Sunday, November 27, 2011

What happened to November???

So when last we "spoke", there was a mouse in my closet. Mousie continued to terrorize me for the week. On Thursday of that week, my friend D came over to help me clean the closet, and we managed to put together 25 bags of things to be donated! I have a very clean and organized closet now, and I found some old clothing that fits me again, which was nice.

David returned home from Copenhagen, and on Sunday, we went to the MWJDS Gala. Micah's class was presenting, and Sam's class was ushering, so I got to have all my boys dressed up.


My friend H and I wore sequins - I remember wearing this to my 30th birthday party! Very excited that it fits again, even if the overall shape is a little different than 16 years ago.

We had a nice time, and Sofia had fun at home with a babysitter ;)

Another week, more mouse trauma. Signs of droppings in hallway, in David's bureau drawers, and in Sofia's dresser drawers. David left for Atlanta. Sam's sensory integration issues with sound kicked back up, first time in years, so he started wearing earplugs in school, which he has not needed to wear since about 2nd grade.

Wednesday evening, all hell breaks loose as I actually SEE the mouse in Sofia's room! Call my neighbor, who thankfully comes right over (he's the go-to guy for nature incursion; he once removed a tick from Sofia's neck long ago). Head lamp, gloves, box, ready to work. The boys were fascinated, and followed him in to Sofia's room, while I had to keep her out. Poor Sofia had no clue about the mouse; she was just aware that there was a Man in her room and her brothers had locked her out.

Anyway, they were not able to catch the mousie, but he set some traps. David, during this episode, was in the Atlanta airport, wishing he wasn't on his way home! He had been traumatized as a small child - he'd reached in to scoop dogfood out of a 50lb bag, and a bunch of baby mice had crawled up his arm. So my husband is NOT the one to handle rodents!

It was NOT a peaceful week. No sleep, between Sofia in our bed (couldn't let her sleep with the mousie) and listening to every little noise.

Friday, finally, the trap was sprung. Sam said he wanted to "man up" and remove the trap, but on first try, he came screaming out saying "Yikes, you can see the tail!". But he did it. Very proud of him.

Veterans Admin came and took 20 bags away, and I brought the rest to Savers (Epilepsy Foundation). Whew.

Bat Mitzvah on the 19th in Worcester - I had to read Torah, which meant that, in addition to being exhausted from no sleep, I was completely stressed out. But I did ok. After services and lunch, we came home and David and I both slept 3 solid hours. We left Sofia and Micah home with a sitter and took Sam with us to the party. It was nice to see our Worcester friends, but kind'a disturbing to see the 13 year old girls dancing to songs with lyrics like "I'm So Sexy" and "Shots for Everyone". Sam had fun with his friends (past MWJDS students and a friend from Ramah).

Sunday we went back down to CT for Lilie's birthday party, which was busy but fun.

Ok, that brings us to Thanksgiving week. Getting a little more sleep, but still coping. Sam's OCD kicked in, along with his 12-year-old attitude. Tuesday morning, I had to take him to his reading group, but could not get him out of the car, because he was so upset and stressed about going. I had to get someone from his IEP team to come out and get him out of the car. And when he came back, he was fine, proud of how he'd done in class, calm and happy. I was a total wreck.

But we finished the week, met up with Sam's former teach and a lot of MWJDS friends for lunch on Wednesday, and did a few errands.

Getting better, finally. Thanksgiving day, we took a lot longer to get out of the house than we had expected - didn't leave until 2pm - but it was moderately restful. And we went to my sister's house, with my folks, mom's cousins, and dad's brother and his family.

Actually had a nice time. My uncle was really nice to us, and we had a nice time talking to them. It was a nice change.

Sofia borrowed Hannah's coat:

Sam hangs out with my cousin Paul:

Sofia gets comfy in front of the football game:

Slept over, but came back up before noon on Friday. Fairly peaceful weekend. We'd hoped David's folks could come up on Friday, but they were swamped with work. So it was just us (could not get anyone else last-minute!). Saturday, it was a lovely day, so we went to the Ecotarium in Worcester. which was fun. Sofia INSISTED on going on the train ride, so she and I sat there for 45 minutes waiting for the next ride, while David took the boys to the Planetarium show.

We stopped at Wegman's on the way home. Wow. I'll have to go back there on a week-day when it's not crowded and I'm not shepherding kids. Wow.

At night, I made Rack of Lamb. I'd bought it before Passover and it's been taking up freezer space. I'd hoped ot have company to share it, but it was just us. Which ended up ok, because it took three times longer to cook than I'd thought it would.

But OH MY was it DELICIOUS!!!!!!

Today, later morning and then we dropped David at the Logan Express bus - he's off to India for the week - and saw the Muppet Movie with friends. I think the other two moms and I should have gone without the kids, 'cause we had a blast!

Went over to N's house tonight for dinner after the movie. I helped her son set up his new iPod and laptop. It was good to see her - it's been a few weeks.

The boys don't have school tomorrow - Professional Development Day - but Sofia does, which means the boys and I can go run errands and maybe see another movie that she wouldn't liek. Then back to normal. I am trying to figure out how the heck to go visit my grandmother, but she insists I should NOT bring a sick child, which is a problem. I have had at least one sick child all semester (Sofia's got a horrible stuffy nose). So I have to figure out who can take care of my kids while I go down to Florida for a couple of days, and David is traveling non-stop for the next month or so.


A nice shot of my kids, Nov. 6 when my parents came to visit:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

And because it wasn't already stressful...

There are mice playing tag in my closet every night, and venturing into my room at 4am. UGH.

Pest guy came yesterday, but I put in another call today - the mousie actually knocked over a bag of stuff by my desk!

I apparently have a HORDING problem...I have mostly emptied out the walk-in closet, but there is just SO MUCH STUFF to go through.

Someone please come keep my company!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Feelin' the "Special" in Special Needs

So my parents did come up yesterday, but not until late afternoon. Which meant that we all went shopping together, rather than leaving my Dad and Sofia home, and then out to dinner.

My mother likes to shop. It is her favorite activity, and she is very, very good at it. Which means she is not fast. She is thorough. She searches for the correct size, she weighs the options, she considers.

And did I mention we had Sofia with us?

So that was NOT MUCH FUN. Sofia has about as much patience as...uh, ok, Sofia has NO patience.

We did put her in a shopping cart - gave her the option of holding my hand, Pop's hand, or the cart, she chose the cart - but she wanted Mama, not Pop, to wheel.

The store we were in has very narrow aisles, which means my daughter could engage in octopus behavior, and grab just about EVERYTHING. And then throw it into the cart.

Once she finally climbed out of the cart (being the little monkey that she is), she wanted to push the cart.


And fast.

And far.

Meanwhile, my parents and Sam are agonizing over sweatshirts, and Micah is trying to help me keep Sofia from running people over.

And then she got HUNGRY.

At the top of her lungs.

So while they were paying, I took her over to the card store, which thankfully also has food (gift items), and I found a yummy bag of chocolate caramel corn.

A bit longer to shop... and then off to a restaurant.

On the Sunday night after the clocks have changed. Which means 6pm still felt like 7pm.

Which means at 7pm (when our internal clocks said 8pm, half an hour past her bed time), we were still in the restaurant.

Fortunately, we were in a large corner booth, with a solid wall behind, so Sofia could stand and stretch and point and move around mostly without escaping. Her brothers flanked her on either side.

Until she climbed over Micah to get to me and Pop (who were sitting in chairs at the end of the table).

And once done eating (thank HEAVENS Legal Seafood has gluten-free roles!), Sofia insisted on three visits to the potty. Which you just can't ignore, in case she really has to go.

I hit a wall. It was so stressful. And all the while, my folks are being themselves, having a leisurely dinner and discussing the various merits of the food and service - at great length.

We survived, but I was so conscious of how "different" Sofia really is. My parents would expect a 6 year old to sit still. Not an option here. My parents would expect Micah to be happy. Not an option here (he feels very much a second-class citizen, because my folks really spoil Sam, and Sam knows how to play along. Micah refuses to play along, and gets into arguments with my mother.)


And in the middle of the night, there was a mouse in my closet. Which means that this afternoon I will be emptying the closet - a walk-in, 17' long - so the pest guy can get in there tomorrow and remove the critter and plug the hole!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The End of Hell Week

It's really been a tough week.

Last weekend was the Storm. Aside from the weather, it was an ok weekend, mostly relaxing.

Monday night was Halloween. Not my favorite holiday, I hate all the candy, but the kids still enjoy it. David walks with Sofia, the boys go with the pack of neighborhood kids, I man the door at home. Sofia only made it to a few houses before she got too scared, so she and David came home.

And while he was home, we got The Call, that his grandmother, Toby, had died. So we dealt with that, told the boys about it when they came home. Micah, in his way, wanted to hear nothing else about it, and went to his room. Sam, in his way, stayed up stressing and fussing in our room far too late.

Tuesday, other than being sad about Grandma Toby, was actually an ok day. I taught Micah's class their first trope (Torah reading) lesson, and it went really well!

Wednesday was crazy. I took Sofia with me and drove Micah to school. David took Sam to the Ashland Middle School, for reading group. Sofia and I picked him up. David went to work for a few hours, so Sam and I fought about his Hebrew homework, and packed.

Left home around 11, got to New Britain a little early, and made our way to the cemetery. This is the place where all his relatives are buried, and unfortunately, we have been there a lot, but it's really a lovely place. And it was a beautiful day for a funeral - sunny and warmer.

CT is a wreck - trees down everywhere, and at that point, almost no one had power. And the cemetery was muddy. They had to bring the backhoe in to finish putting the dirt on the casket (in a Jewish funeral, usually the mourners and other attendees do all the shoveling of dirt, but it was just too wet).

We got a nice turn-out - a lot of the Long Island cousins, whom I really really like, came up for it, which was sweet of them. We went back to Grandma's house for shiva, so we got to visit people for a while. And just after most of them left to go to shul for the evening service, the power came back on!

We met them at shul (David had gone with his dad, and I had his mom), and then dropped Sam and Sofia at my sister's house, where my parents have been camped out all week (along with several other families!). Then we drove to NYC. (Micah, meanwhile, had a great time sleeping over with friends up here).

David and I were going to NYC to get his travel visa for India (he's going right after Thanksgiving). We didn't get to the hotel until after 10pm. In the morning, I stayed at the hotel for a leisurely breakfast while he went over to the Visa Center. He handed in his passport and all his paperwork and money, and then the guy said "ok, come back tomorrow at 5:30"! It was supposed to be same-day service, but they could not promise!

So we spent the whole day stressing about whether we would get his stuff back in time. And he needed his passport - right now (Saturday night) he's on a plane to Copenhagen.

We spent most of the day walking around the city. Meandering. Nothing really special, but it was nice. Found a good kosher Israeli place, for shwarma and schnitzel. Also had Tea and Scones at an Alice In Wonderland themed place. Very nice.

And luckily, the passport and visa DID make it through the system, so we were able to get them on Thursday evening. Got back in the car around 6:30. Headed back to my sister's house, stopped for a quick bit of dinner, and made it home by 11:15 (Micah was home with a sitter).

Done, right?


Friday morning, Sam is sobbing and choking. His tonsils are completely swollen. I sent him back to sleep (that seemed to be what he needed more than anything else), and took Micah and Sofia off to school. Called pediatrician on the way home, and they said bring him in early.

So we saw one of the other peds, not our regular (but I trust all the docs in that office; don't necessarily like one of them but I do trust them). Dr. T. was quite alarmed, and thought it might be a peritonsular abscess. She booked us in to the Ear/Nose/Throat office - where we had all been patients back when the boys were little and had ear tubes and I got allergy shots.

Unfortunately, the pediatric ENT was not in, so we saw one of the other docs. And they couldn't take us until 2pm, so I spent a lot of frantic time trying to find someone to pick up Sofia from school. It was stressful. And I picked up Micah early (school ends at 2 on Fridays).

Anyway, the ENT did not think it was an abscess. Apparently, there are a lot of weird throat things that can happen with mono, so even though the quick-test for strep was negative, it's not totally ruled out. So the ENT said to have the pediatrician write scripts for a steroid and an antibiotic.

We went back to our pediatrician (we were supposed to be there for Micah's 10 year check up), and she wanted to know why the ENT couldn't write his own scrips! I think he was not used to dosing for pediatric patients. And she also agreed with her colleague that it looked more like an abscess, so we were stressed out for the past 24 hours, watching for symptoms or signs of improvement.

Fortunately, it does seem to be responding to the steroids. Whew! 'Cause the next step was the ER.

We went to our friends' house for Shabbat dinner, which was nice (especially nice since I did not have any food ready!), and slept late today. Except that there was a knock on the door at 8pm, UPS delivering a package for David for work. Which was also a stress-inducer, although we eventually realized it wasn't as bad as we thought (requests for information only).

David went to work, while I tried to get Sam to calm down. Eventually he did. The poor kid is frightened. And a drama king. But I had a serious talk with him about whether he really needed to go to the ER or not. We managed to avoid it.

He came with me to drive David to the Logan Express bus, and then go grocery shopping. I made a nice dinner for the kids - marinated salmon, pasta, broccoli - and we also got fixings for ice cream sundaes. YUM.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better... although my parents are coming to visit...hmmmm...