Friday, December 11, 2015

my amazing Millie

She's kind of become my best friend.

We spent hours together, playing Princesses and Play-Doh, blocks and Barbies, Mickey and makeup.

She laughs and hugs, she sings and dances.

There is nothing she loves more than music.

A couple of months ago, toward the end of September I think, I picked her up from preschool and we headed home. This is always the hardest part of the day, believe it or not. She is so excited to see me and to tell me about her day. What she ate for lunch, whether she napped, if she played with friends. But since I'm driving -- and she's in the backseat alone (Lola isn't home from school yet), she's "talking," by half-signing and half-verbally speaking. And I have to drive.

Because of our limited interaction, the conversations were usually quite predictable. Until she thought really hard and made the sign for music.

"Oh you sang songs today?" I asked.

Yes! she said, so happy to be understood.

"Hmm, what song did you sing today?" I asked, asking about the usuals: ABCs, Jesus Loves Me (church preschool), maybe Old McDonald?

She grew increasingly frustrated, saying no to every guess.

Then she very slowly, very cautiously cupped her hands together and said "bee"."

"The bee song?" I asked, trying to unearth lost song lyrics from Girl Scout camps 20-plus years ago.

She nodded, getting optimistic that somehow, someway, her mom just might know the song they sang that day.

"Uh, something about bringing home a baby bee, right?" Again, I'm trying to dust off the catalog of kiddie songs from my inner file cabinet of lost memories.

She clapped and started somehow making some types of sounds and words that reminded me of a tune from long ago. "Oh! Yeah, bringing home a baby bumblebee, won't my mommy be so proud of me!" (Actually, Mommy was pretty proud of herself at this point, I'll be honest.)

That was about all I remembered, until we got home a few minutes later and Google filled in the rest for me.

I have since lost count of the number of times we've sung that song together now. But it remains her favorite and we're still bopping along to it at least once a day.

This is our new normal, playing and singing and laughing and chasing each other all around the house, working side-by-side to understand one another and finding ways to come together in the middle of it all.

It's pretty awesome, really.

She's amazing. It has been pretty incredible to watch her persevere through all of this.

Monday, December 7, 2015


In the earliest days of each new year, as we pack up the Christmas d├ęcor and stack up the boxes in storage for the next eleven months, I always find myself wondering how life will have changed the next time the nativity is unearthed.

Never would we have guessed in January 2007 that by the following December, we would be living in Bemidji -- and expecting our first child.

Or in January 2012, then happily bouncing our second daughter on our knees, we'd have never predicted that by the end of that year we'd be compiling medical reports into three-ring binders and taping American Sign Language signs to our walls.

We certainly wouldn't have expected this past January that I'd be here, at home, all day every day. But here we are, about seven months into this me-not-working-outside-the-home thing -- and I love it. Sure, there are hard days, but they are far outnumbered by the fabulous days. I won't say we have this whole situation all figured out -- I'm still trying to find the right balance of motherhood, housework and freelancing projects -- but it is working. And the girls are thriving.

These were the random thoughts that sped through my head in November, as we  got our tree and unpacked the Christmas gear. Life is good.

Merry Christmas to all.