Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stress, even with fewer kids

Got Sam off to Camp on Tuesday. First year in a long time that I wasn't totally ready to kick him out of the house mid-June. He was great, right up until we got to camp. Then he was rude and obnoxious, just like a normal boy.

Hardest part about camp drop-off was that Sofia totally thought SHE was staying, too. It took some convincing to get her into the car.

So now I'm home with Micah and Sofia. (David in Costa Rica. Again).

Feeling very guilty that Micah does not have any play dates this week. But his few friends who don't go to sleepaway camp are just too busy. Or their moms can't plan more than 10 hours in advance. Or both. Very frustrating.

Took Sofia to visit her new camp this morning. It's the first year we are going; it's a Special Needs camp in Natick. Every camper gets a 1:1 aide. This is the first time they did a meet-and-greet on staff day. Which was good, because I had no idea where the camp was, so this way I got to find it first.

Awesome place. Very small, contained, right on the lake. Indoor and outdoor spaces. Ramp for wheelchair access to water. Sofia spent the hour we were there TOTALLY bossing the staff around. She loved it.

Interesting thing was that another mom and child who showed up were blasts from our past. W also has DS, and is about the same age as Sofia. We were at Early Intervention together. And that's where the comparison should END. W's mom does not speak much English (just Portuguese). And she's the one who used to take one look at Sofia and burst into tears. W does not have the same kind of muscle tone or abilities that Sofia has.

And still his mom does not speak English. Sofia and W are 8 years old. I would think that by now she would have learned at least a little bit. That frustrates me.

But W is still a delicious little boy. Gave me the BEST hug, and plopped down in my lap for a long time. Totally stimming on feeling the ground and the leaves. (And then we had to take some leaves out of his mouth).

Meanwhile, Sofia had about a dozen camp staffers busy playing a game of "knock the bowling pins over with a baseball bat." My delicate flower.

After the camp visit, I had to take Sofia with me to a meeting at "The Office" (aka Starbucks). Unfortunately, the internet was not working properly, and it took me about half an hour to connect. I was trying to juggle my laptop, my phone, Sam's iPad for Sofia, Sofia, two yogurts, a coffee and her water cup. Very frustrating.

But managed to complete the meeting, using ooVoo to video conference call 4 of us to discuss the use of various technologies at school. Nifty, getting to experiment with different things.

After that, we came home and just hung out all afternoon on this rainy day. Around 5:30, we all got hungry, so we went to my favorite, The Aztec, a tiny Mexican restaurant in Framingham. And then mid-way through the meal, Sofia got sick, so we packed up the food, paid quickly and came home.

She's feeling better now, at after a quick bath she went right to bed. It's 7:43, and she's already fast asleep.

Hopefully Ikea tomorrow to get the boys a new dresser.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


It's been a long stretch to get here, but we're almost done.

Yesterday we had my parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary Party. Their actual anniversary was in December, but they wanted the party when the weather was nice. And we lucked out, since it was monsooning all week, but gorgeous yesterday.

Some pics:
Sofia getting cozy with the Blue Corn Chips
 The "Triplets", Julia, Sam and Hannah (the twins are six weeks older than my Sam).

 All The Grandkids
 David looking rather alarmingly like his father!
 Laura and Sam
 The GoofBalls:

 My sister brings out the Cake
 The sons-in-law photo-bomb the pic:
 Me with my dad and his "little" brother

It was a nice party. Long day. And I spent all Friday until about 1:30 am making a video (which I had not planned to do, but then I did it anyway). Came out cool. And fortunately David arrived home from Europe on Friday instead of having to fly in Saturday and then drive down.

Today for Father's Day, we (eventually) went to the Decordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA. It would have been nicer without the kids, since the boys were coping attitudes and Sofia was GROUCHY (she kept telling us she was GROUCHY).  But it was still lovely.

I am unfortunately having an allergic reaction to something, and I have a rash all over my neck. Really itches and looks awful. Not at all sure what it is from. I have been putting Cortizone on it today and just took a Benadryl.

Tomorrow is Sam's GRADUATION from MWJDS! On Friday, for the last Shabbat assembly, his class led the prayers, and the moms all sobbed.

So I'll have much more to post after graduation. I've been working all week on video for the event - a slide show from Kindergarten through Eighth grade, for the whole class and then for each of the six graduates individually. Hopefully it will go ok.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Calgon, PLEASE take me away...

Today was just one of those days. One of those days when being single and child-free looks REALLY really good.

It was actually mostly a good enough day. I stayed up too late last night, watching the Tony Awards and then surfing for Dr. Who and Sherlock videos on YouTube. So I was tired. But I didn't have to drive Micah today, he got a ride. Took Miss Sofia off to school, made a quick trip to the grocery store, and then took Sam to Ashland for reading class. Picked him up at 9:30, took him to school, met my friend H for a final review of the Yearbook, dropped new disc at printer, picked up Sofia, and went to the day school for the afternoon.

Things are coming along well. Yearbook is at the printer; I just have to go there in the morning to approve the final proof. And graduation is next week. It is a complete joy to work with Hamenahelet, who returned to co-chair the event with me. I adore her, and she is so thorough and precise about everything.

So things were swimming along... until Sofia's aid came into the office around 3:00, very frazzled.

They lost Sofia's eyeglasses. Outside.

They had gone out as a class for gym. The teacher is positive she had the glasses on when they walked out the door. They all went into the shed to get equipment, and then walked in a line up to the parking lot where the gym teacher was waiting (yes, we have gym class in the parking lot).

And yet, when they got to the gym teacher, the glasses were gone.

They searched. The shed, the playground, the walkway. Both the aid and the teacher, and the gym teacher, and all the first grade students.

Did she fling them somewhere as they were walking? No one saw her do it. The aid was walking behind her, and did not see anything unusual.

So now it's nearing dismissal time. The aid and I take Miss Sofia back outside to look, while the teacher gets the other kids ready.

Still no glasses.

Dismissal. Micah goes outside to look. I have to finish something in the office, which now I have to do while Sofia sits on my lap. (She's suddenly VERY clingy!). Then I drop her with AfterCare, and go back outside.

The aid, a really lovely woman, is still searching. We comb through every box and bag in the shed (where all the gym toys and equipment is kept; at least now it's cleaned up!). We search the playground, the fields, the bushes....

And just as we are about to give up... I spot them.

Folded and neatly placed on the ground just under a classroom window.

When the heck did she do that????

Ok, so glasses are found. I'm only a bit frazzled.

We still have a few minutes to wait for Sam's class to be done (the 8th graders have Art after school on Mondays, so we could have more math time during school). They'd spent the whole afternoon practicing their graduation speeches with Hamenahelet.

Which means Sam is in a REALLY BAD MOOD. He is taking very long pauses after each sentence, and does not like being told that the pauses are too long.

Off we go to the car. One grumpy 14 year old (yes, my baby turned 14 yesterday!). One anxious and clingy and grouchy 8 year old (who adamantly did not want to go to gymnastics). And one slightly anxious 11 year old.

The 11 year old uses the car ride home to try to explain exactly what he wants to do for his Simple Machines project - which is due tomorrow. Do I have a wooden wheel he can use to cut a hole into the middle? What size wheel, Micah? Big.

No, Micah, I do not have a spare wooden wheel hanging around. Sorry.

So now he's grumpy and frustrated.

And the 14 year old is HUNGRY, and only wants a fried fish sandwich. Starving, actually. Despite oatmeal, egg-and-cheese-on-a-bagel, a thermos full of pasta, and a bowl of popcorn during art class.

By the time we get into Ashland and go to the Dairy Queen (where Sofia and I can have ice cream while the boys get fish sandwiches), I am SO ready for bed.

And of course the sandwich has sesame seed bun, which sends Micah right over the edge.

I napped once we got home, and the boys calmed down. But Sofia did not fall asleep until 10:45.

In my bed.

Clutching my arm.

Which makes it difficult to type.