Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Annikan Rothkopf

That's what I wanted to call Micah today. He got angry about something (honestly, I forget what) this morning, and he had that same brooding, glaring under the eyebrows look as the just pre-Vader Annikan has in "Episode 2" (which the boys watched this morning, too).

He demanded to stay in the car while I took Sofia and Sam into Comcast to exchange yet another faulty box. HUGE line, so it took a while. When we got back to the car, Micah had blood all over his mouth - he had wiggled his loose tooth so much! But he was fine. (And yes, the car was warm and locked).

Had to race through BJs with all three which is not the easiest task. Then home to throw the perishables into the fridge, then back up to Rt. 9 to meet up with F and her two boys (ok, one of her sons is also "Sammy" - and her name is the same as mine but with one letter different...).

I drove out to Worcester, where we got hopelessly lost trying to find the Higgins Armory Museum. Finally flagged down a Security Guard at the Glendale Mall, and that wonderful man said "Follow Me" and drove all the way over!

The kids all had fun in the museum, although Sofia was not thrilled with some of it. She liked the helmets, and learned how to say both "helmet" and "armor". F's boys made shields while I took my brood to the gift shop.

Incredibly windy when we got out. I actually had to jump in front of Sofia to block the wind from blowing her away!

Watching the Kennedy Center Honors now - Mel Brooks tribute HA!!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Language Explosion

Miss Sofia has had a language explosion recently. She's talking sooooo much, and in front of sooo many people!

For Hanukah, she got a tea party set, and yesterday morning, she "invited" (i.e. demanded) David and I into her room for a tea party. Well, she told us such a story! All about how she lives in a yellow house, with Sam, while we live with Micah in "Green" (which is what she usually calls our home). She apparently drives a little red car, while I have my big red car and David has "blue". We had a Tea Party, and she talked about giving gifts and lighting candles. She's been watching the Signing Times "Happy Birthday" video recently...

My parents came up yesterday afternoon, bearing Hanukah presents for the kids (they got snowed out last weekend). They brought the boys three Webkinz each, and Miss Sofia got, among other things, a DVD of Snow White. She spent most of the afternoon shouting "Snow WHITE!"

Today, I took her to our first real Princess movie in a theater, "Princess and the Frog". It was adorable, and I think she really liked it. I got smart, and found my favorite college student, home on break, to take the boys to "Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Squeakuel" so I did not have to sit through that! Plus the boys were very excited to see B, who is like a big brother to them.

We had a nice long weekend. Thursday, Sofia did not have school and the boys got out at 11:30, so we went to lunch with a couple of other families, then relaxed at home. In the evening, my friend R and her hubby came for dinner, and we had a terrific time laughing with them.

Friday we went to another friends' home, for late lunch and dinner, and hanging out and playing Wii. The other mom and I both passed out on the couches mid-afternoon (while the kids were all playing Wii right next to us), and Sofia passed out later in the evening:


Saturday, we slept late (so much for shul again!), and in the afternoon another family of friends came over for hanging out and dinner. Sam also read almost an entire book that day! It was the 5th and last in the Lightening Thief series, and he really wanted to finish it right away. He "reads" using Bookshare, a program he qualified for with his IEP. We download the book to his computer, and the program reads it out loud but highlights each word so he can follow along. It's been a really great help for him to access the same material as his classmates.

Sunday, another sleeping late day, and my parents' visit. Plus, mid afternoon, my mother and I went to a bridal shower (for the fiancee of the older brother of today's sitter). It was a lovely event, with many of the women from my shul, a whole range of ages from 30 to 85. It's a wonderful community.

So today, after the morning movie, we came home, David met us home for lunch, and he took Sam back to the office for the afternoon. My friend came over with her two kids. The little girls played really well for a while, and Micah and the boy found a few things in common, but eventually Micah got "bored" and belligerent, and the other girl got too wound up. So they just left. But it was fun while it lasted.

Tomorrow we are heading into Worcester with another school family, probably to the Higgins Armory Museum, a big private collection of armor from all over the world. Wednesday, Sam has another play date and Sofia has gymnastics. Playdate for me and Micah on Thursday, and then two families coming here Thursday evening for New Years Eve.

Some more photos from my iPhone archive:

Thanksgiving weekend, my niece Lilie and cousin Ian playing with the Dora dressing table:
Lilie and Ian

Sofia is into makin' forts:

"makin' a fort"

Sofia with the big stuffed dog from my sister:

My three kids lighting the Chanukah candles:

Hanukah 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Vacation is about to begin

Sofia is home with me, and the boys get out at 11:30 this morning. Taking them, and 5 other girls and an infant and two mommy friends out to lunch. Then R and her hubby coming for dinner tonight. David and Sam were supposed to go see Avatar at 5pm, but it's sold out. They will go next week instead.

Tomorrow, going to hang out at N's house. Saturday, friends to our house. Sunday, if weather is ok, my parents are coming up; if not, they will come Monday instead. And I totally forgot I have a bridal shower Sunday afternoon - will probably take my mother with me.

Then 3 days of mostly no plans. Ugh! Two families coming for New years Eve. Ok, I can make it through the week, right?

Trying to work on my thesis. I get a little depressed reading some of the religious laws regarding what people with various disabilities can or cannot do. There are distinctions for physical vs. mental disabilities, which makes sense. I feel like I have soooo much reading still to do, and I'm starting to think I have no idea what to write about, even though I already submitted my proposal. Ugh.

Sofia is talking so much more now. Yesterday at her gymnastics class, there were only 2 other girls, and I really loved watching the three of them play together. The other two kept calling Sofia to play with them. At one point, Sofia and K were in the ball pit, taking turns burying each other, without any adult assistance. I was so proud of her!

Micah cleaned out his junk drawer last night, and found some teeth the tooth fairy had not collected. He asked that the tooth fairy please leave extra money under his pillow, and was disappointed when there was no money this morning. I explained that the tooth fairy does not double-pay, and although she may not have collected the teeth, her records show that she has paid in full. He was not amused.

Sam and I watched a PBS special last night about the Helvetica typeface. TOTALLY design-geeky, but we were both fascinated.

Ok, I have to go plan some meals...

Best wishes for a happy holiday to everyone celebrating tonight and tomorrow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our Winter Holiday Card 2009

Winter Holiday Card 2009


Mellow is good. Mellow allows us to relax and enjoy our home once in a while.

Wednesday was back to busy, with school, an appointment in the morning, then Sofia had Yom Tov party at Temple Beth Am, and then off to "Monkey Gym" (her gymnastics class at My Gym), then rounds of therapy for the boys. But at least we mellowed out in the evening.

Thursday I finally had my hair cut while Sofia was in school. Picked the kids up, but got a migraine, so I fell asleep in a chair holding Sofia, both with out coats still on, as soon as we got home at 4pm, and slept until 5:30. Couldn't see well enough to drive to Newton, so I did not go to my own class. But it was nice, since I still had the babysitter. I got to polish a silver mezzuzah that I would never have noticed if I hadn't had the 'free' time, and David and I had a lovely tea party with our daughter while A was reading to the boys.

Friday was busy as usual. David had to leave at 6:30 - which would have been ok, except somehow his alarm clock got pushed ahead three hours and he was ready to leave at 3:30 instead. But he did manage to sleep some more, fully dressed.

Anyway, with him gone so early, I had to do the whole driving experience, which on Friday means:
- drive Micah to the day school
- return to Ashland to get Sam to the Mindess by 8:30
- wait 20 minutes
- drop Sofia at preschool
- race back to Mindess to get Sam
- return to the day school

I had a quick meeting with the principal regarding the February Shabbaton (Shabbat together), which will be at my synagogue, so I have to get the families organized for meals.

Then I went shopping at BJs. I am enjoying having my own membership card!

Got back in time to pick up Sofia, put away groceries, then back to day school to get the boys. Sam had tutoring after school (postponed from Thursday), but it was too cold to play outside, so Micah and Sofia and I just waited in the car.

Friday night our friends S&R and their son and one of their daughters came for a nice Shabbos dinner. Haven't seen them in a while, good to reconnect.

Saturday, we eventually made it to shul, which was nice. I haven't been in a while, because of travel and sick kids. Sam lead the Ashrei all by himself, and did a great job. I was so proud of him!

My parents were supposed to come up, but they canceled because of the expected snow. So my mother was miffed when the snow didn't actually arrive until midnight. But we had a nice afternoon, just lazing around the house.

Sunday, of course, was very snowy. David plowed, the kids sledded (our front lawn is a VERY steep long hill), and I got the garage cleaned out enough to finally get the minivan back inside! Never made it last winter, and the doors have an annoying habit of freezing shut in the mornings.

Today, I was soooo glad to get them all back to school, because I had a massage! LOVELY. Bella Sante in Wellesley. I had a gift card, that David had gotten at last year's Gala auction. Took me long enough to use it! Nice place. Great massage (80 minute deep tissue), and tremendous shower - I just wanted to stay there forever.

Now I'm home with La Principessa, but we have to leave in a little while to get the boys. Cleaning ladies are coming today; normally they would come on Friday but it's some sort of holiday this week... ;)

I had some profound thoughts about my kids that I wanted to share, but just cannot remember them now. Sofia has been talking sooo much, and Micah just finished reading the first Harry Potter book and is thrilled to start the second (I got them a boxed set - at the auction - for Hanukah). Poor Sam is still not ready to read all that, but he's getting there.

Stay warm, everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Strep strep and sinuses

That's my kids. After being up with Sofia three nights in a row, with a continuous fever and drippy nose, I finally took her to the pediatrician yesterday morning. Yup, strep. Quick-test didn't even take 5 minutes.

So meds for her. Monday was still rough, since she still had a fever, wouldn't eat or drink, and complained of a tummy ache and that her mouth hurt. But we got a good nap in (together) before picking up the boys.

This morning, Micah was coughing like crazy and complaining of a "spicy" feeling in his throat. We took Sam (tired and still stuffy-nosed) to school, ran some errands until the peds office opened, got an appointment for 10:15. When I'd dropped off Sam, his teacher was outside, and had mentioned that he had been really droopy yesterday, so I picked him up at 10 and took them all to the appointment.

Mellow mellow kids. Sam was practically asleep on my shoulder, Sofia lounged on my lap, and Micah sat somewhat quietly reading a book. The nurse said "yup, they MUST be sick - you do NOT have mellow children!"

So we do quick-tests for both boys, and both tests are somehow negative! But when the doc finally came in (she spends plenty of time with each patient, which I really love, but it means she was already running an hour late!), she took a look.

When she looked at Micah's throat, she actually let out a yelp! His throat looked awful.

Sam's throat looked ok, but the sinuses were still a mess.

So meds for both of them (and of course each child is on something different!), and we all came home to rest.

But I still had a babysitter scheduled, so when she arrived, I took off for Holy Cross to try to get some files I REALLY REALLY need for my masters project. This time I was successful (last time, I'd downloaded everything to the wrong drive!). Got about 90 articles. Now I just have to read them...

Tomorrow, all my medicated children are going back to school, hopefully feeling much much better. Whew!

Hanukah has meanwhile been mellow but fun. The kids have enjoyed their gifts. I got the boys the three prequel Star Wars DVDs on Saturday night, and tonight, Micah got "magic" cards (something like Yugioh) and Sam got "The Handbook of Immaturity Part 2" (like he needs a book for that!). Yesterday, I gave Sofia the tea-set, and she couldn't stop playing with it today! She is so cute, pouring "tea" and serving cakes. Ah, I finally have a real girl!

So Happy Hanukah eveyrone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seriously, Two Full Weeks?

Ok, I'm sorry for the long silence on my blog. It's been a bit insane here for the past few weeks. So I'll try to summarize...

Vacation Day
The Monday after Thanksgiving, none of my kids had school; Professional Development Day for both schools. So we got to sleep late one more day, and then I took them all to the movies, to see "The Fabulous Mr. Fox." My opinion of the movie: it's psychotic. Really odd. But I think the boys enjoyed it (although they said it was "awkward"). Sofia hated it, so we took several walks in the hallway mid-movie, which did nothing for my sense of plot continuity.

After the movie, I took them all to the mall, where I got to see personalities in action. We stopped in to the play space so Sofia could stretch her legs. The play space at the mall is set up so there is only one exit, which means if I sit bear the front, I can see Sofia if she tries to leave. Poor Sam did not agree. He was very upset that I did not follow her throughout the space, so he took that task on himself. He was really stressed. So we left.

The boys kindly bought their sister a Build-a-Bear, although by the time we got it all done, she was completely melting down. So much for shopping with my kids.

I finished my paper! Teacher said he enjoyed it. Whew.

Most of last week was spent prepping for the MWJDS Winter Lights Gala. I had a ton of typing to do, for Auction bid sheets and tent cards and receipts. But I did get it all done.

The Gala was a smashing success. We raised over $40,000 in the Auction (including Live Auction stuff), and the Gala overall raised about $130,000 for the school! Yeah!

Whimsical Wednesday

In the middle of Gala prep, I had to change my "hat" on Wednesday last week to lead the Whimsical Wednesday preschool program. It went well, which was good.


But on Friday, with last-minute prep in a frenzy, Sofia decided to stage an Elopement. I was in the school office, talking to the development director. Sofia walked through the door into the other side of the main office. I was not concerned; there are so many "usual" places she goes. I finished my 30 second conversation, and went to look for her.

And could not find her.

I searched all her usual haunts, and then the principal and some teachers and staff started helping search every room.


So the principal (who has a grown son with DS) and I ran out the school wing door (the kindergarten teacher said she had seen Sofia in the school hallway heading to the door). Hamenahelet (the principal) went around back, and I took off to the walking path.

I managed to get a glimpse of Miss Pink&Purple just as she rounded the corner at the bottom of the hill. All the leaves on the path had slowed her down, fortunately, although they also slowed me down. And when I finally got closer to her, she started laughing and running faster!

I finally caught her, smacked her bottom, and let her know what a Bad Girl Move that had been. The big problem with Sofia is that she gets upset being yelled at, so I'm not sure how much of the content of WHY I was mad got through.

My friend DB came running down after us, so he carried her back up the hill; she clutched him like crazy. Back in the office, I sat on the floor with my laptop on my lap, holding her hand TIGHT! She was offered a chance to go to the Shabbat program with DB; she opted to stay with angry Mama instead.

So now she wears her ID tag whenever we go anywhere. Sigh. We looked at some of the electronic tracking devices, but I'm not so impressed with any of them. Opinions?


At some point in the past few weeks, on the ride to school, Sam read a joke from a book, and the punch line was "I'm gonna Kill whoever drank my cherry Kool-Aid."

I must not have been thinking clearly, because I felt compelled to explain the double-entendre about the Jonestown massacre. Which of course led to a whole lot of questions. I had to pull over and look things up for Sam, because he had soooo many different questions.

Micah, however, only had one real question:

Where did they get enough cups for all those people?

Ah, Micah. Pondering the cost-effectiveness of mass murder...

Family Fun

Anyway, after the Elopement event, we had to drive down to CT. We had Shabbos dinner with my parents, and slept over there, and on Saturday, we all drove down to NYC for a surprise party for mom's cousin's wife.

Well, it was a lovely party, she was totally surprised, the food was yummy. the magician hired to entertain the kids was great.


I sat down to talk to my cousin, and was immediately overwhelmed by a tirade against organized religion.

Then my mother felt she had to defend me as "not being a fanatic" by pointing out that it was Saturday afternoon and I was still attending the party even though it was Shabbos, because I wasn't "one of them".

Several other cousins had a really really hard time with the fact that I don't eat shellfish and would not taste the steak. "Oh, the Kosher thing, huh?"

Gee Whiz, people! I get less grief from non-Jews about keeping Kosher than I do from relatives!

And to top it all off, my father my quiet, shy father, got rip-roaring drunk. Which of course pissed off my mom and my sister (and I admit, me, too). He wobbled all the way back to the car (they rode with us, fortunately!), and fell asleep shortly after we started driving.

All in all, I was a lot happier spending time with Sofia than with any grownups (oh, and David was annoyed at me that day, too, which was just the icing on the cake).

We got snow this week, only a few days after the temperature had been in the 60s. Sofia's school was canceled, but the boys still had school. It's been ver cold, in the 20s, ever since.

And now Miss Sofia has the flu. Fever started Friday morning. I was up a lot with her last night, as the temp climbed higher. Right now, she's doing ok; a little warm, but she did eat and she's more active. David took the boys to the flu clinic (I'll have to reschedule Sofia) and then to shul.

Whew! I think I'm caught up!