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 Butcher 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.