Archive for April, 2008

ADHD

Now that the seders are over, I can get back to writing more frequently. I will post about our seders tomorrow, but today I want to concentrate on Avi and ADHD.

School has been a nightmare.  He is basically doing nothing but coloring in his Hebrew class and in English he seems to stay with the class some of the time, but the rest he just tunes out.  It is likely that next year we will move him to our local public school rather than the Jewish Day school, but until then it will be a battle.

Avi had started on 10 mg of Focalin initially, and we he was quickly moved to 10 mg of Adderall. That seemed to work for a while, but he started to get worse. In the early part of the day he seems to be ok, but by afternoon forget it.

So we moved him to 20 mg of Adderall, and he stayed on that for a few weeks, but then we started to see different behavior. He became withdrawn and moody. We felt that the 20 mg was too much. So now he is taking 15 mg. Until we get the new perscription, I am actually opening up the capsules and “eyeballing” 3/4 and then putting that back in the capsule. It takes a few days until we see results and this is school vacation week, so we may not really get results until he is on this dosage for a few days.  We are hopeful.

One side effect has been loss of appetite, but hopefully with the lower dose, he will start eating more.  That is the problem with these medicines.  It is all trial and error.  The hope is that eventually you will fine the right dosage and that he will be able to function a bit better.

Thats all for now.  I hope to have better news to report as we move forward.

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Song of the Day

I don’t know why, but suddenly, just as I was starting to write this post, the song “Carolina in My Mind” popped into mine. I have always like James Taylor, although I don’t seem to listen to his music all that much. I have no JT on my ipod, and perhaps I should correct that deficiency.

Anyway, “Carolina in My Mind” is found on James Taylor’s first album, which is titled “James Taylor“. A little piece of trivia is that this album was the first non Beatles album on the Apple Records label.

Here is a wonderful early video of JT singing this wonderful song.

Enjoy!

Song of the day

This morning I realized that it has been a while since I listened to Elton John, so I dialed up the “Live in Australia” album and promptly fell asleep on the path with the beautiful orchestral arrangements of Elton John’s songs in my ears. I have not written about Elton John yet, and he is up there in my top 10 artists for sure. A good friend of mine used to call him “Mashiach” (messiah in Hebrew). I’m sure he has no divine power, but he is one of the most talented singer/composers alive.

The album was recorded at a few concerts that Elton did in Sydney in 1986. He had some of his music arranged for orchestra, and performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He has done this many times with other Symphonies since.

All of the songs on this album are from his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. Perhaps my favorite song on the album (which is also found on Elton’s debut album) is called “The Greatest Discovery”. The song was written by Bernie Taupin at a young age and it is looking at his own birth through the eyes of his older brother.

Here is a clip from one of the shows in Sydney in 1986.

Enjoy!

Passover Prep part 3

When we last left our heroes, we were beginning to clean out the house. The cleaning lady came on Thursday (an hour late, but she got there) and by the time we went to bed on Thursday night (2 am) most of the kitchen was now ready for Passover.

We ate Friday night dinner at mkm’s parents house and then spend the afternoon after Synagogue at the home of one of the other families. We got home at about 8:15 pm, bathed the kids and get them to bed. By 9:30, the moms had arrived and cooking began. One of the moms brought the largest pot I have seen in a non-commercial kitchen and we make gallons of Chicken soup. They also rolled about 135 matza balls and prepared veggys for some of the next days cooking fun.

Everyone was supposed to show up at about 9:30 on Sunday. One mom got there at 10:00 and the other at 11:00, but they did do some significant cooking. The chicken for Friday night was done. The roast for the first seder, done. Tzimis, done. 709 meatballs, done! ( ok, that is way too many meatballs and the one mom who was in charge of meatballs admitted so, but we can eat meatballs for the next two weeks!)

Most of the food is not packaged and frozen, waiting for the seders. The only big-ticket food to cook is still the turkeys, and that will happen over the next few nights. Beyond that is green veggys, the quinoa and desserts. We will probably just make it!

The next major part of passover prep will occur on Thursday night. We will make one final sweep of the house to make sure there is no more non-passover food in sight. We do this by placing a few pieces of bread around the house and then we make a blessing and go “search” for them. The reason for placing the bread around the house is that we can be pretty sure we put everything away, but since we make a blessing to search for the food, we need to make sure we find some.

On Friday morning this bread will be burnt, also with a blessing to ceremonially show we have gotten rid of all the non passover foods. I will be taking off from work on Friday to help with the final prep work. We will prepare the ritual foods for the Seder table so that everything will be able to be put out when we start on Saturday night. If there is time, we will also get the tables ready and set as much as possible.

I know this sounds like so much work, but we do enjoy a lot of it and once it is all together, the Seder is a lot of fun. I don’t know if I will post another Passover prep, but I will probably post a post Seder entry.

Here is a link to a youtube that does not allow embedding. It is so cute!

Here is another fun video.

Enjoy!

Song of the day

I’ve been in a mellow mood the past few days (despite the harried Passover Prep), and often when I feel down or mellow I like to listen to a wonderful album that mkm and I bought when we were in Israel a number of years ago. The double CD album is called “Shalom Chaver” and was basically a recording of a peace concert in Israel that was organized in the aftermath of the assignation of Yitzhak Rabin. The title comes from the Eulogy given by President Bill Clinton.

For those who love modern Hebrew music this album is woderful because all of the major Israeli singers dontated their time to this concert and sang their most well known songs. There are many times on the album that the audience is louder than the singers. Some other songs were added from recorded versions for those artists who could not attend.

Perhaps my favorite song from this album is יהיה טוב (Yihiyeh Tov) which translates as it will be ok. The song is written by David Broza who has a following in America as well as Israel. It is a moving song and is perhaps one of the best Israeli songs to say that there will be peace and everything will be alright. Here is a link to the lyrics in English and transliterated Hebrew.

I am embedding two videos for this song. One is a very early version. Broza added stanzas to this song as time went on. But this version is very clear and easy to hear. The other, comes from a peace concert that Broza did with Jackson Brown and Shawn Colvin at Massada in Israel. This was broadcast on PBS in America, but this video comes from someone’s camcorder.

Enjoy!

Favorite Lyric Friday

Its time once again for favorite lyric Friday! Today I have another song that is high up on my list of lyrics. Harry Chapin is probably my favorite song writer. I have spoken about Harry here before. He was a masterful story teller and was one of the first people in the music business to get involved with social activism beyond the folk music community.

Harry was passionate about solving hunger in the world and created “World Hunger Year” to promote education in America on this problem. He routinely did about half of his concerts for charities that he believed in. It was Harry’s dedication that paved the way for “We are the World”, “Hands Across America”, and “Live Aid”.

My song pick is called I Wonder What Would Happen To This World, and unfortunately there are no youtubes for this song. I placed it on my own website, but I cannot stream, so you will have to download to listen.

Enjoy!

I Wonder What Would Happen To This World

When Nothing Seems To Go Right

Did you ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right?  They don’t happen too often, but when they do, it makes for a very trying day.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I knew something was up when I was running late for everything in the morning.  Things seemed to go ok after that, but then I got a call from mkm telling me that she forgot to leave the key for the cleaning lady.

WHAM!

That totally put a kink in the day.  If you have been reading about our passover prep, you know that we have this all laid out day by day.  The house was to be cleaned so we can start changing over to Passover tonight.  This means that I would have to stay up late to clean the refrigerator last night and make sure that we will be able to do the change over.

Then if that weren’t enough, we have a Cub Scout pack meeting last night.  The previous cubmaster had planned this one and we were going to have a police detective come and speak to the boys.  Well, turns out she could not make it and no one got the message.  So there I was with about 15 boys with no program and an hour to kill.

The good thing is that these days end.  You usually figure it all out and then go on.  Our cleaning lady is now coming today at 4:30 (when mkm will be home) and after talking with the boys we had relay races and they had a good time.

Today, everything is back on track.  I actually got an early train today as the earlier train was in the station as I got there.  We got free pizza for lunch at work because someone in my office won an NCAA basketball tournament and the house should be totally clean when I get home.

Things always seem to snap back into place.