Thursday, February 28, 2008

My boys

Here is the difference in personalities between Sam and Micah. They each have a little mp3 player that I got them for Hanukah. They both customized their own playlists (boy, THAT was a fun 4 hours!). They usually get to listen to them in the car, especially on the way to school or on long drives.

Yesterday, Sam was listening to his, and extolling the virtues of Kenny Loggins' "House at Pooh Corner". Sweet. He even sings along, complete with vocal slides.

Micah, in the back row, meanwhile starts singing what he is listening to:

Give it to me, baby, u-huh, u-huh
Give it to me, baby, u-huh, u-huh
And all the girls say
I'm pretty fly for a white guy!

Yup that's my 6 year old, singing Offspring songs. Then he did move on to Grover (from Sesame Street), though!

Today was fun. Sofia had her first Physical Therapy appointment. I have to take her to the school near David's office, which will be nice on days when David is actually in his office. Today, I just went to a cafe for a cup of tea while I was waiting.

Sofia slept all the way through the Rabbi's staff meeting (which I had to attend on behalf of my Early Childhood Education Committee, regarding those Friday night dinners I am always running).

School photos came in at the day school, and I got a nice surprise. As the organizer of the photos (i.e. the one who made contact with the company), I get one set (with all 3 of my kids, since Sofia was with me that day) for free! I love this photography company, Slayton Studios, 421 Broadway, P.O. Box 856, Monticello NY 12701, (845) 794-6270. I can't even find their website now, although I know I saw it a few months ago. The owner, Joseph Slayton, is a nice guy, and he personally gets on the phone with you to coordinate your school or camp photos. They send a local photographer, who works for the company and has gone through their standards. The photographers in this area are terrific. For the 3 years he was in nursery school, the ONLY photos I had of Micah actually smiling were from Slayton!

I have been thinking more about Sofia's school. I guess the really good thing about being "shocked" by the transition from EI to preschool is that I was REALLY REALLY happy with the services we got from EI. I am sure that when Sofia graduates from preschool and we transition to kindergarten, I'll be just as out-of-sorts!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sofia's First Haircut

Yes, my little princess finally got her first real haircut today! My friend K, who was a hairdresser in a past life, did a beautiful job:

Here's that final shot:


Too Cute!

Sofia had a terrific day at school today, but boy, it was a whirlwind day for me. After we dropped the boys at their school, I called the preschool to find out if the kids would be playing outside or not. The weather was wet but not raining (it poured last night). We stopped for coffee with our friends, and then the preschool called back to say they were NOT going out. So back to preschool. I walked her in, because I had to sign the IEP (they made the change I requested). Then Sofia waved and said "bye", and I was dismissed.

I had just enough time to meet R for a manicure, and get my passport photo taken (need to renew, it's been 10 years!). Then I had to pick up Micah (more in a moment), and then race back to the preschool to pick up Sofia.

Sofia came out with a HUGE smile on her face. Teacher was beaming, too. Said she had a terrific day. She just loves school!

I had to take both kids to the pediatrician. They both have these hacking dry coughs, and last night, after nebs, Sofia had a "not breathing" spell, where I had to steam up the bathroom until she calmed down (she'd fallen off the bed and was crying really hard). So off we went to Dr. H., who couldn't find much wrong other than possibly an ear infection for Sofia and eczema for Micah.

Dropped Micah back at school, and went to K's house for the haircut. Then a quick stop for food (I admit it, McDonald's Filet-o-Fish special! I do that once a year, really!), and off to my therapist. Sofia had still not fallen asleep (I thought she would, she was exhausted during the haircut), so she bopped around D's house while we talked. D has a cat (this is at her home office), and Sofia was just fascinated by it, especially when it went to sleep.

Then off to pick up the boys and take Sam to his therapist (Wednesday is Mind-Shrink day!). I took Micah and Sofia to the library while we waited, and Micah met a lovely little girl. They were playing very very nicely. When we finally left, he informed me that he really wanted a playdate with her, even though he didn't know her very well, and when we were back in the car, he whispered "she was really pretty, too. It's kind of embarrassing." SOOO CUTE!

Ok, picked up Sam, raced home. I let them watch TV while I rested a few minutes. E arrived, and I was off again. Drove Sam to shul, where he had a choir rehearsal (my friend drove him home). Then off to my college. Had to photocopy 4 very large articles (first I had to find all the books!) and have to dinner, all in one hour. But I made it. Whew. Then I had class, which was ok. I still have no idea what I am going to write about for my paper.

Sigh. Just a wicked-busy week (note for all of you not from around here. "Wicked" when used before an adjective serves to emphasize that adjective. It's a local "thing".)

Last call for Stamp orders - I'm placing the final order tomorrow morning!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Oh, and did I mention...

Sam has a skin tag on his SCALP! We hve to go see a pediatric surgeon on Friday. Ugh.

Gene-pool Jackpot, indeed!

Sofia's First Day of Preschool

Ok, I guess I was a little spoiled by the incredibly terrific service providers from Early Intervention, and by the structure of the nursery school where the boys attended. So I was not completely thrilled with the school experience this morning. But I wasn't horrified, either. Just somewhat "eh".

The biggest problem, I think, it the waiting. School starts at 8:45. Parents drive to the door, and teachers take the kids out of the car. (Today I stayed with Sofia all day, so we got there early). They sit the kids on benches inside the hallway, still in their coats and snowpants and boots, until the whole class has arrived. THEN they go outside for play! So today, being the first day after vacation, it took about 20 minutes for everyone to arrive, which meant the kids were just sitting there, fully bundled. Sofia does NOT like to sit still! So one of the aides had to hold her in her lap.

Outside, there is no preschool playground - the preschoool used to be at a different school, and the neighbors there built a lovely playground, but when the preschool moved to the 1&2nd grade building, they could not take the playground). So the kids just "play" in the snow. Which, for someone wearing size 18month snow pants amd hardly used to snow boots, is not all that much fun. Sofia SAT on the snow in a circle with the other girls. Sigh.

After that, however, it got better. Sofia had to be lap-sat again for circle time, mostly because she was so curious to go see what the teacher was holding. So I got a bit frustrated for her. But she loved singing, especially "Wheels on the Bus", and liked the story the teacher read.

Free play was ok, too. She had a nice time playing cars and trucks with two of the boys, and then spent the rest of the time in "dramatic play", with the baby dolls and the "kitchen". The aide mostly stayed with her - she's not "dedicated" to her, but Sofia and the other girl with DS seemed to require the most attention from the aides (there is one other kid with a full-time aide, but they weren't always in the class; the other two aides are not "assigned" to any particular kid).

I was there to translate (and because I have not signed the IEP yet, so I am not allowed to leave her!). But I tried to just keep back, and let the teachers do the work. I had to repeatedly ask them to make her say more than one word. They would not prompt her. Maybe it was just a matter of getting used to her. I did speak to the teacher and the Speech Path at the end, so Wednesday morning at her "team" meeting, they will talk about it.

Sofia had fun, and was STARVING when we left. The whole ride home, she kept yelling EAT at me! I was exhausted, because I had not slept well (too much going on this week, and Sofia and Micah both have winter coughs). So we napped at the boys' school for a few hours before pickup.

Ok, here are some pictures:

Getting ready, with BACKPACK:
Sofia ready for Preschool

Exploring before the oter kids arrive:
Sofia before school starts

Tromping through the snow:
Sofia in snow with teachers

"Talking" to her teacher:
Sofia talking to Ms. T.

Brushing the baby's teeth:
Sofia brushing babydoll's teeth


So, we'll see what happens. I have to get the IEP amended, to add something about "adaptive equipment as needed", because she can't reach anything with the chairs and stepstolls they have. Otherwise, I think it'll be ok.

On a different note, I took Sam rock-climbing at REI yesterday. He hasn't been there in about a year, and he did ALL 7 rock walls! Like a spider monkey!

Sam Rock Climbing
Sam on Wall 2
Sam on Wall 3

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Surviving Vacation Week

Barely! Let's see...Tuesday, I had to run errands with the kids - post office, grocery store. Got home to find the cleaning ladies already started (which was a little problem, since I'd gone to the grocery store to get their supplies!). Grabbed Sam's guitar, took the kiddies to lunch. (For the life of me, I can't remember where now).

Sofia fell asleep in the car, so I got to stay outside during guitar lesson and Tae Kwan Do. Fortunately, Sam went to Micah's TKD class, so we weren't there too long.

Sofia slept more than 3 hours, which of course meant she was awake until after 10pm. E had tried to put her down after dinner, but she got up again. So I watched "The Cutting Edge" (old ice skating movie) with her. Finally got her down, and I watched "Truth about Cats and Dogs", so I was up past midnight. (Oh, and my cable modem had died, so no surfing the web).

Wednesday at 5:30am I heard Micah arguing with Sofia. Sigh. She'd wandered into his room when she woke up. We groggily made it through the early morning hours. the boys watched way too much TV (this week, they have been Pokemon addicts). Eventually, I realized we'd have to DO SOMETHING.

I tried finding someone to come with us, but to no avail. So we ended up running a quick errand at shul, picking up some books at the store, and I took all three kids to the Museum of Fine Arts. I'm insane.

Actually, it wasn't too bad. As soon as we got there, we had lunch. We sat at a table with an older gentleman (it was very crowded), and had a lovely conversation about the kids and travel. Sofia CHOWED on tofu stir fry with noodles!

The MFA does a lot of good kid stuff during vacations, so there were several art projects for them to try. Eventually the boys got tired. Sofia was a but of a train wreck. She'd only slept in the car about 20 minutes, and never napped again. So she was a bit whiny. For a while she was wheeling the carriage.

Got home around 4:30, E arrived at 5. Early dinner, Sofia asleep early. The boys watched "The Lone Ranger" and played a bit until bedtime. I was exhausted, so I went to sleep around 10. David got home much later (from Detroit).

Today, I had told the boys NO TV, and they were really good. Sofia was all over David - she's such a daddy's girl.

I cleaned up the house, and took the kids to Comcast to exchange the cable modem (that worked!), and grocery shopping. Again, Sofia slept about 10 minutes. Home for lunch, a little relaxing, and then my Stampin' Up party started.

Stampin' Up is another you-sell-it craft company, with WAY COOL rubber stamps. I can take orders until Monday, so PLEASE take a look at their website and see if you want to order anything! Yes, I get credit, to use toward all the things I want to buy!

Only 2 friends, R & D, came, but since they are 2 of my closest friends, that was terrific. They each have a girl in Sam's class, and one younger (R's daughter is in 2nd grade, and D's just turned 4). Sofia had a blast hanging out, and Micah was rnning the show. Sam stuck with the grownups for the craft presentation. Then we had all the kids do a stamp project, too.

It was fun. We had pizza after, and they all stayed past 7pm. Sofia was practically passed out. Boys took some time to settle down. Sam was a little crazy again.

David is still at work - I hope he gets home in time for "Lost"!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Pleasant Day

Well, we made it through the first real day of vacation week. The boys had playdates with their best friends (2 brothers, fortunately!). Sofia and I went shopping. We bought a bunch of blankets and crib sheets for our friend Rhett in Utah (see below for more about Rhett) - someone had stolen his stuff out of the dryer! UGH! But I was glad we had the opportunity to GIVE on Sofia's birthday.

I got to have lunch with my big girl:

When we picked up the boys, we also had a little birthday celebration, complete with banana bread (yum):


And Sofia tried on a hat she found:

Tonight we went to Bugaboo Creek, but Sofia did indeed freak out when it was time to Kiss The Moose. She hid on her seat. Oh well.

La Principessa Sofia Phoebe Daniella is 3 today!

Wow, that was quick! Later today I'll post our Birth Story. In the meantime, I cannot believe that my baby is such a big girl!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Fun Party

David and I went to Boston last night, for J's "surprise" birthday party. It was at the EMC Suite at Fenway Park! Way cool (I guess if you like baseball it was even cooler, but I was just impressed with how nice the room looked).

The party was so much fun. Open bar, which meant we all relaxed (especially those of us staying overnight in the city!). It was also really fun to see all the day-school couples as couples, not as parents. You could really see why each of these couples was together. I was talking to another friend, D, about it, and she spoke about how we all married our best friends. True!

Here are me and my best friend:


After the party, about a dozen of us went across to Boston Beer Works. French Fries and Beer at midnight (after an evening of French Martinis and Raspberry Mojiotos!). Ouch. My tummy was killing me when we got to the hotel!

The Taj was lovely. They didn't do a ton of renovation after taking over from Ritz, but they changed the color scheme on the rugs, curtains and bedspreads, to a lighter blue/green. It was very pretty. Comfy bed, small but nice bathroom.

We sort of slept late, although the phone rang at 8:15 briefly (no one there), and it was horribly DRY in the room so we were both having a bit of breathing trouble.

Eventually we checked out, and met the birthday girl and her family and D&E for brunch. Then we had to race home, because my parents wanted us home by 2 so they could get to the party they had tonight (at 7pm!).

Hung out all afternoon. Nothing much. Kids were all pretty tired, too - Sofia went to sleep at 6:45, and the boys were snoring by 7:30.

Oh, my parents bought Sofia her birthday presents. The wrapped packages were from my sister (a pretty sundress and a cool puzzle), and the Dora Table was from my parents. You can see which one caught Sofia's attention:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vacation Week Begins


Wel, so far it's not too terrible. Sam and Sofia were awake before 6am, but her took her downstairs to watch TV for a while. Then they came back up and he played on the Nintendo while she played in her room for a while. Micah actually slept until nearly 8am! Wow! He really needed it.

Last night we had my friend R, my friend N and her kids (and her hubby came later), and Laura and baby Lilie all over for Shabbat. It was so much fun. R and N are both awesome friends, and although they have met before, this was the first time they really got a chance to know each other. I love it when my friends like each other! And they live really near each other, so it was good for R to get connected. I just love them both!

Lovely Lilie is getting to be REALLY adorable! What a smile that baby has.

At the day school, the Rimon (Kindergarten) Rock Stars sang "It's the 100th Day of School )although really it was only the 99th day, due to the rain-day on Wednesday).

View this montage created at One True Media
Rimon Rock Stars 100th day 2/15/08

Here's Sofia with Laura and Lilie - how did my girl get to big?!

Mr. Micah and Lilie:


And Sam made a creative face with his Oreos and Twizzler:

In the morning, Sofia and I visited the preschool! Let me just say that my little girl KNOCKED THEIR SOCKS OFF! Ok, maybe I'm a little biased, but really - how many little kids can walk into a new room filled with strangers, and be so comfortable that within 30 minutes she was organizing the creation of a Choo Choo Train made out of the square plastic chair! At the end, I let her sit with the other kids in the line-up and I pulled the car up to have her "delivered" like all the other kids (the teachers bring them to the cars and buckle them in). She loved it.

I am, however, going to spend the first day there, because I have to do quite a bit of interpreting for the teachers. And they have to get some extra equipment - she's too short for what they have!. They need a Rifkin chair (something that will be tall enough for her to reach the tables, but also have foot support), and they need taller footstools (she can't even reach the sink to wash her hands). So now I have to make sure that stuff gets into her IEP document. I know the school is already aware that they need the stuff, but I always consider the IEP a safeguard in case we should have to pick up and move across the country one day. I want their needs DEFINED well.

Tonight David and I are going to Boston (my parents are coming up to stay with the kids) and going to my friend JH's 40th birthday party. I cannot divulge the location just yet, since she doesn't know where it will be. We are sleeping over at the Boston Taj (formerly the old Ritz!). Yippie!


Ok, I have to add this. It's about my online friend Pam and her family. Many of my readers already "know" Pam, but many of you don't, so please take a peek. I did not write the next two paragraphs, I pulled them from Beyond Understanding.

In the case of Pam and her family over at Rhett’s Journey, back surgery is only one of the many challenges staring them down. Pam’s husband’s back condition has forced him to stop working; Pam can’t work because their youngest, Rhett, is a two-year-old who requires constant, special care. Rhett was a healthy child with Down Syndrome until an extreme (10-fold!) overdose of painkillers last year after surgery resulted in a series of physical impairments. For details, read a few of Pam’s latest posts. I’m overwhelmed by just the idea of the logistics involved in getting Rhett to all his medical appointments and therapies. Pam’s oldest son also has Asperger Syndrome and requires his own special appointments. (When Pam wrote about Dakota’s recent phenomenal accomplishment of reading and sharing in front of his entire class, I was so happy to hear that at least SOMEthing was going right for them, even for a single day.) Add to all this the stress of worrying constantly about Rhett’s health—including his limited ability to breathe correctly, especially at night—and I know I’d be a complete mess if I were Pam.

But there’s more. Pam and Andy and their four children are very likely going to have to move out of their rented home soon due to a drastic inability to pay their rent. Pam swallowed her pride and installed a “Make a Donation” button to the top corner of her blog. I’m writing now to invite every visitor to this blog to stop by Rhett’s Journey and pitch in any amount. As Pam notes, even $5 will help. Whether or not you choose to donate, if you pray please pray for Pam and Andy and their kids. This new year has been a nightmare for them so far. With our help, maybe it’ll turn around soon. I certainly hope so.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Called on Account of ... Rain

Ug, they canceled school in Framingham yesterday, and all it did was rain. Ok, monsoon. But really, WHY? All the other towns in the area had school. So not only did I have the boys home, but Sofia missed her last day of Transition Group (including her only scheduled birthday party!).

Oh well. I took the kids to the Dollar Store and bought a bunch of art suplies (which Sam and I used). And Sofia napped in the car while Micah played on the Nintendo and Sam had his therapy appointment.

In the morning, I had the TV on to check the weather, and I ended up watching a bit of Good Morning America (maybe it was Today). ָ They had a segment on "cool toys" - yeah. Hulk Hands, requiring the child to PUNCH something in order to activate the noise, and a climbing Spiderman, where you point a remote and watch Spidy go Up, then Down. Oh, and lights blink. This is "cool"?


Great, we just had our last EI session, and I found out that playgroup was NOT canceled yesterday! Ugh.


I have been reading a Calvin & Hobbes book, and tracking how closely Micah falls into that mold. Apparently if I call what I make for supper "monkey brains" it will have more appeal for a 6 year old boy.

Have to go try to fix my computer now. I upgraded to Leopard on Sunday, and several key things have "broken", like I can't print and I can't synch my iPhone. Grrr.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Picture Day, and EI Party

It was School Picture Day today, and the over-caffeinated mommy that I am, I was the parent liaison for the photographer. So Sofia and I spent all morning at the school, usherng kids to and fro. First we did each class, group shot and individuals, then I had to find all the siblings - Micah was only the 3rd worst-behaved child today. I did get a pic not just of the two boys together, but also of all three kids. Of course, Sofia chose exactly that moment ot have her melt-down; otherwise she did great all morning.

We only had about 90 minutes before the next event, so I grabbed us some lunch and drove around a bit hoping she would go to sleep. No luck, so then I sat in the EI parking lot, eating my lunch and then cleaning the car.

Sofia's Early Intervention team threw her a little "party", just for us (David came too). It was lovely. Last night I made all three of them little postcards with photos of them with Sofia over the course of this year, and I got them all Target gift cards. They in turn got Sofia a new Signing Times video (the vol 2 Happy Birthday one!).

Here is Sofia with T, K and M:

(oh, and of course some toys!).

Then we raced over to pick up the boys, and it was off to Tae Kwan Do. I swear, I lose a week of my life for every Tuesday afternoon there. It's SO loud. And Sofia did not fall asleep in the car, so she was crabby but still running around alot. I'm exhausted now.

When we got home, E fed Sofia while I fed the boys, and E put Sofia to sleep before we were even done. Now the boys are out, too!

Tomorrow is Sofia's last Transition Group, so I will bring cupcakes there in the morning. Then she gets to attend the Lunch Bunch over at the synagogue (yikes, that means I have to pack HER a lunch too!) while I attend the Rabbi's staff meeting (I'm the co-chair of the Early Childhood Education Committee [of course], and we are going to talk to the staff about our programs).

I can't believe my little girl is turning 3 next week! Last night I updated her Sign list - she's well into about 175 signs, and I've lost count of her verbals. Yesterday she signed "potato", "colors" and "paper" all unprompted, and today she SAID "cookie" and she's been saying "please" for a few days.

(and my husband did something ot my camera, so now my photos are all grainy!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Upsherin

We were invited to attend my friend D's youngest son's upsherin, the celebration of the first haircut at age 3. It was a lot of fun.

Here is D's hubby reading the very lovely speech she'd prepared for him, explaining what was going on:

And the birthday boy getting ready for his big haircut:

and getting his first yarmulka:

Sofia watched from her perch on Daddy's shoulders:

And later I got some delicious kisses from her:


And of course the obligatory picture of the cutest little kids, Sofia with B & Y:

After enjoying the party and the wonderful company (every time I go to their house, I see someone else I went to college with!), we made a "quick" stop at the local kosher butcher, spending nearly $250 on assorted goodies! I really wish we had a kosher butcher around here!

I'm still not feeling well, from the ear and sinus infections. Tired and achy. The kids are getting better, though, which is good. Mr. Micah is still a bit of a pain in the butt, arguing with everything we say. But he's still cute.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Great IEP!

I know, most parents don't combine the word "great" with "IEP". But it really was. Our 3 Early Intervention providers came along with me and David, and there were a whole bunch of people from the public school: the director, the special ed teacher who will have Sofia in her class, the PT, the OT, 2 speech pathologists (one did the eval, one will actuallly be working with Sofia), and the Inclusion Specialist.

I started with thanking everyone - our EI people for their tremendous work (I brought along my binder with 3 years worth of Progress Reports from them!), and the public school folks for how comfortable I felt watching them evaluate my daughter.

We passed around some pictures of Sofia - yes, I put a photo on the table, but we also talked about her reading the newspaper at Starbucks:

The various specialists gave their reports and summaries, and then we delved into the IEP document. Fortunately, we've been through this with Sam (and the OT and one of the PTs are on his team, too), so it was all familiar. And I am comfortable with the language of the IEP and of Sofia's various needs.

It went really smoothly. I only felt I had to push back once, when they suggested only 1 pull-out per week for speech (plus one in-class). We agreed on 2 pullouts plus one in=class.

The funniest thing was deciding the schedule. We ended up with starting her on 3 days per week, with a possibility of adding another day later in the spring, and definitely 5 days in September. But for now, it'll be 3 days (M/W/F) for school, PLUS I'll bring her in on Tuesday and Thursday just for PT - the PT isn't in the building on M/W/F, and this way she only gets pulled out once per class (2x/week for speech, once for OT).

Our EI Team Leader emailed me later, and I must quote her: I have to say...this was the first time I've been to an IEP where they left the frequency of preschool days up to the family/team to decide. But that's really what we did! And they were very agreeable to possibly adjusting the schedule later as needed. We all agreed that this child is VERY ready to start school!

David had to leave early to pick up the boys for Tae Kwan Do, and various others trickled out, but I was there for a total of almost 2 hours. After we finished the IEP, the teacher and the director gave me a tour of the preschool, and the speech path showed me her room (and checked in on how Sam is doing!).

I'll take Sofia in to visit the class next Friday morning, and then she'll start PRESCHOOL right after vacation, on the 25th! WOW!

Of course, when I finally left the school to go take over from David (Sofia was home with the sitter all afternoon), I finally realized that I had a double-ear-infection, and my head felt like it was going to explode! When I got home with the boys, Sofia (who is also sick) was already asleep, so I let E deal with the boys and I went to bed.

This morning, after dropping off the boys, Sofia and I hung out at Starbucks and the bookstore with our friend R, and then we went first to my doc and then the pediatrician. My doc is funny - every time she looks at my ears (when I have an infection) she makes the funniest noises of disgust! The pediatrician was super-late, due to attending a funeral, but I didn't want to drive back and forth, so Sofia and I just hung out for an hour waiting for her. Sofia has a sinus infection.

After the docs, we hung out at the drugstore to get both our meds, then home for lunch. I managed to sleep for about 20 minutes while she watched TV, and that (and the zithromax) made a huge difference! Then we drove over to school (since she won't nap at home). Poor baby, while she was sleeping, she kept coughing and sneezing all sorts of gunk.

Took Sam to his shrink, then took Micah to get his bangs trimmed. Then picked up Sam, came home, argued with Micah, and left when E showed up so I could go to my class.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I've been tagged!

Renee over at Life with My Special K's has tagged me.

The rules are to link the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. ~Post the rules on your blog~ Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself~ Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog~ Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my 7 strange/weird things:

1. I planned my own "surprise" birthday party when I was 16 - my family and my best friend were the only ones who knew it wasn't really a surprise.

2. I am an absolute freak for proofreading, and typos make me cringe. (That's not to say I'm not as guilty of making them as the next person...)

3. Although I despise flying bugs, I try my hardest to just FREEZE, because my natural tendency is to scream!

4. It is almost impossible to actually embarrass me, since I am more likely to be the one doing the embarrassing thing in the first place. (Don't feel like this is a challenge, please!)

5. I find it easier to sleep when there is light and noise than when there is dark and quiet. (This was a big problem freshman year of college...)

6. After my cleaning ladies have been to my house, I like to walk from room to room just breathing in the sense of CLEAN for a moment. (Then my kids show up, and it's all over).

7. Renee wrote "7. I was kicked out of ballet when I was 3... the instructor told my mom I should pursue interests that don't require too much coordination." Well, I was not kicked out, because, although I was indeed the least coordinated child in the class, I was also the only one who could memorize all the steps! The teacher kept putting me in the front row, where I could be really terrible but the other girls could follow my lead, gracefully.

Ok, now I get to Tag 7 bloggers:

Amy at The Flege Farm
Dori at The Ups and Downs of Our Life
Terri at SAM - Samuel Aidan M.
Tom at Narrow Ridge
Julie at It's Mina's World, We Just Live In It
Kitty at Nathaniel's Neighborhood
Peet at Pixel Rust

Monday, February 4, 2008

Yeah, yeah, Superbowl

Well, that's the problem with being born in NY and growing up in tend to have to split allegiances when it comes to sports. Mind you, I DON'T CARE one iota about football (or baseball, or basketball, or even hockey, although at least in hockey I can tell who is winning). But David has raised Sam to be a Giants fan...and Micah, being Micah, is a Patriots fan. Uh.

We went to my friend R's house for a Superbowl party yesterday afternoon, and watched the first half of the game there. Well, Sam and the other adults watched the game. I stayed in the kitchen, doing my homework, looking up when the commercials came on, and Micah was upstairs watching Scooby Do.

We left after half-time, and when we got home, David and the boys cuddled into our bed to watch the end of the game. Sam was soooo excited that the Giants won, but poor Micah was plain angry!


Before we went to the party, I had taken the boys over to the local elementary school (where Sofia will be going in a few weeks!), and Micah learned how to ride his bike!


We'd removed training wheels in the fall, but hadn't practiced much. I helped him all the way over to the school, but once we got there, he took off. I'm so proud!

In the morning, Sofia and I went to another Tot program from the Jewish special needs agency. It wasn't as bad as last year (when they'd told the Purim story incorrectly!). But it was still nothing special, and really not worth a 45 minute drive each way.

However, after the class, I was introduced to a deaf rabbinical student, who was there tutoring a deaf bar mitzvah student, and that was TOTALLY worth the trip. We discussed resources for religious signs.

Miss Sofia has a head cold now. She's got goop in her eyes and nose, and is just not feeling great. But she still argued with her speech path about pictre cards, and she just sat on the potty for about 20 minutes, dismissing me from the room with a wave and a 'bye' after I handed her a square of toilet paper. Very funny.

I cannot believe she is about to turn 3! The Speech Path and I were almost in tears when we mentioned it, and we both agreed to just not talk about it instead! Now I'm going to go through all the EI Progress Notes from the past 3 years...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Preping for Sofia's IEP meeting

I got home from picking up the boys yesterday afternoon, and there was a message on the machine saying I could pick up Sofia's reports from her evaluations until 4pm. So packed them all back in the car (Sam was having a tantrum, but pretzels helped) and got it.

I am always pleased to read about how wonderful my children are, but a tiny part of me is always taken aback when the quantified numbers are in my face. At 35 months of age, Sofia got the following ratings:
- Perceptual/Fine Motor (27 months, with splinter skills through 32 months)
- Cognition: 27 months (with splinter 28-31 months)
- Communication: Skills and reports scattered from 20-23 months
- Gross Motor: 23 months
- Self-Care: 30-34 months
- Social/Emotional Interaction: 35 months

Now, that does indicate progress since her last eval at 32 months; the list in the same above order was 26, 27, 18 [16verbal/24 sign], 22, 29, and 30. But it also tells me that my daughter, who is about to turn 3, and whom everyone always says is "doing so well" and "is really smart", is really more like someone who just turned 2.

Which is fine. There's that part of me who loves the "extended babyhood" of my third-and-last child. We had lunch the other day with two friends and their daughters, who are all about the same age as Sofia, and while she got along well with them, it is obvious that they have far more skill at things like communication, motor, self-car (in this case feeding and toileting) and cognition.

Which is fine. But I usually forget about the numbers. Seeing them on paper is just that 6-month reminder that, yes, my daughter is indeed Retarded, in her growth, in her cognition, in her skills.

Retarded isn't bad. It just means she goes at a slower rate than typical. I know. I know. It's ok.

And I am so very proud of her for all she can do. We were in the craft store the other day, and one of the women who works there has a 21 year old brother with DS. She is always so impressed with Sofia. So I guess we are bordering both worlds: she's slow for typical, fast for DS.

But what does that mean for her future? Where will she fit? Will she be able to keep up with typical, or will she be happy enough with slow? I think that's really my biggest worry for her.