Sunday, May 31, 2009

End of the weekend

Once again, a busy week but with not much going on. I was sick all week; I still have a "productive" cough, but it's much much better than it was. Poor Micah is having a tough time, too - I think he has a bit of what I had, because he's also coughing a lot.

Can't remember much of the week. I was glad to get all three off to school on Tuesday after the long weekend, and I went straight for a massage - ahhhhh. She spent over an hour just on my back, and we needed more time to get all the knots out. Ouch! Tuesday afternoon was the usual Tae Kwan Do, etc., and I spent all my free time finishing up the yearbook.

Wednesday was a bit of a whirlrwind, especially since I didn't feel good. I did get to rest while Sofia was in school, but once I picked her up, the day was non-stop. Came home for a quick lunch, then off to Temple Beth Am for the last Yom Tov preschool program. Unfortunately, we missed her favorite song because we were late. After the craft project, I ended up playing gym teacher for 9 preschoolers, organizing a game of Giant Balloon Ball. It was a good workout, but a bit tough with the breathing issues.

Raced from there to the day school to meet with the IEP coordinator. Great news - the Curriculum Coordinator is willing to be Sam's tutor over the summer, and will go meet him at camp! YEAH! I guess she dropped some subtle hints at our pre-IEP meeting, but I don't usually "get" subtle! Whew. That's a huge relief - she's good, she's trained in the reading program (Wilson), and it'll give Sam some continuity.

When I had arrived at school, Sofia had already fallen asleep in the car, so I parked in the staff lot where I could watch her from the window. And Micah wasn't feeling well, so he spent the last hour of school in the nurse's office. I was late getting out of the meeting, so Sam was on the playground being watched by my friend K.

We let the kids play for a while, then K and his wife and I took all 6 (they have 3 between them) to the mall for dinner. I got to take Sofia and Micah and Micah's best friend E. It was hysterically funny to watch the two 7 year old boys rambling through the mall. I had to stop at the bank machine, and they sat on the bench singing "Sisu Et Yerushalayim" at the top of their lungs!

We had dinner at the mall together, then back to school for the Science Fair. Oh, I'm so glad that's over. It was a long, but nice, evening.

Thursday was just as busy. Dropped off the boys, then raced back to drop off Sofia, then raced into Newton to meet with my grad school advisor and one of my professors from this semester. My advisor is leaving the school, and this professor will be one of my Capstone Project advisors. I only need one more regular course, and then my project, which will be about the Biblical and Rabbinic texts related to teaching people with learning differences.

It was a good meeting, and my new advisor loaded me up with a lot of materials, which was great. Raced back to pick up Sofia, got home for a fast lunch, and then the rabbi from the shul where I do High Holidays came over. She wanted us to start working now, because she'll be away all summer in Israel. We got a lot done, and feel more comfortable that the last few weeks before the holidays will be more manageable now. Plus, it was really nice to see her!

Friday was a holiday - Shavuot. Sam had his first session back with the public school psychologist, so David took him to that, and then the little ones and I picked him up. We stopped at Honeydew for breakfast before heading to shul.

My friend from my grad school program joined us at shul, and it was nice to sit with her. My friend D also came, and I was able to hand Sofia over to her daughter and Sam for the children's service, so I could stay in the main sanctuary.

There was some drama, involving a harried usher and a lot of people making noise, and it was a loooong service, but otherwise nice. Nice lunch, too.

Relaxed at home, then had dinner at D&E's house, which is always fun. After dinner, we watched "Night at the Museum" (the first one).

Saturday, I was all set for all of us to go to shul, when I remembered that Sofia had her reading program and then I had to go to Temple Emanuel in Newton because we were honoring a friend from choir. Raced to reading class - we were 30 minutes late, and Sofia just marched right into the room, not stopping for her name tag.

I didn't get to stay in the shul service much. That shul is ENORMOUS (I think our whole building could fit inside the sanctuary there), and packed, and Sofia was hungry and tired, so we did a lot of exploring. Had a quick lunch, and then we all sang some songs in tribute to Dan, who was celebrating his 20th year as Ritual Director there. IT was nice to see people, but Sofia was tired, and we got out quick.

Napped at home - I was exhausted - and in the evening we had more fun. We met up with K&L and the kids at the Drive In Movies! Saw "Night at the Museum Part 2" (hysterical). The kids all had fun - we were there about an hour and a half early, so they played ball and ate and laughed. L&K left after the first show, so we got in our car, turned it around (we'd parked backwards so the kids could hang out in the vans), and watched "X:Men Origins - Wolverine". Micah and Sofia were asleep, but Sam stayed awake for the whole movie (and didn't stop talking!). It was good if you like XMen (which we do), because it answered a lot of questions, but wasn't much on its' own.

Today, David took off early to clean up his rental apartments and then visit his grandma in CT. He's still not home yet. So I had all three to myself. All day. They were all crabby in the morning (tired), so I took them out for breakfast. Tantrums from all three, until the food arrived. That helped.

Came home, and Micah actually napped a bit. Me, too. Then we went back out to an antique car show and safety fair, which was fun. Then we went a little shopping; Sofia slept in the stroller.

Came home, relaxed, and had dinner next door with the neighbors. That was nice. Then I cleaned out the boys' clothing drawers and closet, then they all showered or bathed, and finally they are all asleep.

Friday wehn we got home from shul, I managed to get a decent picture of the three of them together for the yearbook:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I'm sick again. With another "lingering" illness. This time, it's the virus that makes you cough so much your ribs hurt. Slight ear infection, but not enough for antibiotic. Just sudafed, mucinex, saline, cepacol drops and albuterol inhaler. And a whole lot of tissues.

Of course, this stops me not in the slightest.

Thursday I kept Micah home from school because the pollen count was making his allergies sooo bad. We basically stayed indoors all day, and he was fine. I took the two of them to get haircuts before we picked up Sam:
We stayed at the playground for an hour, and poor Micah was a wreck. Shower immediately at home.

Friday, we had our neighbors over for Shabbos dinner, and that was a lot of fun. They have a little girl, almost 3 years old, who is friends with Sofia. The kids all got really rowdy with David, although then Sofia got very upset. She kept trying to make them stop and they wouldn't listen to her. I had to take her outside for a while to calm down.

Saturday we went to shul, but that's when I started feeling yuchy. I spent most of my time in the playroom with Sofia (no babysitting).

In the afternoon, some friends from NY came to visit, S and his new wife. I was glad they agreed just to come over instead of trying to find some place to go (they were in town for a family event). It was nice, because we just hung out and the kids could play around us.

Sunday I really felt yuchy again. David went to work for a while, then we all drove in to Boston to meet my sister and her family at the Museum of Science. We had a nice time (although David had a little hissy fit and wouldn't come into the museum with us - he and Sofia stayed in the free areas).

After a few hours at the museum, we went on a Duck Tour. These are fun - they are old World War 2 multipurpose vehicles, and they tour the city and then go into the Charles River. In the river, the kids get a chance to drive:



Sofia slept on my lap clutching me the whole time, and just woke up for the "boat" part:

After the tour, we walked to Fanueil Hall. Here are the boys with my nieces:

We had dinner and then walked around and got some dessert. The kids all posed for pictures:

And then Sofia led them in a rousing dance marathon (the restaurant we were sitting outside of was playing some 80s disco music!):

It was a lot of fun!

Today, I went to the CVS clinic in the morning to see the nurse. Not much to be done, but I stocked up on meds.

Took Sam to a birthday party, and then took Micah and Sofia to the pool club for the first visit of the summer. It's going to be a very long summer, chasing her around! The water was still very cold, so we didn't stay long.

Picked up Sam, drove until Sofia fell asleep, and then the boys watched movies while I took a nap. I have to go wake her up now. We should be going across the street for a barbeque; hopefully David will come home from work soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New treat from Conny Wenk

I could stare at her photos all day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sam's IEP Meeting

Man, I'm an informed, involved parent. The process doesn't scare me at all.

So why was I such a wreck after a 2 hour IEP meeting? I totally lost it with the kids tonight; I was yelling at Sofia and the boys were trying to calm me down!

Of course it was a looooong day, before and after the meeting.

1. Drove the boys to school
2. Drove Sofia back to her school (which is around the corner from home)
3. Drove back to the boys' school, to...
4. Help lead TOddler program at the day school.
5. Drive back to pick up Sofia.
6. Go home for a quick lunch.
7. Drive back to Framingham to drop her at a friend's house for a playdate.
8. Drive home again.
9. 15 minutes in the house (polished my nails)
10. Drive to the school for the IEP meeting.
11. IEP meeting
12. Get out at 3:09. Drive to Framingham YMCA to pick up Sofia (making sure that a friend will pick up the boys).
13. Drive to day school for the boys.
14. Forget all about Sam's therapy appointment until said therapist calls to remind me.
15. Drive to therapist's new office to drop off Sam.
16. Take Micah and Sofia to Friendly's for some ice cream, which I decide will suffice for dinner.
17. Back to pick up Sam.
18. Drive home.
19. Fight with Sofia about bath and pajamas.
20. Try to get all the new items into the yearbook.
21. Make bagel pizzas for the boys, eat leftover chicken for me.
22. Continue fighting with Sofia.
23. Eventually get all the kids to sleep.
24. Work on yearbook until...
25. H arrives to work on Yearbook with me. 2 hours.

Now she's gone, David's home, and I'm beat.

Anyway, back to the IEP. The four stressful things:
- The IEP Coordinator from Ashland reminded us that what is on the Recommended Accommodations list should be what he actually gets. Turns out the recommendation was for full-time in class assistant, which he did not have this year. A little tense, until we realized we really don't want full-time anyway because then he can't achieve independence.

- Summer plans. Sam's reading specialist really wants him in a language-rich academic program for the summer. I really want him to go back to the arts camp that he's been going to, just for 4 weeks, but they happen to overlap with 3 of the 5 weeks of Ashland summer school. So we tossed around ideas. Public can only recommend EITHER a tutor 2 times per week for 5 weeks OR camp for 5 weeks (5 days per week). Ultimately, we agreed that he needed the arts camp because of the psych issues (oh, good news, we're reinstating the psych services!). And the summer school director was at the meeting, and said she knows some teachers who are Wilson-certified (his reading program) who tutor on the side. But it was a long and difficult discussion.

- Choices. The staff from MWJDS all had to leave before we were completely finished, although we got through all the academic pieces with them, just had the last couple of detailes to finish. So I had a chance to be with just the Ashland people - the IEP Coordinator, the Psychologist, and the Summer School director. (Oh, and E, who was there as Sam's tutor. David got stuck on a conference call and never made it to the meeting). So I asked them:

Three years ago, when we did Sam's first IEP, the Ashland team at the time had told me that although they usually recommend pulling a kid with this kind of learning disability out of private school and into public, for Sam they would not recommend moving him. They said the day school was doing a great job of working with him, and he was so strongly identified with the Judaic content, and so comfortable with the small school, that it would be bad to pull him out.

So I wanted to know if they thought that was still the case. Is the day school doing enough for him, and is he in the right place?

It was a relief to hear their answer. The Psychologist piped up quickly - the sheer size of the public school would be horrible for Sam. Just on the walk from the front door to her office each week, she could sense how much stress he was under from the crowds.

The other professionals also agreed that, while they didn't have a crystal ball that could tell them how he would do in public school instead, they thought the day school was doing as well as they could, and the psych issues and Sam's strong connection to the day school tip the scale in favor of the day school.

- The last stressful thing was a particular goal. Basically, our goal for next year the end of fifth grade, is to have Sam reading at a Wilson level 28 - which is the end of SECOND grade! Sigh. I know he has trouble, but it's so painful to hear it in such concrete terms. Now, we all agreed that if we could get him further, great, but on the IEP they didn't want to put an unrealistic goal, and Level 28 would actually be a really significant jump from where he is now (Level 18).

That's one of those times when my child's disability surprises me with a little slap on the face. It's quick, and it's not really all that important in the grand scheme of things, but it's there on the paper.

Of course, that also bolsters my sense that Sam needs to go to Arts camp, because he's gonna need a career where he doesn't have to read or write!

Ok. I'm done. And really really tired!

Monday, May 18, 2009

She's SOOO My Daughter!

Well, yesterday was nice. The concert at the day school was Shira Klein & Shirlala. It was a really sweet concert, aimed at the younger kids but with great peppy and fun music. But I was even more thrilled to see that she was accompanied by Michelle Citrin, one of my favorite young artists!

I had to "work" the day school information table, so I hovered near the door during the concert, while David sat up front with Sofia (and the boys wandered). It was so much fun to watch Sofia from afar. She loves music, and I realized that she and I were swaying exactly the same way during the music.

After the concert, I got to chat with Michelle, which was nice, and the kids played on the playground. Then we had some lunch (Big Fresh, which is a nice place except that Micah's allergic to most of the food).

Then we ended up going to a birthday party at the Natick Organic Community Farm. The birthday boy is in kindergarten, and mom is a good friend of mine. She had intended to invite the first grade boys, but never actually got around to it, so she called me at noon!

It was fun. We thought Sofia would fall asleep before we got there; she actually didn't plop her head down until I was pulling into the parking lot. The boys had fun; Micah is very popular with the kindergarten boys (which is good, because those two classes will be combined next year for 1st/2nd grade!), and Sam is a "buddy" to one of the kids (the 4th grade paired with kindergarten this year for Buddies).

It was fun, and we all wore ourselves out. After cake, Sofia found a broom, and she swept for about 15 minutes:

When we got home, David and I collapsed for over an hour; I felt like I'd been drugged, I was soooo tired. I left David home with the kids for bedtime, while I paid a shiva call. He let the boys stay up a little later, so this morning I actually had to wake both of them up! (Although Micah claims he was awake...). Sofia, too, was tired, and came to cuddle with us and wouldn't get out of bed.

Cold and tired today. Sofia has her eye exam this afternoon; should be interesting. I'm not really anticipating a problem yet. Tomorrow she has audiology, too.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sorry for no post all week!

Yes, I've been silent on the blog all week. So sorry. It's just been busy but fairly unexciting all week.

A week ago Saturday, went to shul in the morning. David and Sam were upstairs for the Family Service (aka Religious School Service, but day school families are allowed to attend, too). Micah sat in the hallway reading a book all morning. At one point, a gentleman who volunteers at school took a break from ushering to sit and listen to Micah read aloud. I got to go into services with Sofia (since there was no babysitting). We made it through for a while, but both the incoming and outgoing presidents chased her off the bimah at various points, which still has me angry. After services, we stayed for lunch and chatting with friends for a while.

Nothing much the rest of the day. I know we stayed home and relaxed, studied Torah readings a bit for A's upcoming Bar Mitzvah (Sammy and David and I all will read!), and relaxed.

Sunday, Mother's Day, I was "allowed" to sleep late, and then I got breakfast in bed (accompanied by Sofia sitting right in front of me begging for food). Then David and Sam went to the office for a few hours, so I spent time on the yearbook while the little ones played or watched TV. In the evening, our favorite Sushi & Tepanyaki restaurant.

Sofia had a dentist appointment first thing Monday morning, which was ok except I have to figure out how to floss her teeth more - UGH!). Nothing much int he afternoon. I really had a lot of yearbook work to do.

Tuesday was fun. Micah's class had a field trip to a textile recycling plant near Worcester, where one of the moms works. It was waaaay cooool. Fascinating process and planning. For every 1000 lb of cloth in the machine, there is only 45lb of waste dust, and even that is starting to be used by some companies. Tremendous learning experience for the kids.

Since E picked Sofia up from school, I found myself with 2 free hours between field trip and picking up the boys. Just walked around, finally got a wedding gift for L&K. Afternoon was the usual Tuesday extravaganza of piano and Tae Kwan Do. Sam went to the early class, so we could get to the Lag B'Omer picnic at school. That was fun. Weather turned out nice, and the grounds at "the property" (10 acres where we will be building a permanent home for the school) are gorgeous. I'm a little sorry Sofia and E missed it, but we decided it would be too crazy for her there.

Wednesday morning after drop-off my yearboook co-editor came over to go through the book with me. It's almost done! After lunch, we had Sam's Team meeting at school, in prep for this week's IEP meeting with the public school. Poor boy. He's really losing it to stress, but fortunately he's holding it together fairly well during school. But he needs waaay more tutoring and help. It'll be interesting this week.

Sofia puttered around the room during the meeting, and was so tired that she fell asleep as soon as we got int the car. We did a lot of playground time this week, too, both before and after school. In the mornings, there are 4 younger siblings (including Sofia) who play on the playground until preschool starts. It's fun to watch them, because they really all play together nicely now.

Thursday, boring. Our neighbor the plumber came by in the morning to change the anode tube on the water heater. The boys had their dentist appointments after school. At night, however, was the fun part. David and I went to see the Star Trek movie! Yeah!!! It was excellent. I want to see it again.

Friday was prep for my last ECEC dinner at shul, so I borrowed a friend's BJs card and did my errands, chatted with the shul custodian, and tried to take it easy. Micah's class did a presentation about the textile recycling at the Shabbat celebration. Playground for an hour.

Dinner was ok. David and Sam ended up going to Sam's friend's dance recital, so it was just me and the little ones. Micah was very very helpful and sweet and well-behaved (partly because none of his friends were there). Sofia was tired but bouncy. It was an ok evening. Nothing special.

Yesterday I was soooo tired in the morning, I went back to bed for an hour after feeding Sofia. So no shul. We had to go drop used bikes off in Sherborn at a bike drive (, so then we had breakfast in Natick and spent a few hours on the Commons because there was a festival going on. It was fun. A local yoga place had a little session for the kids, and both Micah and Sofia did great! I think I will sign Micah up for a yoga class - he had it in preschool, and really enjoys it. Sofia's class will come back in the fall.

Oh, and I got word that Sofia made it into the Adaptive PE class at the local Gymnastics place for the summer. Yeah! only 7 sessions, Wednesday afternoons, but I think it'll be a great start. I'm not worried about her physically doing the stuff, but she definitely needs the smaller class for attention. Plus I get to go in with her.

Today we are headed over to the day school for a concert (Shira Klein); I have to "work" the MWJDS info table. This afternoon, not sure. There's a Jewish history exhibit in Cambridge, a fair at a Natick public school, some museums in Worcester, or a soggy walk at the Audobon Society. Then tonight, a shiva call (with girlfriends, so maybe some refreshments afterwards).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Another Busy Busy Week

It's tough to even find a moment to blog, because life is such a whirlwind right now. And when I'm not driving somewhere, it seems as if I'm working on the MWJDS Yearbook non-stop. May is crunch-time for me, since I need to have it all done and off to the printer on June 1. So my right arm is completely cramped up from tiny mouse movements, and my eyes hurt from staring at the monitor. But it's looking cool!

Monday night, the kinds convinced me to take them out for dinner, since David was running late and I was not in the mood to cook. So after playground time and a little home time, we went to a restaurant around the corner, low-key and friendly. I love the Sole Francaise. Sofia was a bit loud, and the oys were fighting, but quietly.

Tuesday morning, Micah's class had a Parent/Student Learning Program. We talked about the mitzvah of protecting the earth, and the kids presented their Worm Cycle studies. It was nice, but Micah can get a bit demanding and argumentative (really?!), so it was a little frustrating. Plus Sofia kept finding a cup filled with little blue game chips, and spreading them all over the place.

Dropped her at school late, then worked on the yearbook for a few hours. Picked her up at noon, and went straight to a lecture by Aviva Gottleib Zornberg, an amazing author who comes to this area every year. E met me there to take Sofia home (whew!), so I was able to sit and listen. The topic was "Moses and Job" - apparently there's a theory that Moses wrote the book of Job, as he was very interested in the topic of problems.

At one point, she was talking about another book about depression, and said that kids who, as very young children, cannot really separate from that "perfect" relationship with Mommy are the ones who go on to get depressed. When she described it, it sounded so much like Micah!

After the lecture, I had to run home to get Micah's piano books. Then back to school to get the boys. Wwhen they got into the car, Micah was clutching his eye and crying. The teacher said there had been an incident with another child - he had "spit" in her face and she had "slapped" him (on further investigation, he had raspberried her, but the result for her was the same, and she had pushed him, but it certainly seemed like a slap to Mr. Excessive.) Ok. It turned out to be my friend's kid, and I figured if Micah spit at someone, then he earned a response.

Since it was nasty weather and we didn't have the usual extra child, I took them to Papa Gino's for a snack before Micah's piano lesson. Sam and I sat in the car during the lesson; he did homework and I took a short nap. When Micah came out after the lesson, his teacher said he wouldn't talk the whole time. He insisted he had had only lasted that 30 minutes...

Tae Kwan Do, and then drop the boys home with David (who had arrived home early for a change!). Then I raced out to have dinner with my girlfriends. Nice.

Wednesday, more yearbook. Poor Sofia is a neglected child after school - I feed her, and I let her watch lots of TV (mostly "Madagascar 2" these days). Yearbook Yearbook Yearbook.

Picked up the boys - of course Sofia fell asleep, so she didn't get to play on the playground. After play, we went to the library, where Micah took out 10 books and I had to force Sam to read 2 pages of his book. Sigh. Oh, and Sofia went poop on the potty, with a lot of yelling.

Raced home, made dinner, and then we had to split up. David took Sam back to Newton for shiva, and I took Micah and Sofia to a different shiva in Holliston (my friend's mother). Micah brought a book and was very well behaved. Sofia explored the house a lot (it's a cool house), but was at least quiet during the service. (Of course, she was exploring the contents of a desk drawer... that'll keep her busy...).

The following is an email from someone else who attended the shiva, to the principal of the boys' school the next day:

This evening B and I attended a shiva minyan and when it came time to count the Omer there was much discussion around which day it was. 20-25 adults went back and forth until a small voice interrupted and announced the correct number. I kvelled when I realized it was a MWJDS student, Micah Rothkopf. You can be sure we let everyone know where he attends school. Michael Goldstein [our development director] would be proud of our champion moment.

It was really cool!

So late night there. Of course Sofia stayed up to watch Lost with us. David and Sam got home around 9:15.

Thursday was more Yearbook, some playground time, a it of housecleaning, a tutoring session with my Bar Mitzvah student, and dinner. Then I went to class, to talk about "The Blessings of a Skinned Knee" again.

Today, more Yearbook. Now I have to go get Sofia, then off to the boys' school. Since it's nice out, I'm sure we'll play for a while. Sam has tutoring this afternoon, and then we have friends coming for Shabbos dinner. Fortunately not much planned for the weekend, although David and Sam and I must start learning our Torah readings for A's Bar Mitzvah, and both boys have to finish/do their science projects.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Emotionally Extensive Weekend


Friday morning, I took the boys to school, got some coffee with my friend, and then drove in to Brookline for the funeral of Su Hochberger. It was incredibly sad. Our Rabbi did a nice job with the speech, and our Cantor was a wreck but sang beautifully. When the youngest son burst into tears and climbed into his dad's lap, everyone else just lost it. Sigh.

After the service, I walked over to the Butcherie with a few friends. Can't go to Brookline mid-week without stopping at the kosher butcher and the Israel bookstore. Costly, but can't get most of this stuff out by us.

As I started driving back home, I got a call from the preschool - my sitter had not yet shown up to collect Sofia. Called E, her class ran late. She apologized (and paid the fine at the school!).

Ran home with the groceries, then back out to get the boys. At school, DB and I spoke with the principal about offering to have the Hochberger boys come to MWJDS for the rest of the year; she was agreeable.

After the Shabbat program, I took my own boys (Sofia was still home with E) and the W boys home. First we had a stop at the Orthodontist. When I walked in with 4 boys in full "BOY" mode, I was the recipient of much pity from the other adults in the waiting room. Micah and E were is high-gear, practically rolling over each other to out-prank.

They continued in high gear on the way home, so much so that I had to pull over at one point and make Micah get out of the car. He, of course, took the opportunity to pee in the woods. While Micah and his friend were clowing around and throwing things (which was why I pulled over), Sam was freaking out, and his friend (who is generally as high-strung as Sam) kept saying "Calm down Sam. Take a deep breath. It'll be ok."

Finally got them all home, but I would not allow the 7 year olds to come in the house. "But it's raining out." (barely). "Tough. Find something to do."

So they played a bit in the backyard. Meanwhile, Sam and A went in to play on the Nintendo. Soon, however, it was time for Sam to go to the library with his tutor (our sitter) for his tutoring session. He had a complete fit, and I had to carry him out and stuff him into the car, while he screamed and cried.

This had a good side: Micah and his friend stared in terror as I stuffed Sam into the car, and then said, VERY politely, "May we go into the house now?"

The boys' mom picked them up, and I started making dinner. My friend N and her kids showed up around 5:30, and both husbands around 6:30.

I had a bit of a melt-down by dinner-time - all the kids were loud, David was in a mood, and my one glass of red wine really went to my head. It had been too long a day. (But it was nice to see N - she'd been in Michigan for her brother's funeral and shiva for most of April).

I did go to sleep early, but had to wake up early on Saturday. Sofia and I had to go to Weston, to the Learning Program pilot group. It was really interesting, especially since I have spent all this time learning how to teach phonics to Sam. Apparently, kids with Down syndrome don't NEED to learn phonics, they just learn by site! The program materials were simple and made sense - and I do know families who have used the materials - it works!

After the program ended, we met the guys at shul. Su's husband was there to say Kaddish, and DB and I spoke to him after about the day school offer. He was very appreciative (although I think the plan is to go back to Germany to finish the school year and pack up their stuff).

Came home, with an extra boy, and took my Shabbos nap while the kids played. After, I went outside with Sofia and the boys. A neighbor came from another street with his 2 year old daughter - it was nice to meet another little girl.

Fed the kids dinner, and then we took our kids to see "Damn Yankees" by the Sherborn community theater group. Sam loved the show. Micah enjoyed the music but didn't quite understand what was going on (apparently David had to explain some of the history and theology of The Devil...). Sofia got a bit freaked out when the lights went down and the loud music started. After the Overture, she applauded like a maniac and then said "Lights? Lights?". Then she passed out on my lap. She slept through almost the entire play, just waking up for the last song and the applause. By then, she was thrilled to hear the music, and when we walked out to see David's co-worker (who was in the show), she kept shouting "Music!". It was a late night, but fun.

Sunday I had to get up early again. It was Mitzvah Day, a joint project of the day school and one of the local temples. The boys had to be at the 9am program because the school choir was singing. Sofia was in a mood, and did NOT want to be there. She kept trying to leave. So after the opening program, I handed the boys off to a friend for the Project (they planted flowers outside the shul), and I brought Sofia home ot Daddy (who wasn't feeling well.).

Ran back to get the boys, and took them over to the day school's "new" property (we bought 10 acres of land a few years, and are in the process of building a permanent school location there.). The picnic was to be held on the gorgeous grounds. We were early, so Micah ended up helping the Development Director direct traffic. I let him stay (sent David over to the picnic).

Sam and I drove in to Newton for the shiva. He is friends with Su's older two sons, and he was really looking forward to seeing them. K brought her son, too. Sammy and I were there for over 2.5 hours! I'm glad we went. The boys all had fun (which the dad wanted), and I had a chance to talk to the dad and to his mother and other relatives. But it was a long long afternoon.

Drove back home, and got ready for the next event. Moms of Children with Down syndrome - dinner at a local restaurant. Our first event (tag line: "Why should the D.A.D.S. have all the fun?").

It was great (except that the restuarant never told the party in the private room that WE had reserved a private room, and when I asked them to be quieter, they (the other guests) started screaming at me. I had words with the manager, and we will not hold future meetings there.).

We had 12 women attend, all with younger children. Some of these women I have known for several years, some I've never met. But we sat for over 3 hours, talking about our children and our experiences. I have a list of things to email to the group today, resources and info. We are going to meet next month on June 7...somewhere...

Got home just before 11pm. WHEW!