Monday, May 31, 2010

Simcha Weekend

A Simcha is a happy event. This weekend, we had three to celebrate.

Saturday morning, we were thrilled to attend the adult Bat Mitzvah of our friend Joy, mum to the twins in Micah's class. It was lovely, and we felt honored to be there.

Sunday, we drove down to New Jersey. Met Laura and Lilie and Travis in Fair Lawn at the hotel. Settled in, and took Sofia swimming for a bit (the MOMENT we got to our hotel room, she started stripping and looking for her bathing suit!).

Then David and I left to attend the wedding of Adam Miller to Gail Peters. I've known Adam since he was a little kid - his family is very active at Temple Israel, and we always spend holidays together. We had a HUGE contingent from Temple Israel! Four full tables of TI folk! Rabbi Liben co-officiated (here's where it gets kind'a weird...).

Adam and Gail had met during college, and the Hillel was run by a Chabad rabbi. So they got very involved in Chabad. The rabbi from the Hillel officiated, and spoke. And spoke. And spoke. It was a very long ceremony!

And not only were there Chabadniks in large quantity alongside the very Conservative Temple Israel gang, but the bride's family is mostly Reform or unaffiliated. And the groom's aunt is a Mennonite, so her whole family was there, too! It was quite a mix!

But it was a fancy New Jersey wedding, with all the fixin's. Yummy food - we all mostly fressed out on the hor d'ourves. Dancing was split by gender for the horah - very Orthodox style, with a mechitzah (divider) made from the plants. The Rebbe's son juggled fire!

But during the dinner hour, the more stringently observant folks all went out into the hallway, and the female singer joined the band, and regular modern dancing took place.

And then, the Temple Israel gang really got to show off, when there was a whole session of Israeli dancing. Our rabbi almost became a professional dancer instead of a rabbi, and he leads Israeli dance classes every week. So a large group was able to show off very beautifully. (I am not one of them - I can dance with the kids at school, but it's not nearly as graceful as the adults!).

The Temple Israel gang was there till the end, which meant Rabbi Liben led Birkat and Sheva Brachas. We finally left at 11:45 so we got back to the hotel after midnight.

Then this morning, yet another event - the B'not Mitzvah (plural of Bat Mitzvah) for the twin daughters of David's second cousin! It was lovely, and great to see the family. This is David's father's uncle's family, and there are lots of siblings at my father-in-law's level (on the family tree), who range in age between my FIL and David. And then plenty of kids.

Sofia, however, was not thrilled with the loud music at the party (since today was not Shabbat, they were able to do a lovely service, including Monday Torah reading, and still have the fancy party right away).

Took us about 4.5 hours to get home. Looong weekend, but really lovely.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My thoughts on the LOST finale (and point)

Ok, I've read some variation of this quote several times today (SPOILERS if you have not seen it yet. It's online, go watch and then come back):

"The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were dead all along, temporarily suspended in time, caught in this world before going onto the next."

Uh uh! That's totally not what I got. I got that their time on the island was real. Some of them died there, some of them made it out alive. (BTW, how did Desmond get home?) But eventually, as Jack's ridiculously named father points out, "we all die".

So I got that this "sideways" reality was simply the heavenly waiting room, where they could all gather together IN THEIR OWN TIME. When they reached critical mass - i.e. when Jack was ready, as their leader - they could go. If they were ready (i.e. not AnnaLucia or a few others).

Hugo and Ben's last words to each other reference time spent working together AFTER the island story ends. Desmond and Penny pre-island did not split amicably, would they have been so lovey-dovey in the afterlife?

No. I think that "sideways" was just "some time later" - it was a place they all made because those years on the island were the most important years of their LIVES. LIVES. Not post-lives. Since time means nothing, it doesn't matter WHEN sideways happens. It just happens when it should.

(See, I have no trouble with time travel/threads/alternate realities. It's illogical plots that make me crazy.)

Oh, and PU-LEASE! That stained-glass window behind Jack and Christian during their little chat. Overkill much?

So, while it was nice to see all the happy couples reunited in the afterlife, the biggest gaping hole remains:

What the heck was the Island?????


(Oh, Jimmy Kimmel's alternate endings were funny!)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bored out of my freakin' mind

Those of you who know me in person know that I'm really not so good at sitting still. REALLY. And most of you long-distance friends have probably gotten that idea when you read what my typical week is like.

So it should come as no surprise that I am CLIMBING THE WALLS with boredom already. To recap:

Sofia got sick Monday night, which meant sleepless nights Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for me. I took the boys to TKD Tuesday afternoon, took Micah to shul Wednesday morning, went to the Farm for 2 hours on Thursday morning (more on that below), but the rest of the time was hanging out at home.

By Thursday night I was wiped out and exhausted, so I was not surprised when I got sick Friday morning. Fever, and I could not move. I actually had to call the school because I was not able to drive the boys - a friend came and got them. Sofia and I spent most of the day in bed. By then, I was worried she was getting dehydrated, since she was very low-energy and barely eating or drinking.

So Friday afternoon we went to pediatrician again (fortunately no dehydration), then went around to pick up the boys at their various friends' homes. Very very quiet night, since I went back to sleep at 7pm.

Oh, and David had called in the morning, screaming because his flight from Copenhagen was going to be 5 hours delayed, which might mean missing his connection in Newark. But fortunately he DID make the connection, so he got home around 11pm.

We all had to go to shul Saturday morning. Sofia was noticeably better, although still not really eating or drinking much. It was the ufruf (special aliyah - being called to the Torah - before getting married) for a friend's son, and Micah and Sofia were scheduled to hand out the candy and Sam to do Ashrei (Psalm 145).

They all did well, and Sofia was so happy to sit on Dada's lap most of the service. At 11:45, the boys and I left, and I dropped them at a birthday party nearby, then came back to have lunch with David and Sofia. She would not let go of him, so he took her to work, while I went back to get the boys. We picked her up, and stayed home. David didn't come home until after 6pm, and was totally stressed by work, so it was a difficult evening. Plus, my tummy was still horrible.

Today, I fortunately feel much much better. Sofia continues better but also continues barely eating or drinking. But Micah now has a fever and tummy ache. Although I guess the good news is that he has not barfed or had diarrhea.

David took Sam to our friends' house by 8:30 so they could take him to teh Regional Day School Science Fair at Gann Academy. He had a great time. Then David went back to work for a few hours. I had to take Sofia to a birthday party, and Micah stayed home for a little while until David came back (yes, it's ok here - MA does not have any specific rules on how old, just depends on the child, I make sure he's got the phone and a nearby neighbor on call).

Took Sofia to the party, then a quick trip for groceries, and then we've been home all day. All day. All this beautiful day. Doing nothing. Except watching Sofia's movies - Little People Happy Birthday, Mama Mia (ok, that was cute - she brought the dvd to me, shook her butt and said "honey honey!"), and "belle" (Beauty and the Beast).

I'm tearing my hair out.

And of course Micah will have to stay home again tomorrow, since he has fever again now. Which means not only did he miss the playdate scheduled for today, but he'll miss that kid's visit to his class, in possible preparation for joining the class next year. Which would be really good, because they got along great last time they met, and he was really looking forward to the playdate!


And of course David is back on a plane now, headed to Jacksonville for 2 days. So I had to line up another neighbor for tomorrow morning, so Micah can rest while I drive Sam to school.

Ok. Good things to think about. I have 35 minutes to get Sofia to sleep before the LOST finale pre-show begins. Tuesday night, my play is being performed at the Sisterhood Donor Dinner, and they all tell me they have been laughing hysterically while rehearsing it, so I have to go see how it comes out.

Yearbook is almost done. Anyone want to buy a 1-line (80 character) booster for $9?

Gotta go pull Sofia out of the tub - she's been splashing a lot, and I think too much is getting on the floor now - bad for the ceiling below the bathroom...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Helmet Head


Oh, and here's today's speech.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Tummy Hurts"

That's been the mournful cry from Sofia since yesterday. "Tummy Hurts". She spent last night rolling around uncomfortably (in my bed, of course!), and spiked a fever around 10:30 pm. I was up with her every hour, because she kept almost barfing, and I would rush her to the bathroom (where I had towels conveniently set up on the floor!), but nothing came out.

This morning, we took the boys to school, and then she and I sat in the parking lot of my hairdresser for an hour waiting for my appointment (since I had planned on being busy driving her to preschool first...). She sat huddled in the chair next to me while I had my hair cut, and then she pooped (which meant I did not get my hair blow-dryed!). Was supposed to take her to pediatrician at 11:15, so we drove around a bit, and she was sleeping, but then she started barfing.

At least we were right around the corner from pediatrician at that point.

She seemed to feel better after that. Doc thinks it's just stomach bug, stay on clear liquids. She was falling asleep when the sitter arrived; hopefully she didn't sleep too long, because I am EXHAUSTED!

So tomorrow, it looks like she'll be staying home with sitter when we go to shul tomorrow.

I finished my speech for tomorrow, and sent it off to various folk (David, the rabbi, the cantor, and a friend) for editing, but apparently no one saw anything much to edit! I'm much more of a critic of my own work, I fixed a few things. Now I'm ready - assuming I get some sleep tonight!

Weekend was hectic but ok. Friday night was the best - dinner at our friends' house, hanging out until nearly 11. SO much fun. Saturday morning, David was overwhelmed with work, so he went in while I took the kids to shul. Then he came home just in time to pack for Copenhagen.

We got him to the Logan Express Bus...two minutes too late. So we drove him to the airport. Then I drove us all down to CT to stay with my parents, and to see my grandma, who is still up from Florida.

Sunday morning I took the kids and met my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, cousin-in-law, and various children for brunch. Good to see them all, but very loud and crazy in the restaurant. We went to Laura's house after so the kids could run around outside for a bit. Then drove back home. And of course Sofia slept both ways, so she was up till midnight Saturday and 11pm Sunday.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Handed in my Capstone Project!!!

My paper is DONE. Finished. Bound. Handed in! My last paper for my 7 years of graduate work can be found HERE (I'm sure there are at least two of you interested in glancing at it!).

Whew. What a relief to have it done. Feels odd, though. And of course my adviser still wants me to turn it into a book, so I have the feeling I'm not really done, but at least I'm done for the program. I also practiced my presentation during today's Seminar, so other than presenting it on June 3 (at 9:30 at Hebrew College, if you are in the area), that's really done, too.

Woo Hoo!

Now I have to finish the Yearbook. Boosters keep pouring in; it's not too late!

The cleaning ladies are here now, which means Sofia keeps trying to kick me out of the house. She likes to help them clean. I'll keep encouraging that.

Not much else to report. Science Fair at MWJDS last night went very well, and Sam is excited to bring his project to the regional day school fair at Gann Academy on May 23. He did a lot of math for his project, and people were very impressed. Yeah for Sam!

Micah came home TUESDAY saying he wanted to do a project. I told him he was a little late. His class did a group project, so he was not required to do an individual project, and he had not mentioned it during the two months of propaganda about the Fair. But two days before, he suddenly wants to do a project. He finally agreed to just start thinking about a topic for next year...

That's about it. David is off to Copenhagen again tomorrow, and I'll take the kids to CT to visit grandparents. My grandmother is still there at my sister's house, so I'll get another chance to see her.

Next week is Shavuot, so the boys are off Wednesday and Thursday. I'll take them to shul Wednesday (Rabbi wants me to speak at services), but Thursday we're joining our gang at the Farm where we'll be getting veggies all summer. I think this year I'm going to send Sofia to school both days, and have the sitters pick her up and do her regular activities.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shabbat Begins Quetly

This is unusual, but kind of nice. Different.

We did not have plans for Shabbat dinner - nothing unusual there, especially before Thursday morning. Then David got a message from a friend about taking the boys to the opening of Iron Man 2 at 5pm.

Ok. So they went. There were a few mixed messages, so we originally thought that Sofia and I would be with the rest of the other family, but no. We stayed home. Had a relaxing evening, lit candles and did motzi together. Now she's asleep, and David has taken the boys for food after the movie, so I'm home in a quiet house!


I'm still coming to grips with graduating, and with this silly award. Near as I can figure, "social responsibility" must mean I have not injured my children (yet). The rabbi insisted on putting an article in the synagogue newsletter, so now I keep getting congratulations, and just got a note about a donation made in my honor! Weird.

My paper is ALMOST done. I am waiting for some feedback from my adviser... tick tick tick goes the clock, as the paper is due next week!

I spent this morning at Special Visitor's Day at the boys' school. It was originally called Grandparents Day, but with all the varieties of families, and with the fact that some grandparents (including ours) do not come, the name was changed. And we have a big group of volunteers who come for the kids who don't have visitors.

Originally, Sam was supposed to come late, since usually on Friday he has his services in Ashland, but he really wanted to be on time, so I canceled Ashland. We had a gentleman from our synagogue assigned as Micah's friend, and yesterday my two wonderful sitters decided that they would attend, so I turned them over to Sam. Which meant I was free to volunteer elsewhere, and I spent a lovely half hour with two young ladies in the 4th grade class.

I love being so close to all the children in our school. I am one of the few people outside the staff who actually knows every child, since I do the yearbook (also, it helps that I have a ridiculous brain for detail). Each one of them is so unique, and it's been great watching them mature.

Before the boys got out of school, Sofia and her friend played for about an hour on the playground. Sofia got a splinter in her hand, and I had to dig it out with a safety pin (pre-soaked in Neosporin!). Poor kiddo. But I got it. When we came home, the boys watched the first Iron Man movie, and our neighbor and her daughter came over to play. Sofia and S took turns doing each other's hair and "makeup", which made the mom and I laugh hysterically, since neither of us ever wears makeup!

Nothing much planned for the weekend. I am reading Torah tomorrow morning, only 4 lines, but it means I have to be on time! We might go for Mexican food for brunch on Sunday. Otherwise, finish my paper and work more on the yearbook.

David and I looked at Pergo flooring yesterday, for the staircase and upstairs hallway. I think it's time we just start fixing things in this house!

Happy Mothers Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Must. Blog. Now.

Been wanting to blog all week, just never had the chance.

Sunday's party was lovely. I posted a page of photos HERE. I didn't stop moving the entire time, between greeting people, telling the catering staff what to do (they seemed rather inexperienced!) and taking my turn chasing Sofia. Whew. But Mom was very surprised by some of the people who were there, folks from Florida that she would never have expected.

My father and sister had vetoed my menu recommendations, and not only was there a (non-kosher) turkey carving station, but there was HAM at the omelet bar! But I think maybe David and I were the only ones bothered by that (although even Mom said she was surprised by it!).

After the party, we went back to Melissa's house for a while, and David went for a quick visit to his grandmother. Then we stopped at Rein's Deli (famous stopping place on Route 84) for dinner, and got home around 9pm.

Nothing much Monday. I got to work out, and have a long talk at the gym with one of my dearest friends. Also learned from her that another friend has breast cancer, which SUCKS. Big time.

Tuesday, I was SOOOO aggravated and wound up, but I'm not sure why. Probably a combination of hormones and traffic. There are at least 6 major construction sites between our house and the boys' school this month! But after I dropped Sofia at school, I went to my friend H's house, and we worked on the Yearbook for a few hours (she's the business manager for the project, I do the layout). And I just really like hanging out with her.

Afternoon was better, too. Left Sofia home with sitter (actually, Sofia kicked me out when sitter arrived). Got boys, but Micah went home with H's son for a while, so I took Sam to Panera for a salad and we worked on his Torah project together. It was nice. Then Tae Kwan Do, and I took the boys to TGIFridays. Yummy salmon salad with Jack Daniels sauce! And before we left, we got to see our pediatric gastrointerologist and his wife and son - we have not seen him in a couple of years.

I have had a few instances recently of meeting our medical professionals out of the office, and I think it's probably really unusual that, in all cases, we are greeted with hugs and kisses!

Yesterday morning, I led the Whimsical Wednesday program at the day school. My little buddies who have been attending all year are finally totally comfortable with me, and I got big hugs from the kids when they arrived and when they left. Then I raced to pick up Sofia and hand her over to the mom of one of her gymnastics friends; she went with them to gym, and then was picked up by another friend.

While she was at gym, we had Sam's IEP meeting. Whew. He's making really good progress with reading - last year he was at a DRA of 20, and how he is at 40, which is way more than expected - but we still need to work on his expressive language and figure out the correct assistive technology, so he can work more independently. Good meeting. And I always bring a picture of Sam to put on the table, so we can all keep him in mind!

Last night were were visited by two medical students from Operation Housecall. This program brings third year med students to the homes of families with special needs, and the students get to see what real life is like for us. Well, Micah was incredibly bouncy, and Sofia was copying every move he made, and Sam was showing off as well, so it was a fairly raucous evening. Good for them to see how "normal" we are ;)

Finally have good feedback from my Rabbinics professor about my paper; need to finish it NOW!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Room Re-org

David and I woke up this morning to the sound of Sofia yelling "Mom, Help." Ran into her room to find her totally naked, sitting on her dresser, holding a pull-up. And every single hair clip was strewn about the floor, along with a few other items from the top of the dresser.

But the thing that most struck us by this scene was the proximity of the dresser to the OPEN window - about 1" away!!!!!

Sooo, room reorganization time. Again.

And now we have a terrific full-size futon and a frame that converts (easily!) between couch and bed, for sale. Will be posting on Craig's List on Monday.

Without the couch, there's room now to buy the nice white shelf unit I saw at Christmas Tree Shop. And I made sure to put the pull-ups down low in a place she can reach them, if she's going to try to be independent more!

Independent she certainly is. "Move" is a big command from her, especially when we are telling her not to do something. (Move, so you don't see me do this...)

I chased her around shul much of the morning. She did spend a nice while playing with a 4 month old, and then pretending with her own "Ugly Baby" doll (I'll have to take a picture of Ugly Baby. It really is funny looking - this tiny tuft of hair in the front and otherwise totally bald.)

I was kind of grumpy in the afternoon, especially since I had to spend some time rearranging her room. But I admit it was fun to take apart the futon frame, I love building and unbuilding furniture.

Drove down to my sister's house in CT late afternoon and spent the evening here celebrating my twin nieces' 11th birthday. Since my mom knows about her party, my parents (and mom's sister, in for the party) also joined us. Which all means that it was 9:30 before we even started getting kids ready for bed!

Twins and my boys all sleeping in J's room. Sofia bunks with me and David, but as she's continued to grow, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to sleep. She has taken up my whole half of the bed. And he's out, too.

"Surprise" party tomorrow, should be....uh.... fun. Yeah. I'm sure there won't be too much stress. Right? (I know, I can dream, can't I?). My sister and I are going to the gym at 8am, leaving David home with the five kids (brother-in-law runs).