Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A first . . .

Tonight is a first for me and Sammie B . . . our first night apart. I am headed to Cincinnati for work. . . and will be away for 48 hours. I miss her already!!!! I got up early and worked this morning so that I could take some time this afternoon and have some mommy-Bean time, so I let our nanny leave early and we went to the park to swing and watch the bigger kids playing. It was fun!!! Oh how I miss our days together during maternity leave . . . in some ways, it seems like just yesterday. It is hard to believe that was 6 MONTHS ago!!!

This weekend, Sam is going to be the model baby for a physical therapy training class. We have a therapy place by us that holds training sessions for PTs and OTs from all over the world. Our PT asked if we'd let Sam be the baby the therapist uses for one of the classes. She thought she'd be perfect because Sammie is such a good-natured happy little babe. Of course, we agreed -- we will be there during the class, so we'll probably learn a lot too! They came over to film Sam yesterday so that they could show the class before we come in and discuss what an appropriate treatment plan should be. Sam did so well on video (she LOVES being on video). I felt a little stressed out before the PT got there . . . I knew it would be similar to that first PT evaluation that sent us into the tailspin of panic 3 months ago. It was a lot like that -- a lot of "put her in a sitting position," "put her on her back and have her hold her toes," etc., BUT, it wasn't the same --- Indeed, it was so striking to me the difference between the things she can do now versus that first PT evaluation 3 months ago!!!

I miss her. I miss her. I miss her. But, she's in good hands! Daddy's got things under control :o)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Trying to do it all . . .

What a week!!! Things have really picked up at work. Two weeks ago, I picked up another case because I needed it. After that, I had enough work to do. This week, I was asked to work on a new case with the partner that is my absolute favorite to work with, which I can't refuse (b/c I like working with him so much). SO, now . . . two new cases -- more than enough work!!! I'm super busy, but in a good way -- I like what I'm working on and I'm FINALLY feeling back in the lawyer game once again. With that said, I remember people telling me (mostly working moms) during law school that once you are both a career woman and a mom, its like whenever you feel like you are doing a good job at one thing, you always feel like you are doing a shitty job at the other. I always thought that was even a little true when it was just me and B -- when I was kicking ass at work, I usually wasn't being that kick ass of a wife, because, well, there's not enough time in the day to kick ass at everything. I just sort of accepted that, and I think B did too . . . we learned that when the other was super busy at work, we cut them some slack at home, and learned to wait out the natural cycles of the ebb and flow of our careers. But, its much harder to just "accept" now . . . hard to accept feeling like I'm not being a kick ass mama!!! And, its different, she's too little to understand why I get home later or leave earlier or am tireder when I'm here. Having the Bean certainly does add a whole new dimension to the "trying to do it all."

I think I'm doing about as good as anyone could. Mostly this week, I've tried to leave work in time to come home and spend a couple of hours with her before her bedtime. Then, I've just worked more after she's gone to bed. (Yes, this means I'm EXHAUSTED particularly since she's still not sleeping through the night again right now . . . so generally I've been going to sleep at midnight or later and then getting up shortly thereafter to put her pacifier back in and "shhhhh" her back to sleep). Funny --- as I type this, I'm thinking about my evenings . . . rushing in from work in time to play with her before her bedtime and then immediately going to my office at home to do more work and I just realized I couldn't tell you what I've had for dinner a single night this week or even whether I've had dinner, but I can tell you what we've played with each night in our few hours together!!! Good thing Bean still eats dinner from a baby food jar . . . we always have her food on hand!

Today was B's furlough day and I was so sad all day that I was at work and not home with the two of them. I just truly miss them when I'm away and I ache to be with my Bean. I did leave work at 4:30 to come home and play, but then, after her bedtime, had to work again. My hope through all of this is that as Bean grows up, she sees me "doing it all" or at least making my best attempt to do it all and she thinks "wow women can do anything!" Maybe one day, she'll even tell me I made it look easy (as I think my own mom made it look easy to get two kids to their respective dance classes, sports events, etc., maintain an immaculate house, make the MOST DELICIOUS home cooked meals ever, work, get a college degree, etc., all while raising two kids with a husband who often worked in another state!). And, someday, when my Sammie B looks at me, and says, "Mom, how did you do it?" I can tell her how I struggled and wished it were easier and ached for her while I was at work.

So, with this kind of week that I'm having (the kick ass professionally week, but worry that I'm not doing enough in my family-life kinda week), its no wonder that Thursday morning when I was driving to work and the song "In My Daughter's Eyes" came on, I cried and thought of the Bean, and her future, and our future as a family, and wondered exactly what I will be in her eyes. I hope she looks at me and thinks I'm the kind of woman she'd like to be. I hope she looks at me and thinks, "if I'd gotten to pick my mom, I would have picked you." Because, as cheesy at it sounds, I truly do look into my Sammie B's eyes and see who I want to be -- I see the kind of mother and role model that I want to strive to be!!!

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

[The commentary that goes with each picture above -- the first was Wednesday night when she fell asleep having her last bottle of the evening and I just sat and snuggled her for a bit before taking her up to bed; the second is her with her new beach ball -- they had one at Gymboree when we took her once and she loved it, so I bought one for her, and it was a big hit; the third is this little exercauser-like thing, but with a bumbo-type seat rather than the usual exercauser (which we can't use with her b/c of her low trunkal tone) . . . this one was recommended by our PT, and also a big hit with Sammie B.]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

First Bananas and First Time in a Swing

I worked all day and missed my Bean TERRIBLY, and I'm way too tired to write anything too meaningful, but here are a few pictures from the recent days . . . Bean's first time trying pieces of (as opposed to pureed) banana (not such a hit) and her first time in a swing (a bigger hit!). The swing pictures amaze me b/c she looks SO SO big but also SO SO bald . . . just like me when I was a wee one.

It seems like everyday we are making new and fantastic memories!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


The first picture is from Sammie wearing her arm restraints the night she had surgery. She had to wear them to bed so she wouldn't rub her eyes. We expected them to royally piss her off . . . but in true Sammie spirit, she found them to be amusing . . . and played with them and still managed to give us hugs with them on!!! As you can see, she's actually smiling a little in the picture . . . this is less than 12 hours after her surgery.

And the other pic is a first for us --- first time on daddy's shoulders!!! B/C she's so unsteady, it just hadn't occurred to us to put her there but she liked it!

I haven't blogged in over a week (gasp) because we've been so busy! My mom was in town all last week, Sammie B was still recovering from her surgery (which she took like a champ -- she was back to her old self within a day!). Gigi had LOTS of great time with the Bean, and even got to watch her Sunday night while B and I went out to dinner and to a concert. This was the first time that we've ever had someone else put Sammie to bed, so that part was a little hard for me, but I know it was probably the best night of Gigi's life so far ;o) Like all of us, Gigi is head over heels in love with our Bean. The two of them shared many giggles and smiles and loves last week! Gigi took lots of pictures so maybe she could share them . . . or even do a guest blog?? (What do you say Gigi?)

Sam came through the surgery like a champ, but she's decided to throw us a curve ball the last few nights --- Our little Bean that has always been SUCH an amazing sleeper (having been sleeping through the night since about 3 months old) has suddenly started waking up and needing us to comfort her back to sleep. She cries, the pacifier doesn't do the trick, stroking her head doesn't do the trick, nothing except being held. I thought maybe she had another ear infection, so I called and moved her 10-month check-up up to today (she's about 9 days shy of 10 months) but turns out, she's not sick. No ear infections. Her pediatrician said its not uncommon for something like this to happen after a babe/small child goes through something like surgery . . . she could even be having bad dreams. SO, we just need to go to her and comfort her, just as we have been, and we'll get through this phase. Our poor little bean! Knowing that Bean may be having bad dreams somehow makes the bags under my eyes seem totally insignificant!

PT is going really well . . . our therapist continues to be thrilled with Sammie's progress . . . she always holds her own bottles now; she's gone from not being able to tripod sit at all to being able to do so with minimal help from her arms; she's able to side-sit for a bit if we put her in that position; she's banging her toys and hitting them together; she splashes in the bathtub/pool (showing that the muscle tone in her arms is improving); she's able to hold the quadriped (crawling) position for a little bit, to hold on to her toes and pull them to her chest, to stand with assistance . . . . SO MUCH improvement. When she holds her toes, we say "show us the bottoms" and she extends her feet up to us and we kiss the bottoms. Then she giggles with delight. We are so happy! I spoke with our pediatrician today about all the things Sammie B is doing and all the things she isn't, and she's totally optimistic as well . . . all great news! On our way to conquering the world of motor skills . . . one PT session at a time!!! Sam's growth has slowed -- she was 90th percentile, but now she's down to 50th, which is okay. Her head is still big --- 80th percentile :o)

She's a GREAT eater and has loved all the food we've given her . . . and now we get to start experimenting with finger foods!!! Sam's hand-eye coordination is a little lacking (note the fact that she regularly poors milk on her head when trying to put her bottle to her mouth . . . though as of late, we are pretty sure this is a game she's playing and not such an "accident"). Finger foods will likely take a little practice. I stopped on my way home tonight and picked up the little baby food star puff things the doctor recommended starting with (they dissolve in their mouths, so not a choking hazard). Sam liked seeing me and daddy eat them, but didn't like them herself . . . we'll try again!

A few other fun things . . . when my mom was here, my mom and I took Sam with us over to my mom's hotel to check-in and as we were leaving . . . my mom said, "ready to go bye bye Samantha?" And, Sam said, as clear as could be, "bye bye." She hasn't said it again though -- little stinker! And, so no one believes us that she said it . . . but she did! She's also been saying mah mah mah a lot . . . not quite "mama" but getting there! AND, tonight as we sat eating dinner and she sat in her high chair staring at those little puff things we wanted her to eat, she said totally out of the blue "dada." B's heart melted. These may not be regular occurrences just yet, but the makings of her first words are there. Unbelievable!!

My favorite recent story is that when I was in the bathtub with her the other night, I was trying to squirt her with one of her squirt toys like I always do (and always get a smile from her) but I accidentally shot it in my face instead, which made me jump. She giggled uncontrollably!!! Like total belly laughs. It was the cutest and loudest giggle EVER. B was downstairs and heard it and ran up to see what was so stinking funny!!! I kept doing it, and she kept giggling!!! What a funny little Bug!!!! NOTHING in the world could possibly be better than those little giggles!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Strabismus Surgery - Check!

Little Bean looked SO cute in her hospital jammies. And, we made it through surgery. I think Bean handled it better than me! The morning wasn't so bad - I was nervous, but kept it together. The surgery took an hour, and even that wasn't so bad. But, waiting for her to wake up in recovery, and standing next to her, sleeping and hooked up to all the monitors took me right back to nine months ago and the NICU, and it was just a bit overwhelming. Then, she woke up and was so upset and disoriented, that I sort of lost it. B kept it together, and immediately went into great-great-daddy mode (of course!) and comforted her, changed her diaper, changed her back into her pjs, etc. We balance each other out that way I guess. I keep thinking I should have been stronger but I was there, and did my best. I was scared, and overwhelmed by seeing my baby in discomfort. And B picked up where I couldn't . . .

Since we got home, Sam has been in pretty good spirits . . . mostly sleeping, a little whining here and there, but some smiles too. Her eyes are SO red and a little bit bloody, which is hard, but it doesn't seem to be bothering her that much . . . our greatest challenge over the next 24 hours is keeping her from rubbing her eyes.

She's such a tough little girl, and even through this, she's been her normal happy self. My sweet little Bean.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On the Eve of Surgery

Tomorrow is Sam's strabismus surgery. We have to be at Children's Hospital at 6:30 am -- because she's so little (and we can't feed her in the am), she's the first surgery of the day. I am, of course, all "angsty" which I know is not a word, but its how a feel! I am keeping things in perspective . . . this is a relatively minor, extremely common, out-patient surgery. But, its surgery on my baby nonetheless, so of course I'm freaking out a bit, as is B. I doubt either one of us will sleep much tonight, and I know we are in for a rough few days as Miss Sammie B gets through the recovery. But, we'll get through it.

Not much else to blog about . . . we've been doing really well . . . our little team. Sammie seems to be getting stronger every day. Our nanny is fabulous, and obviously cares about our Bean so so much. Sam is truly blossoming in her care (including clapping once for our nanny and her mom who met Sam and is in love too!!). . . the little bugger won't clap for us, but she clapped for them!!! And, all of this makes us so so happy. We couldn't be happier that we made the decision to go the nanny route, and are so greatful that our nanny found her way into our lives.

We had a good fourth of July (B's parents were here and we walked to the ocean to watch fireworks over the water -- Sammie B loved them!) . . . I'm struck by the changes in our lives in the last year. Last 4th, I was so so pregnant, and I remember waddling over to the fireworks and having to walk back slowly and being a little out of breath. . . . now this year the Bean was with us!!! Watching the fireworks in total wide-eyed wonder. I look around our house . . . the house we moved into just over a year ago, and the little baby things scattered everywhere make me so so happy. Today I was working in the office, and noticed next to my computer our "Little Lamb" book and couldn't help but smile. . . .we love our Bean and all the wonderful things she brings to our house and our lives.

Just a few pics above from the last week --- the first is from the fireworks (it was cold by the ocean so we were wearing warm clothes); the second is from tonight when little Bean took a cat nap on mommy; the third is from when she sat for B for OVER 10 minutes; the fourth is her giving herself her bottle; and the last is another cute sitting shot . . . she's still tripoding, but getting better and better about it every single day. Little Bean is making progress.

Tomorrow will not be fun. But, we'll make it through it, and this day will really just be but a blip in the life story of Sammie B . . . in the story of the FABULOUS Sammie B :o)