Thursday, April 30, 2009

Names and Memories

I started a seminar tonight. It's a sort of book discussion about "The Blessing of a Skinned Knee", by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D., but specifically for parents of children with Special Needs.

The Exercise for tonight was as follows:

Thing about your child. How did you select your child's name. Who is your child named after? What would you like your child to know about the person they were named after? What are your child's strengths? What would you like the pserson they were named after to know about your child?

(Brief overview: In Jewish tradition - for those from Eastern Europe - children are named in memory ["after"] deceased relatives. For those from the Mediterranean areas, they are named after living relatives. In both cases, this is done to honor the elder, and hopefully to carry on specific appreciated traits. The custom that my family follows is to use the first letter/sound from the elder's name, but not necessarily the exact same name.)

I had always liked the name Sofia, and I knew that the chances were "good" that I would have to name someone with an "S". My maternal grandmother, Sarah, died when I was in my late 20s.

When I was pregnant with Samuel, my sister was pregnant with the twins. I begged her not to use the name Sofia, although she was free to use the "S" for another name (it is ok to have more than one person named after you). So one of my neices is Julia Sarah.

Samuel was NOT named after Grandma Sarah; he was named after David's grandpa Saul. So when I finally knew I was going ot have my girl, I could use "Sofia".

I chose all my children's names very carefully. You get a Hebrew name and a corresponding Hebrew name - can correspond by letter or by meaning.

Samuel (Shmuel) means "G-d has dedicated. Sam's middle name is Louis (in memory of David's brother Larry). Louis is from the Old Frech, meaning "refuge of the people." In Hebrew his middle name is "Leyb" - well, actually, that's Yiddish, for "lion", but it switches to the Hebrew "Lev" which means "heart".

Micah - "Who is like G-d?", Gabriel (Gavriel) - "G-d is my strength"

Sofia ended up with lots of names. Sofia means "wisdom" in Greek", and her Hebrew name is Shulamit, which means peace,peaceful." Her middle name, after David's other grandpa, Paul, is Phoebe (from the Greek "bright, shining one"), and in Hebrew it's Pelia ("wonder, miracle").

She also has a third name. When I was pregnant with Micah, my other grandma, Doris, had a friend whose family followed the Mediterranean custom and named after a living relative. Thus, I received a phone call: "Listen. I want you to do me a favor. If it's a girl, even if I'm still alive, I want you to name her after me."

Micah wasn't a girl, but by the time Sofia arrived, I realized I needed to honor my grandma's wishes. Sofia Phoebe Daniella ("G-d is my judge") is the full name we bestowed on La Principessa. (Of course, it wasn't good enough for Grandma. "Well, what's the Jewish name" [an old-fashioned way of asking the Hebrew or Yiddish name]? "Daniella". "Well, that's not my name!" Ok, Grandma, remember I only took the first letter...)

So my little girl has Wisdom, Peace, Bright Shining One, Wonder, Miracle, G-d is my Judge. Whew. Nothing like a little name pressure!

Anyway, for tonight's exercise, we went around the room and shared our answers. It was interesting that when we got to "What would you like your child to know about the person they were named after", most named Character Traits. "He was a good person." "He was Kind." "She was very Determined."

For me, it was all about the senses. I wish Sofia could know about Grandma Sarah the following details:

- How her skin felt. (Smooth as silk)
- How she sounded (a very strong Russian/Polish/Yiddish accent)
- The taste of her food (Taiglach Mit Beidlach - Soup with Beans)
- The smell of her home.

Certainly Sofia's strengths are her Personality and her Determination. A friend who had been in EI with us was also at the class, and she kept chiming in with how amazing Sofia is.

But when it came to the last question, "What would you like the person they were named after to know about your child?", it wasn't about how amazing she is. It is how wonderful she is. How valuable she is to me. How it doesn't matter if she does things, or if she doesn't. How important she is to my life, just by being her. How my mother's initial reaction ot the amnio news was SO wrong. How worthwhile my daughter is, just for existing in my life.


Before I went to that seminar tonight, the boys had a Poetry Reading at Barnes & Noble. Each child in the school wrote a poem. Micah - of course - wrote a TWO PAGE poem! And they made the mistake of handing him the microphone...


(He read it very well, actually. But it was seemingly endless.)

I had to leave before Sam's turn, but David said he did well. Poetry Reading night is always stressful, because Sam wants to buy a book that's waaaaay to difficult, and then he spends half an hour with a teacher trying to find one that is more reasonable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Just a few reflections on the day...

* I know full well that my mother's issues are just that - HER issues. But it is so exhausting to deal with them.

* I think I still live in a bit of a fairytale bubble when it comes to Sofia. I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so much positive energy, but I forget that this is not the norm. That she is still considered "other" by most of the world. Even by members of my family. And that, to some degree, she really IS a bit "other".

I remember thinking, when I first got our amnio results, that the extra chromosome actually makes her something totally different, totally other.

I don't know where that puts me. She's still my daughter, she's still amazing, and I'm going to continue to push for her to be able to do everything. But I have to remember that not everyone "gets" that.

* I was terribly saddened to hear today about the passing of Su H. A former member of my shul, Su and her family moved to Germany last summer for her husband's work. The oldest of their three boys was Sam's friend.

Su suffered from mental illness, and as a result, she passed away yesterday (no, I don't want to repeat the whole story. Suffice it to say it is upsetting).

I feel dreadful for those three boys.

I feel so sad for her husband, losing his love and having to pick up the shattered pieces of their family.

I weep for some of my friends who were really close to her. Not only have they lost a very dear friend, but they were separated by an ocean for the past so many months, feeling helpless to do anything for her.

But I feel incredibly proud of my Samuel. I told him briefly this evening, because it is likely that he will hear about it in shul this weekend. He recognized right away that his friend would need extra support. Sam's empathy just amazed me. He was thoughtful. He asked questions and made comments that were almost totally related to people's feelings.

When Sammy first started talking, his big question was "Why?". He must have asked "Why" a thousand times a day.

When Micah finally started talking, his question was "How?". I was always struck by the difference between the two questions, and what they said about the difference between the two little personalities.

I don't have much more to say now. Just random thoughts.

Grandparents Day

Ah, yes, Grandparents (and Special Friends) Day at the day school. A wonderful way to show off the school to those who care about our children. Some low-key (I hope!) please for donations, a little bragging by the kids. Should be lovely, right?

Except they scheduled it for 8:15 a.m., which meant that any grandparent who lived further away than the grandchildren from the school had to SLEEP OVER.

Which meant that grandparents (ok, mostly grandmothers) across the Commonwealth had another chance to criticize their children.


I has so pleased that it was in the 90s yesterday, because I figured that for once, my mother would not be too cold in my house. Within 5 minutes of arrival, she complained, "Why is it so hot in here?!"

After having to explain (again) why the boys both have therapists, I had to hear rants about how Sam's social circle is too small for someone so sensitive, and how we are LYING to Micah about his glasses (even though we've been very careful never to tell him he NEEDS them!).

Ok, all normal stuff. For her.

But what got me was her questions about Sofia. I was telling her how well Sofia had done at camp last week, and how in November, we (parents, teachers) will be evaluating her to see if she'll really be ready for kindergarten in 2010. "Well, how will you know? How can they tell with kids like her?" (And yes, that had to be repeated a few times, for full effect).

Later, I was showing her pictures from Conny Wenk's website. She nodded politely, and was thrilled to see the two young teen girls. "See, they are both thin. That's good."

This morning was a constant list of comments about Micah's hair, Sam's lack of a sweater (she finally made him put one on, 15 minutes before they left the house), and Sofia's appetite. At one point she was holding Sofia and trying to coax a kiss. I said "Sofia, Neshika L'Savta" (which is Hebrew for "Kiss to Grandma")". She got VERY angry - because she doesn't speak Hebrew and doesn't want to hear us speaking it. (Can I consider that payback for when they spoke Yiddish when I was a kid?)

Ok, enough ranting. I'm a wee bit stressed. And now I have to run some errands and go over to the school to help sell yearbook boosters...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A little slide show of the weekend

(I was inspired by some of Conny Wenk's beautiful photos.

Cutting Some Slack

I just finished reading "The Year My Son and I Were Born" by "my editor", Kathryn Lynard Soper. Gorgeous book (as I expected it to be!). Raw, honest, emotional. It was tough to read, especially the first half, because my eyes kept filling with tears, and I wanted to hug Kathryn at every page turn.

The book brings me to today's TOPIC. Cutting Some Slack. It's a gorgeous day out, and we have nothing major planned. We will probably go to Kite Day (run by the local Autism Alliance), but there's no hurry. Micah might have a playdate. Sam might get new wheels for my old roller-blades - he's just discovered that he really likes to blade (courtesy of my neighbor letting him try on her blades).

My professors, two very important people in the world of Jewish Special Education, are running a conference today and tomorrow (Teaching Hebrew to People with with Special Needs). And they have not had time to look at or comment on any of our Research Projects. They Cut themselves some Slack.

Sam still doesn't know his math-facts to an appropriate level (goal is times tables 1 through 12 at 2 seconds per problem). We quiz him and quiz him. And then we Cut Him Some Slack.

When I was reading Kathryn's book, I kept wanting to tell her "Cut Yourself Some Slack!". And I was glad to read that she finally did.

When I was working at my most horrible jobs (a biotech comany, and that start-up theater company), my bosses did not believe in Cutting Slack. Any mistake, no matter how trivial, was noted and commented on and remembered for years. The pain of NO SLACK made both of those positions unbearable.

Being a mom means I must be able to Cut Slack on a daily basis.

My house looks like a whirlwind hit. Cut me some Slack.

Laundry piles up continually - it's amazing how many items of clothing the boys go through in a day. Cut me some slack.

Micah feels that he NEEDS his fake glasses. I Cut him some Slack (and let him wear them).

Sofia thinks that I am her personal servant. I push her and push her to do things independently. And frequently she does. But sometimes I Cut her some Slack, and let her have some coddling. (Ok, that's also cutting myself some Slack, and we both get the cuddle!).

David works non-stop at his many jobs. Sometimes he freaks out. I Cut him some Slack, and let him relax when possible.

Cutting Slack is a good way to feel more human. To appreciate all the little pieces, the pieces that might get missed in the quest for Perfection. To relax.

Today is a really good day to Cut Some Slack. Let's go fly a kite...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vacation Camp

Sofia is at her first day of vacation camp at her brothers' school today. I didn't realize what a wreck I would be. First there was the lunchbox-filling. Since preschool is only mornings, I usually only have to send a small snack. This is a full day, so I needed lunch for her, as well. And since she can't have bread, and I didn't have any rice noodles made, I was at a bit of a loss. And Sam had a melt-down, and Sofia herself was crabby, and I never got coffee.

So I got the boys to school on time, and went in to meet the camp directors (I'd told them I would be in early today; rest of the week camp doesn't start until 9am). Leader is a SpEd teacher from a nearby town, and she'd worked in Ashland last year. I reviewed Sofia's signs and gave her a brief overview.

Then I reluctantly left. Sofia did try to leave with me, but her assistant (a teen we know from shul) brought her back.

I had coffee with D, and a yearbook meeting. I called the school at 10am, and was told that she was ok, but not really participating. I called again at 11am. This time, the principal got on the phone to reassure me. Sofia was petting a tarantula at that moment, which apparently was very fun (they had a Snakes & Lizards visit). HaMenahelet (the principal) also told me "She's fine. Go home, and take a nap. We know how to reach you if we need you. She's FINE." (I love HaMenahelet!)

So I went home. I didn't nap; I spent the whole time working on the yearbook. Anyone want to buy a booster?

I got back to the school at 2:30, and at 2:45 I finally went in (camp ended at 3pm). They were doing great. Not only did Sofia have a blast, but my friend's son B apparently couldn't stop playing with her hair the whole afternoon.

I picked up Sofia, along with her assistant, and my friend D's younger daughter. We went back thru the rain into the minivan, which was waiting in the pick-up line.

Then I realized that the car wouldn't start. I managed to jump the battery (yes, I have my own cables AND I know how to use them!) about 30 seconds before the kids got out of school. Whew.

Dropped off R, met D in a parking lot to give her the girls, and came home. David and I are going out tonight, so my sitter is here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

From my DS chat board:

Robin Steele from the Adoption Awareness Program in Down Syndrome Association of Cincinnati stated they have TWELVE birth families currently trying to make an adoption plan for their pre-born babies.

Robin said this is a good problem but she is hoping to have several potential adoptive families to present as possibilities.

Are you interested in adopting a baby boy or girl with Down syndrome? Do you have friends who might be interested?

You can contact Robin Steele at

Friday, April 17, 2009

Why I love Passover

The holiday is over, but I for one am sorry to see it end for this year. Here are some of my Favorite Things About Passover:

1. The obvious "if the Pesach story hadn't happened, we would still be slaves in Mitzrayim." Aside from being thankful for NOT being a slave in Mitzrayim (although sometimes I am a bit of a slave here at home), I appreciate the opportunity each year to appreciate freedom. What does it mean to be free? What rights and responsibilities come with freedom?

2. Limited Passover dishes. Because we always have company for the holiday (seders, and at minimum Laura and Lilie for a few days), I have full serving sets for both meat and dairy dishes. But I only have a few pots and pans to use. I enjoy not having to rumamge through the mountains of junk in each cabinet to find what I need.

3. Corning Ware. When David and I were married, we got several nice sets of CorningWare baking dishes. We only use them at Passover. Because they are technically glass, I can use them for either meat or dairy. There are a variety of sizes in the collection, so I can fit just about anything. They go in the oven, the microwave, the freezer, or the dishwasher.

4. My wedding china, which we only use for seders. (As lovely as it is, I can't imagine having to be that careful about not dropping or breaking things all year!).

5. The food! Brisket. Homemade chopped liver (it was YUMMY). Chicken soup. hardboiled eggs. Matzo brei. Fresh-squeezed orange juice. Those oddly tasty cake mixes. Not really anything that couldn't be made at other times of the year, but certainly things that don't get made very often.

6. Dried fruit. I love dates, figs, apricots, prunes and raisins, and at Passover I can indulge (good for the digestion!).

7. A clean house. It's a little topsy-turvy. We have seders in the living room. There are piles of non-Passover kitchen towels in the upstairs hallway. Toys have been moved to the basement to make room. There are boxes in the family room. But everything gets cleaned, before and after, and it's a chance to take inventory.

8. I just really didn't miss bread. Honest. I'm considering joining Sofia on the wheat-free diet now, although I might continue with spelt matzo (if I can afford it!).

9. Making a big dinner for friends and family. I LOVE having seders here. I really really do. Each person who attends brings their own particular personality. No matter how insane it gets, it's still fun. And having help in the kitchen (my sitter worked for us both nights, plating foods and washing dishes) made a HUGE difference in the stress level!

10. Spring is here. It took most of the holiday, but yesterday was finally a lovely playground-worthy day.

The only things I DON'T like (or at least things I miss):

1. Espresso. During Passover, I make Turkish coffee in the coffee press. It's not the same. Tasty, but not the same.

2. Crumbs. There were matzo crumbs EVERYWHERE!

3. Beans. We don't eat legumes during Passover, and I didn't realize how much edamame Sofia and I usually eat until we couldn't have any.

4. SUSHI. We also don't eat rice on the holiday. I guess sashimi would have been ok, but tough to find a kosher place around here.

5. Potato starch. Something has to hold all those Passover dishes together, but does it have to do such damage to the delicate tummies in my house?

Not bad, really.


So the boys were on vacation all week, but Sofia did have school (she's off next week). Sam spent the week with my parents (we went down for the weekend), which meant that Micah and I had 1:1 time every morning. We went to the mall on Monday (he got a bunny at Build-a-Bear), Chuckie Cheese on Wednesday (I got some homework done), shopping or errands each day. Tuesday afternoon I took both of them to see "Monsters vs. Aliens". Sofia was terrified until she finally fell asleep in my lap. Wednesday afternoon, Micah went with some friends to Monster MiniGolf, and Sofia managed to sit nicely in her stroller while my friend L and I had pedicures. Yesterday I took them to a playground for several hours.

Photos of the week:

Lilie reading the dictionary:

Attempts to get the 5 Ferraro grandkids (those are my nieces, Hannah & Julia):

The "triplets" annual picture (the twins are only 6 weeks older than Sam):

Visiting my in-laws' luggage & trophy store on Sunday, Sofia crawled into the window:

The playground yesterday:

Sofia was VERY determined to figure this thing out:

Sofia enjoys one last Passover treat, homemade strawberry ices:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Do I Mind?

This is one of those questions that pops up everyone once in a while. It occurs to me mostly when I get to see Sofia interact with her age-peers. And when I see "The Difference".

Do I mind that my daughter is developing her abilities slower than her peers? Do I mind that she doesn't necessarily do everything that my friends' kids can do at her age? And how much is because she is not in the synagogue nursery school, just in the public school?

So certainly this question came to mind at our second seder, when the other two girls (one just turned 5, and one will be 4 next month) were able to sing Passover songs that they'd learned in school. They were able to listen to the seder and know what was coming next. They played together, while Sofia still played on her own or with the littler or bigger kids.

Do I mind?


Last weekend, when we did Havdalah, the brief ceremony marking the end of Shabbat, Sofia knew exactly what to do. She ran to get her kippah, jockeyed for position with Micah, took a sip from the cup of wine, and held her hands out to the flame BEFORE I'd started the blessing!

At synagogue, a few weeks ago, she escaped from me long enough to find the back passage behind the bimah, and ended up sitting ON the bimah, in one of the (very comfy) chairs, reading a prayer book. When it is time for the kids to go up for the clsing prayers, she knows the drill. She knows when it is time to shove her hands into the crowd with the other kids for the washing. She knows when we sing, when we eat.

Do I mind that, although she looks JUST like Micah, she also looks like a lot of little girls who also have 47 chromosomes?

No. She's gorgeous. At the MDSC conference, I was struck by the elfin beauty of many of the young women. It is different. But it's also lovely.

Do I mind that figuring out her school placement is always going to be a chore for me?

Well, maybe a little, but I'm glad that I am armed with much knowledge on the topic, and plenty of resources to turn to for guidance.

Do I mind watching "Madagascar" every single day?


Friday, April 10, 2009

Passover 2009

WHEW! We made it safely through the waters of the two seders, with only a few casualties.

Wednesday was a complete cooking fest. I almost forgot that Sofia had school; I was on the phone with my friend at 8:30 when she mentioned it...only had 15 minutes to feed and dress Sofia! I also had two extra kids, Sam's friend and friend's sister, for most of the day, while their mom was at work.

All food was completed in time, and Laura & Lilie arrived at 2:45 and my in-laws arrived around 4pm. The two other families both arrived a little after 6, so we got down to business.

Unfortunately, one of the other kids had a complete meltdown fairly early in the evening, which meant he and his dad had to leave (dad spent the rest of the evening in the car with sleeping son - I brought a plate of food out to him). The other kids were also a bit restless. And since David and his parents were sitting kitty-corner to the rest of the table, it was a bit tough to have a coherent conversation. But we made it through the seder ok. I have a home-made, child-friendly Haggadah, and this year, Sam's class prepared discussion questions, so he led some of those.

Food was ok, but it was a rushed evening, since the kids were restless. Micah spent the entire evening "technically" in the same room as us, but he stayed at the bottom of the staircase, drawing pictures, instead of participating in the seder.

Thank heavens I'd hired my sitter, E, to be the kitchen staff. That's gotta be the best idea I've ever had - instead of having to both run the seder AND the kitchen, I could hand off kitchen duties completely: plating, serving, and cleaning. Whew!

Thursday day was more relaxed, since most of the food was cooked already. Sofia did have school, and since Laura & Lilie were here, I left Micah home with them and took Sammy to run some errands and have 1:1 time. We stopped at the craft store to get him more jewelery making items, and he spent most of the rest of the day making bracelets, necklaces, and ankle bracelets for all of us. Here's a picture of Lilie's bracelet:

I also took Sofia for a nap-drive. She didn't fall asleep until I was about to pull back into the driveway, so I drove a little more, and then I also took a nap with her in the car. Boys went outside to play for a while with our neighbor.

Guests all arrived around 6:20, and it was time to begin again. Everything was better the second night, food-wise. Nothing like an extra hour of cooking to make the brisket absolutely melt in your mouth! I'd made a second chicken soup, and more stuffing, and a chocolate mousse flourless cake. All YUM.

Kids were more participatory, except Micah and his buddy B, who spent much of the time comparing Pokemon cards and playing Bakugan. And getting yelled at by irate parents.

Sam and the two older girls were ok for the first half of the seder, but after dinner, it was tougher to hold their attention . I think the fact that David gave Sam real wine instead of grape juice didn't help, either.

The little girls were all adorable. While Lilie and Sofia and O wandered the house, the two other nursery school-aged ladies had a great time showing off all their knowledge. My haggadah is really geared to their age, with songs they know, so that was nice for them.

So here are the pictures. Micah spent some time in the afternoon capturing images (and lots and lots of useless video).

Sofia doing Micah's hair:

Lilie and a drawing board:

Me at the computer, getting the mousse recipie:

Some Micah self-portraits (notice his oh-so-fashionable glasses...):

Sofia and Lilie having a pre-seder snack:

A gorgeous shot Micah took:


The seder table and crew:

Sofia with "darkness" glasses:

Three little ladies:

Sofia got to spend about 40 minutes cuddling with "Baba":

Lilie decided that my plastic flamingo coasters made excellent teething rings:


Sunday, April 5, 2009


It's the Sunday before Passover, and (most of) you know what that means... trying my hardest to avoid doing all the mountains of work that need to be done!

David took Micah to the office and then for a bike ride, so they are gone. I have Sam and Sofia. We watched X-Men 3( Sam has now seen all 3 in the series), and Madagascar 2 (which Sofia is now watching again). And we took a bike ride.

But apparently I must have picked up my bike from its' tune-up before they were done with it, because the wheel still rubs the brake. So I'll have to bring it back tomorrow.

I made 7 gefilte fish loaves; they are cooling on the one Pesadich counter in the kitchen. Freezer is done, and first dishwasher load. Many more loads to run. Probably will do the briskets tomorrow. And maybe start on some cookies. I have a few recipes, but I am not sure exactly which ones I'll make.

Friday night, my friend J and her family came over. Her girls are the same ages as the boys, and the kids have been friends literally since birth. We have some adorable pictures of Sam and her oldest when they were babies, and toddlers, etc.

Dinner was so much fun. I do think the 3 bottles of red wine helped (but ohhhh, it didn't feel so good the next morning!), but we are all really good friends, and we were just so silly. It was a nice evening.

Went to shul; fortunately there was babysitting, so I got a break from Sofia for a few hours. Lunch was nice - it was my friend's son's bar mitzvah, and the "in-house" caterer (who is also a friend) did a great job. And the kids were all having fun, and David and I sat and talked with our own friends for a long time. Lots of laughing. I had two 8 year old girls follow Sofia around, which was good for some laughs (since they kept taking turns asking for assistance). We didn't leave until after 2pm!

Rested in the afternoon - I love my Shabbos nap - and then had leftovers for dinner. After Havdalah, we got the kids to sleep, and watched 3 episodes of Farscape (we have seasons 2, 3, and 4 on DVDm and we are working our way through the whole series again).

Tonight is probably more leftovers, although I think I need to order a pizza just so I have something to give the boys for lunch tomorrow!

Friday, April 3, 2009


David and I got to go out like real grown-ups tonight. We went to the Huntington Theatre in Boston, to see "To Men of Florence", about Galileo and Pope Urban. I can't remember the last time I was at the theater - definitely many many years. And yet I STILL knew someone in the cast (worked with him on a show years ago). And several people in the audience (which is only weird in that I live at least 45 minutes away; it took an hour and a half to get there during rush hour this evening).

Boston's a small community, no matter which "community" you belong to. The theater community, the Jewish community, now the DS community. And since I have a really really abnormally good memory for people's names, I can usually find some connection no matter where I am. Which is kind of cool. And kind of odd.

The play was interesting. David and I are both Galileo "fans", but I did spend much of the play really angry about how much death and destruction was caused by the organized Church for so many centuries. It was interesting how they portrayed the Pope - he started as a "kindred spirit" for Galileo, and as his madness overcame him, you could see "absolute power corrupts absolutely".

For the record, I'm with Galileo. The more I learn about the vast universe, the more I find evidence of G-d. Science does not detract from faith, it expands it (for me). But I could see how the organized human powers would be threatened by a thinking, reasoning approach.

On the drive in, I got to listen to the last Podcast for Battlestar Galactica. The podcasts were done by the Executive Producer, and I had listened to every one of them over the years, always after I had already seen the episode. It was interesting to hear what the writers and producers were actually aiming for at each point in the show.

For those of you who were not BG fans, it was more than just a SciFi show. It was a drama about relationships, and it was also a very vibrant theology piece. So it was interesting to juxtapose some of the theological and philosophical thoughts from BG with tonights play.

In other news, I got to work with my study partner on our class project, which is exploring the pros and cons of having a child with a cognitive disability attend a Jewish day school. Hmmm, who could I be thinking of? Really, our project is supposed to be "generic", although obviously it has very definite real-world application for me. So we decided that I will have to argue the "con" side, in hopes that this will better prepare me to fight those arguments should they arise in real life.

I'm really enjoying taking this SpEd class, and delving more and more into the field. Maybe I'll be able to turn this into some sort of career one day.

Did I mention that I'm working on the Yearbook for the day school again? Once again we are selling "Boosters" - you can place a single-line (80 character) booster for only $9, 1/8 page for $18, 1/4 page for $36, 1/2 page for $72 and a full page for $120. Let me know if you want to purchase a Booster!

We're trying to get Sofia to put on her shoes and socks by herself more often. She CAN do it, I've seen her do it. But she wants MOMMY to do it for her. And she stomps her little feet and pouts and yells if I won't do it. So now I'm using rewards - and punishments - to entice her to be more self-reliant. Today, she was begging for a cookie, but I wouldn't give her one unless she put on her shoes and socks. And when she still refused, she was put in her car seat barefoot. She continued to ask for a cookie for a few more minutes, but then realized that I was actually serious (so then she fell asleep).

Yesterday morning she was also put in the car barefoot, but when we got to the boys' school, another friend was playing on the playground, and Sofia was willing to do the necessary work in order to get to play. Of course, she put the shoes on the opposite feet, and argued when I tried to tell her otherwise. Then when she stood up, she kept shaking out her feet, trying to figure out just what was wrong. It was pretty funny.

I got my bike back from its tune-up, but the front wheel is still crooked. I have to try to figure out how to adjust it, since the guys at this particular store aren't all that good. I bought the bike last year, along with a 3 year extended service plan, so the tune-ups are free, but that doesn't seem like such a great deal if the service is lousy. I might have to take it to the Real bike store to get it fixed, which will be annoying because then I'll have to pay them for the same thing I already am supposed to be getting for free. Sigh.

But I'm looking forward to riding again. Now that both boys have nice bikes (I got Micah a new one last weekend), and Sofia LOVES to ride in her seat on my bike, I'm hoping we can do more family day-trips. But that will also mean getting a better bike rack, since my old rack only holds 3 bikes, not 4.

Passover cleaning and cooking on the schedule for this weekend. Cleaning ladies come tomorrow, and then I can get serious. David already put all the Passover dishes and things into the garage, so I have easier access (instead of the basement). As long as the garage is too stuffed to put the cars in, I might as well use it as my "staging area" instead of my living room.

It's waaay after midnight already. I keep getting bad headaches because of the lousy rainy weather we've had this week, so at intermission I bought a can of Coke. Which means too much caffeine too late at night. But it helped the headache.