Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Here I Go.

She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.
~Margaret Culkin Banning

I have a new dress. My hair is freshly highlighted (and low-lighted) and tomorrow morning, I'll be back downtown, sitting at my desk at work, back in the lawyering game (possibly prepping for a trial that's happening in less than two weeks . . . nothing like getting back in the game at WARP speed, right?!). B is home for the next month, and I'm really happy he gets this time too -- he didn't get to do this after I had Sammie B because he was still newer at his job. We both know this is a great thing for him, and will help ease the transition from maternity leave to work for me.

I'm excited, but I'm also a little (okay, a lot) sad. These months home, getting to know Mia, and getting glimpses of Sammie B's day, have been glorious. Glorious. One of my favorite parts of each day has been getting to lunch with Mia and Sammie B after Sammie B comes home from school and before she leaves for her various therapy appointments. I will miss those lunches so, so much. These two girls are my heart.

My heart.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Watching Her Sleep

One of my favorite parts of vacation is always the "family bed." If you've been reading my blog for long, you know that Sammie B slept with us from when she was about 1 until she was 2 and that the transition to her own bed was very, very hard (for me!). There's just something about having her right there, sleeping next to me, that is so, so soothing. I love the idea of falling asleep with my most favorite people at the end of the day (though I know sleeping in her own room is more developmentally appropriate at this time in her life!). Anyway, on our trip to Florida, there were a few nights where me, B, Sammie B AND Mia all slept in one bed. Besides the (slight) claustrophobia, it was my heaven. For real.

But one night, I just laid there watching Sammie B sleep -- with her two donkeys (which she sleeps with every night) and an apple (which she insisted go to bed with her that night), and the tears started flowing. While my little family slept all around me, I laid there, and I cried.

I cried because that night at dinner, B's great aunt asked me (in front of Sammie) "she doesn't walk yet?" (I nonchalantly said, "she does with assistance!"), but then she went on . . . "does she understand when you talk to her?" and "will she be able to read?"

Now, I get it. I do. I get why she asked, but I wish she wouldn't have. I just said "yep!" and moved on, and fought the urge (as I do in those situations) to go into detail about her various developmental evaluations or to start listing all that she knows. All that she understands. That she can count to twenty in English, ten in Spanish, recognizes almost all her letters, knows the alphabet, and has nearly every one of her story books memorized. That sometimes, I don't even think she's listening, yet she remembers details that blow me away. The thing is, even if she didn't know all that stuff, even if she didn't "understand," she'd still be our magical Sammie B. But the reason that question rocks me to my core is that I know that that wasn't the first and won't be the last time my girl is underestimated. That someone has assumed or will assume she doesn't "get" something.

I cried because I know the world may not always see her for what she knows and what she CAN do, but instead for the things she can't do.

I cried because a few nights before that, we met another family in the ice cream shop by our house, and I caught the mom staring at Sammie B's leg braces. I cried because I'm starting to notice those looks, those stares more often.

I cried because the world isn't always a nice one and I can't pave an easy path for her, and that makes me feel powerless.

I cried because in so many ways, she is just like every other three-year old girl. She loves jokes. She loves to giggle. She loves the park. She loves swimming and playing in the sand. She thinks her dada is the funniest man alive. She loves to dance (especially with her dada). She loves Dora, and Strawberry Shortcake and Minnie Mouse. She doesn't like naps or bedtime or brushing her teeth. She's stubborn and says "no" to anything B or I (or her therapists) suggest that wasn't her idea first. Typical in so many ways, yet I worry that the world will see the "atypical" about her first. And that just sucks.

I cried because what (so far) seems to be "typical" development is unfolding in front of us (with Mia) and sometimes, it stings. Sometimes, I can't help but think, "Sam had to work so hard to do x, y or z," and it feels a little bittersweet to watch those same things just happen. And I feel guilty having those thoughts. I WANT to let each girl's journey be their own, and I thank my dear friend K for her sage advice -- I can't fall into the "why didn't it come this easy to Sam," or "Sam *should* be doing x," thinking because then, I won't be able to enjoy either of the girls to the fullest. Instead, each of them is who they are. Who they are meant to be. Sammie B is Sammie B, and Mia is Mia, each with their own journeys and destinies that only they can reveal. Each of them equally awesome, neither of their journeys are any "less than" or "more than" simply because their "cant's" and "cans" may differ. (Oh so thankful for the dear friends, like K, that I've made, friends I wouldn't have if it weren't for Sammie B's unique journey).

I cried because lately Sammie B is having an even harder time focusing her eyes, and that also just stinks. Stinks. I don't want her to have to work so hard for that. We've made an appointment with Super Doctor (our pediatric neuro-ophthamologist) and I fear that another surgery will be required. I also fear (even more so) that he'll say another surgery won't do anything and that there's nothing we can do but "wait and see." I don't want to "wait and see." I want seeing to be easy for my girl. I cried because I watch her struggling with her eyes. Trying to make her eye muscles cooperate, then blinking to help herself. And she doesn't have the words to tell me what's going on exactly. I recently talked to a woman at a party who had similar vision issues all her life. She said she remembers in school that she often saw two of the things on the blackboard, or the words on the blackboard moved, and she didn't know that others didn't see that. She didn't have a way of explaining it to her parents because she didn't know it wasn't "normal." I cried because I so want to be able to understand the complexities of Sammie B's vision.

I cried because if another surgery is on the horizon, I don't know how I'll explain that to her. When the first surgery was done, she was only 10 months old, so we didn't need to explain. I cried because the last year or so that we really took "off" from testing has been so very, very freeing but we've just learned of a new specialist (in movement disorders) that B and I both immediately knew we needed to see (there are only a few in the country and one just moved to LA, getting an appointment will take some time, but we'd like to see him). I cried because, well, the doctor's appointments fuel so, so much fear and anxiety in me. Paralyzing fear.

I cried because we have a neurology appointment coming up and I've been compiling my list of questions and even videoed some of Sam's movements I want to talk to the neurologist about. I cried because I hate that list, I hated making that video and because I realize how bad we've been about videoing the magical things in our lives (mostly because I hate being on camera) but now we somehow have the "doctor, what do you think about this?" video. I can't wait until that appointment is behind us, and I will delete that video and move forward, trying to be better about videoing the magical moments.

I cried because she was constipated much of our trip to Florida and she sobbed when she finally *had* to go (doing that takes muscles too, so for a low-tone kid, constipation is a fact of life). I actually held her while she cried, while B and I both calmly tried to tell her "Sammie, you just gotta let it out sweetheart," to which she kept sobbing and saying "no, no, no, IN!" That may seem funny, but again, I just want SOMETHING to be easy for my girl. And, I hate that she must struggle with such simple things. I hate that the poor child has spent so much of her little life constipated that she sobs at the thought of letting it out . . . I cried for what this -- the fact that she's so traumatized by doing that -- means for potty training.

I cried because she is the sweetest, kindest, most loving and gentle little girl I know and yet, she struggles. And I wish it weren't so.

I cried because I love her more intensely than I ever knew possible and the pain of not being able to pave an easy path for her just knocks me over sometimes.

I cried because laying there with her donkeys and her apples, she looked like (as she is) a slice of perfection. Perfection.

Friday, February 24, 2012

She finishes my sentences . . .

There are a few things I say to Sammie B all the time. Now, she finishes my sentences for me (some are rules like "NO SCREAMING or you'll go to your thinking spot," which now, as soon as I say "NO SCREAMING, she'll say "thinking spot!"). But this one has to be my favorite recent one and I just have to put it here, for posterity. This is most definitely one of those memories I want to never, ever fade:

Me: Night night Sammie. I love you girl. More than anything in the whole
Sammie B: world!
Me: That's right! You make me feel so very happy
Sammie B: and proud!
Me (giggling): Yep! You make me feel happy AND proud!
Sammie B: Thank you, mama!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THIS Just In!

This Pacer was made for walkin' and that's just what it'll do. One of these days this Pacer is gonna walk right up to you!

Sammie B's PURPLE Pacer gait trainer was delivered to our door today. I am so, so excited. We'd talked about it coming and she was so excited! The second it arrived (a tech delivered it), she said, "ME IN!" and we put her in (after a few adjustments) and she started swinging her hips and dancing! I (of course) cried. Happy tears.

Years ago, if I'd seen a kiddo walking in something like this, I might have seen it as a medical "contraption," I might have wondered why the kid needed it, I might have felt pity. But today? Today I see this "contraption" as something magic. This little Pacer holds so very much promise, potential, possibility . . . all wonderful things. I am so, so excited about what this little piece of equipment can offer my girl. It is sitting right smack in the middle of our formal-living-room-turned-playroom right now, and every time I've walked past it tonight, I've smiled. Thinking about the possibility that it holds.

Now for a practical question - for the moms of kids who use (or have used) gait trainers. This thing moves MUCH faster than the one we've used in therapy. My guess is the one in therapy, although the same model, is just older. In the new one, Sam barely has to move her weight/body and it goes, kind of before she has time for her legs to catch up with her. It kind of scared her a little (so we didn't work on walking in it much today - just dancing!). She's used a kidwalk at her old school, and it didn't do that, but it is a much heavier piece of equipment (and after trialing what felt like 8 zillion gait trainers, including the kidwalk, we decided on this one). I'm sure this is just a learning curve thing, and we have to get her feeling comfortable and confident in it before we push too hard on the walking. We have a few extra supports that we usually don't use in therapy (like the seat, because the little stinker just sits right down on it) so maybe I'll add those during this warming up period, and of course, I'll talk to our PT about it on Friday when we go, but I'm open to suggestions! Give me your advice!

My girls got style. And a purple gait trainer to go with it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fun in the Florida Sun

I have some heavy stuff weighing on my heart and in my head right now that I know I need to sit and write about (no doubt the heavy stuff is swimming because of Sammie B's upcoming annual neurologist appointment and the list of questions I've started . . . God, I hate those lists. The lists of "should this worry me?," "why does she do this?" kinds of things. I hate.those.lists.). But for tonight, I'm going to give you pictures. Lots of them. Because we just got back from a fabulous little family vacay to Florida. We were supposed to go back in June, but had to cancel because I got put on bedrest. We went to see B's grandmother who is in the West Palm area, and then my dad, who is working about 2 hours north from there. We had a fabulous time, and made some fabulous memories.

It was Mia's first flight and I was so nervous -- but it could NOT have gone more smoothly. In the last month, Mia has just become so much fun. Her personality is just exploding, and she's become so social. If anyone looks at her or talks to her, she breaks out in the biggest gummy grin and just loves looking around. So, she was totally a charmer on the plane and even took good naps both ways! She also turned four months old while we were away. It's amazing that we've only known her for four months, because truly, I already can't imagine life without her. We were shocked at how easy it was to fly with TWO kids! (And, Sammie B, was, of course, an angel because she got to watch Dora - I heart Virgin America!).

First stop was B's grandmother's house (Bubbie!). It was Bubbie and Mia's first meeting. (Sam was still feeling so crummy from her cold, so she was even more shy than normal and slightly uncooperative -- we had to BEG for smiles for pictures!). I'm posting two pictures, because Bubbie closed her eyes in the one I like the most! (If only I were more skilled in photoshop!).

After spending a few days with Bubbie, we headed to see my dad (who was also meeting Mia for the first time). Although she wasn't quite sure what to think of him at first (common reaction!), she decided he was hilarious (also common!).

Fortunately, by the time we got to my dad's, Sammie B seemed to have kicked the cold finally (though she still has a lingering cough, which I now have as well . . . ), so we captured many, many more smiles!

We also did a whole lot of swimming. [Confession: We didn't go to the beach at all. We intended to, but decided it was kind of a pain to pack up everything we'd need, and go with both girls and that it'd be soooo much easier to just go to my dad's (heated) pool, so that's what we did. We live just a mile or so from the beach here, but part of me still feels like we should have taken advantage of the Florida beach!].

Anyway, I don't have any water pictures, but Sam did FABULOUSLY. B hadn't seen her in the water in awhile (I swim with her every Tuesday after her lesson) and he was blown away. I love watching him be amazed by her. His surprise and pride was written all over his face, and I loved it. She really does move herself all over the pool if she's wearing a swim ring or arm floaties. And HER pride is just priceless. It's the most independent movement she ever gets, and every time I see her in the water, my heart just swells with happiness.

She was pretty much obsessed with the pool. When we weren't AT the pool, she wanted to be sitting at the window looking at it, OR at the very least, holding her swim ring. Sometimes, she did both.

(While B and I took turns getting in the water with Sammie B, Mia watched in amazement and did a little sunning). My dad is renting a condo in a retirement community, and is (by far) the youngest one there. BOTH girls were just absolute HITS with the old people. And Mia enjoyed the attention so very much. (As an aside, my dad is kind of a celebrity at his pool. The old women really, really fancy him. When they found out who I was on the first day -- he wasn't with us -- they said that he'd been working so much they hadn't seen him, and they were worried that he might let "that tan of his" fade if he kept working like that.)

My dad did get to take some time off work and swim with us, and he too was so very excited to see Sammie B's water moves. We spent 2 and a half hours in the pool one day and she never stopped go, go, going. But this is what happened the second we got back to my dad's condo:

After a nice long snooze though, she was up and ready to play again, and she and my dad had a fun time playing doctor (he was quite the sport!).

The time spent with my dad was really just wonderful. There are few things I love more than sharing my girls with my parents (and B's!). I just love watching the grandparents' enjoy our girls!

We are also just loving watching the girls' relationship bloom. Many, many sweet moments while we were away (like Sammie B rubbing a crying Mia's leg and saying "it okay Mia Mia," and Sammie B reaching over to hold Mia's hand while they were sitting on the couch with B). But this by far was my favorite:

Amazing. I love those two little sweets so much it hurts. Seriously. Sammie B has just been so very very sweet to Mia these last few days and Mia is just enchanted with Sammie B (aren't we all?!). Melts me.

And a family shot (the only one from the trip, and actually, the only picture I'm in from the trip; I tend to be the photog!).

And, a moment (like many others) that I just want to hang onto forever . . . as she watched Dora on the flight home, Sammie B just reached over and held my hand. That child is pure love. In those moments, no matter what thoughts might be sort of swimming around in my mind (wish I could turn those off sometimes) about upcoming appointments, etc., my heart just melts and all feels right with my world.

As I sit and look at these pictures, I wish I could just memorize these two girls. Memorize these moments. I think about B's grandmother and I'm sure the memories of the every day moments with her own kids, 50+ years ago, are fading. I want to remember these moments -- the-heart- so-full-of-love-I-think-it-might-burst moments -- forever. I never want to forget what Mia's gummy smile looks like, what Sammie B's giggle sounds like or the way they look at each other. I never want to forget the sweet things Sammie B says and does or the way it feels when Mia nestles into my shoulder to sleep. Ever. These moments are the best, and I can't imagine my life without them.

It was a fabulous trip, though (as always) it is always nice to come home too! (Last night at bedtime, Sammie B started crying and said, "how about we go back to Sammie B's home?" which was just the sweetest.).

Signing off to go climb into my own bed (and determined to fall asleep with memories of our sweet vacation swimming in my head, not thoughts of doctor's appointments! To hell with that list for tonight!). I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Last Few Days

I worked at a Hallmark store all through high school and grew to LOATHE Valentine's Day, so at our house, it is pretty much just another day, though we do make sure to pepper the day with a few extra "I love you's" and I DID get flowers this week.

I don't have a real cohesive topic for this post, but thought I'd just share an update on what's going on in our little home and life, sprinkled with some pictures from my blackberry.

Right after I had Mia, and I shared with friends that I could tell Sammie B was struggling with sharing me, several people told me to make sure I carved out little periods of time that were for JUST me and Sammie B, and to make sure I told her "this is our special time" when I did so. So, we started having "Mama and Sammie time," and we made up a little song about it ("I love Mama and Sammie time. Do you love Mama and Sammie time?" to which she always adds the most enthusiastic "YEAH!"). I do think it has really, really helped her. Now, when we leave the house together -- just the two of us -- even if it is just to buy groceries, she'll say "Mama and Sammie Time!".

Anyway, Friday night, we had a very special "Mama and Sammie time" date. We went to see Cirque de Soleil at the Santa Monica Pier. We even arrived early and got to ride the ferris wheel one time before the show (no cameras at the show, so no pictures . . . ) and had dinner out afterward, just the two of us. The show was long - over two hours, but she sat mesmerized, danced along with some of the songs, and just loved it. It was a fantastic night.

(Me before our night out - I made B take the picture because I had a new outfit that is so not something I'd normally buy and -- in the words of Elle Woods -- "never trust a mirror." I'm working hard to get in shape and lose the baby weight . . . unfortunately, that weight won't be lost via running, at least not now, because I've hurt my knee!! Apparently, having two babies and being on bed rest twice in the last four years has done a number on my body. The cartilage around my knees has softened, my few training runs the last few weeks have HURT my knees and I'm now on doctor's orders NOT to run. I'm wearing some fancy knee supports, doing knee exercises at home -- in hopes that I can avoid physical therapy because truly, truly I don't know how I'd fit that in my life -- and go back to the doctor in three weeks).

(Sammie B and I on the ferris wheel. Not a bad view, huh?)

(While Sammie B and I were out, this little plumpkin was home with her daddy).

Unfortunately, Sunday, our little Sammie B seemed to be coming down with a cold, and by Sunday night, she was in full-blown fever mode. So, she hasn't been to school this week (and missed her little Valentine's Day party) and has spent much of the last few days just relaxing on the couch (with tissue in hand - every time she notices her nose running, she says, "WHOP!" (wipe)). So, this week has brought a lot of snuggles (and a tired mama - Sammie B's cough has been keeping her from sleeping well), lots of TV time (which makes me feel guilty . . . but that's what you do with sick kids, right?!) and just some resting and relaxing and trying to sleep off this sickey sickness.

(Even the littlest monkey is watching too much tv this week . . . )

(Watching Curious George)


(Sammie and her "whop!")

So, so hopeful that she is fever free in the am (she was this evening) so she can make it to school - this is their "community helpers" month and they are doing police officers this week and she doesn't know this yet but B is showing up with one of his uniformed colleagues!! I think she'll just flip with excitement when he walks in so I HOPE HOPE HOPE the sickies are gone. We also leave for Florida on Thursday to visit B's grandmother and my dad (neither of whom have met Mia yet)! I made a doctor's appointment for Sammie B for after school tomorrow -- just want them to take a quick look at her ears and give us the all-clear for flying. Always worry after a cold that she might have an ear infection and I know flying + ear infections are bad news.

Lastly, I go back to work two weeks from tomorrow. I'm trying not to think about it, and just enjoy these last weeks home. We've got a lot crammed into these weeks - the trip to Florida, a couple doctor's appointments for both girls (Mia's 4 month check-up and a neurologist appointment for Sammie B). So, here's to hoping these last two weeks bring nothing but good things and that the time doesn't fly by!

And, even if I don't "do" Valentine's Day . . . here's to MY THREE VALENTINES. The three people that make my heart sing with happiness every single day.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


What do all of these amazing kiddos have in common? (Besides being ridiculously cute, of course?). I "met" all of their mamas on my online board for delayed darlings, and truly, truly, couldn't ask for better, more amazing women to walk this journey with. Women who I consider my friends.





So, they are all (ridiculously) cute, and all have amazing mamas . . . but there's something else.

They all have feeding tubes. Each of these kids receives at least some (or all) of their nutrition via a tube in their bellies. Although I admittedly know very little about tube feeding, I want to help these fabulous moms this week by raising awareness for tube feeding.

Tube feeding is not gross, or weird, or anything bad. It just is. I know that as we get more equipment for Sammie B, like her gait trainer, I worry that the world will see her equipment before they see her. That she will be "that little girl with the walker," and people will miss out on all that she is. Her magic. I'm sure these kiddos' mamas worry the same thing about the tubes, and this is what I want to say . . . their tubes are just a part of them. A small part. There's so much more. So much more.

Please head over to Laura's (Harmony's mom's) blog to read more.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Strong Enough To Be Hers

I've never been a very active person. I mean, I'm active in the sense that I never sit down and hate sitting still (I'm by no means lazy), but exercise hasn't ever really been a priority for me, and I've always been lucky to have an insane metabolism. After I had Sammie B, I never exercised, yet still fit back in most of my work clothes by the end of my 4 month maternity leave. I'm having a harder time losing the pregnancy weight this go-round, but still . . . I'm thin. But, I know I'm not healthy. Other than the exercise my regular life gives me (I do lift a certain 30 lbs of magic many times a day, so I have strong arms!), I haven't set foot in a gym in 4 years, haven't ran in 4 years, haven't done a single thing that would qualify as a cardio workout in 4 years. I've joked that I exercise once a year -- the 3 mile March for Babies walk we do every spring. But, joking aside, that IS the most exercise I do. And, I know it is not enough.

The thing is, exercise just doesn't come naturally to me. B introduced me to hiking soon after we started dating, and while I always enjoy the views from the top of a hike, the climbing part is so very, very hard for me, and I always feel so frustrated that it seems to come so easily for him. That it seems so effortless to him. That he's practically running up the mountain while I'm making my way slowly and am totally out of breath. I'm the furthest thing from an athlete you can imagine. As soon as I feel my heart rate get faster and I start sweating, I want to quit. Exercise is hard for me. I don't like doing things that are hard for me, and almost as soon as I start, I want to quit.

Yet, every week, before Sammie B's physical therapy appointments, I remind her that I know that therapy is hard for her sometimes, but even when things are hard, we still have to cooperate and try. (As part of this little pep talk, I actually always ask her, "if we are going to cooperate, what do we say instead of 'no, no, no?'" And she says, "yeah yeah yeah!" She also gets to pick a surprise each week after therapy as long as she "ties berry hard" as she says, and she always does). My girl tries so very, very hard. Even when things are hard for her. Even when I KNOW she wants to quit.

So this year, my goal is to do as I say. To TRY even when things are hard for me, simply because they are good for my body. To run, even when I don't want to, because I can, and that's not something I can take for granted. To take care of my body. To eat healthier. To exercise. And, not just because I want to be skinnier, but because my body deserves it. My fitness inspiration won't be weight loss -- it will be longevity and strength. It will be Sammie B.

So, for us, this year is about taking better care of ME, and also modeling a healthier lifestyle for BOTH of my girls (we've started having fruit every morning and a veggie every night, and talking about how good they are for our bodies). Even when things are hard, we still have to try.

And, to kick off this new season of me, I am training to run my first ever organized race. In March, I'm going to run a 5k. Pushing my little inspiration in the jogging stroller all the way. It is time to start taking care of me -- for her. For the little girl that has shown me what "tying berry hard" really means. So that I can be strong enough to be her mom* for a long, long time. She deserves nothing less. My sweet girl, I will always be your "yes."

* The link is to a must-read post by Rachel Coleman of Signing Times that I'm keeping close for additional inspiration. I read it with tears streaming down my face. I will be my girl's "yes." I will take care of me so that I am strong enough for her. I cannot imagine any greater motivation.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

She's got Magic AND Style: A Post in Which I Over-Do it On the Pictures.

Whenever I get Sammie B all snazzed up in a cute outfit, I love posing her for pictures. This started when she was little - I really tried to take a picture of her in any outfits we got as gifts, and email those to the gift-giver. I still TRY to do that, and also to just capture outfits that I love!!!

MOST of the time, she humors me and gives me a smile or two. Occasionally, she even poses like a little supermodel. The pictures are some of my favorites! Here are some highlights!

This shirt is my favorite shirt of all time . . . the girl on the shirt is wearing purple glasses! I've already bought it in the next size up too!

This next outfit was a Christmas gift from one of my mom's dear friends:

And, one of my most fashionable friends bought Sammie B the next two dresses - pure sass, right? (And, I think Sammie B knows she looks sassy!)

And, a few from our recent attempt to get a PERFECT picture for her school Valentine's Day Cards (we built this one up big and told her we were having a "supermodel photo shoot").

Sammie B really DOES exude joy (and magic and style), doesn't she?

And, not to be forgotten, here's another little mini-fashionista-in-training!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The man who hung her moon.

These moments. Days like today. This is what it's all about.

I slept in, snuggled in bed with Mia, who'd gotten up for a bottle at 5 am (she's now sleeping from 9 pm until 5 pm MOST of the time, then I put her in our bed and she sleeps a little longer). While Mia and I snuggled, B and Sammie B took the dog for a walk and picked flowers. Sammie B came back SO excited about her flowers, and when I asked which one was her favorite, she picked a purple one. B said that when she picked them, she'd just thrown them all in the wagon, except that one, which she held for the entire walk.

Our whole family took Sammie B to her swim lesson, and once the lesson was over, I got in the pool with Sammie B while Mia and B watched. We had such fun. It was sunny out, and Mia wore a hat that Sammie B used to always wear, and there was just something about seeing my little girl in my big girl's hat that just melted me.

Tonight, while I made dinner and gave Mia a bottle, Sammie B requested to play in her play room with her dada. And play they did. B turned up some music and they played along . . . Sammie B was mostly on the drums, but also tried out a harmonica and the clickers (that's our technical term, I've googled and now know they are called castanets) (and, um, how about the fine motor involved in playing those?! right?! I think her OT would be proud!). Anyway, they had a jam session in the playroom, and I couldn't help but stand and watch, and snap a few pictures. Seriously, these are the moments that make for a joyful life. And, tonight, as I watched them, I just felt filled with such joy, happiness, love and magic.

She was WAY into our requests for an "encore!" and she started really rocking, and screaming "YEAH!" B and I just kept looking at each other, grinning from ear to ear. She was SOOOO into it. A budding rocker, apparently!

And, like a good fan/groupie, dada got up and danced, which CRACKED Sammie B up. She thinks he hung the moon, seriously.

After all the rocking, we took advantage of all the good energy and even got some "work" in - some exercise ball stuff, and some sensory stuff. It's awesome when we are able to use good energy like that and make "work" truly, truly fun.

(Sammie B is a girl that craves sensory and movement for those moms of sensory kids, and much to her pleasure, her PT has told us to GIVE HER TONS of movement, like swinging her around, etc. I taught her to say "SWING ME LIKE A MAN, DADA!" and he always obliges. Her request never ceases to make us giggle. Tonight, he swung her extra high, and I said, "Dada just swung you like a big man, didn't he?" Then, she immediately said, "MORE!" and B said "More what?" and she said, "SWING ME LIKE A BIG MAN, DADA!") Seriously, it was just a super, super fun night. I love watching B and Sammie B. Love it.

Today was definitely a day I'm going to hold onto. Forever.