Thursday, December 29, 2011

Doodle Doodle Doodle

Sammi (handing me her mini Doodle Pro this morning):  Look, Mommy!

Me (pointing to the figure on the left):  Wow, that's fantastic!  What's this picture?

Sammi:  A house.

Me (impressed):  That's a wonderful house!  What's this? (pointing to the figure on the right, thinking it may be some sort of alien ant-eater tree)

Sammi:  A truck.

Me (perplexed):  A truck?  Whose truck?  (I don't know anyone with a truck...should I be concerned?)

Sammi:  The fireman!

Me (definitely wondering if I should be concerned, making a quick mental note about where all the fire extinguishers and the escape ladder are kept in the house):  Oh, so it's a fire truck?

Sammi:  Yep!

Me (still a bit perplexed, but ooookay, she's 5...):  And what's this, along the bottom of the picture?

Sammi:  It's grass.

I love, love, love her artwork, and watching it progress from week to week.  If you missed it, please take a look back at this post from 3 days ago for her letter to Santa...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Doctor Is IN

Christmas morning, and Gramma and Grampa have brought the present to overshadow all presents.

Personally, I think she's a shoe-in for a permanent spot on General Hospital. 

The doctor's kit to overshadow all doctor's kits... (and a personalized tag on her new doctor's shirt, designating her officially as Dr. Sammi).

As if we didn't already hear the announcement, "Mommy, Daddy, I'm siiiiick!" often enough in an attempt to engage us in playing doctor, it's intensified a thousand-fold since Christmas.  But with this new, fancy-schmancy kit, so much more sophisticated than her previous two, she's more easily re-directed to nurse her dolls back to health and leave us to our own business.

It includes swabs, cotton balls, prescription pad, appointment cards, clipboard, eye chart, bone chart, and X-ray, and a multitude of little silver instruments.  You know, just in case things get serious.

Poor bear! I walked into Sammi's room to find him in this battered, post-Christmas state. Guess he didn't see that truck coming...or was it a sleigh?

Then Daddy got hold of him... (remember SNL's Mister Bill, anyone?)

Oh, noooooooooo!!!!!!!!

All better!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coming Down

The whimpered end of Christmas has come upon us yet again, content to sit idly for another 12 months, allowing us needed and welcomed respite.  Keeping our tree up until January 5th allows us to bask in the afterglow just a little bit longer, giving us the time needed to be just a little bit sick of the twinkling lights and garland-swaddled railings, letting the natural course of our sentiment come full-circle, naturally allowing us to remove it all without a shred of guilt. 

Christmas was wonderful, magical, sweet and exhausting, all at the same time.  Nearly strangers to entertaining at home, we hosted an unprecedented two gatherings in as many days, having our next-door-neighbors over on Christmas Eve, and my parents over on Christmas Day, thoroughly enjoying both.  Steve cooked for each event (oh, goodness, do any of you need any food??  I'm still completely stuffed and the fridge is still full!) and Sammi, while tired and a bit overloaded by all the activity, was her usual charming (and very busy) self.

Below is the first installment of Christmas photo overload.  In the first photo, Sammi sports her pajamas, enhanced by the gorgeous frilled skirt sent by Uncle John and Aunt Cynthia.  I eventually took the jammies off of her, but made sure the skirt stayed - just beautiful!

Sammi and her prized gift (well, prized at least until Gramma and Grampa showed up and brought the gift-to-end-all-gifts...  LOL - stay tuned for my next post...), a cash register, something she's been wanting for some time now.  Yes, yes, yes, I swore long ago that we'd never have anything with the word Barbie attached to it taint enter our household, but with young daughters comes great flexibility of former riders of non-conformist high horses.  Yes, that would be me...  And really, this little thing is pretty darn cool (notice I don't mention the 5 Barbie dolls, Barbie bike, Barbie laptop computer, Barbie movie and Barbie lifeguard chair that have already sneakily tiptoed into our lives, completely circumnavigating our watchful eyes...).

Partial aftermath.  Hurricane Sammi, on the quest for actual toys, stymied by board games and books, tore through present after present, announcing after each, "A different present, please."  We corrected her by suggesting she ask for "another" present, but the look on her face spoke volumes for the fact that she knew exactly what she was asking for in the first place, thankyouverymuch.  Of course we gave her the cash register to open last, which seemed to be the long-awaited answer to her hopes and dreams, shattered repeatedly over the previous hour...

I just love this little ornament, painstakingly crafted by our neighbor.  Absolutely gorgeous, and the teeny, tiny little details are impossible to go unnoticed.  This will be treasured for a long time to come.

Nana called from England to wish us a Happy Christmas.  Samantha was so excited to speak to her and tell her she'd just gotten a cash register from Santa!  Nana, speaking English English, had no idea what Sammi was talking about until Daddy got back on the phone and explained Sammi had just received a till...  See, we forget that there's still a language barrier between English speaking countries, even though we are reminded and given options for translation online by both Facebook and Fedex...

Upon hearing that our next door neighbor's cat, Seamus, has a penchant for dressing up in, uh, clothing, Samantha just had to go and witness his transformation into Christmas elf for herself.  This was her only brief sojourn into the outside world on Christmas Day - notice what beautiful weather we had, too!  For privacy purposes, I will refrain from posting photos of the cat.  But let's just say, he looked very comfortable and confident in his outfit...

Beef Wellington - that's what's for dinner (along with Yorkshire puddings, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, asparagus soup, and braised leeks and carrots, finished off by a gorgeous chocolate cake baked by my mother)!  YUM - great job, Steve!!!!

And so it's back to work for me, another week off for the Princess, and as we look ahead to the next 12 months filled with activities, holidays, and other joyous events that go so quickly, we are again reminded of the swift passage of time, more wrinkles cropping up to taunt us with much of the same.

How do you decompress and come back down to earth after the Christmas hubub?

By the way, for those of you who may not have watched it last night or who may not have read about it already on someone else's blog, please watch this clip from lastnight's ABC News about Reece's Rainbow and the Cox Family's journey to adopt little Kareen (now Mia) from the Ukraine.  It's an important story about the plight of children with Down syndrome (and other disabilities) in eastern European orphanages...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Love Letters

In a fit of frustration that an over-tired Samantha wanted nothing more than to watch more TV on Friday afternoon (after already indulging in the thoroughly-addictive, mind-numbing pastime for more than an hour already), I attempted a little productive re-direction.  Samantha jumped at the chance to write a letter to Santa to leave with his snack of chocolate milk (an annual Bates family tradition, thanks to Olivia), and cookies on the mantel.

I have no idea what the second line says (Samantha just loves to write letters in general), but I'm willing to bet it's something akin to "Please leave the Biscuit and Olivia books under that tree over there..."  The 3 figures on the left of the drawing are Mommy, Daddy and Sammi, and I am proud to announce that her figures now have feet!  And mostly-proportionate heads... 

Oh, be still my heart...

On Christmas morning Samantha was only too happy to read Santa's note back to her, out loud, with just a few prompts (for the words "milk" and "presents").  To be honest, I was really pretty relieved that I'd been able to write it (semi) legibly, with no spelling errors, on Christmas Eve after all the wine and eggnog liqueur I'd imbibed...  Isn't it funny how Santa's handwriting looks so remarkably girly?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas to All...

I'll likely not be posting again for a few days, so I wanted to take this brief opportunity to say Merry Christmas to all of you, and especially our family members across the globe (we've been very fortunate this year to have found new members of our family as well - glad some of you are reading this!). 

I could probably write more, to talk about the amazing book I'm reading, or about the wonderful visit Samantha had at my office yesterday.  I could talk about the way Sammi schooled a little girl in her class on manners.  But I'll save all of that for later, after the promise and execution of this beautiful weekend-to-come.

Instead, I leave you with a few sweet holiday sentiments from my little elf.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wild Child (A Flashback)

I was scrolling through some of my old Flickr photos this morning, and came across this one, titled "Wild Child," taken on January 6, 2008:

The caption I'd written below it was as follows:

Okay, so it seems like we woke up the other day with a 2 year old, rather than a 19 month old.  She's a willful (as we always knew she was), defiant (yikes!), temperental little girl now!  When she doesn't want to do something, she hits, bites and scratches to get her point across.  Of course, seconds later she's smiling and laughing again, so I have to remember not to take it personally.  Tell that to the bloody scratch marks on my face, though.  I know the behavior is totally typical of her age, if not a bit sooner than I'd expected it, and now's the time when we really need to teach her "no hitting (or scratching or biting, etc.)!"  The two massive molars she's got coming through certainly add to the heightened emotions she's got right now, though.

Thought this may help those of you who are going through the behavioral stuff with your little ones right now.  I read it with surprise, because it was just such a long, long, long time ago, and I can barely even remember her doing those things, especially not when I look into the sweet face of my 5 1/2 year old. 

Kids who struggle with communication have to express themselves in one way or another.  Thankfully, this stage of Samantha's life passed without any lasting physical or emotional scars (for any of us!).  With the inventions of tablet computers and smart phones, children with communication issues have yet another way of making themselves heard.  There are so many great possibilities out there these days!  I hope that everyone can navigate these difficult waters with more and more ease.

Here's another shot, taken in December 2007, showing the strength of Samantha's will and the force of her personalilty - a tough girl in a furry, pink Abby Cadabby jacket:

Monday, December 19, 2011

The (Pit)Falls of Independence, and the Annual 'Do

This morning, wearing hard-soled, flat-bottomed boots with her denim skirt, the epitome of a fashion-conscious schoolgirl, Samantha had 3 choices for our trip to school.  Drive, take the short-cut (through our back yard), or take the bridge (down the block, over a footbridge, into the school yard).  I gave her the choices because it was cold enough to drive, dry enough to take the short cut (wading through the muddy river that runs between the property lines is not fun), and we had enough time to walk to the bridge.

Surprisingly, Sammi eschewed the idea of driving right away.  Which is most unusual these days, but I can kind of see why - she gets very upset at the notion of having to wait until the frost is off the windows before we can go.  Ah, my sensitive girl, so tightly wound against the concept of change... 

Samantha chose the bridge.

I warned her, as we made our approach, to hold my hand as we crossed.  I could see that the synthetic materials used in the construction were coated in a thick layer of frost.  I told her it would be slippery and I didn't want her to fall. 

"It's not slippery - I do it by myself," she announced as she wrenched her hand out of mine.  Two steps in, in a slo-mo moment befitting a cartoon cat, her legs spiraled into the air, and she landed on her bottom.  Laughing, thankfully.

Needless to say, my independent one held my hand the rest of the way across.

Saturday morning was the annual DSANV holiday party.  I look forward to this every year not because of the social aspect (who can be social when you're so distracted by the wonders seen and experienced by your own child?), but because of the pure joy on Sammi's face when she gets to see Santa. 

Sammi just loves loving on the little ones...

She ran out of room writing her name on her snowman, so, on her own, decided to just use one "M."  Good thinking, kiddo!

A book from Santa.  The Cat in the Hat has become a new obsession, so this book about how you can't learn anything by reading with your eyes shut was perfect.  So fitting, since she's becoming such an avid reader, even reading most of the words in this new book.  I can't help but wonder, however, if this book may be construed as somewhat controversial in the vision-impaired community...  

Absorbed in her new book.  

Sunday brought a day of cookie-baking.  Tried 3 recipes - one tried-and-true (spritz cookies for my cookie press, my prized posession this time of year!), one so-so (cranberry, orange, honey cookies - they actually sound better than they are - they're quite dry, but definitely good with a cup of tea or glass of milk), and one complete failure (the gingerbread dough was not right and made a swan dive into the bottom of the trash can - perhaps next year I'll take the advice of someone on Facebook and just buy a mix from the store).  Cookies make good teacher's gifts.  :-)

So...I have until tomorrow afternoon to figure out exactly what I can give Sammi's teachers that won't break the bank (she's got 4 teachers, the office staff, and her private therapists).  Any non-time-consuming (seriously, I have no time), low-cost, still-somewhat-creative ideas you can share? 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New OT Update

Samantha had her first private OT appointment yesterday with the therapist who also specializes in sensory issues.  First of all, she adores him, so anyone that gets her all starry-eyed is a winner in our books, especially after all the therapists we've had in the past that she wouldn't give the time of day to.  Those do not breed productive sessions. 

He is now in the process of doing an evaluation to determine where her needs lie, and what his course of treatment will be.  Initially, he's not thinking that her group-performance-shut-down issues are so much sensory, as they are situations in which she is taken out of her comfort zone, her routine.  We have always prided ourselves in the way we've set Samantha's routines, starting with the day she was born.  When babies are born, you're told, "get them into a routine ASAP."  And I'm certainly not saying a single negative thing about that - wow, how wonderful routine has been for us!  Samantha has always been a great sleeper, and thrives on knowing what to expect.  But perhaps now we need to try to shake things up a bit, try to get her to respond to situations that are not expected, not part of the daily routine.  Try to bring a bit of flexibility into her life.  But it's not like we don't do things that are different, but I guess school, itself, is a routine, and things rarely change up much in the way things are done.  For several hours a day, she knows pretty much exactly what to expect, right? to break those routines...?  It may just be a case of allowing her to mature before she learns to work with different types of situations.

Of course, this is all just initial speculation based on an initial day of evaluation.  He'll work with her more next week, and will learn more about my girl then.  On the typical OT-type stuff, he was impressed with her grip, saying she works well with her right hand, but then switches to her left occasionally, possibly because she gets tired.  Makes perfect sense.  She's actually quite adept with using her left, although much more proficient with her right.

I'll keep updating as we gather more information.  In the meantime, here's a photo flashback from Christmas Day, 2007, with my mother, when Sammi was a year-and-a-half old. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh What Fun!

And so, as quickly as it blew in, that blasted cold is nearly gone now, bringing back the much-missed senses of sight, sound, taste and smell.  All that remains is the cough I know I'll be living with for the next few weeks.  And a very sore nose.  I've been taking photos of all of the employees at work this week for our new photo ID badges, but one of the luxuries of being the person that's doing them is being able to put my own photo off until the very last minute, for the time when I may be having a better hair day, or a slightly less shiny nose.

And so!  A couple of quick math equations for you:

Shiny nose = Rudolf = Santa's sleigh = Christmas...

...and, Good hair day = Samantha (of course!)...

...and, Samantha + Christmas + Shutterfly = our wonderful annual Christmas cards

(Okay, none of that made any sense...)

With the Free 50 offer I got from Shutterfly last month for blogging about their holiday cards, I am thrilled to now unveil the finished product, now that I've sent out the majority of them (with just a few stragglers for those whose addresses I am still scraping together).  After 2 big-production failures attempts to get the perfect card photos, these festive beauties of the Princess were taken spur-of-the-moment, completely unplanned.

I think I learned a very valuable lesson that day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Most of my blog posts are written while I'm in the shower.  Or driving my car.  Or walking down the street.  Or wherever I have absolutely no access to a computer whatsoever, let alone pen and paper.  So, subsequently, most of my blog posts disappear into Never Never Land, because as a rule, I'll then go to sit down and tap it all out, and...pffft...nothing

Maybe I'm just making excuses, but this week has been a particular font of nothingness, no matter where or when I try to come up with something.  Most of that is from a lack of functional brain activity, due to the most outrageous, awful, snotty, wannacutmyheadofftomakeitstop COLD.  Many thanks to my friend, Cathleen, who has offered up the services of her neurosurgeon husband who could save me a bit of trouble and cut my head off for me (with, may I add, the possibility of re-attaching it once the cold is gone, thankyouverymuch).

Steve's got it bad, too, and is a few hours behind me in his misery.  Samantha seems to have skated through it earlier last week with a runny nose and a little bit of lethargy for a day or two.  At least I'm hoping it was the same cold that we've got now, or else we'll be in for some serious nastiness from her in the next few days. 

My poor, cold-addled brain couldn't come up with much more than this post for today.  Nothing elaborate, no pictures, no recipe disasters, no Christmas joy, no nothin' except a little whine-fest by me.

I'm entitled, right?. 

And when this is all over, and my clear and happy head is re-attached (can't wait until I can open my eyes properly again!), I'm hoping that my showers/walks/commutes will again be productive, and again result in some better blog posts going forward.

Maybe it's time for another Q&A?     

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (on a Firetruck)...and Some Recipe Disasters

It was a weekend of massive recipe failure.  I don't get the chance to play domestic Mommy during the week at all, so once in a while I seek to re-create myself into that ficticious superhero of, well, domesticity on the weekends by attempting that oh-so-exciting task of cooking.  I used to love to cook, but then Steve decided he was going to pick cooking up to ensure I never poisoned him again as a hobby, and really took off running with it.  I mean, seriously, that guy can create mealtime masterpieces!  And he loves to experiment.  And he experiments very well (I guess I'd deluded myself that the fish stew concoction that I rolled out for dinner with company 19 years ago was good - I honestly thought those smiles and yummy sounds people were making were for real, but now I suspect they may have just been being polite...oh, how embarrassed I am now...).

But I still try my hand every now and then.  This weekend, I decided to try a recipe for ricotta pancakes I pulled out of a magazing ad for Sorento products.  I know the cottage cheese pancakes my father makes, that I've posted about before, are delicious, but I had this recipe right in front of me and thought I'd give it a go on Sunday morning.  It was fantastic - if you happen to like glue.  Or bland, tasteless bricks.  Or if you enjoy making your own stones for skipping on the lake.  Or building garden sheds.

Oh, it was foul

So after making 3 or 4, I chucked the rest of the batter into the bin and dropped two frozen pancakes into the toaster oven so my child wouldn't starve. 

Dinner on Sunday night was (nearly) equally disastrous.  When a recipe for soup that serves 6 calls for 2 1/4 quarts of chicken stock, be suspicious...  This recipe required some last-minute emergency modifications by the two of us (involving heavy cream and rice), and dang it, if it didn't turn out amazing!!  As a matter of fact, I'm quite excited to have it leftover for lunch today at work.

So, back to a less-frustrating portion of the weekend, Samantha and I got to see Santa twice!  First, on Saturday night, as he rode into town on the back of a firetruck, escorted by a variety of emergency vehicles, their lights blazing and sirens blaring.  I thought for sure that he'd get down and come mingle with the children, but even though all he did was wave from his perch (accompanied by a slightly creepy snowman), it was no less exciting for Sammi, whose eyes lit up as she waved and shouted, "Hi, Santa!  I love you, Santa!" like he was a rock star at a concert.  Thankfully there was no shirt or knicker-waving from the under-8 crowd (or from the over-8 crowd, for that matter). 

We got a glimpse (along with a smile and a wave) of Santa again in the mall on Sunday.  I'm torn.  I think the Mall Santas are awesome, with their real beards and twinkly eyes.  I hope they get to make their whole annual paycheck in the weeks coming up to Christmas, as they certainly earn it.  But I have a really hard time shelling out 25 bucks for a hit-or-miss photo op, netting me two 5x7s.  Oh, yes, I could shell out the $45 or $55 or even more, and get the whole package, but sheesh, what if the picture sucks?  I explained to Sammi that she couldn't give him a kiss or a hug on Sunday because he was really busy (not to mention, she was wearing sweats and an old shirt - definitely not Mall-Santa-picture-ready) and that we would see him next weekend (at our local DSA holiday party).  Next weekend's Santa doesn't have the real beard or anything, but we love him - he's one of the local Ds dads who has tirelessly given up his opportunity to spend the party time socializing with his family for many years now, and I always treasure the photos we get with him.  Of course, every year it gets harder and harder to pry my star-struck child off of his lap, but I suppose we're not alone in that.  It just goes with the territory of having a 5 year old!

Waving at Santa as he arrived on the fire truck.

More waving.

Santa (with the creepy snowman behind him).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

More Therapy

I'm all for throwing everything but the kitchen sink at my girl when it comes to therapies or programs to help move her development along in the right direction.  Of course, there's that pesky little thing called Time that tends to get in the way - gone too quickly, each little available gap sucked away by other stuff, swallowed away into the abyss where it can never be recovered. 


There's just not enough.  But occasionally, an opportunity presents itself that's too good to pass up.

We'd been on a waiting list for OT at our therapy center where Sammi receives private PT and ST every week.  We love her therapists there, and feel like they've really made some incredible progress with her.  She loves to go there with her daddy, and it's not uncommon for them to run into other little friends from the Ds community there with their parents. 

Last week we got the notice that one of the staff OTs had an opening, and the timing would work beautifully.  (Man, I love getting off of wait lists!!) 

We had never thought too seriously about Occupational Therapy, as it has been one of Samantha's strengths for some time now.  The OT she has received from the school therapists over the last 2 1/2 years has been phenomenal, and I couldn't be more pleased with what Sammi's accomplished.  I never thought she'd be writing, composing messages (albeit very LARGE messages) on her own with the letters dictated to her, never thought she'd be writing her name on EVERYTHING, sans dictation. 

However, this OT is also a Sensory OT, which means he works with children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and other sensory issues.  I don't really know the extent of Samantha's sensory issues, but I suspect they're not terribly serious.  However, there are triggers somewhere in her environment that cause her to shut down, to dig in her heels and withdraw from everyone (for short periods, thankfully!).  We can't quite pinpoint those triggers, and we're excited about the opportunity to investigate deeper, with the help of an expert, to figure out the triggers and to help her learn to work around them.  Like I said, they're not major, for which we feel very fortunate, and they're not constant, but they're enough that they impede certain classroom activities, preventing her from participating in groups, stopping her from enjoying an event.  As she gets older, these triggers will be more and more plentiful in the higher grades, and she's going to need to be able to cope with them.

Her current teachers, who adore her, feel a little bit sad when it comes to group work.  They know she knows the subject and material as well as the next child, but she just refuses to show the class.  They truly want her to be able to show what she can do, to shine in front of her classmates.  What's going to happen in show-and-tell?  What about when she's asked to go to the front of the class to get her work from the teacher?  Tell about her weekend?  Receive an award?   

Sammi's first appointment is next Wednesday.  It'll all begin with an evaluation, which I'm anxious to hear the results of.  Then a plan of action, which I'm anxious to get in place.  Then, hopefully, work towards progress.

Fingers crossed...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Notches in the Big-Girl Belt

After a whole month has passed since 31 for 21, I still feel that little twinge of guilt at missing a day or two of blogging.  My brain tells me it's downright silly to expect to be able to think of stuff to write (that may or may not be remotely interesting to a reader) every day, but my eyes see the repeated visits from some loyal readers popping on and popping off, periodically, throughout the day, and my heart feels that magnetic urge drawing me towards my keyboard, wanting to unload something, (anything!).  And sometimes there's just...nothing.

But there's never truly nothing when it comes to Samantha.  There's always something.  Even those little things, so minor to most people, that mean so much to us, that cause such a stir of excitement that she's taking next steps in her development, in some way.

We can often be guilty of not pushing for certain aspects of her development, like we know she is perfectly capable of drinking from open cups, but we still use straw cups for the most part.  It's easier, it's neater and less messy, and it makes her drink more fluids, more quickly, something bred from years of watching her suffer through bouts of constipation.  No parent wants to see their child go through difficulties, so it's much easier to smooth the path for them, in any way possible.  (C'mon, you've all been there...)

Two things changed this past weekend. 

First, I finally decided to remove the bedrail from her twin bed.  "Don't fall out of bed tonight, okay?" I said while tucking her in on Sunday night.  "I won't," she replied, sounding just a little bit exasperated.  I mean, sheesh, she's five!  And a half!  And you know what?  She didn't fall out of bed.  Nor did she the next night.  And I just checked on her a minute ago, more than an hour after she went to bed, and she's lying just about as close to the wall as she can, at the farthest point from the edge.  For a kid who always slept right up against the rail, she's showing that she knows her boundaries, and can sleep safely.  This actually opens up a whole lot of future travel possibilities.  We're always so paranoid about sleeping anywhere but home with her, without wishing desperately that we'd dragged the massive guard with us and making her sleep on a mattress on the floor next to our bed.

Second, after months and months of discussion and contemplation, Steve figured out a way to jury rig the wall-mounted baby gate protecting the top of the stairs from an accidental tumble, so the pain-in-the-ass noisy, insistent cats can still come and go when the gate is closed.  This is huge, as it now meant that we could remove the childproof doorknob cover that's decorated the inside of Samantha's door for so long, to allow her to exit her room when she wakes up, to go use the bathroom on her own.  She sleeps very soundly at night, so it's not until she awakens in the morning, which is perfect.  I still hear her get up, and go to check on her, but immediately we could see that she was super-proud of the uber-independent, big-girl notch in her belt.

Of course, when her independence is exerted while I'm in the shower, flushing the toilet when she's done, it does have its definite drawbacks...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Everyone Loves a Parade

It was a perfect day for a parade.  Just. Perfect.  Chilly, sunny, absolutely no wind or breeze to speak of, and we were sooooo ready.  Samantha had never been to a parade before, and I'd been scouring the newspapers for listings of local events this season that I might be able to take her to.  Just the day before, I ran across this one, in a town I've been anxious to visit, not too far away.  And the town itself could not. have. been. more. adorable.  Several hundred years old and staying true to its origins with an incredible charm that takes your breath away, we weren't (I mean, I wasn't) surprised to be greeted by the sounds of bagpipes as we walked towards the parade route from our car. 

We staked our spot on the curb, and Princess was so, so, so, so good and, surprisingly, patient!  She sat and watched all of the growing activity around us, and when the parade started, she loved it!  It was almost done by the time she'd decided she'd had enough, and I was happy to oblige her the return to the car. 

My only complaint was of the sheer quantity of hard candy being thrown to the crowd from the floats.  Keeping it from Sammi (and keeping her from throwing herself in front of the local Polo Club's horses to pick up a stray sweet) was a little bit of a challenge.  I mean, how do you tell a child she can't eat a piece of candy?  We've never given her hard candy, and I'm absolutely terrified of the day someone gives her one when we're not around to stop it.  Can we make her wear a sign around her neck, ala Gremlins, that says, "Do not feed me hard candy?"  Fortunately, some kind soul on one of the floats chucked down lollipops, and that seemed to appease the child.  Lollipops are okay, with supervision. 

And I now have a pocket-full of candy for those all-too-frequent needs for a sugar fix.  hehehehe

Revolutionaries in front of Ye Olde Safeway Supermarket...

Kind of an odd look on her face, almost like she's feeling a bit unsure about something, but if you look behind her, you can see my leg and my hand on my knee.  This was a seriously awkward angle to be taking a pic...  I see this photo as her excitement lighting up her face as the parade passed by.