Saturday, June 28, 2008

Oh, Those Eyes...and the Preservation of Memories

Here's a photo I took today.

Saving photo memories is so important to me. When I take pictures, I don't delete them off my camera card until I've a) loaded them into my documents and b) backed them up on cd. My card isn't very big (holds 200-something images), so I have a heck of a lot of cds now. I save the good, the bad and the blurry, too. Even that furtive smudge that may or may not have been the corner of Samantha's shoulder as she ducked out of the camera's view. I have this thing about not wanting to get rid of anything that may be a glimpse of a moment in time. Steve keeps telling me I can't keep everything, and need to weed out the bad pics because eventually the computer won't be able to hold it all, but I sure don't tell him not to keep downloading more and more music. :-) Maybe it's me holding on to a part of history, but maybe it's just me being a pack rat.

Whatever the case, I began a project a month or so ago on Shutterfly--I began to make a photo book for Steve for Father's Day. It's quite involved, actually. There are so many options to choose from, so many photos to choose from, so much creativity to dig out from somewhere inside that I wasn't sure if I still had. One of the hardest parts was coming up with the words to accompany the photos. I think it turned out okay--here's the link:

The finished product is a lovely, glossy, padded-cover book. This is definitely the kind of project I'd like to do more of. Enjoy!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Potty Talk

Note--this post probably should not have an accompanying photo, but I suppose this one's okay...
Looks like Dr. Lewanda may have been on to something when she suggested that we start getting Samantha interested in potty training. And I have to give credit to my mother, as well, who gave Sammi a cute, illustrated book about a baby learning to use the potty. It's written for kids, from the kid's perspective, and Samantha makes me read it over and over again to her.
On Friday night, just before I put a naked Samantha into the tub, I realized that the water was too hot. I set her on my lap and began to run cold water in the bath. On a whim, I set her down on her potty, and sure enough, she went! Not just a trickle, either--a nice sized puddle in the little catch cup! I must say, however, I was a little disappointed that she wasn't sharing my glee and excitement. She looked completely nonplussed. *sigh*
Lastnight, again on a whim, I put the potty in her room and set her on it before I put her jammies on, and asked her, "Do you want to go pee pee in your potty?" And again(!!!) she piddled out a nice stream! No reaction whatsoever on her part, but Steve and I were jumping up and down. This morning, I tried it again, but she just sat there and signed "book", and did nothing else. Yep, she knows what the potty is for!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

Happy Father's Day to a truly wonderful father. Steve is one of those rare men that stays home and raises the baby, teaches her new things, takes her to all of her appointments, prepares her documents for school, cooks, cleans, does the grocery shopping, builds things, fixes things...whew! The list could go on and on. I heard on the radio this morning that in a poll of fathers, 30% of them would rather be "Mr. Mom" if their wives had jobs that could support the family. 30%! Wow, I imagine times have really changed. I do wonder what that number would have been 10, 20, 30 years ago. And I do wonder if they really know and appreciate all the hard work that the job entails (I suspect not!). I really have an incredible appreciation and respect for what he does, and the payoff is so obvious to anyone who meets Samantha. She absolutely thrives.

We are very, very fortunate, indeed. Happy Father's Day--we love you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Conversations With Samantha

My Beautiful Angel
Originally uploaded by sammi's mom
I'm always amazed by the power of communication, especially when it pertains to a two-year old with a developmental disability. As I've said many times before, she constantly amazes me!

Although most of her words are approximations, Samantha does have an awful lot of words. It's just my ability to translate that slows me down. For example, if a word ends in the letter "s", she only says the "s". She puts her tongue firmly between her teeth and makes an extremely spitty, strangled "s" sound.

On Sunday, Samantha showed me how patient she is while I learn!

Sammi: (makes the spitty "s" sound and looks at me expectantly)
Me: Sorry? What do you want?
Sammi: (does it again, a little more urgently)
Me: Uh, are you saying Pops? (the name my father has adopted for Samantha to call him)
Sammi: (shakes her head and makes the sound again)
Me: Uh, bus? Do you want to read the bus book? (a book that you sing "The Wheels on the Bus" along to)
Sammi: (shakes her head again, makes the sound and signs "help")
Me: (having an epiphany and realizing that what she wants is in a box that she can't open without help) Blocks? You want blocks!
Sammi: (looks pleased and reinforces my brilliance by repeating the sound and sign together)
Me: (signing "I'm sorry") I am so sorry I didn't understand you sooner!
Sammi: (laughs, happy to have gotten her point across to dense old me)

I was so proud, I could have burst! Not because she communicated what she wanted (she does that all the time), but because she was persistent and patient with me, and used a sign as an additional clue to reinforce her desire.

After work yesterday, when I got off the bus, Steve was standing in his usual spot at the curb, holding Samantha. I took her from him and began walking back toward the front door of our building, and she turned and planted a big smooch, right on my lips! Who could ask for more?

Monday, June 2, 2008

And a Great Day Was Had by All...

What a fun birthday party! I have to hand it to Michelle and Brian for doing so much of the organizing, and for Steve for making the beautiful invitations! Brian staked out the perfect place at Clemyjontri--a nice shady spot with 4 picnic tables, secluded from all of the chaos of the play areas. Steve, Sammi and I got there at about 10am and helped set things up. I'm not sure how many people ended up coming, but there had to have been about 40! The kids and adults alike all seemed to have a great time! I certainly did! And Samantha and Matthew were such troopers--no naps, and a diet of goldfish, pizza, orange Hawaiian Punch and cake. Well, Sammi did finally fall asleep in my lap for about a half an hour. She just couldn't hold her eyes open anymore.

It was so wonderful to have so many of our friends and family members in the same place at the same time, to celebrate such a wonderful occasion. Wow. 2 years old. I still can't believe it!

On another note, I have a job interview tomorrow. My first official interview. I haven't posted about this before, but my boss has given me some time to find another job. Things just aren't working out. I must say, she's very difficult to work for, and I just don't have the level of psychic ability that she's expecting. I can't anticipate the crazy things she wants in the crazy ways she wants them. She said she'll give me time, and that there's no rush, and that she'll give me a good reference. I got hooked up with a few employment agencies, and have my first interview for an Executive Assistant to the CEO of an upscale interior construction firm. I bought a new suit at Ann Taylor last week, and let the hem out of the pants. They're still a little short, but should work okay with the shoes I'm going to wear. It's funny--all the years I spent in retail, and the 3 years at Ann Taylor, and I didn't own a suit! I was there to sell the stuff, not spend my paychecks buying it. Wish me luck!