Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End the Word


It's happening right now. Across the United States, people on college campuses, in high school cafeterias and workaday offices are working to “Spread the Word to End the Word.” The goal: make people stop and think about their hurtful and disparaging use of the word “retard.” Spread the Word to End the Word is raising the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the R-word and urge people to pledge to stop using it as an insult, casual or intended. There are more than 700 events and activities happening throughout the United States – and around the world. Celebrities and just plain folks are putting on Spread The Word T-shirts, buttons or stickers or making signs and placards and banners to make it clear that usings the word "retard" as a term of derision is just as cruel and offensive as any other slur.
Special Olympics web site

The actor John C. McGinley, best known for his role on "Scrubs", is also the father of a child with Down syndrome. Please check out his "Spread the Word" message. On the Bonnie Hunt show recently, he said:

"When you pick on that group, you've picked the perfect storm of cowardice to exercise your vitriol, because they're not going to return serve. They're equipped to hug not hit"

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Sick Kid

Just as Sofia started getting better from the Bronchitis, Sam started getting sicker. Thursday and Friday, his nose was very stuffy and his throat hurt a bit. When I picked up at school on Friday, he was "off", and grumpy and low energy all afternoon and evening. Not feeling well Saturday morning, but we went to shul anyway, and in the afternoon, David took Sam and A for a bike ride. Sam did have fun, but when they came home, he had 101.6. Fever off and on most of today, too.

So we took it easy. Yesterday, while David took the older kids, I had Sofia and Micah and little A (my friend's two daughters, A&A) at home. I was really not feeling well - overly tired and grouchy. I fell asleep on the way back from shul, and tried to nap while the kids watched a movie, but Sofia kept saying "Mama. Mommy. Mom. Mama. Mommy Mommy Mommy." Eventually I told MIcah he was in charge, and I locked myself in the boys' room for an hour of solid sleep.

Once I woke up, I took the three of them to the sports store and we bought Micah's new bike. I did end up getting him a 20" instead of a 24", but I think he'll get several years use out of this one. He rode a bit when we got home - David and the older kids were back, along with the girls' dad (he's Israeli, and his daughters call him "aba" [which is Hebrew for dad], so Sofia calls him "Baba").

Today, I stayed in pjs most of the day. It was nice to cuddle with Sammy on the couch and watch movies most of the day - Spiderman 1 & 2, and the original Dr. Doolittle - while Micah played on the computer and David brought all the Passover dishes up from the basement (and put them into the garage as a staging area). David and Micah went to the office for a while, and I parked Sofia upstairs in front of "Madagascar" while Sammy and I watched downstairs.

Tonight, after take-out sushi (that's my third time this week - yum! But ouch on the wallet!), I went to a lecture about Selecting After School Programs for kids with Special Needs. Very very interesting. And I had several friends there, so it was fun, too.

I needed it, because I've been in such a bad mood all weekend. Friday I was very grouchy (although after school, it helped that we all went over to my friend J's house and the kids played and the moms drank wine - mid-afternoon - and talked). Saturday I was dead tired. Today I burst into tears when David told me he was going in to the office. But after I napped, I did feel better, and now I am in a better frame of mind.

I'm also getting paranoid about some physical issues on my part - the hair loss, the exhaustion, etc. - so tomorrow I'm also going to call my own doc for an appointment. I had regular blood work done at my check-up in January, but things have been weird since then (and since I had Fifth's in December).

Not too much planned for this week. Thursday night David and I are actually going to the theater in Boston - first time in AGES. I don't even know what we are seeing. I also have a lot of Passover prep to start - cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking...

I'm energized now from the lecture tonight. I'm really interested in Special Education topics. Can't imagine why ;)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Long Week

It's finally Friday. I utter a modified "yeah" - I'm glad the rush of the week is over, but somewhat dread facing the weekend and associated mayhem.

Sofia missed three days of school this week. She kept popping fevers in the late afternoon. Wednesday was the first no-fever day, so she finally went back to school Thursday morning.

Of course, the boys didn't have school Thursday, because it was Parent/Teacher conferences (with staff development in the morning). So after we dropped off Sofia, we drove out to Worcester to join some of the kindergarten families at Chuckie Cheese.

Oh joy.

Survived that. At least now the boys are old enough that they only need me when they run out of tokens. Micah is buddies with the boys, and Sam helped keep an eye on the younger siblings.

Conferences were interesting. I let the boys stay outside on the playground with friends while I took Sofia in for my first meeting, with Sam's Hebrew teacher. He's doing much better this year. I'm glad that the teachers are not encountering the same resistance that we see at home when it comes to school-work. They all say he is an eager learner. A far cry from the screaming maniac who bursts into tears at the mere suggestion of homework.

Sofia sat on my lap and Micah roamed the building with his buddies while Sam and I had conference with his teachers (primary and Torah). This year they decided to have the 4th and 5th graders "pre-conference" and prepare with the teacher, and then present the information to the parents. It was good to have Sam in the room, where we could talk about homework strategies. The one wonderful thing I learned is that Sam is actually reading out-loud in Hebrew during Torah study!

The more disconcerting thing I learned is that his score on the GMADE standardized math test went waaaaay down this time, mostly due to a sharp increase in the word-problem difficulty. They are working on this with the curriculum coordinator and the math coordinator.

Then it was Micah's turn. The boys sat in the hallway reading the books I'd insisted they bring, and Sofia played with blocks in the 1st grade room while the teacher and I talked. Mr. Micah and his buddy E have a habit of competing on everything, and they are both very smart. They are on the 7nth "Alfie" book in Hebrew, and zooming ahead in reading. But the teacher is managing to pose challenges to Micah, so he has to stop and actually learn, not just inhale. I think he's having a phenomenal year.

Came home, watched "Mamma Mia" with all the kids (and babysitter). Then I went next door for bar mitzvah tutoring, and then I took us out for sushi and tepanyaki. David was out with "the boys", which was good for him. He needs to have some fun.

I'm not feeling good, mentally or physically. I'm getting sad again. And my hair is still falling out, although the dermatologist gave me a medicated shampoo to help the scalp itch and told me to take a multivitamin. I had my skin checkup on Tuesday (Sofia sat in a chair the whole time, talking but not moving!), and they took 3 spots off. I'm allergic to latex bandaids, so I've been trying different tapes andbandages. I finally found latexe-free bandaids yesterday.

We hosted a Family Connection meeting for the dayschool here on Monday night - good turn-out. Tuesday, I raced the boys back from Tae Kwan Do, and then ran back to the school. I was supposed to help the principal with an Open House, since the admissions director is in Israel, but no one showed up. So she and I sat and talked about Sofia, and what we'll need to investigate to get ready for her.

What is the current methodology for teaching reading to kids with DS? What about math? At what point do we expect her to fall behind in curriculum? How much math will she be able to comprehend? (Kids with DS frequently have a lot of difficulty understanding math concepts). How will we integrate speech therapy? How much OT will she need?

After my meeting, I met some girlfriends at Samba for a bit of sushi and laughing. That was good. David was out that night, too. He was out Wednesday night, too, but that was in Worcester working with his real-estate partner, so he was NOT happy when he got home.

Anyway, now it's Friday. I just tried fixing my bike basket, but a piece is broken, so I have to see if I can get it replaced. L is coming for dinner tonight, hopefully with her hubby (but he's on call, so he might be gone - he works for the Organ Bank, and has to fly around the country picking up body parts and organs for transplanting).

I want to curl up. I want to sit on the beach. I want someone else to make dinner. I want to go for a bike ride (but it's too cold and rainy out).

And this weekend I really have to start Passover prep. I did my shopping this week - Tuesday after the sitter took Sofia, I did the dry goods at Stop & Shop, and Wednesday morning, Sofia and I braved The Butcherhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifie in Brookline. For those who have never experienced the Butcherie:

Picture a very small convenience store. Now put 8 aisles, two large meat cases, a large dairy case, a full deli, and stacks and stacks of food and bottles of juice and wine. Then add about 20 people who only speak Russian or Spanish - those are the people who work there. Then add 40 people who speak English, Hebrew, and Russian, all wearing heavy overcoats and trying to browse. That's the customers. Add a few baby strollers, just to make things tighter. Don't forget the shopping carts. And then top it all off with the pressure to find everything you need for Passover. Now.

We made it out alive. And poorer - prices on kosher meat and specialty items are astronomical. I spent more on that little bit (a veal loaf, the gefilte fish loaves, some wheat-free coating mix, and a few potato-based cookies for Sofia) than I did on the whole dry-goods & soda trip the day before. Oy.

Oh, I promised my professor I'd mention her blog, Life Through the Lens of a Special Educator. Check it out.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Yup, it's official. Miss Sofia was ok during the day, a little mellow for the beginning of the wedding, but once the food arrived she perked up a bit. But more fever and crying and coughing last night, and now the nose is horribly gunky.

So we saw Dr. H. this morning, and now she's on Zithromax. Hopefully she'll start feeling better soon. Poor kid is getting a bit on the lethargic side, and I'm really having to force her to drink.

She's watching Signing Times now, and relaxing. The Insulation guys are banging away outside, but should be done today.

Wedding was indeed lovely, and fun. The ceremony was in L's grandma's living room, so all the kids got to stand right up front and watch, which was neat...except when Micah started making comments and asking questions to the rabbi...

Micah and his friend were little 7-year-old-boy terrors. Sam looked SO handsome in his suit, and he and K's daughter did the pre-tween flirt (pulling hair, yanking arm, etc.) all day. Miss Sofia captured the photographer's attention most of the afternoon; I suspect I will have to order quite a few photos.

David was grouchy, but I let him spend time talking to the other husbands, and I chased Sofia and talked to my girlfriends. I had fun.

A foursome of trouble - my guys and the bride's sons:

Sofia was happy to count the cups:

Me and L (yes I know I look like hell, I'd been up all night with Sofia):

"Boy" and "Girl" (that's what they call each other):


Does this tie match my outfit?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

World Down Syndrome Day 3/21

So far, what a lovely weekend, and I'm anticipating a joyful time this afternoon at L&K's wedding.

Friday night, we went to Temple Beth Shalom for Shabbat Across America. We were guests of the Wulfs, and Sam had a sleep-over with their son that night; the sleep-over was at our house last week. Here are the two boys at a recent Shabbat celebration at school:

Very sweet.

Anyway, we really had a nice time. Aside from all the day school families who belong to TBA, I know a lot of other people from the community. And we met even more people, all really nice.

Sofia had a blast running around with one of her friends (I know the mom from various playgroups). Micah had a group, and Sam had S and other friends.

Late night, and we were tired when we finally got home. Saturday morning we had to wake really early. Dropped Micah at C's house (around the corner) before 7:15, then got Sofia to D's house by 7:30. Grabbed some coffee, and David and I were off to the Worcester Centrum DCU center for the MDSC Conference.

Now that David goes regularly to the DADS meetings, he had just as many friends there as I did. It was so much fun. I got to hold several sweet babies. I saw old friends from previous conferences. I met David's new friends. We heard some interesting (and less interesting) speakers.

But oh, we were sooo tired when we finally left at 3 pm. Drove straight out to Framingham (the beginning of our arguement - David wanted to go home and sleep first, and I was stressing about picking up the kids on time; I thought he was going to go home and then I would get my car and get the kids, but instead we stayed together). Picked up Sam, then went to get Sofia. They were all at the playground down the street, so we spent a while with them. It was actually good, because David doesn't usually get to see Sofia on a playground, and I think that after all the information from the conference, it was good for him to see her in climbing action again.

Got Micah before 6pm, and then home. Some melt-downs, some dinner, and the kids went to sleep.

And then Sofia started with night terrors, and then popped a high fever.I spent most of the night taking care of her. This morning was the first time she was awake enough to actually take her temp, and it was still 101.3, so I don't know what's going on. Hopefully the Tylenol will bring it down soon.

David's at work now, and then we have the wedding this afternoon.

Here are some pictures from Micah's Siddur Ceremony:


Friday, March 20, 2009


This morning, after tossing the boys out of the car dropping off the boys at school (tuck & roll!), Sofia and I stopped at Target for some supplies. Then I let her lead me around the store for a while. We were just about to head to the cashier, when I recognized the mother of another child with DS, a little boy the same age as Sofia.

Sofia and W had met in EI playground, and although the kids were fine, it did not fare well for adults. The mom, who does not speak much English, took one look at Sofia and burst into tears. She had a very heated discussion with the classroom assistant, in the native language, but we all knew it was about comparisons.

Her child is now 4 years old also, and today was no different. "She's walking?! Oh, he's still not walking." Then proceeded a lengthy and laborious interrogation about how early did she walk and what other skills does she have already.

This is a nice lady; I like her. Her son is adorable. But he is a DIFFERENT child than Sofia. Just like every child is different.

Comparisons are tough. I'm struggling with that myself now, with the boys' reading skills (in both English and Hebrew).

In the class I'm taking now, the terminology has shifted from "disabled children" to "exceptional children". I like that. "Most kids .... EXCEPT...."

Most kids have 46 chromosomes. EXCEPT that my daughter has 47.

Most kids learn to read in first grade. EXCEPT that one son did, one son didn't.

Most kids walk between 12 and 18 months. EXCEPT that Micah was earlier, Sofia was later.

Most kids can eat most foods. EXCEPT that Micah is allergic to a whole host of items, and Sofia may have Celiac.

You get the picture. Comparisons are ok for establishing baselines, but NOT for judging. Walking early or late, or talking, or reading... these are not the full measure of a person. So as things to get upset about, they become really incredibly unimportant. It'll be nice when they can all walk and talk and read, but that doesn't mean NOW is not nice, too.

I hope that family realizes how special, unique, and wonderful their own son is. SOON!


Timely chain-mail from my cousin just arrived, including this:

May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rimon Siddur Presentation

This morning, Micah and his first grade classmates received their "real" prayerbooks, and led a very beautiful service.

The end of first grade has been the point when the MWJDS kids graduate from a sort of "training" prayerbook - each prayer, or the major portion of the prayer, written in very large Hebrew print on an individual page and kep in a loose-leaf binder - to the regular elementary school prayerbook that the "bigger" kids use. This year, the ceremony was moved up from May to March, and you could see how ready these 9 children were.

They all spoke beautifully about prayer, about learning, about their joy at becoming real participants in Jewish life. They took turns leading the various prayers. In some cases, where they had learned and enjoyed multiple tunes for a specific prayer, they did the prayer twice!

The parents, many grandparents, and a variety of community supporters (Board members, volunteers, local rabbis, and other friends) all looked on proudly as our "little" kids took the responsibility of leading the entire service.

Then each family got up, one at a time, to present the new prayerbook to our first grader. We had each composed something special for the bookplate of our child's book. This prayerbook will be theirs for years to come (Sammy sat between me and David, holding on to his own prayerbook, which we presented to him in 2006).

It was a lovely, lovely morning. I have not had a chance to sift through the photos yet; will post eventually.

Otherwise, a busy-as-usual week. Sofia is still sickish, with a nasty cough and a stuffy nose, but nothing specifically "wrong". We napped in the car for a while, and now I've transfered her to her room. When I picked her up from school on Tuesday, she walked into the kitchen, laid down on the floor and said "sleep".

I also took Sammy home from school early yesterday, since he has had a very stuffy nose all week, too. I think having some quiet time really helped him. We stopped at the craft store on the way home, and now my creative son has a new career path: jewelery designer. He made several bracelets and necklaces yesterday, and last night I dug out all my old beading gear. He also got some of those "hot loops" weaving things, and has made 2 potholders already.

Ah, I hear stirrings from Sofia's room, finally...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday night at last

I know, many people look forward to the weekend, but for me, the knowledge that the routine will come back and the kids will have structure in their lives again makes Sunday night the best.

It was a pretty good weekend. Friday after school, my neighbor came over with her 2 year old daughter; it was nice for the girls to play together, and the mamas had fun. The boys were fairly good about keeping the little ones amused and out of trouble.

I made meatballs (2/3 turkey and 1/3 beef) and pasta and sauce for Shabbos dinner; lovely time with D&E as usual. And the kids all got along, which was nice. Sam and A ran some sort of Spelling Bee.

But my sinuses started clogging up, and my head was really hurting when I went to sleep (after a somewhat disappointing episode of "Battlestar Galactica" - I don't want them to set up a movie...)

Woke up feeling yuchy, so we opted to skip shul. David of course had to go to the office for a few (5) hours. So the kids and I relaxed. Sofia was also not feeling well. She kept cuddling with me, and a few times crawled back into her bed and tried to sleep, but could not fall asleep. I let the boys play on the Nintendo a little more than usual. Around 1pm, Sofia really really needed to sleep, so I threw them all into the minivan (boys still in pajamas) and went for a drive. She snoozed a little, not as much as I'd like.

We stopped for ice cream, but the boys didn't want to get out of the car ('cause they were too interested in the stupid Nintendo). I let them stay in (small parking lot) while we got ice cream (Sam didn't want any). Sofia and I enjoyed some fresh air.

When we got home, I sent the boys out to play. Micah ended up with the "warrior crowd" across the street, but Sam came back to the house. Eventually David came home. The 4 of us (minus Micah) took a walk around the block, and then Micah rejoined us when we got home.

We ended up on our front lawn, just doing some yardwork (yes, me! yardwork!); David cleared gutters, I raked, the kids picked up massive amounts of sticks. Our neighbors (with the little girl) came over with their big dog, so the kids all had fun. Sofia has NO fear, and the boys I think are seriously considering trading each other in for a dog...

I got to go out at night, for a dinner to celebrate my friend L's upcoming wedding. She's technically already married (for the 2nd time), but they only did the civil ceremony last year, next week will be the Jewish ceremony. I'm excited - my whole family is going, because we are all good friends with them.

The dinner was fun - I met R first to do some shoe shopping (got some AWESOME clogs!), and then we were at the restaurant until nearly midnight. A fun evening.

SOOOOOO tired today. Sofia was up moaning at 5am because she has a tummy ache; poor girl really wasn't feeling well. Micah was up at 6am asking to play on the Nintendo (no, he had to wait until 7). Sam and his friend who'd slept over made LOTS of noise when they woke up (at 7, woken up by Micah of course). And my sinuses were still clogged.

Nice morning; I made pancakes for the boys, and we had a few hours to relax. Then David left to catch his flight to Dallas - he's on his way back to Mexico again.

I took the kids for a bit of shopping; got Sofia a little trike ("Fold2Go" is on sale) and we looked at bikes for Micah. Came home and took them all for a bike ride. Micah started out riding last year's bike - the 14" with no tire treads. We got to the end of the street before I could convince him that the bike needed to be retired. We went back, spruced up Sam's old bike (still too small for Micah, but better than what he was riding), and then went for a ride.

Sofia LOVES riding on the back of my bike. She gets annoyed if I stop, and then she kicks me in the lower back. Yeah. Both boys are getting to be good riders; Micah definitely needs a new bike this year. I'll take him to the real bike store tomorrow.

Came home, visited with neighbors, made dinner, got them ready for bed. Sofia put herself to bed; as soon as her pajamas were on she crawled into the crib again. Poor girl. She's still moaning occasionally. Not sure she'll be going to school tomorrow.

Played checkers with Sam (beat him!) and then started a game of chess with Micah. It was getting pretty hairy - he's a very very good player - but then he started getting stomach cramps, too. Sam went to sleep while I helped Micah. Finally he felt better, and now they are all asleep. Think it's tie for me, too...

Friday, March 13, 2009


Somehow, I am the "lovey" for Micah, Sofia and David. Sam has his Blankie.

At night, I am sandwiched between my two little wanderers, and David props up Sofia on the other side. Micah usually has a death-grip on my waist. Sofia grabs my arm, and David holds my hand.

While the claustrophobic in me is silently screaming, the mommy/wife in me loves it. But I worry about them. G-d forbid something happens, what would the effect be on them? How will Micah make it as an adult if he cannot detach from me? How does David hold his brain together when I'm not there for him?

It's a lot of pressure!

Anyway, on a lighter note, I had a nice run-in with the mom of an adult with DS yesterday. We were all at the hair salon, and I got up the nerve to ask her how old her son was (he was waiting for her). I immediately pulled out a picture of Miss Sofia, and we had a nice chat. I thanked her for doing so much of the work in her time, to make Sofia's life so much easier.

Tonight D&E will come for Shabbos dinner. I don't know if we are going to shul tomorrow - I might just send the three boys, because there's no babysitting again. And at night I'm going to a dinner for my friend L who is getting married again next week (they had their civil ceremony a year ago, now they are having the Jewish ceremony, because she finally got her get).

My babysitter is off to Jamaica for the week, and David leaves Sunday for Mexico. I wonder how the kids will behave...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Purim photos! And Toby's party

Whew - what a whirlwind few days it's been. I am SOOOO tired now!

A shot of Sofia at the pediatrician's office:

Photos from Grandma Toby's 98th birthday party:

Lilie NOT enjoying being held by Grandpa Orson:

Me with my two girls:

The Birthday Girl:

Mama & Micah:

The boys with Great-Grandma:

Sammy and Cousin Heather:

Purim Photos

Sofia enjoying the video games at the Purim Carnival on Sunday morning:

Monday morning, Sofia and I spent 5 hours at the mall, since it was so rainy /snowy/nasty out and she didn't have school because of teacher conferences again.
She checked out the rental carts:

did some rock-climbing in the playspace:

and enjoyed a bit of ice cream:

Monday night we all went to shul. I tried 6 different costumes on Sofia; this clown outfit was the only one she would tolerate:

Cowboy David:


Micah talking to the Rabbi:
(Micah was the "grey king" - he's not very hip on costumes sometimes).

After the Megillah reading, there was ice cream and dancing in the Social Hall:

Tuesday at MWJDS

Tuesday morning, we had a Megillah reading at the day school. Micah wore his new glasses (OK, they are NOT real. He thinks they are - remember the psychosomatic vision problems? I finally found a pair of frames with clear glass while I was at the mall. He loves them! And apparently they improve his vision.)

I was Madame Babushka, the famous gypsy fortune teller:

The Purim Ball was after school. I got some hair paint so Sam could paint his mohawk; I think he looks like a 70s punk rocker:

My sitter brushed out Sofia's braids and brought her to the Ball:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happy Purim

Purim, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the story in the Book of Esther (Megillat Ester). See a summary of the story here.

Tomorrow night, we will go to shul and celebrate in rowdy style. David will take the kids to the main sanctuary for the Family Service, which is generally VERY loud and may or may not include a full Hebrew reading. I'll be upstairs in the Adult Service, because I am one of the readers (Chapter 6). It's much more traditional, but still fun.

The kids (and many adults) dress in costume, and we use noise makers (to blot out Haman's name), so it's a loud and boisterous evening.

Tuesday morning, the boys have Megillah reading at school, and I have been asked to help the teachers with the Purim songs (it's traditional to sing funny parodies). Apparently, I'm some sort of "unpaid adjunct faculty" at this point...

And today was the Purim carnival - temple youth groups across the land run fund-raising carnivals to entertain the kids. I was brave/stupid enough to bring all three of my kiddos by myself. The boys are fine; Micah finds his friends, Sam finds things he likes to do. Sofia, on the other hand, is a pain in the neck to chase after. She has no patience for standing in line and waiting her turn, and she is only interested in things until something else catches her eye - usually on the opposite side of the social hall.

But I think they all had fun. Sofia really liked the bean-bag-toss and basketball-toss (although she drove the poor teenagers running these games crazy by not listening to the rules - "4 tries per ticket" means nothing to her!) Micah and his buddies lined up at the Playstation booth - I'm not sure he even saw the rest of the room (oh, that's right, I did see him in "jail" with the rabbi for a moment, and he was tossing wet sponges at some teenager, too).

David was (of course) at work all day, and he's really a mess from the stress. Too many jobs, too many clients, too many people to deal with, too much work. I know, there are so many people out there with NO work, so we should consider ourselves lucky (I do!) but he's overloaded and has no idea how to delegate. So he gets upset and sad and morose and exhausted instead.

He missed a lovely day, though. After the carnival, I took the kids to the playground at Sofia's school. Micah and Sofia had a great time; Sam wasn't feeling well, so he sat on the ground exploring the recycled tires. After the playground and a potty stop at home, we took a bit of a drive around, to get Sofia to relax. She was very tired, but never actually slept.

Oh, I guess I should back up a few days: I was really beat on Thursday, and Friday I tried to take it easy. Sofia was still sick - fever and coughing again overnight - so I did not get much sleep. She missed a whole week of school.

When I picked up the boys at school, she slept in the stroller in the hallway, which was good. After school, she had her 4 year check-up. She really wasn't feeling well, and was groggy from her nap, too. So this time (what's that, the 4th doctor visit in a week?) the doc finally dug some wax out of her ear and decided she could actually see that it was too red.

Finally, some antibiotics! (Oh, and for those keeping track, my princess is still only 30lbs, but that puts her at 75% on the DS chart).

David picked up Micah while we were at the doc, and on the way to the drugstore, I met up with E so she could take Sam for some tutoring.

We had dinner at my friend C's house - her boys are friends with mine, and she is one of my dearest friends for the past 19 years. It was a lot of fun. She has a series of drums she has made (she does clay-work), and she, Sofia and I had a grand time making a lot of noise! She also played flute, which had Sofia completely enthralled.

Saturday we went to shul, and then drove down to CT for David's grandmother's 98th birthday! Dinner at the same restaurant we go to every year. It was nice to see David's sister and cousin and their families. Kids were a little crazy. Sofia was sooo excited to see Lilie, except when Lilie was sitting in MY lap.

Got home after 11pm, and David and I stayed up too late watching "Across The Universe". GORGEOUS movie. I'm so glad we saw it. Now I have Beatles songs stuck in my head.

So today's time-change really messed me up, and Sofia would NOT let me sleep this morning. I should probably go to sleep now. I just spent the evening prepping for my neighbor's Bar Mitzvah (it's in June, but I'm completely running everything, so I want to make sure I have it all; I met with the mom tonight to go over details.

Will post pics from the party when I get around to downloading them...

Happy Purim!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm just tired

Tired about a lot of things.

Tired because Sofia woke up at 5am and had me touring the house with her.

Tired because Sam and Micah will not stop fighting.

Tired because I had a long talk with the school psychologist, and then we brought Micah in, and then added Sam in, and I don't think we got anywhere - and all the time we were meeting, I was trying to keep Sofia from escaping.

Tired because Passover is only a few weeks away, and I don't know how I'm going to get everything done, or even when I should start.

Tired because Sofia is still not feeling great, but is feisty enough to be really distracting.

Tired because I've gotten two messages about things I may or may not have done perfectly.

Tired because I forgot about Sofia's school fundraiser (Yankee Candles) and the last day is tomorrow.

Tired because my house is always cold.

Tired because I forgot to buy a sympathy card for our friend S, whose mom passed away Sunday.

Tired because I'm just crabby and whiny.

And tired because when I tried to nap, Sofia pried my eyelids open again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Another rough night

She popped a fever around 11:00 (again, right after I had fallen asleep!). Nebs, Ibuprophen, and Mama for a while, until she decided that our bed was better than hers.

Not taking her to school again, and she'll miss another Yom Tov program this afternoon. Seeing pediatrician at 1:45.

So we are home now, watching TV and wrecking the house. Yesterday when I finally woke up, I found her in the boys' room - with the door closed - dismembering some of their stuff. When I took a shower, she rummaged through my nighttable drawer.

A few moments ago, she was asking for/demanding a little ceramic figurine from my dresser. I told her no; she yelled; I moved the item higher...and she tried to climb up onto the dresser! So I loudly and sternly said "No - Bad Girl!"

This melts her completely. She went silent, and walked out of the room. I found her in the hallway, flopped over in one of those incredible poses only the very very limber can achieve. She doesn't really cry, just gets very upset.

I picked her up and cuddled until she calmed down. Now she is watching Sesame Street, but still hugging me - which means I am typing with one hand.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Midnight at the ER

There was no school Monday due to the snow, and I let them indulge in TV and Nintendo all day. I worked a bit on the school yearbook and surfed a bit.

I had just fallen asleep around 11:30 pm when David woke me in a panic - Sofia was choking. She had such a stuffy nose, but sore throat so she couldn't swallow.

I nebulized her with albuterol. She went to sleep. I went to sleep. Then David woke me again - she was having even more troubl.

I nebbed her with just plain saline, and she fell asleep on my lap. But she sounded awful. I called pediatrician at 12:30; she said go to ER.

Thankfully David was home so I could just go. Sofia woke up when I grabbed my coat and let out a loud "yeah -Go!".

They took us in quickly (once I found the bell to ring for a nurse!). They checked her out. She was not keen on the ID bracelet and kept saying "off".. Eventually she fell asleep in my arms.

They decided to do a strep test. I held her while two nurses swabbed her. As soon as they finished, she sat up and said "LEAVE" very emphatically.

Test was negative, and her lungs were clear, so we went back home. Just a cold. She is asleep now, snoring like a drunken sailor. I will do saline nebs as needed.
She was fine during the day. We skipped school in favor of sleep ( for me), but then I did take her to the yoga class. She lived it. Only tried to escape once, and after I walked her back in, she waved me off with "bye".

E picked her up after yoga, and I took the boys to Tae kwan do. Kids asleep now, I am so tired I'm blogging on my phone.
Good night!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I love my Bloggy Makeover!!!

A humongous (or gi-normous, as the boys say) Thank You to Rebecca, my T21 friend, who is an absolute genius at Blog design. Somehow she managed to capture exactly what I wanted for this blog!

rebecca creates

That's about the only thing exciting that's happened all weekend. I ran my second-to-last Shabbat dinner at shul on Friday. Took home a ton of leftovers. We'll be eating turkey until Passover.

Friday at school, however, Sam came down with a fever, so he wasn't feeling great. I had to take him with me to shul, because I couldn't get a sitter for a sick kid (I tried!), and David didn't show up until after 7pm (2 hours in traffic from a client site in Everett).

The dinner ran smoothly, but I think my family is definitely outgrowing it. This particular dinner has always been more popular with the preschool crowd. The kids had fun, but would have had more fun with just guests at home.

Watched Battlestar Galactica (with Sofia still wide awake). For some reason, this week's episode won't leave my brain.

Saturday morning, I took Sam to the pediatrician (instead of all of us going to shul). Yup, strep. Sorry I dragged him to dinner, but glad he stayed away from most people.

As soon as Sam and I got home from the drugstore, David went off to work. I was home with the three kids. We had to clean the house, because I was having a party at night. Micah and Sofia were both cranky, and Sammy still felt lousy, so there was a lot of television watching (so much for my electronics-free Shabbat afternoon). I only managed a 10 minute nap before Sofia pried my eyes open (literally!).

Got Sofia to bed and the boys settled in for a movie just in time for my party - the parents from Micah's class. Actually, only half the parents, since not everyone could make it. But we had a blast. It was a fun evening, eating (dips and snacks; I made guacamole and a mozzarella & tomato salad) and drinking (mostly either wine of Jack Daniels). And lots of LAUGHING.

Today, another lazy one. I had debated taking Micah and Sofia to the pediatrician, but in the morning they seemed fine. David went back in to the office again (he's really swamped with work). I was exhausted, but again Sofia kept prying my eyes open. More television watching by all.

By mid-afternoon, however, I realized I should probably get strep tests for Micah and Sofia and for myself, too. So off we went to the CVS clinic (I left Sammy home alone watching TV; at 9.5, I think he can handle it if we are not too far and we know which neighbors are home, at least during the day).

Micah has an ear infection, and Sofia actually looked clear (well, too much wax to see in the ears, but otherwise ok). My quick-test was negative, but she'll send it in. So now Micah is also on antibiotics. Sofia and I just have to fend for ourselves.

Made dinner; David came home as we were cleaning up. The kids watched Madagascar 2, and now they are all asleep. And school is canceled again. Actually, Framingham is canceled; Ashland always waits until the last possible second, but even if the weather is just questionable, preschool gets canceled anyway. So home again tomorrow. I wish my class-work would get posted before 3pm tomorrow, but it won't!

Really not much else to report. It was a quiet week, not much out of the ordinary.

Just got the text message, Ashland is officially canceled tomorrow.

Enjoy the rest, everyone, and stay warm.