Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lovin' Life

It's my birthday, and a great day to reflect.

I love my life.

I love my husband.

I love my children. More than anything I could EVER have imagined.

I love my family (really, I do).

I love my friends. Near and far.

I love what I am doing for "work" these days (although it probably would be even nicer if I was earning money for it!). I love my students. Every one of them.

It was 56 degrees F today. January. In Massachusetts.

Got to see three dear friends during the course of the day. First went to N's house to fix some computer problems (easy to fix, fortunately). Then, coffee with H - she "forced" me to add Kahlua to my peppermint mocha latte, and then we had a tailgate party in the back of her SUV, seeing how many people we could get to smile in the Starbucks parking lot. Wonderful. Then a yummy Indian buffet with D, my foodie friend. So much love.

David is whisking me out tonight for dinner, and he even remembered to arrange a sitter for our darling children!

And Comcast just admitted that there is a problem with our line (duh, I've been trying to troubleshoot with them for two weeks now), so tech is coming Thursday morning.

What's not to love?!

Thank you thank you thank you. To G-d and to everyone.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ramblings and Musings

Yes, Facebook has really taken over on the small thought postings. It's so much easier - I can punch out a short note on my phone whenever a thought "needs" to be shared. But I do still love my blog. I'm just sorry I don't get to it more frequently these days. I often have thoughts to share; unfortunately, they usually come to me as I am driving the mini van around Metrowest. And I'm not a "tape recorder" kind of writer - I need the physical contact with they keyboard, and I need the visual input of the letters.

So here we are. It was a busy but ok week. David was in Copenhagen (he's on the plane home now). Kids had school (well, Sofia had no school Friday, but I took her to MWJDS for the afternoon). And it's college vacation week, so I had access to babysitters!

Monday after school we took Sofia to Children's Hospital Waltham for her endocrinology checkup. As soon as she saw the building, she insisted "No Sofia. Boy sick. Micah sick. No Sofia." So the boys had to be weighed and measured before she would allow herself to be weighed and measured. There was NO chance of getting the blood pressure cuff to stay on long enough. And the blood draw was typical for Sofia: took three adults to hold her (she sits on my lap in the "blood" chair with the bar across us and my legs across her knees while I hold her non-draw arm. Another tech holds the "victim" arm - I had to push back on her shoulder to keep her from moving. Then the third person does the needle stick.) After the blood draw, she sat on the floor screeching at us in anger, and then there was the typical 24 hour period of keeping her "victim" arm pinned tightly behind her back.

But otherwise, endocrin was good. She's doing great, and even though the numbers are slightly elevated, they are still not high enough to need treatment. She did not stop talking when we went in to see the doctor, who is a kindly young father himself. She was full of stories about "Chipmunk Princess Towel Dance" - I have no idea what she's talking about!

Anyway, I left the kids home with a sitter at night and I had to go lead a shiva minyan for my friend whose brother died. Very sad. And to add a note of ridiculousness, I had to hold a flashlight during the whole service, because their living room is very dark and I could not see the pages of the prayer book!

Wednesday, I had to take Sam to his snowboard lesson, so I had a sitter for the other two, a dear family friend who is like an older brother to my guys. Thursday, I actually went out for fun with a friend!

OH! I promised I'd do this: last Friday, we had our house vents cleaned. GREAT experience. I'd gotten a Groupon for a household vent cleaning. Of course, the groupon was only for a part of the system, and of course they recommended way more work than just what I'd already paid a very small amount for.

But they were terrific. East Coast Vent. I HIGHLY recommend them. It was two brothers, one very chatty and sweet. First, they reviewed the system, then came back to me with the recommendations and pricing. I called in to check with David, who of course threw a hissy fit over the phone. They guys first suggested they come back another time so we could discuss. Then they reviewed the recommendations, and we found some ways to save money, with one recommendation for a Do It Yourself item instead. That brought the price way down, and then the office allowed them one final discount.

And then they did a complete and thorough job of cleaning all the dust and dirt and grime and socks and rodents from our ventilation system! I can feel the difference. House is warmer, not having to fight through the dust. And less sneezing already!

Whew - forgot to do that last week...

Sofia is now choking me, trying to pull me away to help her clean her toys so she can watch a movie. She's very strong. And she is saying so much these days! Last night, she insisted "Fire. Stick. Eat. Now. Ten Minutes. Come on. Please Mommy. Eat. Outside. Fire.Stick." The wind, the temperature, and my general unwillingness to let her cook her food over a bonfire nixed the idea.

Heading down to CT tonight to take Sam to a camp friend's bat mitzvah. David coming home tonight, but we won't get to see him until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Melt Down about "Boy"

Whew, that was a long day. Mostly from 2:45 onward...

I was SO happy to get the kids back to school yesterday. And it's sort of scary how much delight David and I took in having to wake Sofia up both mornings: "Sofia! Wake Up! Morning Coming!" Payback...

It also felt good to get back to being "Hamorah Francine", the teacher. I got to work with my Torah students yesterday and today - very rewarding. Especially because I just love all the kids at this school!

So today: it took a bit to get us all out of the house, since they are still on "waking up late" time. Dropped Sofia at Breakfast Bunch, got the boys and myself to the day school. Worked with a new Torah reader, with lots of sweet giggles. Had a couple of quick check-ins with various folk.

Spent an hour running errands - FINALLY mailed out our 2011 Holiday Cards - then went to my favorite bagel place (Cafe Bagel) for some delayed breakfast and a lovely chat with the wonderful owner. Went home and sorted out some stuff, then had a very long and fruitful phone conversation with the rabbi of the synagogue where we will be holding our school Shabbaton in a few weeks.

Got Sofia, brought her back to the day school, reviewed Torah readings with Micah's class, had a very productive meeting with the school psychologist. We are coming up on Sofia's IEP, and it was useful to review with P (who is also the IEP coordinator for the day school) what some of our concerns and questions are for the public school. The nice thing is that, in December, the staff from the day school spent some time observing at the public school, and they now have much more information for me - most of it really good, positive news.

I've been feeling very out-of-the-loop about how Sofia is doing at the public school, because we get almost no written feedback, and of course Sofia is not telling us anything. So it's good to know things are going well.

My own biggest concern is the potty. They are still insisting on taking her to the nurse's office to use the potty, and at least once a week, she comes home in a change of outfit. She does NOT have accidents at home or at the other school, so I'm not sure what the heck is going on. And I've been stonewalled every time I ask. No one seems to "own" the decision. So that will be my own major issue for discussion at the IEP meeting. Besides academics, of course.

Anyway, after I met with P, I got to be Hamorah Francine again, this time by bringing the Torah itself down to the Kindergarten room (I was going to bring them to see it in theCafetorium, but there was a music class going on).

It was SO much fun to be able to show the students the Torah. Most of them had never been "up close" to see the scroll. I pointed out the words of the Shema, which they know by heart (and which has some unusually-sized letters). Sofia was thrilled ot have both Mama and Torah at the same time, and she was very definite about dismissing Hamorah A, her aide, when I appeared! (Although A stayed until I put my Mama hat back on again).

No, the big exhaustion came at the end of school. Samuel started his snowboard lessons today, along with one of his friends. So he was staying in the aftercare program until his friend's dad, came to get them. I collected Sofia, Micah and two children who usually walk (but it was way too cold, so I was driving them). But Sofia refused to budge without "Boy". She was laying on the ground in front of the door, screaming for Boy. She got so very upset. Shouting "Boy" and demanding we get him. We had to go back in to school and get a hug from him, and even then, it was difficult to get her in the car.

Dropped the other kids at their house, took Micah to Old Navy for some jeans. Sofia was VERY vocal about not liking the design of the new shopping carts, and then even more vocal about "HUNGRY!" Thank heavens they now have snacks in the check out line, although she ate half and then tossed it on the ground.

Took Micah to gymnastics, took Sofia to Starbucks, then sat in the car with her for 45 minutes waiting for Micah. She watched her Signing Times video on my phone while I napped ;)

Treated the two kids to sushi (takeout), and got her to bed a little earlier tonight. Before she fell asleep, we were practicing her reading lesson for the weekend reading group. And I discovered something amazing about my daughter:


Not every word, but most of them. She can actually read the WORDS, not just identify them because of the pictures on the page. 'Cause she can read them without the pictures on the page!

She can also count to 10, and identify almost immediately how many items are on a given page.

I am SO proud of that little girl!