Thursday, July 29, 2010


May there be more days where I notice every single one of the "cans" and not worry so much about the "cant's."

And may the "cant's" slowly become "cans."

My Bean, oh how I learn from you.

[Sammie B's new favorite toy at PT - the play kitchen . . . pretend play! A new phase!! I knew she didn't learn "kitchen play" from ME. . . until I realized her go-to in the kitchen was the microwave!]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baby You Amaze Me!

[Picture from our trip to Tahoe]

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to convey in words what I'm feeling right now . . . but I'm going to give it my best.

Tonight as I watched Sammie B playing with her speech therapist (oh yes, our week now includes 2x ST, 2x PT, 1x OT, and 1 swim lesson!), I was just overwhelmed with LOVE for her. I don't think its possible to fall any MORE in love with her than I already am, but lately, when I sit back and watch her interact with others, I just feel so amazed by her. It is difficult to put into words really, but I think its just sitting there watching her interact, seeing her follow directions, pick what (and how) she wants to play, watching her show affection and communicate what she wants and laugh at people's jokes, etc. . . watching her BE her OWN little person. It is amazing really. I felt this way when we went on our vacation (which I'll eventually post pictures from) and I watched her with her older cousins. She was clearly MADLY in love with them, and stoked anytime she got to be around them. And as I watched her with them (and them with her) I just felt overwhelmed with love and just utterly amazed by her. She's a little person. My favorite little person. My Sammie B.

Tonight, I sat quietly and just watched as she and her therapist played with Mr. Potato Head. Other moms whose kids do various therapies will probably relate to this experience (which I'm having a hard time putting into words), but as the therapist told her to do each thing (like find Mr. Potato Head's arm), I couldn't help but feel anxious. It is that feeling that your child is being evaluated, and wanting them to get it right. After all the evaluating we've been through, its hard to escape that knawing concern in these moments. But tonight, as she often does, Sam blew me away. She did things I didn't even KNOW she could do. Like when her therapist asked her to find Mr. Potato Head's arm in the bucket of potato head parts,(she knows HER arm, and doll's arms, etc., but I didn't know she'd be able to pick a random arm -- without a body -- out of a bucket of miscellaneous parts), she reached in and touched Mr. Potato Head's hair, picked it up (and I of course thought she thought THAT was the arm) and then she tossed that hair off to the side because TADA - the arm was right under that hair. She knew it. Amazed.

And that speech therapy session (only her third) was just overall GREAT. She even mimicked a bunch of the sounds the speech therapist was trying to get her to do, which is great . . . Sam always babbles a ton with us at home, but rarely with others. She's very quiet outside of her little comfort zone of family. But tonight, she even said "buhbuh" for bubbles! And last night, we got "bah" for ball . . . and she was SO proud of herself. Now she says "bah" everytime we pick up her ball.

Swimming also continues to go fabulously well - we had a lesson today (busy day!) and she was just kicking up a storm!!! She actually seems to understand that kicking her legs will propel her forward. And the movement in the pool is undoubtedly helping her build strength. Brian and I have both noticed she's using her lower body more -- like she's suddenly becoming more aware that she can manipulate those legs of hers too -- and we think that's likely coming from the pool time.

Sam is also signing much more. We didn't do sign language with her until recently -- didn't make sense to early on when we weren't so sure about her vision, and then with everything else in our lives, we just didn't focus on it, but lately, all of her therapists were encouraging us to sign with her, and we've been thrilled and amazed. She picks them up so quickly! She now signs "more," "all done," "milk," "water," "love," and "want." I feel like those signs have opened up the pathways of communication for us so beautifully, and definitely help Sammie B with her frustration . . . we are now working on "help," though fine-motor wise, that one is a bit harder for her.

Our favorite newest Sammie B thing is that when she is pooping, and is done, she signs "all done." Sometimes, when we think she's done, we say, "are you all done pooping?" and she'll sign "more." And, she's always accurate :o) Pretty funny! Sammie may be a long way from potty training, because of her motor skills, but the awareness of her functions is clearly there!!!

Our week is filled with therapies, and Sammie B's life is filled with more "work" than any toddler's should be, but its all just part of her story. And today's chapter was a good one.

Sammie B, you amaze your mama. I'm lucky to be yours.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Promise Promise

Every now and then, no matter how optimistic I am, or how "okay" I am with our "new normal," the fear creeps back in. The uncertainty about the future. The worry. The questions. And then this little girl does something to remind me to sit tight, she's in control, not me.

Things are not always easy for us. Certain things are not coming easily to Sammie B and I wish they would, but this is her story. Her story will include the occasional PT session where she doesn't even want to stand up and cries the entire time -- those sessions will make my heart hurt and make me wish I had a magic wand to wave and make it all easier for her. But, there will also be magical sessions (many of them) that make my heart soar.

And, even though I don't have a magic wand OR a crystal ball, and I don't know what the future holds, I do know that this little girl has a whole lot of promise within . . . and that someday, these few assisted steps will turn into many many unassisted ones. And I though I'm eager for it to happen, I know I must wait. She has the rest of her life to walk. I've always believed in my heart that Sammie B WILL walk. I know she can. And, when I saw this video of her at PT taking her first real "steps," I cried. As did her daddy. She can do it, and she will. In her own time.

Sometimes, I'm afraid to speak of these hopes out loud, afraid I'll somehow jinx myself or us . . . but this video is too good NOT to share. This video was from her last PT session before we left for vacation. After two weeks off, Friday's session was not her best . . . Sammie B was NOT ready to be back at "work" and she let us know it! I couldn't help but feel disappointed that we didn't have another huge moment like the one in this video, but the PT told me, "we KNOW now that 'walking' is part of her motor memory. It's there, even if she won't attempt it again for months . . . its there." She said she's had kids that will do a skill and then refuse to do it again for 6 months and then just suddenly do it like they've been doing it their whole lives. Our journey is not an easy journey, but Sammie B is a complex little girl, and I am trying to be patient, and I truly truly am so proud of the little worker bee that she is and the progress she's making. Sweet Bee!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Because Blog Entries Are Just Better With Photographs

Damn me. Although I'm happy no one was hurt (and even more so that Sammie B wasn't with me), I still wish, of course, that I'd NOT banged up my darn car and that I didn't have to make an insurance claim (which will undoubtedly raise my premiums). These things always happen at the worst times, right?!! Like after having to spend thousands on home repairs because of rain, rain, rain and a stupid uncooperative HOA we are still fighting with for reimbursement? And after having to pay hospital bills for a certain someone's bout with collitis? And just after we meet with a financial planner like responsible adults planning for our future? Said financial planner will be less proud at our next meeting when we tell him what happened to that emergency fund we were so stinkin' proud of . . . Grrrrrrrrr.

Her car:

My car:

Damn me.

Dear Luck,

Please turn around. We had a fabulous vacation last week (which I'll blog about and post pictures from soon) but apparently this week, some bad luck has decided to douse my post-vacation glow. First, Sammie B started running a fever on Monday. No other real symptoms, just a little tired and whiny, but after missing a week of therapy for vacation (which I had avoided until this point, we always took weekend trips to try not to miss therapy but then I figured EVERYONE needs a break, even little Beans, so we planned a week-long trip and were planning to cram extra therapy sessions in this week), we had to cancel much of her sessions this week as well. May be silly and overly worrisome of me, but I don't like doing that. She's been doing so well in therapy, and I worry that a break, especially an almost 2-week long one, will somehow set us back. But, such is life.

On top of the fever [which her pediatrician thinks is roseola, so now we just wait on a rash], I had a minor accident on the way to work this morning. Per my usual, I was rushing, and I made a dumb move and got slammed into by a mini-van who was probably going too fast but did indeed have the right-of-way. So, rather than making it to work EARLY like I'd promised I would, I got towed to a garage and am now at home waiting on Brian to get home so we can go pick up a rental car, and I'll likely be up late tonight finishing the work I'd hoped to do today. Good thing for insurance and remote access.

So, LUCK, turnaround now. Thanks.

[More later on the good vacation pictures, the deets on how therapy was going pre-vacation, and how post-trial work has been!]