Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rewind Wednesday

How is it already Wednesday again?

Here's a moment in rewind for you . . .

And the story behind it.

Back in December, I was struggling with some "stuff."  Actually not even anything to do with Sammie B, just life stuff, and I had a funny idea.  An outlandish one.  My dad was being super supportive and great and I decided to test him (not really a "test" so to speak).  I sent him an email, "hey daddo, will you get a  matching tattoo with me for Sammie B?"

NOW, my dad (whose name is Sam, by the way, Sammie B is his namesake!) is sixty-four years old, conservative (think "birther," people) and never been inked.  I didn't REALLY think he'd say yes.  And then he replied . . . "anything for you, babe! what are we getting?!"

So, the idea was born, and then when I went to Missouri for Christmas, my mom baby-sat my daughters while my dad and I drove to a hole-in-the-wall tattoo shop in podunk, Missouri (coincidentally, the same shop that did the small butterfly on my stomach when it was a much flatter stomach seventeen years ago and before I could use my real id to get a tattoo).   There were many game day desicions (up until the night before, we planned to get "love," and then finally decided on "believe," and I didn't decide on the location on my body until we were on our way to the shop, I didn't have anyone draw it in advance  -- yes exactly the way adults are NOT supposed to approach permanent things like tattoos, I know).  

Dad went first, I went second, and I love them.  We are now members of the "unofficial" 3eLove "ink" club.

And, just as I thought I would, every single time I look at my tattoo, I think of my amazing, strong, inspiring, persevering, magical Sammie B, and I smile bigger knowing my dad has the same tattoo and the same thoughts of my girl, and each time, this little piece of ink is just a beacon of strength for me.

Strength that even got me through the pain of having the tattoo redone upon my return to California ;o)  Oh that's right . . . the purple ink on both mine and my dad's faded so much that we both had to have ours re-done.  He got to do it for free at the shop we'd gotten them at, I had to pay southern California rates, but we are both mostly satisfied with our ink now (okay,  a part of me thinks some advance planning could have resulted in better quality but whatever, it is a good story and a great tattoo that I'm proud of!) 

The tattoo placement requires a little more thought when getting dressed for work in the morning -- I'll have to wear tights or pants suits to court, client meetings and similar things . . . but it is worth it.  I love it.  I love it love it love it. 

A little ink.  A little beacon of strength.  From both of my Sams. 

Sammie B, there is no question.   Your mama and your paw paw (and so many others) believe in you, sweet girl. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rewind Wednesday . . .

Since I'm off work on Wednesdays (in theory) and am so, so far behind on blogging some of my favorite moments in our days, I thought I'd start a new weekly tradition of "Rewinding" on Wednesdays. (Feel free to join me on your blog by doing the same and posting a link in the comments -- I'm not savvy enough to know how to do a real "link up.").   

Each Wednesday, I'll post a picture or two or three or an entire photo bomb from some event or special day or just special moment in our lives that I otherwise haven't gotten around to blogging about, and tell you a little about why that event/day/thing was so magical. . . .

Here goes number 1, which most definitely ranks as one of my top 10 most favorite pictures, ever:

This picture makes my heart smile BIG and my eyes glisten with tears (the happy kind) every time I see it.   In 2011 when we decorated our Christmas tree, B helped Sam stand to decorate and let her sit in a chair at the bottom of the tree to help decorate.  At the time, we'd just started talking about getting her a gait trainer, and as we decorated the tree, I told B, "think of how great it would be if we already had a gait trainer . . . she could stand and decorate by herself."   Two gait trainers (first a pacer, then a kidwalk) and over a year later, we had a little girl who was still mostly resistant to using the gait trainer, a source of (to be honest) a little bit of frustration for me and B.  Mostly because we knew she could do it, but because she, frankly, wasn't interested, and we so, so, so wanted her to want it.  We'd suggest her getting in it, she'd adamantly say "no," and we rarely pushed.  Occasionally, we'd tell her she could only watch Dora if she stood in her gait trainer, and she would, but she'd just stand.   We tried evening "dance parties" with her in the walker, and music blaring, but she wasn't all that jazzed.   Ever.  We didn't push much further than that.  We just didn't want it to be a forced thing, a negative, or worse . . . a source of frustration for her

And then we got out the Christmas decorations this last Christmas, and B said, "hey Sam, want to get in your walker so you can stand next to Mia and decorate?"  

And she said yes.


Just like that.

And after decorating, she spent an hour in her gait trainer, chasing her sister around the living room.  And since then, she asks to go in her walker nearly every day.  She says, "I want to chase Mia," to which we say, "do you want to use your walker," and she says yes.  


At least once a week, B or I text each other a picture of our girl moving and grooving in her kidwalk, and I know without even seeing his face, he beams when he gets them, as do I.  

One day, he replied to one of those pictures: "I'm so glad we didn't push her.  That we never forced it." 

Me too.

She didn't need to be pushed. 

She just needed to come to it on her own.  With a little motivation from our tiniest girl.  A great big gift from Sammie B's little sister.   A little sister that so willingly lets her big sister chase her. 

Be still my heart. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Highlights from a Weekend

First, the "woe is me" stuff . . .

Our house is going on the market this week.  Officially.  And, yes, I'm sad.  For all the reasons I've discussed before.  That the house that we bought thinking it was "perfect" for our little growing family no longer is.   But, home is where the heart is . . . where my girls are, and this house, with its FOUR flights of stairs, is not the "perfect" house for our family now.   This house limits Sammie B's movement and exploration.  It limits her.  And she deserves a home that is accessible for her.  So, this not-perfect-for-us-anymore house is hitting the market.  We got everything finalized and decided since we are headed out of town next weekend (as in, in only 4 days) that it would be the perfect weekend for an open house.  And so, despite my mono, we are frantically doing all we can to make our house look like no one lives here.  Like we don't have two kids, a ton of toys that are always strown about (part of makes it feel like "home" I say) and two animals.  

Unfortunately, the only times we can really do these things is when the girls are either napping or asleep for the night.  So, yesterday, during nap time, I frantically cleaned and organized the master bedroom, my little office, and the master bath.  Today, while the girls napped, I turned our playroom back into a sort-of-formal living room, while B cleaned our patio.  And after the girls were in bed tonight, I cleaned the dining room and our bar (aka catcher of all things) before retreating to my office to do a couple hours of work.  Monday after the girls are asleep, B and I will do the family room and kitchen, the following night we will do the garage (we have to organize storage space so it looks as big as it is!).  Wednesday, I'll somehow manage to get the girls' room in "showing" shape AND pack for Florida and Thursday morning . . . off we go.   And, sometime in the midst of that, I'll get all done I need to for a few work deadlines, and I'll sleep.  At some point, I will most definitely sleep. 

I'm tired, but not so tired that I can't share some snippets from our weekend, quickly. 

First, some of my favorite moments.

- I took Sammie B to a pancake breakfast at the place where she does hippotherapy.  We met a new friend (and blog follower!) which is super fun.  I also took Sam's gait trainer (walker) out there for the first time and she had a great time showing off . . . . (this is new, and fabulous and wonderful - after a year of being pretty stinking resistent to her gait trainer, she's now obsessed with it and asks to be in her "walker" all the time.)  Today, she even told me "I can move around in it all by myself!" with such joy that my heart almost lept right out of my chest. 

- After the pancake breakfast, we ran to get Sammie B's hair trimmed (her fourth trim, believe it or not . . . it's growing! Just had to get the split ends nipped) and then to pick up some shoes for our trip to Florida.  She insisted on pink sparkly ones, and called them her dancing shoes all weekend (and had them on at all times).   She's so glam. 

- On our way home from Target this morning, Sammie B asked what we were going to do when we got home, and I said, "well I have to put the stuff away first," and she said, "can I be in my walker and help you?"  Oh yes, my sweet girl.  Not much makes my heart more happy than having her move around the kitchen with me, and (as I did last week for the first time ever) having to tell her things like, "be careful, that's hot . . . "

- Mia was kind of a maniac in Target.  I had to buy her a toothbrush because I knew it would keep her entertained for awhile.  It did.  But of course, once Sammie saw me buying Mia a new toothbrush, she wanted one, and once Mia saw Sammie's, her own new toothbrush was no longer exciting, so I had to go back and get another . . . . so I think I spent $15 on toothbrushes we didn't need today, but hey, we made it through Target. 

- Mia is really into playing the "night night" game . . . she grabs a pillow and blanket and lays down, over and over, all over the house, saying "night night" and giggling.  I like that game too.   Here she is in the kitchen last night playing. 

- This littlest lady is also obsessed with the book "Peek-a-Boo Who," and brings it to us, over and over.  She says "Boo!" right before you lift the flap for each animal, and then makes the animal noises for most of them.  Today, she said the word "turtle," and we made a big deal out of it, and Sammie B said, "Mia, I'm proud of you."   Heart melt.  For all of the "I want that," and the toothbrush/toy-swiping that happens, it is the "I'm proud of you," and the "I love you," moments (and the kisses, oh the kisses) that make my world go round.  And, the (very occasional) moments of contented play together

- In the car today, Sammie B asked for juice and I gave her a juice box.  Mia wanted one too.  I didn't think she'd be able to drink out of one without squeezing and spilling but she was so determined to have one like her sister, so I let her try.  And, she did it.  No spills, lots of smiling.  And, I drove, with both of my girls in the back drinking out of their juice boxes like a couple of big kids, and I just couldn't believe it . . . when did they grow into girls and not babies?!!!

And last, one not-so-proud moment:

I was, admittedly, a bit crabby this morning after the above-mentioned Target trip.  I'm tired.  I'm stressed.  I'm overwhelmed.  I was thinking ahead to nap time and all that I'd need to get done.  And, then, Sammie B was not eating her lunch (meals with her are generally a struggle, the kid could sort of take-it-or-leave-it with most food . . . ) and I kind of snapped at Sam to eat or she'd take an early nap.  Not like me, and most definitely not a "me" that I like.   So, as soon as I snapped, I apologized.  I told her, "you know how sometimes, you are so tired, you just cry? well right now, mom is really, really tired, and I'm sorry, but it made me feel cranky."  And, Sammie B replied, "well, you were a little bit mean."  Guilty as charged, and my heart crumbled.  After some hugs and kisses, all felt better and I made a conscious effort, no matter how tired and overwhelmed I may be, to still keep trucking the rest of the day . . . 

And, I will.  Trucking.  Right to bed for now! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gentle Souls

One of my favorite pictures ever, from one of my favorite places ever, of one of my favorite little souls, ever.

Sammie B and Biscuit.

Gentle Barn is one of my favorite places to visit as a family, and one of Sammie B's favorite places too.  She would have sat and pet Biscuit all day long if we'd let her, and she cried when it was time to move on.  She is a gentle soul, indeed.