Monday, November 29, 2010

Well, I guess we survived the weekend

Ok, it's been weird. Thanksgiving day was as painful lovely as expected. The boys had a great time with their cousins, Hannah and Julia. Sofia played for a while, then escaped to the mud room with mama's laptop, Monsters Inc. and her pillow pet. David helped wash some dishes, and otherwise hung out watching three different football games with my brother-in-law, father, uncle, and assorted cousins. I mostly tried to stay out of my sister's way. Whenever I help, I manage to do something wrong. This time, I set the table and gave my cousin silverware that was too small. Got thoroughly ridiculed for it.

And all the while, my allergies were in full force. I walked around holding a kleenex box all day. Nose running, eyes itching like crazy.

(And of course I am never so aware of the fact that my daughter has Down syndrome as when I am with my family. I noticed a picture of my cousin when she was little, and realized there was a resemblance between her and Sofia, but when I pointed it out to my sister, she concentrated on the chromosome more than the family relationship. And on Friday, she actually described something as "retarded" - I caught my breath and didn't say a word. It's not worth the effort.)

Friday was a little better. I get along with my sister much much better when there are no other relatives around and when she's not stressed about serving dinner. She and I went to the gym in the morning, and then we took the kids to see Tangled. Loved it! (Sofia has spent the past several days saying "Princess? Long Hair? Hannah Julia? Come! Line UP!" and running to the door.) David spent the time at the bookstore nearby, which was heaven for him. We had a quick lunch back at the house, and then back up home - me still on Benadryl, of course.

When we got home, Sam and I had to go run some quick errands, so Friday night was very low-key and not so Shabbos-y. Saturday morning, David went to shul, but I 1) felt awful and 2) had a ton of cooking to do, so I stayed home... which of course meant that the kids did, too.

So I cooked, and we cleaned, and got ready for our company. My in-laws arrived around 3pm, Laura and Lilie and Travis shortly thereafter. Our friends D&E and their girls also joined us for dinner. We had a really pleasant afternoon. The boys taught my mother-in-law how to play various card games, while Sofia and Lilie played with toys and trashed the house.

My inlaws slept over, and Laura left Lilie with us, too, so it was a full house. David and Sam and my father-in-law stayed up late talking. I got Sofia to bed, then put Lilie (and coincidentally my mother-in-law) to sleep downstairs.

But all day, although my sinuses were a bit better, my eyes were much much worse. I could barely see, and there was tons of gunk.

Woke up Sunday morning with my lids swollen almost completely shut.

David took me to CVS, but the nurse at the clinic wouldn't take me - told me to contact primary, since she was not allowed to deal with eye issues. Got some Zatador, awesome allergy OTC eyedrops, which at least took some of the pain away and allowed me to open my eyes. Called primary, and was told to go to ER.

Sooo, my second ER visit this year. And yes, I did drive - by this time, my eyes were a little better.

Doc at ER thinks it was actually an allergic reaction to the antibiotic drops I'd been taking since the previous Saturday! Stopped those, continue Benadryl and Zatador, and go see my eye doc today.

Which meant we got to go see my eye doc today, of course. The boys didn't have school today (professional development), and Sofia doesn't start until 12:30, so the whole circus got to go. My eye doc is also a friend from the shul where I cantor; I had tutored his son for bar mitzvah a few years ago (the kid started college this year!).

Steroid drops RULE! He said my corneas were ok (ER had also checked that), but whites and lids completely swollen. Drops every hour today and tomorrow, then a few times a day for a week. I'm already feeling a bit better.

Took Sofia to school, and then took the boys shopping. Had a blast. My sons really like Old Navy, and tried on a bunch of clothing. I had a coupon for 20% off everything, and we really used it! Needed it, though - winter jacket for Micah, jeans for Sam and for me, sweatshirt/Chanukah presents for the boys, etc. Yeah. We also went to some other stores, and found a sports jacket for Micah (HE wanted to wear it!) and a suit for Sam, which he needs for the bar mitzvah this coming weekend. I'm psyched that Micah wants to get more dressed up!

Odd side-note: Both my boys are very good about holding doors open for people when we are out and about. So is David. Well, today, some lady was so overwhelmed by Sam's courtesy, it was sort of embarrassing. And David said that the other day, when he held the door for someone, she said no one had done that for her in a long time.

Really? No one holds the door for people any more? How sad.

Oh! Mind-track change again. Sorry, I forgot all about Wednesday!

Half day for the boys, no school for Sofia, lots of packing, cleaning and relaxing in the afternoon. Boys had appointments until 5pm; then we met David over at Best Buy and finally joined the 21st century by getting 2 flat screen TVs! Plasma for upstairs, LCD downstairs. BIG. Probably bigger than we needed. But fun!

David and the boys took the TVs home, and Sofia and I went to Children's Hospital in Waltham for her Sleep Study. That was weird. Waited in lobby too long; Sofia nearly fell asleep in my arms after we got her into pjs in the bathroom. Then the tech said she needed to stay up another 45 minutes to get set up - it was already way past bedtime.

I snuggled with Sofia on the bed, watching a movie on my laptop while the tech got prepped. Then we started wiring my baby. Started with her legs, then her chest. I had to bear-hug from behind, wrap my legs around her legs, grip her hands. Poor baby screamed "Let Go" over and over until she fell asleep. Good thing, too, since I don't think she would have held still for the head wires!

About 25 wires attached to my baby's head, then gauze wrapped all around her head. She looked like she'd been in a bad accident. Very fragile. AND we had to keep her flat on her back all night...which meant I got nearly no sleep, as I had to move her every time she shifted. I started out on the couch/chair, but ended up squished into bed with her so I could hold her still.

Not too sure how that's an accurate test for how she regularly sleeps. And of course the tech couldn't tell me anything.

6:00 AM, tech pops in and says "all done" and by 6:20 we were in the car. Weird. Got home at 7, and couldn't go to sleep (so we set up the TVs instead). I slept in the car on the way down to CT.

Whew. Oh, and David left for Copenhagen last night for the week. Which was partly why my eyes were such an emergency - I'm back to single-parenting again this week. Boo hoo.

Home phone line is dead, Comcast tech coming tomorrow. And while I was online with them, I figured out that we can actually watch movies on my computer, too, so now the boys are watching "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" on my desktop.

Chanukah starts Wednesday night. YEAH! And I still have to learn my 35 lines of Torah for this Saturday. Getting there, but I lost a couple of days with my eye problems. UGH.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

An early happy thanksgiving to all. My sister "owns" t-day (after The Incident With The Knife - my father, my mother, a carving knife and a lot of yelling...), so we will head to her house Thursday...after Sofia and I return from Children's Hospital Waltham, for her sleep study. Should be interesting.

Then we'll come back home, and my in-laws will join us here on Saturday for round 2. And David is then off to Copenhagen. Sigh. It was nice having him home this week.

Went to friends' for Shabbos dinner, always fun. Then David had to work in the morning, and I was going to take the kids to shul, but my eyes were killing me, so we went to the eye doctor instead. Since Sofia had conjunctivitis, I figured I should get checked, too. Sure enough, eye drops for me, too.

Lazy the rest of the day. Sunday, we got up early and went to CT for Lilie's 3rd birthday! I can't believe that little girl is 3 already! The party was at a "jump" place, lots of blow-up climbing structures. Got a great pic of David, Sam and Sofia playing basketball:

Nice to see everyone. Stopped by his grandmother's on the way out, but she refused to get out of bed (unfortunately, she is at 'that' stage...). Then I had a massive allergy attack, and we had to find some Benadryl, quick! Stopped at Rein's for dinner, and I nearly fell asleep in my fries. Got home, and slept 14 hours.

Allergy attack continues, however. Took Benadryl again last night, and about to take some tonight. Other than the sneezing, itching eyes, and trouble breathing, I feel fine, so I don't think it's a cold. Weird. Not sure what I'm allergic to, unless maybe the new carpet. Which does not explain why it gets worse in the car...

Anyway, safe travels to all! I am thankful for many things, but especially for my beautiful family.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November So Far

Sorry for the lengthy absence. It's been a little insane.

The month started well - first a Gala meeting and then a much needed massage. The boys had no school on Nov. 2, so we had Micah's 9 year checkup and ran some errands while Sofia was in school. On Nov. 3, Sofia and I went to Children's to see the Behavioral Psychologist. Good appointment. This was the first time someone explained sticker charts for potty training in a way that didn't seem completely impossible to do. And in the middle of the appointment, Sofia asked to go to the potty!

We had the Selections Fundraiser on Thursday - a local boutique gives 20% of all proceeds for the day to the school. I got some lovely items - a sweater, a shirt, socks, and a few gifties.

That weekend, we had two extra kids all weekend. Sam's friend S and his sister J (who is Micah's friend) stayed with us while theri parents went to NJ for a wedding. Great kids. Sam and S and I all read Torah at the children's service in the morning, and they hung out all afternoon.

And Sunday the 7th was Micah's birthday party! We managed to narrow it down to about 10 kids (9 boys and the above-mentioned sister J, who is very much a tom-boy and fit right in), and I found a very inexpensive magician, Crazy Davy. Who also brought a 7 foot tall balloon art:


The Magician did a good job of keeping the kids busy for an hour:

Sofia was especially thrilled, and wanted to be his assistant:

After the show, Micah had put together some sort of Harry Potter themed scavenger hunt, and as I watched all these clueless little boys run around the house, I had only one thought: "THESE are the future captains of industry???"

Cake was yummy - Micah requested chocolate cake with fluff in the middle and strawberries and whip cream on top. Punch was good, including the eyeballs floating in it (love shopping the week after Halloween!). Kids left in a timely fashion. WHEW.

And then I was in full-out Gala Prep mode all last week. Crazy. So much to do. And on Thursday, the kids had no school. Dropped Micah in Wellesley for a playdate, took Sam and Sofia to the day school for Conferences (Sam had to be at his, Sofia stayed in babysitting), then hung out with friends all afternoon - I worked on my laptop and also taught my friend how to do her presentation in PowerPoint.

And Sofia stayed in dry underpants for 7 and a half hours!!!!

Yup. Even without the sticker chart (which I figured I'd start after the gala), we can do it - as long as she's not watching TV! Being out and about is good, since I'm more aware of the timing. At home, I get distracted. But she can do it!

Ok, took a break there for another day...

So anyway, Sofia is wearing underwear a lot, and it's still going well. As long as she's not watching TV, of course.

Friday the carpets got pulled out, which means my house was a mess all weekend (and still is).

Anyway, after a full week of gala prep, I took it really easy on Saturday, and even stayed in bed until after 1pm. NICE.

Sunday was the gala. I left home at 11am, stopped to pick up some things, and was at Gann (the Jewish high school, where the event was being held) by noon. Until 10pm.

Lots of work, lots to set up. Lots to manage. Stressful.

But fun. And the guests all loved it.

Silent Auction only took in 8K, but Live auction took in 20K, so overall, the auction paid for the whole event, and anything taken in for tickets and program book was fundraiser, going toward tuition assistance. Whew.

So this week I'm my own way... Wednesday, the FLOORS arrived! Sofia's room and the upstairs hallway now have laminate instead of dirty rugs. The stairs were supposed to get new rugs today, but they are coming tomorrow morning instead.

Today was Sofia's Thankful Feast at school. Very very cute. Nice to see Sofia really participate with the songs. It was very cute.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

It was a gorgeous, clear day, although very COLD! We went out for breakfast at the local cafe. Halloween Pancakes - with Reeses Pieces! YUM.

Then we took a walk at Elm Bank in Wellesley, the home of the Mass Horticultural Society. Lovely place, although at this point in the season, somewhat bare.

The giant rocking chair:

Don't forget about Micah...and his pitchfork...

The boys had fun climbing this tower. Sofia wasn't so thrilled - she only ever made it to the second step.

My Sam:


My husband. Doesn't he look happy and welcoming? (NOT - he was too cold)

Satan takes a nap:

Mama has a turn in the chair:

In the evening, of course, the kids joined the local mayhem. Sam has been going trick-or-treating with his friend/neighbor B since they were both babies, and they once again had a blast together. Micah had a school chum join him. Sofia made it to four houses before David said "she's done" and I had to take her with me. I got to leave candy on the porch and go hang out with the other mommies, while David walked with Micah and his friend (and friend's parents, who spoke Hebrew to each other the whole time).

My "Belle":
(She had no idea it was Halloween until the pumpkin bucket appeared. Until then, she'd been fighting continuously about the costume and the hair [obviously] and the sweater. But when the pumpkin bucket appeared, she brightened up: "Oh! Candy!")

My charming children:
(Sam claimed he was a goth preteen vampire. Micah was going to be the headless horseman, but 1) we couldn't find his "faceless" mask, 2) we couldn't find the cape, and 3) carrying a pumpkin head proved to be way too much work for him. So he was...uh... Micah.... with a pitchfork and sunglasses.

Ok, back to GALA work. Go BID on some items, please!