Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year of the Bean!

Sweet Bean:

In 2008 and 2009, we celebrated many of your "firsts" -- your first Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Birthday, etc. And now, the "seconds" have already begun -- we've had your second Thanksgiving and Christmas already and tonight marks the second time that we've rung in a NEW YEAR with you. And, what a year it's been! I think back to last year at New Years, when you were just a tiny little bean in our arms (sleeping soundly through everything):

Mama and Dada were just a mere three months into this parenting journey, just fumbling along as new parents, enjoying EVERY second of it (of course) but still, we had no idea what was in store for us. We were still getting to know our Bean. In many ways, we are still those new parents, fumbling along . . . trying to figure out how to be the very best parents we can be to you, but at the same time, we now KNOW you. We know what your cries mean, we know what makes you laugh, we know you. We aren't just a couple of new parents and their baby . . . we are a family. It's incredible.

As we sat holding you last New Years, we had no idea what 2009 would bring. We didn't know we'd start early intervention services with you, that you'd have eye surgery, or that you'd be our lovely lady in lavender glasses! What a year! While I wish things were easier for you (and for us) I cannot imagine a happier little girl than you! Your giggles have gone from sporadic baby laughs to real little girl giggles, and there is nothing on earth that we love more. You are our favorite thing. In your short 15 months on earth, you've enriched our lives in such deep and meaningful ways. You are our hearts!

So, while I am hopeful that 2010 brings less struggle, I hesitate to say that I hope it also brings more laughter & love (because I'm not even sure that's possible) but I'll say it anyway. We will love you endlessly, and will laugh with you forever my girl! May 2010 bring so many wonderful things to you and to us. You've taken over our hearts (and our bed, but that's for another letter ;o)), shaken our world and turned it upside down. We can't imagine our lives without you.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate the first day of the new year (new decade!) in a traditional southern way -- with black-eyed peas and collard greens and all the things that your southern ancestors insisted bring good luck in the new year . . . I don't always do it, but this year, I'm not taking any chances!

In 2010 and beyond, we can't wait to celebrate the continued "firsts," as well as all of your seconds, thirds, fourths, and so on with you. You just started "dancing" with us in the last few days, and we can't wait to dance through a whole new year, new DECADE, with you! We adore you. Here's to you in 2010 my Bean! May 2010 be the Year of the Bean! The Year of YOU!

Your ever lovin' Mama

*And a note about the pictures . . . let's all rejoice that Sammie B's hair has filled in some . . . and that Mama's not quite so "filled in" with post-babe weight this New Years!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Cheer (finally!)

Despite my earlier blog, I'm finding it hard not to be hopeful and happy tonight, on Christmas Eve. After working a little this morning, we've had a nice, relaxing family day, including dinner out (I decided this year, I'd rather spend all my spare time playing, not cooking so we are eating out tomorrow too!) After dinner, we all put on our matching Cmas jammies (unfortunately, we couldn't find matching ones for Sam this year, but we made it work!) and opened ONE present. We had a nice evening!

We couldn't get a good picture of Sammie B sitting under the tree because she was way too distracted by the presents:

Her super cute jammies ("What Santa Doesn't Bring Me Grandma Will" which is perfect because my parents arrive in three days for a belated Cmas celebration):

Brian picked one gift to be opened tonight (I wrapped them so he picks!)

B and Bean sat and stared at the new toy while I ran to the store and got batteries (we have TONS of batteries here, but no Ds!):

And finally, our family picture:

And now, we flash back to last year:

And because I love these comparisons, here's last year just before we went to see Santa and this year before seeing Santa:

She was just a PEA last year, and now she's a LITTLE GIRL. These pictures blow me away. What a year!

Looking at these pictures really reminds me that this year has been filled with so much joy and love. So tonight, I hang up my worries and fears for the holiday, and enjoy some quality time with my wonderful little family. So, here's to wishing and hoping, and above all, loving. Merry Christmas!

Labels and Wishes

Christmas cheer will come tomorrow, but for today, I have too much to spill. First, I'm working on Cmas Eve, and second, I just have a LOT on my mind.

I've been struggling a ton with the various labels attached to my Bean . . . hypotonic, developmentally delayed, not "typically" developing, special needs. Really? Is she special needs? That's the one I struggle with the most . . . I mean, yes, she has special needs right now - she gets PT twice a week and OT once, but I don't think of her as a "special needs" child. She's just my Bean. My Sammie B. Sweet Sweet Samantha.

When Sam first got approved for regional center services, and we started all of these therapies, I felt like immediately B embraced the 'special needs' label and ran with it. He was thinking of up ideas for a non-profit (one we still hope to form) to help other special needs kids get therapy equipment and resources. Everytime he brought it up, inside, my stomach did a flip. I hated that it was so easy for him to just accept it, hated myself for not being able to, and hated the words he used "special needs." I remember him telling me he met with a politician from our city (as part of a volunteer project he does) and that they were talking about the lack of playgrounds for special needs kids, and he said "I told her that we have a special needs child . . . " and inside, I thought "no we don't" and my gut fluttered again.

But lately, I understand more and more . . . he needed those things to throw his energy into because it was easier to dream and plan for some not-yet-formed non-profit or for playground renovation than to worry about what the future would hold for the little Bean that we love and adore. But lately, as we get further and further into this process with Sammie B, he's struggling more and more . . . His struggle of course is not blog material - it is his story to tell, not mine. [Though I have to say that even B's "struggle" is somehow more sane than mine. He doesn't allow himself to fall into despair the way I do.] Anyway, by seeing him struggle, I feel like I'm backtracking. That suddenly, the fear and the worry that I'd managed to (sort of) overcome is trickling back in, in more powerful ways than ever before. And again, I find myself consumed with questions and worry about what is to come for my sweet sweet Bean.

The doctors continue to tell us that "she'll be fine." "Lots of kids with low tone go through this and are fine, even ones that don't receive the therapy she's receiving." But as the milestones fall further and further behind us, the less comforting these words are. We are "need to know" not "wait and see" people and this is harder than anything EVER. So, we decided we will just be more adamant that the doctors look for answers. They've always said there's no reason for more tests b/c its just "low tone," but I think we now know that we NEED them to try to rule out other things that could be causing the low tone. Then, once we've exhausted those tests living with the "its just low tone" would be easier. Living in limbo with wonder is hard. So, we made another neurologist appointment in the next month, even though the neurologist said she didn't need to see us again until March. This appointment is for us. WE NEED IT.

We have also known for awhile that low tone kids often have speech issues. (Tone affects oral muscles as well). We'd hoped we'd escape that, but at 14 months (adjusted age) and with only two words (though tons of babbling and gesturing), we are beginning to realize we likely won't. So, that's on the list to talk to our doctors about. So, suddenly we find ourselves faced with the possibility of adding ANOTHER weekly appointment. Which stinks.

One thing I've said (and B has said too) over and over is that this is Sam's story. We wouldn't change it for the world. We wouldn't change her for the world. She's our Bean. But lately, B and I both are starting to realize that its OKAY to admit that if we could (which we can't) we'd take away her struggle. That doesn't discount the incredible little person she is or how much we adore her. I hope that someday I DO look back at all of this and realize that it was just a struggle that made her (and us) who we are, but for now, struggling sucks. (and fuck whoever said there's growth through struggle. . . right now, we are just sort of tired of struggling!). Admitting that we'd take away her struggle if we could doesn't mean we want to change her. Of course we don't.

I've actually found some other blogs of mothers of hypotonic children, and that helps A TON. One mother said that she watched as her hypotonic child learned to crawl and realized that unlike her typical children (who found the crawling position one day, rocked for a few days, then took off), it happened in many many more small steps for her hypotonic child, and that she had to learn to appreciate each little step as a milestone. We are trying to. Really. And, we do appreciate the progress . . . more than words can express (and there IS progress, however slow it feels at times) but somedays we just wish it were easier. For her, and for us. I want with every fiber of my being for her to be able to explore her world through movement. For her to see something across the room (which she would now sort of gesture toward to indicate she wants) and be able to just take off and get it. I can just imagine the little gleeful smile that would spread across her face as she went for it.

I've resorted to begging my "higher power" (which many who know me know I'm generally ambivalent about) for SOMETHING. Give us something to make this easier.

And, while I'm not much of a praying girl, those who know me also know, I am a wishing girl. An eyelash? Yay - a wish! 11:11? A wish! TWO RED CARS IN A ROW (I made this one up)? That's a wish too! As a wishing girl, I (of course) WON'T dislcose my wishes, but I'll just say that lately, I jump at every chance to make a wish, and to make a wish for my Bean. (Oh, and I'm pretty sure that wishing on her eyelashes is even better luck!). But the wishes aren't coming true as fast as I would like, and with that comes more struggle, more panic, more fear.

I know that the labels don't matter. She's just our Samantha, and she brings more depth and meaning and happiness to our lives than we ever knew possible. She may not have found all of her words yet, but her "mama" is the sweetest sound ever, and her personality POURS out of her. Things may not come easy to her (at least not now, maybe later) but that will make them oh so much sweeter when they come.

Sammie B, I adore you. My every wish is yours.

Friday, December 18, 2009

And All Are Well Again

Despite a crummy "when it rains it pours" kind of week (literally AND figuratively) things are returning to normal at our house. Sammie B was a little under the weather from Saturday until Tuesday. Her fever never got very high (99.5) but she just wasn't herself. She was a bit tired, a little weaker than her norm, and a lot whiny. And then Tuesday, in OT, she just had a rough time. She cried and whined through ALL of it. I think its probably b/c our OT scratched Sam's head with her watch at the beginning of the session, so things just got off on the wrong foot between the two of them, BUT, I called our doctor. She wasn't concerned, and said to give it 24 hours to see if she was back to normal. I waited and worried (per my usual) and decided to call Wednesday morning and get an appointment because I'd feel better if her pediatrician saw her. I had to bail on a work conference call but we went to the doctor Wednesday (after what was surprisingly a great PT session at our house that morning). . . and the doctor said Sammie B was a-okay. Probably just had a little bug OR maybe got a little symptomatic from her swine flu shot last week AND she's teething like mad. So, that explains the tired, the whiny, the weak, and the waking up during the night.

In the midst of the sickies though, we had LOTS of great cuddly moments, since our Bean was so so tired, she needed lots of snuggles. We loved them!

Wednesday night, I was determined that this little Bean was going to get TONS of sleep and sleep off her ailments. . . so I gave her teething tablets, and B took her to bed with him while I stayed up and worked. When I got to bed, they were sleeping nose to nose with her hand on his cheek. Melted.My.Heart. I tried to snap a picture, but this is what I got (an irritated dada and no-good-but-funny-nonetheless picture!):

Good stuff. As I climbed into bed, I took off my glasses and laid them on the night stand next to her tiny purple ones, and climbed into bed with B and Bean. And my heart smiled. Big.

And, IT WORKED. Sammie B slept 13 hours straight and woke up a NEW BEAN . . . back to her old self. She woke up smiling and happy and had a great day with our nanny. They also went to their music class together, and this was the first one where Sammie B joined in on the clapping. Pretty stinking cute! (Wish I'd been there!).

On the work front, things are still a bit nuts. Which means, I haven't put up a Christmas tree YET (will I?). . . sigh. I'm also having a love-hate relationship with the "flexibility" offered by modern technology. We can now forward our office phones to our cells; we have blackberries; etc. So, the up shot of this is that I can take my Bean to the doctor on a Wednesday morning and still manage a filing by berry, but the DOWNSIDE is that I'm feeling lately like I'm never "off." That even while sitting at the doctor with my sick little Bean, I don't have 100% of me to give to her (and she deserves that) because this part of me (say maybe 5%) is "at work" -- checking the blackberry, taking calls, etc. It made me grumpy and sad. BUT, at the same time, I know I'm lucky to have the type of job where I can do this . . . I didn't have to call in "sick" or lose pay to take her to the doctor, I just did it. AND, as B reminded me, I COULD have let our nanny take her and I could have gone to work . . . but that's NOT who I am. It's not the mom I am. If she's sick, I WANT to be the one at the doctor with her, and I'll do anything to be there. Maybe eventually, I'll learn to let go a little, but to be honest, I'm just not sure that's who I am.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Crazy Comes & Crazy Goes

Just as the wave of panic and worry came, it went. I don't know what happened. I just got all worried and panicky about Sam's "plateau" and allowed myself to lapse into "google-panic" and felt completely crazed for a little day or two. But, the wave went back out to sea, so to speak, and I'm feeling so much better. "It" is what "it" is whatever "it" is . . . we are not on the precise path we envisioned, but we are on OUR path, and we'll make it. All THREE of us.

Sam's done better in PT this week . . . she's tolerating the quadruped (or crawling) position REALLY well. I remember now that this is exactly what sitting was like -- she hated it. But over time, she'd tolerate it for a few seconds, then seconds became minutes, and now she just sits. She sits. I snuck away from work to attend her Friday afternoon session, which I don't usually do, and was so glad I did . . . it was a GREAT session and we had a world record -- her longest time EVER in quadruped independently (three times through our "Sammie B Rocks" song we sing to her during PT). She's also now rolling on command, which is sort of funny. Poor kid has heard, "want to roll?" so much that she now just does it ;o) She does the same thing for "cobra" and our PT loves it. It indicates incredible things about Sammie B's receptive language skills/cognition, and makes us giggle too ;o)

I've been getting lots and lots of "mamas" lately -- and my heart melts with each one. Sammie has the sweetest, softest little voice! After our nap today, I woke up with her next to me, and she just popped her little head up, looked at me and said in the softest little voice, "mama." That's pretty much the best thing ever! And B is getting "dadas" too, which makes him the happiest guy on earth. We laugh because she says "mama" in this sweet sincere voice, but "dada" is always in a more sing-songy excited little voice. Cuteness.

I found that there's a hypotonia clinic at John Hopkins, and I read a lot on their site (occasionally, google-panic can turn up something positive). Anyway, EVERYTHING on their site is completely consistent with what our neurologist and our OT and PT have told us, which is all encouraging. We just have to be patient, and strong. Easier said than done, but we will do it. I think B and I were both also just glad to learn of such a clinic . . . we feel like IF we reach a point where we feel like our own doctors aren't being aggressive or proactive enough, there's this other option -- we'd figure out a way to get an appointment with the clinic, travel there, whatever. Whatever it takes! That's certainly not anything we are considering now (we love our doctors and trust them implicitly), and we of course hope we never need that option, but its nice to know that there are these "experts" out there.

I mean, really, for this little girl . . . anything!

Mom'ing aside, its been an absolutely INSANE week, life-wise. I'm totally exhausted, so I'll do this part in bullet-points:

- Tons of rain --> huge leaking roof. Got it fixed (temporarily) and after the rain stops, the roofers will come do a permanent fix. We also have contractors coming to do the internal repairs. It's not pretty, and these are the times that being a homeowner sucks.

- Trip out-of-state to hearing was canceled, and at first I was relieved, but the reason I had to stay back is that we got served with yet another stupid expedited motion, and I had to write the reply. So, I ended up working MORE than if I'd gone out of town, but with the distractions of family that I wouldn't have had traveling. It was an EXHAUSTING week with several long, long days and two ridiculously late nights.

- Christmas is coming and while I've done all my shopping for Sammie B (I did it all online), we haven't put our tree up (and now, we likely won't this week b/c we will have construction going on in our living room where we'd normally put it) and I still need to shop for other people. We also need to fit a picture with Santa in (which by the way, because Sam has quite the stranger-anxiety as of late, we are pretty sure this picture will be of a SCREAMING Bean and the jolly red guy, but we have to have it).

- My parents are coming b/t Cmas and New Years, and I'm so excited. It has been too long, and I need some mama-time. I've been all over the place emotionally with Sammie B lately, and I know spending some time with my mom will be comforting and wonderful for my soul. Funny how after becoming a mom, I value my own mom more than ever.

-I'm tired. So tired. And tomorrow is Sunday but I'm going to have to work because I have two huge deadlines Monday. Just hoping hoping hoping I get to NOT work on Tuesday. Unfortunately, it will likely be spent taking everything out of my closet so that the ceiling can be repaired. (All of the internal damage is in my closet upstairs, and right below it in the living room downstairs). Boo. I texted B today (after the fourth leak started) with "being an adult sucks."

- This MIGHT be the worst blog entry ever written, but I must.get.sleep. I stayed up until 2:30 am writing a brief, and B woke me up at 6:30 am to tell me there was yet another leak, and I immediately got up and on the phone with the emergency roof people b/c he had to go run. I DID get a TWO hour nap snuggling with Bean this afternoon (pure fabulousness), but I'm still totally wiped out.

So, I'll end with a few pictures to make the awfulness of this entry seem a little less awful:

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Sometimes it seems like everything in my life comes at me in waves . . . waves of satisfaction, waves of dissatisfaction, waves of working way too much, waves of working much less, waves of feeling like I'm doing everything right, waves of worrying that I'm not. I'm in the midst of a wave of worry. I knew it would come . . . When we had the surge of motor development for Sammie B a month or so ago, with the rolling, cobra, etc., I knew that child development happens in peaks and plateaus, and since we'd hit a peak, I knew what was coming. I thought by expecting it, I could prepare myself. (Someday I might actually learn that my control freak, prepare myself, defense mechanism ways never ACTUALLY "prepare" me; when life throws something sucky at you, it doesn't matter if you saw it coming . . . IT STILL SUCKS).

Anyway, per my usual, I thought that if I prepared myself for the plateau, that I wouldn't allow it to worry me. But, no such luck. Maybe it was the bad experience at the mommy & me group that threw me into this state of worry again. I don't know. I hate it.

When we realized Sammie B was motor-delayed, I sought out SO much information. We found fabulous doctors, we found fabulous therapists, and I learned as much about "low-tone" kids as I could. I tried to throw all my expectations out the window, but sometimes I discover that I just rewrote my expectations, subconsciously, based on what I was learning. So, I knew she wouldn't be walking at 14 months, but I figured "okay, so she'll be a late walker, we can deal, she'll probably walk by 2." I didn't tell anyone, but I guess I'd written some stupid imaginary time line for her in my head -- I figured she'd crawl by 15 months, walk by 2. She'll be 15 months (actual, not adjusted) on Christmas Eve, and as that date gets closer, I feel a bit discouraged. We don't seem to be that close to crawling. I hate myself for having these expectations, and for feeling let down that we aren't meeting them. It is destructive to me, and not fair to Sammie B. She's on HER TIME LINE, and I do know that. But I can't help it. At the end of the day, I KNOW it doesn't matter when she does these things, but sometimes, the waves of worry come at me and I can't stop them.

We actually are starting to think Sammie B will just not be a crawler. She HATES that position (though she's tolerating it better these days) and her shoulder girdle is where her tone is the weakest. So, she may go straight to walking. So be it. But then, I find myself wondering, in spite of myself, WHEN that will happen, and writing those damn time lines in my head. And then rewriting them. It is a terribly vicious and destructive cycle. I told B tonight that maybe I needed to do something symbolic -- write "time lines, expectations, etc." on a piece of paper and rip it into tiny pieces -- to symbolize purging those thoughts from my life, but easier said than done. The Buddhists may have it right . . . desire just may be at the root of suffering.

B and I talked a lot tonight about how I'm feeling, which was good. I think sometimes, we are afraid to tell the other when we have these moments of fear and worry, because we don't want to drag the other one into it if the other is in a better place. That's not good for either of us, and we know it. Tonight, he reminded me of all the things Sammie B is doing that once felt impossible. God, I remember the day we left our first evaluation with the PT from the Regional Center. . . she couldn't sit unassisted, even in a tripod for more than a second or two. Slowly, those seconds turned into minutes, and now . . . she can sit with NO hands. Things like holding herself up in cobra used to be IMPOSSIBLE and now, not only can she do it, she enjoys it, and smiles from ear to ear when she does it.

Our nanny told us that Sammie B did fabulous this week tolerating the quadriped (crawling) position, and she did great in PT with it too. But then today, she would NOT let me put her in it, and I felt so defeated. I HATE those moments of defeat. I HATE that I let myself feel defeated, and I get so angry at myself for looking at my beautiful little Bean, smiling her brilliant smile (well, not so much during the quadriped attempts, but otherwise, smiling) and feeling "defeat." It is an ugly word. I don't like feeling it, and I don't like admitting I felt it.

I wish I knew more moms going through the experience we are going through. Because it is HARD. I'm sure some of the worry and questioning and panic is normal for any mother. I'm sure some of my feelings are unique to me and my personality (which makes me feel like, "okay, I've worked hard for this, why can't I MAKE it happen." . . . that what I struggle with sometime, I feel like we work little Miss Sammie B so hard with all the PT/OT and exercising, and I just WANT to make things happen FOR HER and it stinks that I cannot.). Its a shame the mommy & me group flopped. I thought that would be such a wonderful support system for me. My only real daily connection to moms like me now is that I have found many many great blogs about other kids in various types of early intervention therapies, and I am finding great comfort in them. It is almost like my own little support group, only I guess it is a little one-sided! I have met a few moms whose kids are also in PT, and those are relationships that I value. . . but life gets busy, and sometimes its hard to find time to connect.

I'm trying to just think of the worry as a "wave" like other things in life, and know that this too shall pass. It will.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

One BIG Love

We've expanded our bedtime song repertoire. I don't always sing to Sammie at night when I rock her, only when she needs help relaxing. But when that happens, I sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (mostly because it was literally the only kid song I knew all the right words to before she was born). When try to joke or change up words, she whines. One night when I was singing it to her, and changed the words, she whined and B said, "don't change it. those words comfort her." Realizing that made me FEEL like such a mommy (in a most fabulous way).

Anyway, I've thrown a new song into the mix, and she likes it. We play these lullaby rendition cds for her each night for bedtime. ( Anyway, my favorite is the Bob Marley rendition. And now, I've added my own words to the instrumental version of "One Love."

One Love
Mom, Dad and Sammie have one big love.

That's it . . . those are all the words, but I like them. And so does she. Sweet girl.

(Have I mentioned I can't carry a tune? Sweet Sammie will someday be saying "MOM STOP SINGING" but for now, she likes it, and I like that.)

Opportunity Knocks

At least I have a record (through this blog) of all of that stuff I said a few weeks ago about wanting to seize the day career-wise, return to my ass-kicking lawyer self, and stop being apathetic about work. So far, returning to my ass-kicking self has been EXHAUSTING.

And, today, the true test (or at least, that's how it feels). Partner called and said he was thinking I would probably need to go to a hearing in another state next week; but that he'd let me know when he decided for sure. He asked what else was on my plate, and I reminded him I am drafting this other huge brief. He said, "oh yeah, so maybe you shouldn't go," and we ended the call. I breathed a sigh of relief, and went back to work. But then, later Partner called back and said, "I really hate to do this to you because I know you have that other brief, and that's really important, BUT, I think you are the best person to go next week" (flattery!) So, ultimately, he left it up to me . . . I have to tell him tomorrow if I think I can do both -- hearing + brief. The thing is, I KNOW I CAN. It might require some longer days, but I CAN do it. But, I would rather not. I CAN do it. I don't WANT to. But, I had a talk with B tonight, and we agree . . . I SHOULD do both. I knew I SHOULD the second Partner gave me the choice. So, I will. Opportunity has knocked, and I'm siezing it. This is where the "reduced schedule" really gets tricky. If Partner had just said, "I need you to go, you have to go," it would have almost been easier. I could have hung up the phone, cried, called B and exclaimed about how I didn't want to go, etc. But instead, its "supposedly" my choice. Anyway, the up-shot is I fly out Tuesday and back Wednesday night, so not the end of the world. BUT, remember Tuesdays are SUPPOSED to be my days off . . . and with this brief, its not likely I'll get a work-free weekend in the interim either.

In other shitty news, I quit our mommy & me group for reasons probably not worth going into (but I'm going to -- briefly). The group leader has ZERO qualifications to be running such a group. I thought it was pure cheese from the beginning, and light on substance, but figured I'd give it a shot. Its basically turned into just an infant play group, which I don't need. Sam and I have friends we can play with. Yesterday, the group (all FOUR of us, including babies) sat for an hour doing "in and out" with boxes and blocks. And, the stupid leader, who apparently has an OT degree in another country (but can't practice here) starts essentially 'evaluating' Sam. She's asking me all sorts of questions. Does she have feeding problems? NO. What does she eat? Whatever I feed her. Does she giggle? YES BITCH SHE DOES. ALL THE TIME. JUST NOT AT YOU. SHE JUST DOESN'T LIKE YOU. So, after about the 10th question, I said, "you know Sam has been evaluated by the Regional Center, including at this very facility. She has an OT, and she has a PT. That's not what we were looking for in this group, and if you are going to turn it into that, we would rather not participate." After we left, I went to my car, called B and told him about it, and cried. [Note theme here - B gets his fair share of crying phone calls. He's a good man mostly!]. Last night, I wrote a very diplomatic letter to the person who oversees all the programs at that place, and just told her I thought the group had gone from a mommy-and-me group to a playgroup, and that the substance was a little lacking, and I wasn't going to spend my ONE afternoon off work at a group that I didn't feel like I was getting a lot out of and that I had to pay to belong to. Sam and I would be better off at the park with friends for that hour. Anyway, I'm disappointed, but oh well . . .

Sam and I followed the shitty mommy group experience with our first of what I hope are MANY "margarita" playdates with a friend and her baby. We met at mine and B's favorite mexican joint, and babies noshed while me and friend gabbed and ate and drank our 'ritas. Good times, and JUST what I needed after the crappy group experience.

But because no blog is complete without photo, here's a pic of Sammie B staring out the restaurant window at the boats while we waited for our friends:

She's growing up so fast!!! I was able to back away to take the picture, and leave her there standing, watching boats.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanks, Giggles, and Optimism

Two years ago, B and I were a couple of DINKS (dual-income-no-kids). We were TWO. We went to Northern California to spend Tgiving with his aunt, uncle, and cousins, and on the way home, we had "THE TALK" about when we would have kids. We figured it would take awhile, he wanted sooner, I wanted later, but we agreed sometime that following spring. If you'd told me then that this Thanksgiving, two years later, we'd be back in Northern California celebrating with the same people WITH OUR ONE-YEAR-OLD daughter, I would have laughed. Yet, it all feels SO perfect, and so right. Then, we were a couple. Now, we are a family. And, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, that is the thing that I am absolutely so thankful for. That we are now THREE.

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving with fabulous people who are just good for our souls, and a fabulous few days in Nor-Cal. We drove back last night so that B could do his marathon training run this morning, and so that we'd have the weekend at home before gearing up for another week.

Sammie B has been FULL of laughs lately. She's clapping, sticking out her tongue, picking her nose (oh yes, I said it . . . found her nose on Wednesday and has been digging it ever since . . . including causing one bloody nose in the car), and just generally providing us with ENDLESS giggles.

This morning, for instance, we were doing dishes and fixing breakfast, with her in her high chair playing with a bowl, and we turned around to see this:

And tonight, we went shopping and Brian showed her this toy chain saw. Her face says it all:

Seriously, she keeps us giggling (and reaching for our blackberry cameras) non-stop. So, this year, I am so very very thankful that we are three. That we get to share so many smiles, so many giggles, and so so much love.

And now, with Monday approaching (even with a FOUR-DAY weekend, Mondays come fast), here's to hoping, after a CRAZY couple of weeks with work, that in December, I am able to find some of the ever-elusive-possibly-non-existent "balance" we working moms like to chase. Here's to that.

Here's to my sweet Bean.

Here's to being THREE.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Schedule Is Mocking Me

This week, my "reduced" schedule has been mocking me, laughing in my face. 80 hours--that's hardly reduced. This has been a VERY hard week for me. I've worked late, I've missed bedtime (twice) and I've had to rush out of the house in the mornings, and it stinks. I have been crazy busy at work (working on an interesting and challenging project, which certainly makes the days go by faster) but also missing time with my Bean and my B, and that just stinks.

In fairness to the partners I work with, however, I have to say . . . the reason for the eighty hour week is a bogus emergency motion filed by the other side in one of my cases, which is just an example of why "reduced" or "alternative" schedules are so hard for litigators to make work. But, I'll keep trying . . .

Sammie B has been totally content of course (though I like to think missing me, just a little ;)), hanging out at home with her Nana . . . who came in this week to take care of her since our beloved nanny is out of town.

It makes me so happy that my Bean is so so loved. I could tell she enjoyed the time with B's parents, because she was all smiles everytime I saw her. I know her smiles melt their hearts just as they do ours.

She is growing so fast -- PT is trucking along, and OT too. We had quite the surge of new (or improved) skills last month (with cobra, rolling, etc.) but I think we are hitting one of the plateaus (motor-skill wise) that are normal in child development, which are always hard for us (and I think for any parent of a child with delays; the "plateaus" can invoke worry and fear and all the things we try to avoid). But the funny thing is, while the motor developments might have plateaued (a temporary thing, I remind myself), Sammie B is taking off in other small ways . . . doing "big-girl" things like drinking from a sippy cup, and feeding herself cookies like its HER JOB (which tickles Brian and I to no end), recognizing her body parts (I think, at least "feet" and "nose"), and following directions (well, some of them, but most certainly NOT "leave your glasses on Samantha.";)).

I'm not sure why she looks like she just got busted with vodka in her sippy cup in that second picture!

Her newest "trick" is sticking her tongue out at us when we stick ours . . . as soon as she sees ours, she gets a coy little grin, excited to show us hers!

Sammie B provides me with endless joy, and even now, as I sit at my desk on a quick break from work (while waiting for edits from the partner; don't worry, I'm not wasting what could be "billable" time . . . just "waiting" time), seeing these pictures, and thinking about how much joy Sammie B brings to mine and B's life just melts my heart. Not a day goes by that me or B do not comment on how wonderful it feels to be a little family.

And, even though my work is fun (most of the time), exciting, and challenging, and I want to set a good example for my daughter about how women CAN have whatever careers they want, there's also a part of me (a HUGE part of me) that just wishes I was there, not here, on this Sunday evening, and that I was sitting on the floor, playing with my Bean, and not pouring through a thirty-page brief. For now, though, until the brief is put to bed, I'll have to be content with the pictures (and grateful to have a hubby who is so supportive of my career that weeks like these don't make him want to run in the other direction; instead, he gets out his (figurative) pom poms and gives me all the cheerleading and support I need to make it through the days).

My sweet sweet Bean!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Redefining Myself

This is the post that has been stewing for awhile. I am constantly struggling in my head to 'define myself' both as a lawyer and as a mother and as a wife and as a person. Mostly, lately, its the career part that has had me so confused. Before Sammie B, I was the kind of young associate determined to kick ass at what she did, determined to get good assignments, challenging ones, and rise to each and every challenge so that I impressed the hell out of the partners I worked for. I was the kind of associate that wanted to be partner; not the kind that just wanted the big firm paycheck.

But after Sammie, EVERYTHING changed. And after we started the early intervention program with her, I truly felt like my world was upside down. Its been VERY hard for me to have a nanny taking her to many of her PT appointments and the person that spends the majority of her waking hours with her. Somedays, I just wanted to RUN from my career so that I could be that person. The one that gets to spend her entire day with Sammie B.

Work became something I HAD to do, rather than something I chose for myself. I found myself content with the less-challenging assignments, because those I could get done and get home. I never felt on top of my lawyer game. And, on top of that, I felt like I was constantly rushing to be at one of Sammie B's appointments, or feeling like I should be working with her when we were instead out running errands, or whatever. There was little time that was just solely "mama & bean time." B is off every Friday, so those are Daddy-Bean days, but I didn't get MY Bean days.

So, after a whole lot of struggling and soul-searching and a ton of talks with Brian, I made a change. I proposed an alternative work schedule at work, a reduced work load, and it has been approved. Now, in lawyer-world, particularly in big firm land, a "reduced work load" by no means is "part-time." I'll still work 40+ hours a week; but with a little more freedom. Basically, at the end of the year, I'm responsible for less billable hours, and I took a paycut. My plan is that I will not be in the office on Tuesdays, but instead will work from home, and a shorter day. In the afternoons, Sammie B and I will attend a mommy & me group at the place where she does OT. Our Tuesday afternoons will not be about "working" together or running errands . . . those afternoons are solely for me and my Bean to have FUN together.

In law firms, these schedules don't work out for everyone, and require a great deal of flexibility, but I'm going in eyes wide open and optimistic that it will work out. The partners I work for have been incredibly supportive. Many have warned me about the risk of going on a reduced schedule with a reduced salary and still working 100% of the hours. Honestly, I feel like if that happens, it happens. At least then I'll be an overachiever, and not feel like I'm always just barely doing enough.

I also spent last week with my friend from law school and we talked a lot about our careers, and I realized something . . . When I talk about work, I sound so much less excited about what I'm doing than I used to. I remember a year and a half ago, when my father-in-law was in the process of applying for a patent, and I'd just come home from a month-long patent trial. I was so excited to talk nerdy patent law with him. So, after this week in Texas, I realized . . . I'm way too young in my career to feel apathetic about it. And, I DO still have the desire to be a superstar. And, I'm determined to prove that it's possible to be the kind of associate I want to be, on a modified schedule, while still being "mom" (because at the end of the day, that's still the MOST important thing to me). I want to feel challenged at work, I just also want to feel like I'm succeeding in the family part of my life too. Hopefully, this small window of freedom (and my Tuesday afternoons) will help me balance it all a little better.

Since I got back from the short vacation, I've volunteered to write a big brief in one of my cases. Yes, it has had me a little stressed, and it is challenging, but it feels good. I've been pouring through the case law, getting up to speed on both the substantive issues and the facts, and I've found that my days at work are flying by. I found myself washing my face for bed the other night, standing next to B at the bathroom sink, and telling him about work, excited about my project. It feels good.

Hopefully, the reduced schedule allows me to return to my old kick-ass associate self; while being the kind of mama I'm also determined to be.

Here's to optimism! (Who knew . . . sometimes even MY glass is half-full!).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthday B!

Today was Brian's birthday. We had a great day. His parents are in town, so we all went to lunch and then walked on the beach. Then we came home and relaxed for a bit before heading out to the Bday dinner B chose.

Both B and I have been reflecting on what a FABULOUS year it has been, and how much has changed since last year.

What a difference a year makes!

Celebrating B's 30th Bday last year (Sam slept through the entire celebration):

And tonight, celebrating another year of B (Sam's face cracks me up!):

Lately, we've been talking about how we feel like life just KEEPS getting better! Although we couldn't have predicted the intensity that this first year with Sammie B would bring to our lives, we feel so lucky that we can look at our lives and be completely content with where we are and what we have as a family.

So, to B,

Thank you for being the calm to my crazy.
Thank you for being the glass half empty to my glass half full.
Thank you for being my best friend.
Thank you for being the best daddy to our Bean I could ever ask you to be.
Thank you for making me laugh on a daily basis.
Thank you for still being able to make my heart flutter.
Thank you for being you.
I can't wait to see what each new day brings for our little family.
I'm so lucky to be sharing this life with you.

Halloween, Texas - Letting the Pictures do the Talking

I'm way behind on blogging, so I want to catch up. We had Halloween without B because he was at a work conference (boo! and not the scary kind!) but we spent it with my wonderful friend from law school and her family, so it was a great night. Sammie B was not thrilled to be Sammie BEEEE, but she tolerated it, and looked darn cute.

Then, two days later, we flew to Texas to meet B after his conference and spend some time with friends. Sammie B was an ANGEL on the plane. And, I had a blast -- I had three hours to just sit and play with her . . . no work to worry about, no laundry, nothing but time with Sammie B. So, we played for two hours, then she slept (it wasn't sold out, so we also SCORED a whole row to ourselves!)

We were stoked to get to Texas and see B (we missed him!) and to spend time with friends. Both B and I have old friends in Texas, so it was FABULOUS to see them! Highlights of the trip included a day at the Fort Worth Zoo, and a tour of the insane new Cowboys stadium, where Sammie B did her super cool "cobra" move in the endzone.

In other great news, Sammie B is doing fabulous in PT and OT. She's sitting like a champ, leaning, reaching, pushing up into the cobra position, and just generally showing signs that she's getting stronger. Sometimes I lose sight of the progress, but then I look at a picture like this:

And I remember when THIS felt impossible. I literally have this picture etched in my memory - of the moment I realized she was sitting there, just playing, totally stable, and I felt confident enough that she wouldn't topple over that I went and got the camera . . . and she was still sitting when I get back. When I start to feel like we are in one of the "plateaus" that are a normal part of child development, but especially tough for me, I just picture this, and I remember, . . . all things are possible!

And, now a final few pictures just for cuteness sake . . . Bean playing with her Dude. Has there ever been a sweeter, happier girl?

This little Bean never ceases to melt my heart.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I haven't blogged in a bit (vacation last week, and crazy busy at work this week, lots of posts brewing) but couldn't let today go by without an entry. Today, November 11, Madeline Alice Spohr would have been 2 years old. But she died in April, at only 17 months old. I first heard of Maddie when her mom spoke, just weeks after her death, at the March of Dimes walk that Brian, Sammie and I walked in. I was so moved by her speech. In fact, I wrote about it in my very first blog entry. And though I never met Maddie, I've since found her mom's blog, and I read it daily. This little girl that I never met (and her beautiful, eloquent mother) have been such an inspiration to me. On days that I feel overcome by worry, or overwhelmed by the OT/PT sessions that Sammie has each week, I remember Heather, Maddie's mom's, speech at the March of Dimes Walk. She said that Maddie handled her twice daily breathing treatments that she had for her entire life "with grace," and that they just looked at them as "minor inconveniences on her way to conquering the world." And those words never fail me . . . they give me the inspiration I need to tackle one more OT session, one more PT session, and they make me oh so grateful to have my beautiful Bean in my life. To be able to hug her, squeeze her, and giggle with her. I wish that Heather could still do the same with Maddie.

Maddie was born at 29 weeks -- the same gestational age at which I first went into labor with Sammie B. Who knows what would have happened had the medication and bed rest not allowed me to keep Sammie B in for another few weeks. It doesn't matter. I know that . . . I can't answer those "what-ifs" because the only story that matters is the story Sammie B has. Not the ones she could have had (that goes for the "what if she'd been born earlier" as well as the "what if she'd been born just a few weeks later" what-ifs; because I often allow myself to wonder that as well, which isn't anymore productive).

So tonight, Maddie, I'm thinking of you, and your family. And tonight, I wear my purple March of Dimes shirt in honor of you. May one day all babies be born healthy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Return of Super Doctor

Remember Super Doctor? (Someday, I will have the time to figure out how to and create hyperlinks to past blog posts, but for now, sorry). Super Doctor is the pediatric neuro-ophthamologist that did Sam's surgery. We heart him. Like really really really heart him. I always leave his office feeling so much better about things. He's been practicing pediatric medicine for a long time, is super specialized, and likely has seen it all . . . he takes the time to answer all of our questions, and he's incredibly thorough when he examines our Bean. We saw him yesterday (for a follow-up post-surgery) and he did not disappoint. The highlights:

Sam's prescription has gone from a +7 something to a +4.5 --- That's OUTSTANDING. And, it also explains why the little stinker has been pulling her glasses off non-stop lately - she's trying to see far away, and she can't with her present lenses. That was what B and I had guessed, and so we were right. So, I dropped our signature lavender frames off at the optical shop today before work, and she's sporting her old pink frames for a few days:

He was also able to explain some of the other "interesting" stuff Sammie B does with her eyes. For instance, she looks up a lot. We worried that this was an eye issue, though B had hypothesized (we hypothesize about our little Bean quite a bit) that it was just behavorial. The neurologist had mentioned ocular apraxia but Super Doctor confirmed that it is NOT ocular apraxia and that indeed, its just one of Sammie B's many quirks, and it is behavioral. She does it when she wants to avoid something . . . which explains why she does it a lot in PT and when we are feeding her and she doesn't want to eat. It's an avoidance thing.

She also still crosses her eyes sometimes, but rarely, and Super Doctor said hopefully, she'll stop that. So, that one, we wait out. Finally, the OT had noticed that Sam has a hard time focusing on things when she's moving (i.e. swinging). Super Doctor said that's normal for a kid with her delays, and that that part of the brain is just still developing (it's the last part of the brain to develop). Again, it will come. Just wait.

This running theme of "be patient" and "wait" drives me crazy, but reassures me at the same time. I don't like to be patient, but knowing that this Super Doctor expects everything to eventually fall into place for our Bean makes me feel oh so much better.

We do have ONE more "condition" to add to Sammie B's list . . . congenital nystagmus. Not a huge deal, but when she looks to the left, her eyeball shakes a little bit. Can't even detect it when you look at her, but the doctor could. To accomodate for that, Sammie B doesn't track things to the left with her eye all the time -- she turns her head. Super Doctor said this is actually a fabulous sign because the difference in her vision from this "shaking" is SOOOOOOOO very subtle, yet the fact that she's noticed it and learned to accomodate for it says that her vision is pretty stinking good AND she's figured it out. He said he LOVES to see that type of accomodative behavior, especially this young.

So, again. Patience. Forever elusive, that whole patience thing!

(Oh he also assured me that he's worked with many a kid with our Sammie B's low-tone and motor "issues" and "somehow they all turn out okay." Oh Super Doctor, I hope you are right!).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Whole Bunch of Miscellaenous Ramblings

I just rocked and sang my Bean to sleep. Perfect ending to a perfectly wonderful weekend. I must say though that whenever I do bedtime with the Bean, it usually crosses my mind how incredibly weird it is that there's a little creature on this planet that is soothed by my singing.* Anyone who's ever heard me sing knows its BAD. Yet, when Sammie B cries, and I sing quietly to her, it totally calms her down. I love that little Bean so much.

The last few weekends, I've brought work home to do and either haven't done it (and felt guilty) or put it off until Sunday night and was exhausted on Monday. Either way, I fretted all weekend KNOWING I had to work on Sunday, so it gets in the way of enjoying the other parts of the weekend. So, this weekend, I did something new. I brought work home, but I stayed up Friday night until after midnight doing it, so that I could go to sleep Friday and know that I didn't have to worry about work until Monday (save a few emails here and there, but those are no big deal). And, that made for a GREAT weekend.

We've declared Friday night "slumber party" night and Bean gets to sleep with us. Its kind of nice after spending so much of our time away from her during the week to just have that snuggly time to start our weekend. We tried it last weekend, but she actually woke up crying and I rocked her back to sleep and put her in her crib, but we gave it another go this weekend, and it was a success. She had taken a late nap Friday, so she wasn't ready for bed until about 9 pm, and probably didn't fall asleep (snuggling with daddy while I worked) until about 9:30, but she slept in bed with me the next morning until 10 am!!! What a fantabulous treat!!!! She woke up just as B was getting back from a run, so we all got dressed and went out for breakfast and ran errands together. Then, we came home and played on our new gym mat flooring in our living room play area (the area we've set up for physical therapy since it is at our home once a week, and where we work/play with her the rest of the week); then we ran out to say "hello" to our neighbors at the neighborhood pot luck before heading out for dinner with friends in Santa Monica. We tried a new place, and it was really fun. And then Sammie B slept in her own crib all night!!! Love my 'lil sleeper.

Here we are before we went to dinner on Saturday: (lately, I'm so struck by how much Bean looks like me -- and actually she has the same cheeks that both me and my mom have -- I know this totally turns back the clock for my mom, to see my babe who looks so much like me when I was a bean).

Sunday, Sammie B and I went to breakfast while B was watching football, and then came home and just hung out the rest of the day. B is quite proud that Sammie B has the "touchdown" arms down:

The picture is blurry, but its the best we could do! She won't always do "touchdown" on cue, but instead usually, B and/or I do it a couple times, and then as soon as we give up on her doing it and turn away, she does it and laughs.

We spent a lot of the day just hanging out and playing with Sammie B but we also worked some "exercising" in, so I feel good about our day. So often on the weekends, we go-go-go, and then I feel like I "should" have done more of her PT exercising with her. I know this is sort of the "mom-guilt" every mother feels, but it's still nice to put her in bed and feel like I did a good job of "mom'ing" today. Because I don't feel that way every day. It's not like I feel like I'm doing a bad job of it, but some (many) nights I put her to sleep and if I reflect on our day, I feel like I could have done more. Being a mom is hard stuff!

In other news, Bean is throwing us a curve ball and suddenly crabs through every single session of PT. It makes it very hard! We thought it was just last week b/c she had a fever for a couple of days, but B took her Friday and she did the same thing :o( We are hoping its just a phase, because its so hard to watch her whine/complain/cry for an hour while the PT tries to work with her.

She's doing really well when we work with her at home --- she's rolled more for our nanny, she's still pushing up into cobra on her own (including today, she did it and I kept saying, "do it again!" and she kept doing it). She's getting there. This has been SUCH a hard year, but I know we will look back at all of this as just a part of Sammie's story and it will seem so insignificant later. As a total control freak, its hard knowing that so much of this (all of it!) is out of my control, but I know that's what parenting is. . .

I think I've given up on the compression vest for awhile. She just seems to be doing so well. And, both the nanny and I have put it on her for a day and then sort of gauged whether we think she does any better with or without it and we can't tell a bit of difference. Its been a very hard decision for me (and B of course); I've agonized and agonized. I don't want to NOT give her something that MIGHT help, but I also don't want to put something on her every day that MIGHT not be comfortable if its NOT helping. The vest we have has gotten small, and rides up on her, which I know can't be comfortable, and she's too little for the next size. She fights me putting it on now, and I just feel like maybe it is not worth it. I kind of wish I had some sort of "sign" that I was doing the right thing because its hard! So, we've tabled the vest for now, but are open to trying it out again later if our PT really thinks we need to. These are the times I wish I had some sort of "sign". . . although I guess the fact that she's been doing so well sitting & playing without it IS my sign. I think I need a bigger one to feel good about my decision though - parenting is hard!

Anyway, its Sunday night, the end of a great weekend (Sundays come so fast!), with only ONE week left of the month. Another month down. More billable hours to fit in this week. I feel like I just wrote a post about month-end . . . they seem to keep happening! Since Sammie B entered our lives, it feels likes time just moves at warp speed. Speaking of which, as of tomorrow morning, Sammie B will be on just milk and food -- no formula! We are through with our two week transition process. Our little Bean is growing up!!!!!!! SO FAST!

*Later in life, if Sammie B ever asks WHAT I sang to her, I'll be hard-pressed to answer . . . the only song I think I know the CORRECT lyrics to is Itsy-Bitsy Spider, so that's a favorite, I sang it to her for every nap during maternity leave; but mostly, I just listen to the instrumental lullabies we play on her I-Pod in her room at night, and make up new words as I go.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flip Flop

Story of my life. I cannot seem to STAY in an optimistic place all that long. Saturday, we had an OT session, and the therapist said that Sam is just sort of "under-responsive" when it comes to her awareness of her body. That's not news to us, but it was just phrased in a new way. We've been told that maybe because of the low tone, she may have sensory processing issues (which is sort of a catch-phrase of the OT/developmental ped world, but absolutely a real thing). So, its not surprising, but for whatever reason, it sent me into a state of google-mania, which is NEVER healthy. I haven't even found anything scary or bad really (most of what I find describes how with early intervention, OT, etc., the sensory-issue kids may not get "over" their sensory issues, but they get "around" them), but it still just drives my worry. And, on top of that, Sammie B had a fever over the weekend (nothing serious, just a reaction to her one-year shots that the doctor told us to expect) but she was WHINY WHINY WHINY. And, so PT on Friday didn't go well (she cried through most of it, which is very hard for us); OT on Saturday didn't go well (same); and so we just relaxed the rest of the weekend. And, this sort of through me into that resentful place where I feel bitter that I feel like I'm constantly supposed to be working with my child -- working on the quadriped position; working on transitions; working on self-feeding and awareness of her body parts, etc. Anyway, this is a yucky phase, I've fallen into a slump, but I know, this too shall pass.

I've been reading another blog about a mom and her son who also has sensory issues. He just started an OT preschool program that's 5 afternoons a week -- run by OTs/PTs and other specialists. She wrote about how at an interview w/ the school, she was listing all the things they "work on" at home, and the director of the program told her that now that he'd be in that program, he'd be "working" on stuff with the experts each day, and hopefully that would allow her to just ENJOY her kiddo at home. I read that, and thought . . . what a relief! What a weight to have lifted off! And my reaction to that made me realize how heavy of a burden this whole PT/OT thing feels like sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, we DO enjoy our Sammie B. Endlessly. But that doesn't mean there aren't moments or days that I wish I didn't have this feeling that I "should" be on the floor, putting her in the crawling position; etc., instead of cuddling on the couch and reading a story, or out walking with her in her stroller . . .

Sigh. Huge Sigh.

But, then, it is pictures like this (which our nanny took today and emailed me) that remind me how far our little Bean has come, and how our "work" with her is paying off . . . slowly but surely. . . and so we keep going!

There was a time when independent sitting felt impossible. When tripoding was a struggle. Now there she is - my Bean, sitting. (And note, no crash pillow behind her, no boppy around the waist, and no person to catch her if she falls!). And so too. . . the other things will happen with time and work.

I think the hardest thing for me is just that I WANT those other things so badly for her. I can just picture her crawling for things she wants (and I know she'll giggle as she does it) and I CANNOT WAIT for that. The windows of possibility await this little girl, and I cannot wait to see them open for her. But the waiting isn't always easy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Little Things

Some days, I let myself get wrapped up in how HARD things are . . . how HARD it is to be a working mom, how hard it is to be "big firm" lawyer, how hard it is to be the mother of a pre-term babe with some developmental issues, how hard it is to fit wife and me into all of this . . . but then other days, I really am hit with how even though, yes, it is HARD, it is a great life. And sometimes, it is the little things that keep it all in perspective:

- Her gummy little grin has changed (over night it seems) into a toothy little one, but it is still as infectious and amazing as ever. How is it that this tiny little Bean is turning into a little girl?

- Sammie B's nanny has taught her how to shake hands. Its stinking cute! So, now she's got waving (not always just for "hello," and "bye bye" but also just to get someone's attention and sometimes just because), high-fives, shaking hands, and also this new thing we THINK means "give me." I sat at dinner with her tonight alternating between high-fives and shaking. Funny little lady!

- We've REALLY been working on clapping -- holding the outside of her hands and pushing them together to clap. She seems to WANT to do it, but hasn't yet. However, now one of her favorite things is to put her hands on the outside of our hands and clap OUR hands. She thinks it is hysterical and gets mad when we try to switch to put our hands on the outside to clap hers. I love that she has a mind of her own.

- She LOVES riding on daddy's shoulders.

- I had tons of work to do, and could have stayed at work all night to do it, but instead, I left and met Sammie B and B for dinner, and now I'll get my work done. And, I'm not even bitter about being up late working while they are sleeping. Instead, I just feel lucky to have them here with me.

- Tonight, as I rocked my Bean to sleep, singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" (the ONLY song that works on cranky over-tired nights like tonight, she actually cries if I try to switch songs on her), I kissed her sweet cheeks and said, "you are perfect. thank you for letting me love you." And, I meant it.

Tonight, life is good. Even if I am up late working!