastic massage while she had a manicure. We met J&R on our way back, their appointments were a few minutes after ours.

Showered, and met back up with them and we all went shopping some more. It was a very relaxing day (oh, and we had lunch). After a lot of popping in and out of the shops, eventually we found our ways back to the house. R had to leave early to go to a baseball game, so J&D and I sat on the back porch, snacking and chatting. Very relaxed and cozy.

It was so nice to get away, spend time with friends, and relax. The only two "bad" things: 1) David had to fly out tonight for Philly, so I didn't get to see him, and 2) apparently Sofia was 'pining' for me all weekend, and wouldn't eat or do much. Oh well!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Lovely Holiday

It really was nice. The weather sucked - rainy and overcast, very warm Monday night (I wore a tank top and my thin tallit [prayer shawl]).

Monday afternoon the kids and I relaxed a bit (while I cooked the brisket). Laura and Lilie arrived and we started getting ready for dinner. David of course came home stressed from work. Monday dinner was just the 7 of us, so I made a roast chicken and some noodles (rice pasta for Sofia) and broccoli. Oh, and soup - barley vegetable, which the boys hated and Sofia loved.

Services Monday night went ok. The kids were overtired (service started at 7:30), and since David was already in a bad mood, they did not want to sit with him. Micah kept coming over to the edge of the bimah (the reader's "stage") to ask me what page we were on (since the 9 adults sitting near him could not answer to his satisfaction). It's tough for me when the faily is there. I have to concentrate on the service, but I also focus on the kids, and on David glaring at them (and at me!) about their behavior.

The funniest thing is we go through this EVERY year, and every year he doesn't remember it. So Laura and I are fairly calm about the whole situation. I don't know what we would do without Laura!

Tuesday morning I sent the family off to our regular shul, so I could concentrate on my 'gig' in peace. We had a good turn-out, probably around 200 people. I was even happy with how the Children's Service went this time - usually I don't like leading it, but this time we'd settled on grades 1-4, and I had both a story and a play as well as the service.

I got back into the sanctuary mid-way through Rabbi S's sermon, and I was just in awe of her. She really spoke TO me. Her topic was about nurturing our childrens' spirituality.

We finished services around 1:12, which meant we'll probably hear from the RitCom that we were too long again, but it was good. Right after the Shofar Service, most of the people left, so we had a small crowd for the last part of the service.

I stopped home to change, and then went to our friends' home for our yearly holiday lunch. It was nice, but I was exhausted, and both Sofia and Lilie were crabby, so eventually I took all the girls home and David and the boys stayed a while longer.

R came over in the evening, so we had leftovers while I cooked the turkey. It was fun to see her.

Wednesday morning. David got the kids out early because he was scheduled to lift the Torah early. On second day, the shul where I work does a "Family" service, really more of a participatory service. So we only had about 40 people tops, but it was really fun. Instead of a full Torah reading, we split it into 3 readings and call everyone up in groups by last name, so everyone has a chance to see the Torah. And they just got a new Torah this year, with much bigger and clearer print.

The service went really well. I have fun working with Rabbi S. We finished around 12:15, so I was home way before my family. I finished cooking and setting up, and around 2:30, my friends N & D and their families arrived for "lupper" (lunch/supper). Food came out really good - brisket, turkey, stuffing, quinao (grain), asparagus, D's Israeli salad, N's fruit salad. The kids played fairly well together.

Everyone left around 5:15, we got the kids bathed and in bed on time, and I was sound asleep by 9:30.

I'm heading down to the basement now to bring some stuffed animals out of purgatory (where they have been since the Lice incident). Not too many, I promise!