Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nothing much to say

It's tough to blog when nothing is really going on. Let's see, this week brought more sinus infections (Micah last weekend, then Sam stayed home all 3 days, then me since Wednesday, and Sofia a bit since Thursday).

I get my thumb stitches out tomorrow. And maybe some meds for the sinus infection?

I am still going to the gym!!!! AND I have been recording my caloric intake, using the iPhone app LoseIt, recommended by a friend. Easier to lose weight when sick, since I did not feel like eating much.

I'm going to get an ulcer prepping for next weekend's day school Shabbaton at my shul. Somehow I became the point person from both sides. All the work, none of the power. And I'm dreading it, since it's not only the day school Shabbat together, but also the Religious school's Family Service. It is going to be a zoo. And the caterer calls me every ten minutes.

Took the boys and Micah's friend to see 'Tooth Fairy" today. I really liked it! Sofia stayed home with her babysitter.

Yesterday after shul we spent the whole day at my friend D's house, and Friday we had Shabbat dinner at my other friend D's house. Both terrific times.

Sam made "numchucks" out of knit gloves, tennis balls, and a bungy cord. It's interesting and frightening.

Sofia seems to be growing taller every day. I cannot believe how big she is getting! More stubborn by the minute, too!

Yesterday at D's house, Sofia stuck a Wii disc into the computer/DVD player. I had to take the whole thing apart, and my poor girl had a complete hissy fit! She was screaming and crying. It was bad enough when we started moving the machinery around, but when I took the cover off the computer and pulled out the disc drive, she was sobbing so hard. She does not usually get so upset; it was fascinating to see. Once we put everything back together, we had to watch a few minutes of "Little Bear" on Sprout to calm down.

David is still in Florida, spending the weekend helping his folks clean up Grandma Toby's apartment. No one has been down there in a few years, so much repairing needed, but they found a plumber right away and bought a new refrigerator today.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


This is a complete tangent, but something I was pondering while driving this morning.

The local Jewish newspaper, The Jewish Advocate, has an "Ask the Rebbitzin" column (Rebbitzin is the yiddish name for the Rabbi's Wife; in some communities, she serves an important teaching role).

Anyway, this past week, there was a question about being both Jewish and Buddhist.

The Rebbitzin's answer was straight-forward. "You cannot be both. Plain and simple."

Well, yes. I do agree. However, what she neglected to mention is how you can admire specific ideas from another religion. How the words used to express a concept in one religion might make that concept clearer to you than the words used in your own.

I have always been interested in religion, of all types. Learning about other religions has helped my own understanding and appreciation of Judaism.

True story: back in my 20s, I had a co-worker who was a deeply religious Catholic. She was a dear girl, and a good friend. One day in late December, she was driving me home, and telling me about her plans for the upcoming Dec. 25 holiday. The she asked about my own plans for Hanukah.

I explained that Hanukah wasn't all that big a holiday, and told her a bit about the low-key stuff my family had done that year.

"Oh. So when do you celebrate The Birth?"

I had to do a double-take. "What?"

"You know. When do you celebrate The Birth?"

"Uh. We don't. That's one of the major differences..."

While I was stunned by the simplicity of the question, I actually felt really sorry for my friend. Sorry because she did not know enough about her OWN religion to appreciate just what made it special. Sorry because her world-view was so narrow, she could not comprehend something Different.

So, to The Rebbitizin, I say, yes, I agree that you cannot be both. But when someone claims to be both, perhaps exploring WHY they say that might be more useful. What elements of Buddhism attract this person, and what are the similar elements in Judaism that they might just not know?

Monday, January 25, 2010

45? Really?

I don't feel 45. I feel more like 12. Or maybe 22. Certainly not 45.

But indeed, yesterday was my birthday. The 16th anniversary of my 29th birthday.

It was a nice weekend. We had friends come for dinner on Friday, which is always nice. David and I then watched the premier of "Caprica", which was thought-provoking but somewhat disappointing. Saturday we went to shul. Micah was not feeling well, so for the last part of the service, I sat on the floor of the old "Bride's Room", which is now a storage room, cuddling him on my lap.

He perked up through lunch, and we got home a little after 1:20. Relaxed a little, then my parents arrived and we hung out. Sofia demanded a Tea Party, which kept us all busy.

That evening was Micah's class Havdalah program, where I was supposed to lead the service. Since he was not feeling well, my mom stayed home with Micah (and Sofia), and my Dad came with us and Sam. They brought Sam's telescope; one of the Rabbi/parents at the school has major telescope equipment and was set up for viewing outside the school, so it was good to have extra scopes.

Program was nice, and then my dad took Sam home while David and I went out for dinner. Skipjacks has a new sushi menu, which was REALLY delicious, but their service still stinks. So it was slow. But good.

Sunday, Micah was feeling well enough to go to his chess tournament, and HE WON 4 out of 4 games!!!! He came home with a medal. I am so proud of him!

Meanwhile, I hung out with Sam and Sofia and took them to the gym. Sam was annoyed at having to go to babysitting, but Sofia had so much fun there that she had a 20 minute tantrum when we got home.

In the afternoon, David and Micah met us at the movie theater, and we say the Jackie Chan kid's movie, "Spy Next Door". The boys enjoyed it. Sofia liked it as long as she was eating (popcorn or chocolate), but as soon as she got bored, she said "potty". I must have taken her out about 7 times!

At night, David and I went down to Providence for dinner. We thought we were going to our favorite, Chef Walter's, but it turns out they are not open on Sundays in the winter. So we walked a bit and found another place, which was also yummy. And they had one of my favorite wines, a Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Which I had too much of.

So today we are all moving slowly. Sam did not feel well, but I made him go to school, promising to check on him at 10:30. David is driving Sofia to school, and then we have an appointment together, so I'm at Panera now.

Boy, you never really know how important your thumb is until you can't use it! I have made so many typing mistakes this morning. Ugh.

I'm also sore because I worked out Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Might skip today.

David is off to Miami this afternoon until next Tuesday. Working all week, then meeting his parents in Boynton Beach to start cleaning up Grandma Toby's apartment, since no one has been down there in years.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Super-Mom Strikes Again

Well, tonight, as I was cooking a yummy dinner for my family (including my husband, whose trip was canceled at the last minute), I managed to slice my thumb fairly deeply. I cleaned up the wound, put on a tight band-aid, and continued slicing potatoes, until I noticed the blood dripping out of said band-aid.

I did finish making diner before I drove myself to the ER, and David fed them all and got Sofia to bed (actually, Sam put her to bed). I got three stitches in my right thumb, which is making typing a little more challenging than usual.

But the ER was fairly quick, and I was home before 8pm!

Best part was the nurse's final instruction: no dish washing for the next 10-14 days. Hmmm, that will be interesting.

So David is home, very tired and not feeling great. I think he's jet-lagged, since he never gave himself time to re-adjust when he came home.

Sofia might also be coming down with something. She was very oppositional in school today, and crabby this evening. At gymnastics, there was a different second teacher, someone who works there but has not covered Sofia's class. Sofia gave her SUCH a LOOK, and totally started testing her limits. It was interesting to watch. Also interesting because David came with us to gymnastics, so he could see Sofia in action.

Sofia did have a great time at the birthday party Monday evening, but it was WAY overwhelming for me. Very loud and lots of kids. Sofia kept waving me away, and totally ditched on of D's older kids who was trying to help her.

I was glad to be there, though, because I love D and her wonderful family. The two oldest kids were sweet, and two youngest were heavily into the party, and the two middle were incredibly attentive to Sofia.

(Mind is changing tracks...)

Oh, and this morning, I Joined a gym! And WORKED OUT! Yeah!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Long Weekend

Well, I forgot the most exciting news - Micah cut off "Squiddy", his tail!

He's been growing it for two years. He said he does not want to donate it, but it will indeed be donated. Here is the BEFORE shot:



And my handsome boy after the whole haircut is done:

Here are some photos of Sofia at the dentist office in the afternoon (when it was her brothers' appointments, not hers!):


"Seriously, Ma, I said no photos!"

She loved these sunglasses!

My boys at Friendly's on Tuesday evening:


And my Snow Angel:

Yesterday she had her friend's birthday party:

The boys both had play-dates all morning and much of the afternoon, and then in the evening we went to D&E's house for dinner and watched the first Harry Potter movie, which Micah had taken out of the library.

Then David managed to make the 9pm Logan Express shuttle, so we were able to pick him up! Yeah! Good that the boys got to see him last night. He's at work today, meetings tonight and tomorrow, then off to Indiana on Wednesday and Thursday. But he'll be home all weekend.

Today has been lazy so far. Snowy and wet and icy, 'though. I am waiting for the babysitter to come stay with the boys, so I can take Sofia to B&Y's birthday party.

I have to write a play for the Sisterhood Donor Dinner in May, about superstitions. Needs to be funny, and have parts for about 10 people. Anyone want to help???

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quiet Week

I really kept it simple this week. I did indeed take the boys to Friendly's on Tuesday evening, which was fun. Wednesday, I dropped Sofia at my friend's home so they could drive her to school and I could concentrate on things at MWJDS. First I had the Gala Volunteer Thank You Breakfast, and then we had a Team Meeting for Sam.

The meeting was great. The OT and Speech Path from Ashland, who make up the Assistive Technology team, joined us, and Sam sat in on the whole meeting. We reviewed the software programs he is using on his laptop, and discussed ways to make things more useful for him, like adding graphic organizers and things.

Meanwhile, Sofia had a blast, because my friend has pet RATS! Sofia loves anything furry, and does not know to be afraid of anything!

She had fun in gymnastics that afternoon, and then we ran some errands while the boys were in their therapy sessions. Quiet evening at home

Thursday I was really tired - both Micah and Sofia had been in my room much of the night. So I stayed still and watched more episodes of "Firefly". I worked my way through the entire series this week on DVD. Need to get the "Serenity" movie.

Oh, but first, Sofia had a dentist appointment first thing in the morning, and then we were back in the afternoon for the boys' cleanings. Sofia was a riot, trying out every chair and bossing the boys around. But I was exhausted by the end of the appointment.

When sitter arrived, I left, but since my class was cancelled, I got to go to dinner with my friend R. Yum. Then strolled the bookstore for a while.

Today Sofia did not have school (Professional Development), so we went to Starbucks with two of my friends after drop-off. Then I took her over to one of the local pet stores, because I had forgotten to put on her ID tag and wanted to get another one. Had a little problem, because I asked 4 times while paying if the tag machine could do both sides, and then when I asked HOW (as it was engraving the first side), stupid clerk said "Oh, it doesn't do 2 sides!". Grr. But manager was nice and gave us a re-do so I could put more important info (her name, my cell phone, her birthday).

Then we wandered in the pet store, looking at all the animals. As Sofia communed with the smaller dogs in doggy daycare through the glass, I had a nice chat with the manager, who has a 23 year old sister with CP. Nice conversation about the gifts of having someone with Special Needs in the family!

Oh, and another rewarding thing this week. Heard from a friend down in Louisiana (work friend of one of the dads from the day school), who has a 4 month old with DS. Baby is going in for AV Canal (heart) surgery next week, and he wanted to connect with other families. I sent out an email to my list, and got tons of replies already. Thank you to everyone who offered to connect with the family! I love my DS Mommies!

Had a nice Shabbos dinner at S&R's house tonight. Sofia even let S help her into pajamas while Sam and R and I played Scrabble. And of course Micah had a blast with his buddy.

Shul tomorrow, and Sofia has a birthday party Sunday morning (and another Monday afternoon). Need play dates for boys! David comes home Sunday afternoon. Yeah!

G'night, all!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My eye hurts. Really itches. But at least everything else is getting better. The skin rash is getting better, the lymph node is not as swollen. I was even able to sleep with that side of my head down last night.

But I'm tired, and sore. It hurts to blink because my eye is so itchy, so then I don't blink as much and the muscles hurt from holding.

And I did not sleep well last night, since first Sam came in with a bad dream and proceeded to shuffle and fidget in my bed for 20 minutes, and then Sofia-the-homing-pigeon came and pushed him out.

But at least we took it easy today. After I dropped her off, I went to the coffee shop and then the library and worked on my Masters project for a while. The more I try to organize the articles I already have, the more I find. I'm drowning in interesting articles. I just have to figure out which are actually relevant!

I also came across an interesting newsletter, "Disability Solutions," and the Volume Four issue is all about "Wandering in Children with Down Syndrome". Very interesting, nice to know I'm not alone, and some good suggestions.

After I picked up Sofia today, she plunked in front of a movie and I sat in my favorite chair and read. When the babysitter arrived, my darling daughter kicked me out of the house. I had arranged a playdate for Micah, so Sam and I went shopping. He got a new helmet, this time a "multi-sport", and a "fake" snowboard. He is SOOOO happy!

I get to take my boys to dinner tonight, but this time I think Friendly's rather than sushi. Then sleep.

I had an interesting moment with Sofia again today. When I came upstairs, I saw that she had invaded one of the junk boxes on my dresser. I said "Oh! BAD!". She froze, and would not look directly at me, but focused on "Hug. Hug."

I simply cannot scold her, because she gets so focused on being scolded that she won't listen to the actual problem. Ideas?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

End of Weekend

Not too bad. Really nice evening at D&E's house for Shabbos dinner. Relaxing and fun.

Saturday, David took the boys to shul while I stayed home with Sofia; I did not want to infect anyone. I did, however, take her for her 2nd H1N1 dose. She screamed and struggled, but once it was done, she was fine.

Drove David to the Logan Express bus at 3:30. Gone for the week, sigh. Came home, waited for sitter, and then left.

Had to wait for friend I was driving, so I got an unplanned 30 minutes sipping cocoa and reading at StarBucks. NICE. Then I picked up H and we drove to Stow for a Girl's Night IN at R's house. Lovely. We left after 11:30.

Today, relaxing. I did take the kids out to the Arcade, but that wiped me out, so we came home. The boys have been very helpful with Sofia - whatever lecture David gave them yesterday really worked! Sofia has been high-maintenance as usual, really wanting MOMMY.

I am going to try to take it easy this week. Not too much going on. Maybe work on my paper?

Oh, and Micah just got out of bed, having an allergy attack all over his little body. Ugh. Poor kid was covered in rash. I gave him Benadryl and slathered on the excema meds. Will check on him shortly. I hate allergies!

Friday, January 8, 2010


Well, that horrible sinus infection I thought I had turned out to be Shingles! She thinks we caught it early, so now I'm on an anti-viral med. Feel yuchy. Head hurts - it's right above my right eye.

The interview was horrible. I found out today that the guy was actually very impressed with me, but I certainly did not get that feeling while sitting there! And basically, it comes down to whether Sofia is ready or not, and I really do not think she is. She is still wearing pull-ups, and she still wanders too much.

So I called today to decline. I guess it was good to find out that he DID like me, but I felt so demoralized by the end of the interview. I knew going in that he was an intimidating guy; I've met him at Micah's Family Nights. People do like him, he's supposedly a nice guy, but I was terrified. And insecure. And unsure as to whether I should even be there.

So back to my regular summer - drive Micah to the bus, drive Sofia to preschool, try to get some swimming done, and otherwise shuffle my kids around. But at least we'll get to take a vacation. And Sam and Sofia will both be able to go to Summer School. Sam will have 3 full weeks of Summer School after he gets back from sleep-away camp.

Cleaning ladies came today; AHHHHHH. I love my house when it is clean. Which hasn't happened since December 21. And believe me, my kids sure can dirty up a house!

Sam had a terrible day in school, bumped his head a few times, had a misunderstanding with some friends, and just generally was not happy. So of course, in the car on the way home, he launched into a tirade, and then Micah had to get in on the act, claiming that he hates his life.

Sigh. At my physical this morning, we talked about my little Special Needs family. I manage to juggle all of it, but REALLY, why do they need to come up with more complaints???

It could always be worse, of course. I just delivered a meal to a family with a sick dad, and another friend's husband is really not doing well, with cancer. So while we may have a lot of junk to deal with, we DEAL with it. Gratefully. It could always be worse.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Micah has a new obsession. He likes to talk about his "nuts". His "balls", his "privates", or any other term he can think of. But especially "nuts".

Mind you, this is the same kid who, at age 3, dropped trou' and said to my sister, "Aunt 'Lissa, I think my pishy is too big." (Ah, that was fun!)

He is such a BOY. An 8 year old boy. A younger brother. And an older brother, for that matter. BOY BOY BOY.

He is also still obsessed with me. I finally signed Sammy up for sleep-away camp this summer, and Micah said, "Mommy, I don't ever want to go to sleep-away camp, I just want to stay with you!"

Last night, both Micah and Sofia wanted ME. I woke up this morning with one on either side of me, pressed tightly against me. I felt compelled to remind them that "birth is really only a one-way trip" and they could not get back inside the womb, no matter how hard they tried.

This morning was another Whimsical Wednesdays. I have fun doing them. Today we talked about Havdalah, the little ceremony at the end of Shabbat. I read them a great book, "Too Much of a Good Thing".

Tomorrow morning, I have an interview!!! I'm meeting with the director of the day-camp that Micah goes to in the summers. It started because one of my friends who works there was going to quit this year, and would pass her job along to me. But it turns out they are also looking for a Judaic studies teacher, which is what I really want, AND also looking for Special Needs counselors, which I could probably do.

My problem is Sofia and Sam. Sofia is old enough to come to the camp, but is it the right place for her? And would she be better off in the Special Needs unit or in the regular unit? I'm not thrilled with her being in just SN - she models whatever behavior she sees, so I don't need her segregated. But she also wanders, and would definitely need special swim instruction and supervision.

Then there's Sam. He'll be at sleep-away until July 18, but then home. And technically he'll probably qualify again for summer school, but it's only a half-day, so what would he do in the afternoons? He would not be happy at Micah's camp!

So I'm nervous. But I guess the interview would be good experience.

REALLY REALLY REALLY need to start writing my capstone paper. I have to narrow my focus - I have gotten so many great resource articles, but I just have to say that some of them are out-of-scope.

David is off to Copenhagen and Berlin next week, so I'll be single-parenting again. Should be ok, though. As the boys get older, it's getting easier. But we'll still miss him.

I just joined Crazy Hip Bloggers, too. Some of my bloggy-friends are there as well. Should be fun.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy 2010

A new year, a new decade. Cool.

It was a nice relaxing weekend. Wednesday, Micah went to David's office for a while, and Sam had a playdate. While Sofia was at gymnastics, I picked up Sam, dropped him with David and picked up Micah. David and Sam went to see "Avatar" that evening with some friends. After gymnastics, Micah had his therapy appointment, then the three of us had a quiet evening at home.

I was exhausted, so after I put Sofia to bed, I crawled into my own bed and let Micah stay and watch a movie. He was wide awake, and glommed onto me like a starfish, or a carbunkle. When David and Sam got home, I was asleep and Micah was still watching his movie.

Thursday started out kind of hectic. I met my friend and her son at the mall. All three boys had boxes from Lego that they could fill up on the big Individual Pieces wall. Which was ok, except that Micah didn't want to, and Sofia really wanted her own box. Sam stuffed his box to the brim, as expected. Micah and his buddy eventually settled into fun (which lasted 24 hours - E slept over!).

We took them for a snack, and then my friend took the three boys back to my house while I went to pick up my other friend's two daughters. So eventually we had 6 kids at my house. Which turned out to be quite nice. It was snowing, and for a while three were outside. Also for a while, the two 10-year-olds were upstairs hanging out, while the 9, 8, 6 and 4 were all having a blast together with toys and noise in the living room. It was very nice.

Evening came, and the girls' parents, and another family (with two 9 year olds, one 7 year old and one newborn) all came over for New Years Eve. I'd been cooking all afternoon, and we had a nice relaxing time.

Sam held court upstairs with the two older girls and occasionally the 6 year old. At one point, he came running down saying the two girls were trying to kiss him! I suspect there was some pre-tween flirting going on, but since both of these families are like...well, like Family to us, we were not worried.

Micah and E and the other 7 year old were "thick as thieves", and for a while the other 9 year old boy had trouble finding his own place, but eventually he fit with them. Sofia was just fascinated by the infant, and went to sleep at 9pm.

We put the older 8 kids in front of a movie around 10pm, and just before midnight they all came downstairs to watch the Ball drop with us. It was a nice evening.

Friday and Saturday were spent almost entirely watching the Dr. Who marathon on BBC-America. Since it was snowing so much on Saturday, we couldn't go to shul. Just sprawled. All day. Lovely.

Today, however, I was a bit stir-crazy. David shoveled in the afternoon, while the boys and some neighborhood kids used our front lawn for sledding and snowboarding. I took Sofia out for a while - apparently Sam let her slide down the hill unattended once! - and I dragged the sled up and down the street while she ordered me to go faster.

Tonight, we went out to eat, and finally got the boys to eat and enjoy Indian food! Yum.

All week, when Sofia was not dragging me into her room for a "Tea Pahty" (great accent!), she was demanding "Snow WHITE!". Today, I finally got her to watch the Princesses DVD my mom had given her instead. She liked it.

Several times this week, Sofia also treated us to some "singing". She would empty out the music box and just make as much noise as possible:


or grab the toy microphone and "sing" her own particular song, mostly "Ya Ya Ya Ya..."
Here she is playing with a wrapped notepad:

Here are some cute pics from the Armory museum on Tuesday. Sofia was so pleased to wear a helmet and armour:

Micah tried on the heavier helmets:

Sofia did some drawing:

Micah got Sam into the stocks:

And Micah posed behind the photo: