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!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rollin' On

I'm way too tired to make much sense tonight, but I feel like I need to post, because I have a lot on my mind.

I've been a miserable person to live with lately. I'm fully aware of that. I've been terrible to Mr. B, and he doesn't deserve it.

Now for the excuses. I'm tired. Have I mentioned that before? I know I say it out loud multiple times a day. I'm sure many of my family/friends get sick of hearing it. But, I NEED to whine a little. I could not name the last time that I put my bean in bed, and either hung out and watched TV, hung out with the hubs, or went straight to bed myself. Instead, Bean goes to bed, and I work for 2 or 3 more hours. Every.single.night. And, B goes to bed each night at 9 or 9:30, and its not logical or fair, but I feel MAD at him because he gets to sleep. And, he's also training for a marathon. I'm super super proud of him. But lately, I resent that training time too . . . simply because he has it. That's not fair either. And I picked my career (and I like it. I like WHAT I do. I like my cases, and I like my firm). Problem is, this mama/lawyer thing is just a tough one to balance. I wish I could say, "I haven't been to bed before midnight in weeks, but I'm billing like there's no tomorrow." But that's not the case. I'm just eeking out "average" hours. I don't like being average, particularly when I FEEL like I'm working so freaking hard. But, my days start later -- our nanny arrives at 8:30, so I'm not at work, billing until at least 9:30, often later b/c I do other stuff before I get going. Then, if I want to leave work to be home for dinner with Sammie B, I have to head out by 5:30 or 6:00 at the latest, earlier if we have a PT session (which we do on Mondays). So, that only leaves 8 POSSIBLE hours in which I can bill . . . and of course, like any lawyer -- any person -- SOME of my time each day is not productive, and some is productive but not billable. So, that leaves a few hours of billable work to do each night . . . just to eek out "average." I KNOW my priorities are where they should be -- Sam is No. 1 -- and I don't feel like I'm slighting her at all. I'm at most PT sessions. I'm here for bedtime 99% of the time. I'm the first face she sees every morning when she wakes up. And, that's how I want it to be. But what I'm struggling with is feeling like I might be just "average" at work.

But, I also know its not fair to my B for him to constantly fall to the bottom of the list, or for me to resent his job and its wonderful hours. B has always stood by and been my biggest supporter and fan. And he still is. I need to get over myself and be the same for him. Pre-bean, I thought that I could cut this lawyer/mom thing b/c B had great hours, so he could pick up the slack that I would leave. I didn't know that that wouldn't be good enough for me . . . that I'd WANT to be at every appointment, every bedtime, etc. That it would break my heart to miss those things (and of course, I didn't know, couldn't know, how many appointments there'd be).

But, I'm going to try out an alternative work schedule -- assuming its approved by the firm. I'll be responsible for less hours at the end of the year, but will get paid less. I'm HOPING that this allows me a little more time to just enjoy life, my husband, and my Bean. I'm HOPING that this allows me to FEEL like there's enough hours in the day, week, and month for me to be better than just average at work.

I have so many mixed emotions about this. These sort of "part-time" (which by any normal occupation's standards, our part-time programs still amount to full-time hours) don't work for everyone. But, I hope to give it a shot, and I hope to make it work. Not to mention the fact that I do somehow feel like I'm failing (just a little bit). When I was on maternity leave, and ran into lawyers out in the world, they would all say, "are you going back full-time?" with such disbelief. I wanted to show that it COULD be done. Its silly. I have to make the best choice for me and my family. And, truth be told, it CAN be done. But, right now, it doesn't have to be . . .

I stayed up super late last night working so that I could end a little early today and head out to run some errands with Sammie B. We stopped and had a late lunch together, and I snapped the picture above. Tuesdays have a lot of posssibility for the two of us if everything works out with the alternative work-schedule (which will mean that Tuesdays are a half-day for me and that I work from home those days). This is entering some uncharted territory . . . many women have tried part-time lawyer programs and not been able to make it work. Many have found that they either lose out on opportunity or end up working 100% for less pay. I'm going into this with eyes wide open, determined to make it work. So, here goes . . .

In other news, Sammie B's one-year appointment went fab. Dr. was pleased with her progress, not alarmed by the 6-month gross motor score on her developmental tests -- she said she's not concerned as long as we keep moving forward and seeing progress, which we are. Whew. Sammie B is a tall glass of water -- 90th percentile for length; 60th for weight. And, getting FIVE teeth. All at once! Poor little Bean.

And, our last two PT sessions have been PHENOMENAL. Friday, in front of me, B, and the PT, Sammie B rolled SIX times - on her own. The first time, we all just sat and stared at her, totally wide-eyed, and the PT said, "I think she's rolling." When she finished, we all screamed and just were so excited. And she did it several more times:o) She rolled more over the weekend, and today!!! And, yesterday in PT, she pushed herself up into the cobra position and pulled her own legs under her into the crawling position -- all HUGE. Bean keeps moving forward every single day. We all do . . .

Sammie B is rollin' and I'll keep rollin' too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I haven’t posted in quite awhile, mostly because at night, when the world is sleeping (when I would usually steal time for a blog), I’ve been working. I feel like I work all the time, but somehow the end of the months keep sneaking up on me and my billables are lower than I want them to be. Somehow, what felt like a BREEZE pre-Sammie B (a 200-hour billable month) suddenly seems IMPOSSIBLE. I’ve been working nearly every night after our little Bean is sleeping, and that stinks b/c I’m tired all the time and feel like I get no time with B, but I guess we are surviving. We all are. I’m working on making some changes so that things are a little easier on the work-front, and thus better on the home-front, but that will have to be fodder for a later blog.

We’ve been busy. My parents came to celebrate Sammie B’s birthday with us, and we had a HUGE party. Seriously, it was a blowout. I don’t think B or I really grasped what 10+ mini-people and 45+ adult-people in our house would feel like, but it was chaotic. Fun, but chaotic. We admittedly went over the top. We decorated with pink and purple, and Sam wore the CUTEST party dress and pink mary janes (which she loved; so much in fact that we almost couldn't get a party dress picture because she kept reaching down and grabbing her shoes, totally fascinated with them!).

And we had live music entertainment which was a hit. Funny thing . . . Sammie B smiled for every picture all weekend while my parents were here . . . but in pictures from the party, she pretty much just looks like, “what the hell is going on? why are all of these people at my house?” We’ve had an amazingly wonderful and intense year, it called for a blowout kind of party.

I made Bean a gluten-free cupcake for her birthday, and she loved it. Good thing she’s never had real cake (thus doesn’t know what she’s missing) because I tasted that cupcake and it left a lot to be desired.

We also had Sammie B’s one-year PT evaluation. It was both encouraging and discouraging. She rated at her adjusted age, or a little ahead, on everything EXCEPT gross motor. No surprise really. But, she’s only at 6 months gross motor. The numbers always make it seem so real, and a little depressing. I think any time that your child is being “evaluated,” it just sucks. We work so hard with her, and then sometimes, the numbers feel like a punch in the stomach. But alas, we’ve made GREAT strides since her first evaluation five months ago, and we’ll keep plugging on. The evaluations are just a hard part of our reality.

I’ve been in a good place most of the time lately. Sammie B really has just turned into such a fun little person. The laughs (especially when we say “no!”). The squeals. The smiles. The mimicking. The flirting. The amazingness that is OUR Samantha. I stared at her this morning and thought, “She is such a Samantha.” It’s so funny - I ALWAYS wanted a little girl named Samantha. But, I never had an image to put with that name. Even when I was pregnant, we knew she was “Samantha” but we didn’t have a visual. And, when she was first born, I often wondered if she looked like a Samantha. But suddenly, as she’s become this little person, I know, she’s most definitely a Samantha. She’s OUR Samantha. With her bald head, lavender glasses, and infectious little giggle. She’s part silly, part serious, all fabulous. She’s Samantha. And, she’s on her own little journey on this planet. B and I are just fortunate to be along for the ride. And although it’s a crazy ride at times, it’s the best ride I’ve ever been on. And I wouldn’t get off this ride for anything in the world.

But, I say I’m in a good place “most of the time” because there are moments (fleeting moments most of the time) where the panic and worry creep in. I’ll have a sudden moment of panic, whether it is thinking about the evaluations, seeing a child in a wheelchair, whatever, and suddenly, I’ll think, “what if she never walks? What if they are missing something?” But honestly, it doesn’t matter, and I know that. NONE of it matters. I don’t have a crystal ball, no matter how much I’d like one. But no one does. My brother’s best friend in the world shot himself at 22 years old. His mother didn’t have a crystal ball. My cousin was in a car accident in his 20s that left him blind. His mother didn’t have a crystal ball. So really, we are all just riding along on whatever journey life hands us, and worrying and obsessing about the many “what-ifs” is just silly. So, I won’t let myself do that. Learning to not allow myself to do that will likely be a life-long process for me, but like everything else, I'll keep working on it.

I had a long conversation with Sammie B’s PT about what is and isn’t comforting for special needs parents to hear. She knows how hard these evaluations can be, and was asking what kinds of things comfort us and what things do not. I told her (and I actually meant it, which felt good) that I’m doing okay. I’m okay with the scores. They are what they are, and we just keep trucking. But, it got me thinking . . . what things do make me feel better, and what just doesn’t? I realized the most irritating thing is when people hear (or read) about our story with Sammie B and they act like they pity us . . . like “oh poor you, what terrible things you’ve been through. . . .” Yes, its been a tough year, but I HOPE that I convey to my friends, family, etc. that its also been an amazing year. I know I have to some of you, because I get these amazing comments/messages from you that show that you GET what a FABULOUS time we are having with Sammie B too. That you GET that this has been the absolute best year of my life. You don't focus on the struggles, you get that I NEED to talk about those, but that those experiences aren't what defines my family or my child or my experience as her mother. For that, thank you. If you are my friend/family member/a random internet and you find you don't know WHAT to say . . . then, to you I say this, "Does my Bean LOOK sad? Do we LOOK like we are not enjoying our lives?" Focus on what a magical little Bean I have and how much love and joy she’s brought to our lives, not the obstacles we've faced. Those obstacles do not define us. They are, to quote this year's LA March of Dimes' speaker, just "minor inconveniences on [Sammie B's] way to conquering the world."

And for god’s sake, don’t tell me that my struggles make you grateful for your own children/life/etc. My path is mine, yours is yours, and I wouldn’t trade my journey for anything. It is ours. Saying that hearing about Sammie's struggles makes you grateful is akin to (in my mind) saying, "I'm so glad I am me and not you." To that, I say, "me too." Because I wouldn't want to be anyone but who I am, or to share my life with anyone other than the Bean and B.

We are doing OT with Sammie B once a week (in addition to her two PT sessions) and it is going well. We are much less involved in those sessions – I think it is just the therapist’s style. So, instead of being right there working alongside the therapist, we really are just observers, which has provided us with a different perspective. Sometimes, I look at Sammie B playing with the therapist and I can’t believe how old she looks. She will often do something good in therapy, and when the OT says, “good job,” Sammie B just BEAMS and looks over at me (and usually our nanny whose there also) like she’s making sure we are watching. I may wish that I didn’t always feel like we are “working with” Sam (b/c that’s a heavy burden) but really, this has been such a learning experience, and we are so so fortunate to have such amazing people on our little TEAM SAMMIE B!!!

Because she only has OT once a week, the OT also really notices the progress in between sessions, which is cool. It seems like Sammie B gets a tiny bit stronger each and every week.

She’s not wearing her compression vest right now . . . it had gotten way too short, and I just felt like it had to be a waste to put this ill-fitting thing on her every day. We are meeting with LA’s “expert” in this type of vest for a fitting, and may invest in the next size up. THIS is where I wish I had a crystal ball . . . just some SIGN as to what we SHOULD do would be nice. Even if this thing helps only .1%, I will do it, but I just wish I KNEW . . . but I don’t. We are going “vestless” for a few days and all trying to gauge whether there’s any difference, but what if its so subtle that we miss it?!!!

I'm going to end with some really great PT pictures from Monday . . . PT is a HUGE part of our lives, and these pictures make me smile (as our PT said Monday, Sammie B is a total little worker bee, and she's working SO hard in these pictures). These are also pictures showing (in PT-speak) Sammie B's "protective reflexes" which are emerging in all directions -- that's a GOOD thing, and its also progress. She definitely couldn't do this 5 months ago!

Go Bean Go!!!

And in one LAST little bit of news, the Bean has decided pacifiers are so last year, and she's given them up. On her own. Apparently, now that she's one-year-old, she just doesn't need such "baby" things. . . now if only we could interest her in a sippy cup!

Sam I Am

Before I post the ridiculously long post I've been working on, I wanted to post a few of my favorite pictures of my dad (Sam) and his favorite Bean. My dad was just in town to celebrate Sammie B's birthday with us, and he hadn't seen her in 9 months! So, it was a pretty incredible visit for him (and us)! Some of my favorite moments were just turning to look over at them on the couch, deep in conversation together, like this: