Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Today, I am thankful for my big comfy chair in the family room, where I can sit and work on my new laptop while my children lean all over me. I don't intend to do much more than this today.

It's been a busy but nice weekend. Wednesday, I picked Sofia up early so I could pick the boys up in time (all got out at 11:30). We went out to lunch with a few other families, which was of course fun, and then Sam went to his friend's house for a few hours while I took Sofia to gymnastics and hung out with Micah. Not much in the evening.

Thursday, we watched the parade on TV while we packed up to go to CT. The ride was really fast, hardly any traffic at noon. So we got to my sister's house fairly early. The kids had a blast playing with my sister's twins, and when my cousins arrived (P is 32, the big twins are 20), they had even more fun. There were 23 people in all, including my brother-in-law's sister and her husband. It was great to see them; I have not seen them in many years.

The boys slept over at my sister's house, while David and Sofia and I went pack to my parent's house. Had breakfast waaay too late, as normal for my parents, then raced to The Crown (the big kosher market in West Hartford) to pick up stuff and then go get the boys.

Got home around 3:00, and company arrived at 4:00. Our friends from the Worcester area (David went to elementary school with the dad), and then a little later our neighbors. Had a nice time. The combination worked out well for the kids - Sam and his friend from across the street played cards quietly, while Micah and J were rowdy in another room, and the two big girls went upstairs to play a board game. Sofia was tired and attached to my lap most of the night. We got pizza and just relaxed.

After they left, however, I had to start cooking. Made meatballs that night.

Got up and out by 7:30 to go grocery shopping Saturday morning. Then the cooking began. "Second-sitting" Thanksgiving at our house, for David's family. His parents, his sister with Lilie and T, and cousin H and her family, along with our dear friend Roz.

I cooked up a storm. Turkey, London Broil, meatballs, mashed potato, sweet potato, stuffinf, green beans, salad, cranberry sauce. Plus my crustless pumpkin pie and the regular pie my MIL brought, and fruit and 7 layer cake from Crown and mandel bread. Not to mention all the munchies I'd put out for the afternoon. Unfortunately, the traffic from CT was terrible, so they all arrived much later than expected, so I still have munchies mostly uneaten. And a lot of leftovers, but everyone enjoyed the meal.

The kids were adorable. Lilie and Ian both just turned 2, and are both quite good at trashing the toy room (Sofia did her fair share of trashing, too). Micah taught 6 year old Alex how to play Yugio cards, and then Micah and Sam cornered Laura's boyfriend into playing all sorts of card games with them.

It was a nice evening. It felt like it was much later, but I was in bed before 11pm (while David drove Roz home). And everything was washed! Cousin's hubby washed the big stuff and loaded up the dishwasher, which was done before I went to bed. So this morning I do NOT have to face dishes! Yeah!

So today I really just want to sit in my chair and read or work on my papers for school or prep for the gala. Micah has a friend coming over in 45 minutes, so I shoudl probably put on some clothing, but that's about it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Happy Happy

Ok, I'm a geek. I firmly admit it. Proudly.

Which is why I am so excited by my new toy - a MacBook. It seems that my six year old PowerBook G4 decided that NOW was a good time for the hard drive to begin dying. NOW, when I'm in the middle of writing the masters thesis for my 7 long years of Gradual School. NOW, when next week is the Day School Gala and I need a working laptop for the Auction tallying.

Since I just got my paycheck for the High Holidays, and since I'm still eligible for a student discount, and since the Genius at the Apple Store agreed with my assessment of my poor hard drive's prognosis, I came home with a new machine. YEAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

So now I'm setting it up, clean, not just transfering things willy-nilly. I'm so excited!


In other news, I think we can safely call what Sam is going through for his OCD "Webkinz Therapy". Last week, we made tremendous progress with the promise of an imminent Webkinz purchase. So that's all it takes? Sigh.


Sam just went on meds yesterday for a lingering sinus infection, and I think maybe Sofia could use another round also, since her nose hasn't stopped running. Nothing like a limber little tongue - the girl can lick her own nose, which is DISGUSTING!


Micah is doing well, just starting to get a wee bit of a cold today. Last week, both Micah and Sofia qualified for the town's H1N1 clinic, so they got their first shots. Just have to find the 2nd round in time, and still find shots for Sam. Micah qualified as high-risk, and Sofia got in for the "ages 4 and under" round.


Thursday, we are off to CT for my family's celebration. Sleep over, pick up my turkey on Friday at The Crown, and back here, to do it all over again on Saturday with David's family. Cleaning ladies coming today; hopefully I can keep the house clean until then!


Prepping for the Winter Lights Gala and the Auction. Please support the school (and get some cool stuff) by visiting the Auction website.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Girl's Weekend

Since "what happens on Girl's Weekend STAYS at Girl's Weekend", I can't post too many details. Suffice it to say, we had a lovely time. The most basic details:

My husband didn't get home until 4:20 (having been told I needed to be somewhere by 4:00) and he was "exhausted". So when I got to my friend's house (decided to just leave his car at her house), I was FURIOUS. Took me more than 24 hours to get over it.

Took us nearly an hour to get from her house to the Pike because of traffic. But we also stopped for hot chocolate, and those of us not driving added some Malibu Rum, which made the drive very nice indeed.

Went for a light dinner near the house, then back to hang out.
Slept late. Pouring rain all day. Noshed and drank and talked and read and hung out all day.

Out for a drink in evening, then 3 girls went to a show while two of us stayed at the bar, and got home early for sleep (the other 3 stayed out late!).

Two of us got massages in the morning, while the others shopped. Then more shopping, lunch, clean up, and home.

But wonderful.

In the mean time, my husband had the children all weekend. Poor Sofia apparently missed me, and spent much of the time moaning "mama". When I called on Sunday, they were driving out to the Berkshires to see his folks, so he put me on speaker-phone. And from the back of the car I hear "Help Me...." in the most pathetic little voice!

Back to normal now. Sofia and Sam still have stuffy noses, but no fevers, so they both went to school. Just now, after school, I tried to have Sofia wear real underwear, but now those are soaked and she's back in a pull-up. For someone who missed me all weekend, she certainly is arguing a lot!

A hearty Mazal Tov to my friends L&K on the birth this morning of their daughter. YEAH, a new baby!!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The rest of our trip to London

So Friday evening after the Internet Cafe, we ate at Wagamama, a popular noodle shop (there's one here in Cambridge, too!). Then we managed sleep a solid 12 hours - that's what happens in a very dark room with no children!

(Friday pictures:

David with Dr. Watson in Sherlock Holmes' sitting room:
David as Sherlock Holmes, with Dr. Watson

Majestic Theater

Trafalgar Square:

So we got up later than expected Saturday morning, and took our time getting ready and finding breakfast. Figured out how to use the free internet at Pret-a-Manger (I wish we had more of that store around here!).

Then we walked across the bridge to the south side of the river. It was a lovely, clear day:

Both of us had been to The Museum of The Moving Image many years ago, and we wanted to go back. We spotted it on one map, but no one seemed to know where it was...

Finally, we discovered it had closed 4 years earlier, and the exhibits had been rolled into The Movium, so we went there.
King David
Francine & Hellboy
We found our Police Box

Walked back past Big Ben, meandered around town, had a lovely late lunch, returned to rest and change, and then off to the theater.

We saw "The 39 Steps", which is a hysterically funny take on the old murder mystery. Very cleverly done. 4 actors, but at least 20 characters.

Had a late Indian meal after the show, which was marred by several things: the drunk guy at the next table screaming "F&CK" over and over, the restaurant's inability to uphold their promise of "we can customize", and the overall greasiness. Oh, and the fact that I ordered a whole bottle of sparkling water and they only brought me a glass, 'because they'd run out'!

Ok, Sunday was The Event. The MPH Auto Show at Earl's Court, featuring Top Gear Live!

The MPH Auto Show

We had Platinum tickets, which gave us access to this upper section (including lunch and drinks). The show was all about sporty cars. NICE sporty cars. High End stuff.

Then it was time for TOP GEAR LIVE!

The Boys:
The Boys from Top Gear

James May (aka Captain Slow)'s car:
Captain Slow's car

Me with The Stig (the "tamed race car driver"):

It was waaay cool. And I only wanted to bludgeon David for the first part of the day - he likes different cars than me, and he kept getting angry when I walked away to see something. Ugh, men.

Anyway, we realy did have a nice time overall. Landed in Boston at 1:20 Monday after a very bumpy flight. Kids immediately went into melt-down, and my parents fled.

Sam had no fever after Sunday, but Sofia started fever Tuesday night. Which means I've been up with her the past 2 nights, and she's home with me now. But she had to come with me this morning to my haircut, and then she charmed the nail lady into giving her a manicure:
Sofia getting a manicure

Yesterday was Conferences at the day school. I'm thrilled to report that Sam made twice as much progress in reading as we had dared hope for on his IEP last May. They are both doing really well (although Micah continues to talk too much in Hebrew class).

And I'm off to a Girls' Weekend tomorrow, in Maine. Yeah! (Oh, yeah, I had an interesting and somewhat disturbing dream while in London. Sofia had run off, and been found by an older couple from my shul. But I kept "forgetting" to go pick her up from their house! I guess I really need a break from the kids, huh?!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Greetings from London!

Our plane landed early, butvwe "made up" the time standing in line at customs. Landed at 5:00, got to hotel at 8:00.

Napped (passed out) for an hour, showered, and started walking. David's dear friend, who lives in our town, was here for the week on business, so we called and made a plane to meet for lunch.

Walked. And walked. And walked some more.

2 hours to walk to Baker Street from Strand. Then wait for our friend. Then delicious (and enormous) kosher meal at Reubin's restaurant.

More walking. Took nearly another two hours, through Regent Park, until we got to next destination, Camden Lockes Market (oh, and first, the Sherlock Holmes museum).

The Market was ultra-funky, so we spent quite a while there, although by then it was raining. Took underground back to hotel, rested, and now finally at an Internet cafe, typing madly.

Meanwhile, Sam was sent home with fever. Babysitter called, caring for him now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Yes, David and I are off to London tomorrow evening! Just a really quick jaunt (really, it's a whole lot easier than flying to the West Coast). We'll be back Monday. But on Sunday, we are going to see Top Gear!!!!

The kids are being parcelled out. Tomorrow night, Sofia will be at my neighbor's house (with her best buddy), while both boys will be at my friend D's house. Sam was supposed to go to his chum's house, but said chum now has a fever.

Friday, my sitter will come here to watch Sofia in the afternoon and add Sam in to the evening, while Micah heads to Wellesely for 2 days at his friend's house. My sister-in-law, Laura, will come up Friday night, sleep over, and on Saturday take Sam and Sofia down to CT. It's cousin H's younger son's 2nd birthday party that afternoon, so at least Sam will get some quality family time, and maybe even drive from central CT to southern with his grandparents.

They'll sleep at Laura's house, and then she'll get them to my parents, who will bring them back, retrieve Micah, and do the Sunday night shift. And Monday, we'll be home!

So we're packing, and downloading movies (well, I seem to be having much better luck than David - but of course it's all about the platform [I use a Mac], isn't it?!).

For those of you NOT on Facebook with me, my funny story for the week was from yesterday. Micah woke up complaining. "My throat hurts. I don't feel good. I think I'm going to faint." That's what tipped his hand - he said that 'cause Sam's chum had fainted over the weekend. He was cool as a cucumber, and nothing out of the ordinary. His throat hurts because his nose drips, because he's allergic to everything. Nothing to be done about that.

But he's such a drama queen. So David was in the shower, and I was in the bathroom using the sink, and we were giggling about all Micah's symptoms. We decided that it was very likely that he was pregnant. Or maybe approaching menopause.

But as we were giggling, suddenly Micah opened the door and popped his head in: "I Can Hear You, Ya Know!"

More somber note, I went to CT for the funeral of my brother-in-law's uncle, also my friend's stepfather. Sad time, although I was glad to be there to help B out with her kids (3 kids require 3 adults at a funeral, especially when two are extra sad and one is too young to comprehend).

I also helped run the Whimsical Wednesday program at the day school this morning. It's the program for preschoolers. We had a really good turnout, and an excellent art program, courtesy of another mom/volunteer. Sand-art Shabbos Candleholders.

Poor David. The tiny computer he borrowed will not play a DVD movie! He'd counted on it. Meanwhile, I think I've figured out how to get some more movies on my iPod, so at least we'll be able to watch something.

Ok, have a smashing weekend, y'all!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy November!

That was a lovely Halloween. I think that Halloween should ALWAYS be on a Saturday evening, and the weather should ALWAYS be warm and mild. Even the brisk wind was fun, blowing all the leaves around.

Miss Sofia was some sort of mermaid/princess:

While Samuel was The Scream:

And Micah was a Headless Guy:
(Note his shirt, which David got him a while back: "G-d's Busy, May I Help You?")

Since my neighbor has such a great decoration setup we pose on their lawn:

And that's where the Dads convene for the walk-about:

(Although David and the one other dad with a little kid rapidly lost the rest of the gang, ages 8-10, who went MUCH faster than the little ladies).

Meanwhile, I sat on my porch, along with some neighbors (who left their candy unattended on their own porches), and our pumpkins, which I cut "to spec" for each kid:

We sat on the porch for 2 hours, and then, when the kids came back, a few families came over. I put Sofia to sleep, and the grownups stayed inside, but the kids stayed OUTSIDE playing in the dark!

it was really really lovely and fun.

Today, Sofia and I went to a Baby Shower for my friend L. We had a nice time, since we'd been to Bridal Shower and Wedding with many of the same people in the past year. Miss Sofia had a grand time directing the opening of the gifts.

Tonight I had my DS Mommies dinner. Only two of use showed up, due to my not getting the notice out until this Thursday, but we had a great time.

Friday was busy, but ultimately nice. In the morning, David took Micah to school, while I took Sam to Ashland, then Sofia to preschool, then back to the Ashland school to meet with Sam and the OT Tech Team about his tech needs. They installed Co-Writer, a word prediction utility, on his laptop, to see if that helps.

After that, I took him back to school, got his laptop set up, spoke to the Networking lady who happened to be there, and had a quick Gala meeting. Then off to get Sofia, lunch, Gala Auction work at home while Sofia helped the cleaning ladies, and back to school for a lovely memorial by the kids for Hamoreh Yosef, the teacher who died last weekend. It was very moving.

Then Micah had his 8 year checkup. Sam stayed at school for tutoring, and was driven home by the Office Administrator, who lives not far from us. Micah was very very bouncy and silly at his checkup, which made it difficult to get straight answers out of him. The only worrisome thing was that he scored much worse in vision than last year, enough for the pediatrician to recommend a new vision checkup with the ophthalmologist even though he was "dismissed" until next year.

Home for a while, more Gala work, then we went to Shabbos dinner at the home of a couple from shul. Had a very very nice time. He is an engineer, and was able to get Micah out of a bad mood instantly, by knowing the square root of 18.

My kids are silly, aren't they?

I'm hearing more reports of sick kids at the day school. I hope none of mine get sick, at least until after I get back from London!!!

I'm off to yet another funeral tomorrow, down in Manchester, CT. This is my brother-in-law's uncle, and also the stepfather of one of my best friends since 7th grade. My neighbor will pick Sofia up from school, and then L's cousin, who threw the baby shower today, will come take over. I hope this is the last funeral for a while!