Loving without condition, giving without measure, living for each moment

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New Year’s Eve

There would have been times in my life that I was either horrified or terrified (or maybe both) to spend New Year’s alone.  It seems to be one of those pivotal holidays that people spend together, celebrating the year past and the year to come.  I can’t remember all the New Year’s through residency, although I feel fairly certain that Michael must have worked at least one.  This year was a little different, with Erin and her family leaving bright and early Saturday morning, we ended up spending the day together, having an early dinner and saying goodbye.  My girls cried all the way home, missing their cousins and sad that Daddy wouldn’t be home to greet them.  He was already at work.

And somehow, I was relieved to be home, by myself, with my girls.  There was a sense of contentment, if not really happiness, to snuggle in with them and make the night special for them.  And I think we did it. We spent hours playing with their Lego houses, eating popcorn and watching movies.  And at 9:00 I shepherded them off to bed with promises that we’d watch the ball drop in the morning.  I puttered and organized and edited pictures, listening to Christmas carols and contemplated all the blessings of the past year.  Alone, I watched the ball drop and I then I kissed my girls goodnight.

On the first, the girls bounced out of bed and together we watched the ball drop.  Over and over again.  Seriously, at least five times.  And then we met good friends for a celebratory brunch and the girls went to spend some fun time with Bamma.  And when they came home, Madeline had made a pop up card with the “Ball” on the front and her card detailed our adventures watching the ball drop. Over and over again.  But it made my heart sing that we’d done something really special together, just being us.

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Resolutions

Every time we go through some major event, I resolve again to start blogging.  And then, before I can even climb back on, I fall off the writing wagon!  It’s just tough with two very active girls and a husband who works odd hours.  I fall victim to mom guilt when I spend too much time in front of my computer during waking hours…and during sleeping hours, I tend to want to sleep as well.  But the change in the season brings with it a change in routine, and so here I am, on a Thursday morning, with three hours to myself!!  I have packed everyone off to their respective schools and hospitals, and now I’ve had a cup of coffee in peace and am content with dishes in the dishwasher and a load of laundry begun.  So I can indulge, for at least a few minutes!

Summertime

Summer flew by; I’m not sure how much we were even in our house!  Most days began with swim team and ended in picnic dinners at the pool.  It was ridiculously hot and my little fish were content to play in the water.

Madeline is a swimmer.  Seriously.  At the risk of sounding like an obnoxious helicopter parent, her coach told us she could be a prodigy.  She does seem to have a natural talent, but she also adores Coach Cary.  He is precious and he’s also a wonderful coach.  By the end of the summer could do each of the four major strokes (are there any others?) and she had ventured into flips off the diving board.  She’s going to do winter league swimming at the Y so that she can polish those skills ~ I can’t believe she was doing all of this at four.  I can’t do it all at my age!

Claire continues to march to the beat of her own drummer.  We tried swimming lessons at the beginning of the summer and she cried her way through them despite Coach Cary’s best efforts and my whole bag of bribes.  She had absolutely no desire to put her face under water and she didn’t really trust anyone to hold her in deep water.  It made for an interesting week.  So we just let her play.  And each day she took little steps, with no help from me (in fact, if I showed any interest in her progress, she’d backtrack).  By the end of the summer she was trying so hard to swim; and finally, in Toledo, at Grandma Anne’s house, she put her face in and swam!  I was astounded.  That little girl is determined to do it her way, but she gets it done and that makes me happy!  Despite her new ability, she is insistent that she will NOT do swim team next year.  We’ll cross that bridge when we get there…

We had a wonderful whirlwind visit with Kate and Stephen that fell over the golf tournament (big success, lots of work) and Madeline’s fifth birthday.  How does five years pass in the blink of an eye?  I don’t have words to express what a joy Madeline is, she’s sweet and smart and sassy, but has the biggest heart in the world! 

On the heels of one whirlwind visit, came another ~ this time we travelled to Toledo to meet members Daddy’s extended family.  Despite the long drive, the trip was so much fun.  We loved the baby polar bear at the Toledo Zoo, the amazing Imagination Station, and of course playing with Aunts, Uncles and Great Grandparents!

We capped off our summer with our annual beach vacation.  It was wonderful while it lasted.  Sadly, we got chased out by Hurricane Earl, who turned out to be nothin.  But it wasn’t worth the risk to stay.  Still, we managed to have some exciting adventures at the Currituck Lighthouse, riding our bikes to Duck Donuts every morning, and “surfing” some of the huge waves that were rolling in all week!  The girls were so excited that they each had their own set of bunk beds and that, gasp, there was a TV in their room.  Sadly, I think that may have been Madeline’s favorite thing about our house this year.  Claire’s was definitely the little cul de sac out front because it was the ideal ground for perfecting her dare devil bike riding routine.

It was a wonderful summer full of times I will treasure the entire year through.  If time permits, I may jot down more of the highlights to preserve them for the colder seasons…


Swimming

Princess P has always been this tiny little ferocious thing.  You might not know it to look at her, but she is fierce.  And she’s not mean,  just a force to be reckoned with.  I learned this about twenty hours into my labor with her.  She wasn’t ready to be born and she wasn’t impressed with our attempts to speed up her arrival.  Finally, after over three hours of pushing (with no pain medicine), she was in Daddy’s arms, letting us know how she felt.  And for a six pounder, she could make a scene.

Her first two weeks were a whirlwind; somewhere in there I started my second year of law school and Michael was working his way through some crazy 12 hour shifts.  And our tiny little baby grew two inches and gained two pounds.  Like I said, ferocious.  I should have mentioned determined.

She was not a good sleeper.  Well, actually, when she wanted to sleep (or was in our arms or our bed), it was fine.  When we wanted her to sleep, it wasn’t fine.  I read all the books, I went to all the sleep seminars.  We tried letting her cry it out, we made bed time earlier, later, more often, less frequent.  It didn’t matter.  Ferocious.  I believe she was three when first she slept through the night.  I kid you not.

A few days past two years old, Princess P started school.  She loved it.  Maybe one time she announced she didn’t want to go back, but with a little positive reinforcement, she returned, head held high, smile on her face.  She wasn’t afraid and a few days in it was as if she’d known these friends all her life.  After only three months, she moved into the three year old classroom with a new teacher and new friends.  I worried about the adjustment, but she sailed through without even blinking an eye.

And that’s how this little girl walks through life.  She isn’t afraid.  She is brilliant and funny and sweet and adorable and she makes friends with an astounding ease.  But underneath that layer of sweetness and light, there’s a metal that never ceases to amaze me.  She is ferocious!

Swimming has been a fascinating process with P.  As with most things, it seemed to come naturally to her.  But also typical, she established clear boundaries of what she was and was not comfortable doing.  To Daddy’s chagrin, she wasn’t comfortable with us teaching her to swim.  In the beginning, she was terrified to get her face wet.  She had a fantastic swim coach help her over that fear and she never looked back.  Two days later she was going off the diving board and by the end of last summer, she was a fish.

At the start of swim team this summer, she was very firm that she needed to be in with the beginners.  We trusted her, sensing that the months had taken a toll on her confidence.  Within days she was swimming with the big kids and after two lessons, she was diving in on her own.  She can swim the entire length of the pool, dive, backstroke, and walk on her hands.  For some reason, swimming alone in the “10 foot” diving well still terrified her, but practice and a bit of divine intervention pushed her through.  And now she does pencil jumps and cannon balls off the diving board and swims by herself to the ladder.  She’s amazing (and ferocious).

Today was her first swim meet.  She’s been beside herself with excitement for days.  I think she’s been rehearsing this moment in her mind since last year when her best friend swam in a meet.  And yet, when we got to the pool, I could sense some hesitation.  That spring in her step was gone and her bubbly little countenance was replaced with a more serious and even somber expression.  Every time I asked if she was sure she wanted to swim she said “yes.”  And then, she did it!  She got up on the blocks and she dove right in.  Poor little thing, the dive stripped off her goggles and she was a little disoriented.  But she put them back on and kept swimming.  I don’t think she could see a thing through the water logged goggles, but she didn’t hesitate and she kept swimming.  Ferocious!

I was so proud of her and what she set out to accomplish and what she did!  But I was worried that she didn’t enjoy it.  In a quiet moment, I got a chance to ask her how she was feeling and she said, “I am always like this when there are this many people watching me.”  And it’s true.  She is an old soul, always.  But she takes performing seriously and when she has an audience, she is going to do her job and make sure she does it well!  I am just amazed by her, she is as focused mentally as she is physically.  She may have been the tiniest one there, but her spirit might have been the biggest.  Her game face carefully hid her anxiety and with sweet grace she accomplished her mission.  She is ferocious!  And I love her so very much.


My cup

runneth over.  I don’t know where the past two months have gone, amidst the flutter of ballet costumes, soccer cleats, swimming lessons, preschool graduation and vacation bible school.  The pool has opened, our backyard is flourishing, and my children are growing like weeds.  My one consolation when I can’t find time to blog is that we are truly out there living our lives.  And one thing I’m sure of, absolutely sure of, is that my children have fun.


What do you do?

*Lol  I just found this in the drafts folder, apparently I never published it and now it’s almost two months old.*

What do you do when your child’s favorite word is “peacock?”  Seriously.  Sometime in January, Missy Doody became obsessed with the word peacock.  And around the same time, Sydney became obsessed with the word peacock.  We can’t remember who stumbled upon the word first, but they love it.  Frequently they’ll shout out “peacock,” sometimes for a specific reason and sometimes just to make each other laugh.  They call people “peacock.”  They call each other “peacock.”  When you ask what they’d like for dinner, they answer “peacock.”  Even when Syd was sick in the hospital, we knew she was having a good day when she called one of her doctors or nurses “peacock.”  At some point, we downloaded video of peacocks so that the girls could hear what they really sound like.  But they weren’t too impressed.  So we promised them that when Sydney was feeling up to it…we’d take them to the zoo and let them see real peacocks wandering around…

And that’s what you do!  You take your amazing crazy peacock-obsessed daughters to the zoo just so that they can see the peacocks (and giraffes, penguins, tigers, bears, and turtles).  It was so much fun.  Start to finish, these four girls are ::so. much. fun::

Missy Doody talking to the peacock, who talked right back!

It was a hot hot day, the first one of spring break, so lots of people had the same idea as we did.  The usually voracious giraffes were so stuffed, we couldn’t coax them over to us despite our best efforts.  But we did get to check out the new years baby and his parents. 

The girls loved the “petting” farm where they could feed the baby camel, the sheep, the donkeys and the goats.  Syd did not like it when the animals ate from her hand, “that’s duwty!” but was very excited when they would eat directly from her cup.  But all four of the girls were enthralled with the new exhibit ~ the parakeets!  We bought the little “budgee sticks” to lure in the birds, and lo and behold…

birds on a stick!!

It was so cool to be so close to these beautiful little birds.  I was excited when I managed to “catch” one and couldn’t believe that he(?) let me pass him off to Princess P.  She held so still, I really didn’t know she had that much endurance.  It was so fun to watch her focus on this special task.  Even Missy Doody managed to hold still…

but she wanted to touch those birds so badly! Every time she landed one, she just couldn’t contain herself and

away they flew!  Princess P just wanted to hold them and hold them and hold them.  As far as I could tell, she didn’t have any desire to touch them or get any closer than merely watching as they sat on the end of the stick, nibbling away at the treats.


Easter

Easter this year was very interesting for our family.  It’s the first time that Princess P has really started to understand the significance of the holiday and she’s been fascinated by it.  And with her huge heart, mystified by it…”why Momma, why would they kill Jesus?”  “why did those people not like what Jesus was saying?”  “Why couldn’t they just work it out?” And it’s been very interesting for me to try and answer those questions.  But she likes the part about Heaven and how because of Him we all live again.

Missy Doody likes hunting for eggs.  That’s her absolute favorite part of Easter.  I think she likes dying the eggs too.  So for her, Easter is about chocolate and eggs.  For P, about resurrection.  My kids crack me up!

As usual, we spent Easter morning in Urbanna with Bamma and Pa and then came back for a late brunch with my side of the family.  This year Daddy had to work the overnight into Easter morning, so we asked the bunny to bring goodies to our house instead of the River.  The girls were so cute rushing home…and I love that they were more excited to see Daddy than to see if their baskets were full.

But once they realized that they their baskets were, indeed, full of candy and goodies and most specifically chocolate, we didn’t hear very much from them!  This is Missy Doody’s basket after most of the destruction.  She seemed to be very interested in tasting each and every piece of chocolate that they bunny brought.

We had such a fun brunch at my parents house with my brother and his wife and a special friend of the family, Miss Dunn.  Apparently the girls met Miss Dunn at “knitting” when they went with Gaga while we were in Chicago.  So Princess P was very sweet and cordial; Missy Doody hid her face in my skirt.  But she did eventually start to warm up.  And evidently they were all ears at brunch when Miss Dunn shared her family tradition, first the adults hide eggs for the children and then, when the hunt has concluded, the children get to hide the eggs for their parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles.

My cheeks hurt from smiling as I watched my girls hunt for eggs.  The weather was gorgeous, actually it was hot, and they were so so excited to find the eggs.  I am fascinated by how seriously they take finding these treasures!  And sure enough, the second they were done, they turned around and began hiding the eggs for the adults.  Maybe I missed a conversation they had together, but it seemed as though their little minds worked in sync to plan this little coup.  I don’t know whether they had more fun finding the eggs hidden for them, or finding the eggs hidden by them.

Missy Doody got so anxious to finish hiding the eggs (so that she could re-find them with Uncle Bop), that she made him close his eyes so that she could dump out the bucket hide them all right there on the patio!

::: So. Much. Fun:::

Eventually the sun drove us back inside.  It wasn’t so much that we got too hot (which we did), but actually the candy started to melt and Missy D was less than satisfied with squishy M&Ms.  Miss Dunn sweetened the deal for the girls by surprising them with little Easter baskets.  Despite the fact that they were hot and tired, the girls made me so proud. They were thrilled with their little goodies and they were very loving to Miss Dunn.  Turns out the way to Missy Doody’s heart is through stuffed animals (or chocolate).  And the way to Princess P’s?  A coloring book!  But they were both affectionate with Miss Dunn and they’ve been raving about her ever since.

For me, celebrating Easter is time with family, celebrating our love and our hope for the future.  Rebirth, resurrection, new hope, bright colors, and chocolate eggs.


Spring Break

For some reason I don’t remember spring break last year.  I know it was after Easter, but I can’t remember what we did.  And the more I tried, the more frustrated I became.  I feel like spring break is a special time, a break in the routine, a time to celebrate spring and renewed hope and the importance of life and I really wanted to remember this time with my girls.  I really really wanted them to remember the time with me.  So I made the decision to make each day special, to do all fun things and suspend the regular old routine.  And it’s safe to say that we will remember this spring break!

I must confess, I cannot take all the credit for this week, the weather was absolutely amazing.  Yeah yeah, people were complaining about our record-setting heat, but I love the summer, and it was such a help in making this week feel like vacation.  While the heat was welcome, the astronomical pollen and mold counts were not.  It turns out that our family can weather typical spring allergies but three of the four of us have fallen victim to the atypical extremes floating around this year ~ maybe because it’s the same three of us who spent virtually all week outside!

Anyhow, the break really began on Saturday with our early Easter celebrations.  We were so excited that the neighborhood was once again hosting its Easter festivities.  The first time we attended, Missy Doody was barely walking, some of my favorite pictures of her are from that outing.  She was 15 months old and she was wearing a dress for 3 – 6 month olds.  But she was walking, pink, and precious.  I don’t think it registered then, just how close she’d come.  Princess P had her face painted and was so precious, talking with everyone, exploring everything.  Not too much has changed there!

I cannot believe how much they’ve grown.  It just doesn’t seem possible, and then I look back on all that’s happened in these two years…and I get exhausted!

One of my all time favorite family pictures was taken that year, with the “Easter Bunny.”  This year, we walked in, Missy D took one look and said, very mater of factly, “uh, no way.”  And that was that.  I didn’t even try (it just wasn’t worth it).  Princess P, true to form, danced right in, hopped up on the Bunny’s lap and flashed her grin.  Not a worry in the world, that one.

Egg hunting went very well.  Missy D was still on the tennis courts with the 0-3 set, while P graduated to the fields.  Missy D takes her egg hunting very seriously and collected more than her bucket could hold (with help from her sister of course).  Now, the 4 – 6-year-old hunt was complicated by the instruction that there were three “golden eggs” which contained tickets for the huge chocolate bunnies and fully stocked baskets.  Princess P was only one of many little ones who passed up all the rest of the eggs in search of the coveted golden egg.  I felt really sad for her because by the time she realized what she was doing, there weren’t many eggs left.  She was a little disappointed with her small stash, but Missy was more than willing to share hers.  I love the way they love each other.

We cut our time short to head to the River for the annual Easter Stroll ~ our third in a row.  Last year the girls made the front page of the Southside Sentinel all huddled in their wagon, wrapped in brightly covered fleece blankets with only a peek of their little faces showing underneath their festive bonnets.  It was cold, windy, and rainy.  But braving the elements was all worth it just to see Missy Doody fall in love with Mickey and Minnie.  This year it wasn’t quite as balmy as originally forecast, but still warm enough to wear sundresses and sandals!  What a difference a year makes. 

They picked out the flowers on their hats and directed my in the placement of the decorations.  Princess P was particularly in love with her pink carnations “marigolds.”  Interestingly, Missy D was a little scared of Mickey and Minnie this year, especially when she realized that they are really “people dressed up as Mickey and Minnie, not the real ones.”  I was so proud of her though because she managed to overcome that anxiety and hold Mickey’s hand and she and her sister, and the rest of the parade, took their stroll.

We took this picture for Daddy, and it’s too cute not to post.

And the other herald of spring…dolf is open again!  We couldn’t let the opportunity for the first round of the season pass us by.  It’s good to know that the more some things change, the more others stay the same…

All our favorites, are still our favorites: the water features, the trick holes, and of course, the pilings.  Because who can resist such a good photo op?!?!

My girls crack me up!  But I love every minute with them.  They are so funny and so much fun.  (And yes, Princess P completely poses for pictures…it doesn’t come from me!)  With so much to be thankful for, I am always most humbled to have such a special family.

PS.  We also drive tractors!


“the best day ever”

::: Sorry, this is really old, somehow I forgot to post it, or thought I posted it but didn’t…. :::

It’s actually the tag line from Phineas.and.Ferb, one of our favorite  tv shows…but Tuesday was pretty close to that standard for Missy Doody.  First, Sydney came home!!  Poor Missy has really been struggling with Syd’s hospitalization.  I think there are so many difficult aspects for her and she still has a hard time verbalizing all of them. On a very basic level, she really hates to see Sydney in pain.  Missy Doody and Sydney are very attached and Missy really worries about her best friend.  Every night she asked Daddy if Sydney was scared and if she would be coming home soon.  On a more complicated level, Missy Doody is aware that Sydney has a “special heart” and that she has a “special heart.”  We took good care to shield her from things like the chest tube that would only stress her out, but even so, she was not happy looking at Sydney in the hospital bed knowing it will be her at some point.  She now equates having a special heart with being in the hospital, and I can’t lie and tell her that she won’t go through that because she’s due for it sometime (relatively) soon.  So that’s hard too.  And on a different level all together, she is a Momma’s girl…so my absence was hard on her.  All of these things have resulted in lots of worrying, lots of cuddling, and lots of…accidents.  Seriously.  For whatever reason, she is manifesting her stress with some mini accidents and some unmistakable clothes-have-to-be-changed and a-bath-is-required kind of accidents.  Yuck. (I can happily update that after three days of being home with her and reminding her frequently to use the bathroom, we seem to have overcome that issue.  Thank goodness.)

But back to the fun stuff.  So Missy Doody was thrilled to have Sydney back home.  In fact, she sang all morning long a song she created to the tune of “You are my Sunshine” but whose words were all about “My Sydney” coming home.  She was SO excited to wait for Syd’s car and was the first one there to welcome overwhelm Sydney as soon as the car door opened!  They played all afternoon and I had to drag her away with lots of assurances that Sydney was really home for good.

If I hadn’t had an incentive, I’m not sure I could have convinced her to leave.  But, as it was, I had the perfect thing ~ soccer practice!  She has been asking since the summer to play soccer and, for her, watching Princess P play in the fall was pure torture.  She really wanted to join in and didn’t really understand why should couldn’t.  So when Dr. A told us over the winter that she could play, we were ecstatic.  And so was she.  Even better, the Y put both the girls on the same team!  Not only do I only have to worry about coordinating one practice and one game every week, Missy Doody definitely relies on Princess P as a social safety net.  I wondered if I was doing the right thing, if I should have pushed Missy a little bit out of her box…but this is working out perfectly.  Missy Doody is happy and content and while she usually knows where Princess P is, she isn’t glued to her side or hiding behind her big sister.  And Princess, true to form, as befriended every child on the team.  She is such a social butterfly and I love how easy that comes to her!

It was so much fun to watch our girls out on the field together.  They are so cute and they were so happy.  Missy Doody kept stopping by the sideline to say “I’m doin it!  I’m doin it!”  and would periodically give us double thumbs up.  She had this HUGE grin on her face the entire time (well, except when the coach tried to shake her hand and then she looked at him like he was Frankenstein, but we’re working on that).  After practice, Princess P played with a new friend and Missy and I dribbled the balls up and down the fields.  She amazes me with her coordination, she can actually dribble while running…but she clearly did NOT understand shooting for the goal.  But there’s plenty of time for that…

And to cap off our special day, Missy Doody requested “the Noodle Place” for dinner.  Daddy & I love it because we can eat exciting food (Pad Thai, Japanese Noodles, etc.) while the girls can eat their version of exciting food (Mac ‘n Cheese, butter noodles) and everybody’s happy.  Now, when it comes to eating, my girls couldn’t be more different.  Princess P has always been adventurous and open to trying everything.  Missy Doody turns up her nose at anything that isn’t plain noodles, chicken nuggets, and pb&j.  She will eat most fruit, but veggies, nuh uh.  So I almost fell off my chair when she asked for some of my Pad Thai.  There was no way she was going to eat it, but I cut some up for her anyway.  And then.  She ate it! And asked for more! No way.  Between the two girls, they each ate most of their own dinners and then half of mine.  But I’m not complaining, I’m rejoicing.  It was just another lesson that everything happens at its own pace, in its own time.


Sydney

Waiting waiting waiting.  The past few weeks have felt like years.  It’s really impossible to describe the agony of watching a child truly start to fail.  I did it with Missy Doody, but didn’t really realize what was happening.  With Sydney, it has been pretty obvious.  So here we are, one week of being in the hospital.  Hospital living is such a weird thing, completely a parallel universe.  It’s hard to even remember that there is a “real world” passing by outside the windows.  And it’s exhausting!  Certainly not the sitting around doing nothing that you expect it to be.  Syd is so sick that she hasn’t been able to get out of bed and move around, so we’ve been trying to find things to occupy her time.  Amazingly, her sweet spirit has shone through, no matter how bad she was feeling, how hard she was struggling just to breathe.

Can you see how blue she is?  During her cath, they tested her on room air and her saturation level was 52%.  Unbelievable that a child fighting that hard could still laugh and smile and play.  And play she did…

So tomorrow is the “big day,” hopefully her last surgery for a very long time.  She has a 3 year old’s understanding of what is going to happen, and is a little anxious about it; we have an adult’s understanding and therefor lots of anxiety.  But I know that it’s in God’s hands, and I trust in that.  Sydney we love you.  You are our hero.


Tid bits

{Again, I wrote this about a month ago and am just now posting it, so bear with me}

My original blog began as a chronicle of our heart journey but it eventually morphed into a journal for recording the anything and everything that comes with raising children.  And I miss that!  So, here we are again.

Today was a less than typical day because of a two hour delay in school opening.  To celebrate, we went out to breakfast at P@nera.  On the way there, Princess P informed me that it’s not actually “brefix,” as she’s pronounced it for the past three and half years, but sadly “breakfast, you know like two words, break and fast.”  I almost cried.  Princess P has always been a very verbal child and somehow, when her speech came in, it came in practically perfect.  There were very very few “isms” including grammar (in this respect, she does actually take after me!).  The only two that I can clearly recall are “Looper Looths” in stead of “Super Sleuths” and this, “brefix.”  I explained to her that it’s very special to me to hear her say “brefix” because it reminds me of when she was little and she agreed to keep it in her vocabulary.  We’ll see.  It just seems that those last vestiges of babyhood get smaller and smaller every day.

Missy D, on the other hand, has speech-isms all over the place.  Only recently has her language begun to blossom.  She’s always been able to communicate what she wants or needs, but story-telling or longer explanations seemed just beyond her grasp.  That was excruciating for me because it’s so foreign to me but also because I worry it’s the result of one of the many somethings she’s had to endure.  Like she tends to do, Missy D just had to go at her own pace.  These days she’ll tell me a complete and complex story and I find myself not paying attention merely because I’m marveling at her ability to communicate what she’s thinking.  Today I had the little jingle “PBS kids” stuck in my head and I would periodically sing it out loud.  I must have passed it on to her because I heard her in the back seat singing it and then she reported “actually Momma, it’s PBS dot com.”  And that’s not a monumental statement, but the whole idea, that she heard and repeated and processed and then corrected me (in tune, no less) was amazing.