Thursday, February 28, 2013

What I've Learned

Well, here we are....the "last" post in my year long project. Tomorrow is Abby's 8th birthday, which means tonight finishes my year of blogging. For the last 365 days I have invited you all in. I've shared my many, many joys, a few frustrations, and several sorrows. I have so many hopes about what you've learned in this year of Abby....but I will get to those momentarily. To begin I would like to share a few things that I have learned this year.

Determination is nothing without encouragement.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I committed to a year of daily blogging. There were some days when the posts "wrote themselves", but for the most part they took much thought and planning on my part. I remember my mom asking me how long it usually took me to write my nightly post. She was quite surprised when I told her about one to two hours. Now, granted on those longer nights I was usually distracted by something, but I am not a fast writer - I tend to ponder my choice of words carefully.

There were many nights when I thought, what would missing one post really matter? There were even some nights when I would put the question to Jason, hoping that he would tell me it would be just fine to take a break....but, he would give me "the look" instead. The look that would make me feel terribly guilty - the one that said, "You committed to this, now you need to follow through." After "the look" he would remind me of the people that look forward to reading about Abby's day. 

I know there are some of you that have been on this journey with us since the beginning. I can't tell you how many people would see me and mention how much they enjoyed hearing about Abby. I loved to see them talking with Abby about something that happened recently, or telling me about a time when their child did something similar to her latest antic. All of this encouraged me to keep going - to keep writing. I would not have accomplished a year of posts without all of you - of that I am certain.

It isn't about how much you can handle - it's about how you handle much.

Jason and I have declared this last year "The Year of the Hand". If you've been following my posts you will understand that completely. If you caught us midway through, let me give you a recap. Our year began with Jason getting his wrist set and put in a cast, because he'd slipped on the ice and gotten a small fracture. Only about a month later, Abby had her finger-down-the-drain episode. We did fine for a while, but at the end of summer was when Jason had the crazy spear-through-the-hand accident, and all the drama that followed. Finally, more recently, Jason cut his finger bad enough to require stitches. In all we've had 4 emergency room runs, 2 surgeries, and over 20 stitches - all concerning Abby's or Jason's hands. This can't possibly be typical.

Along with the "hand stuff" we've had sickness to contend with - enough sickness to prompt a drastic change in what Abby eats. It was in desperation, after weeks of bowl issues, that we switched her to a gluten free diet - something that we've stuck to for months now.

There are many other struggles that I could bring up, but I won't. Suffice it to say, we haven't had the easiest of years. But you know what? That's okay. I could have very easily gotten down and angry, and believe me there were a few times when I did, but I didn't stay that way. Believe it or not the blog helped with that. I made it a point when I started this to make this a positive place, a place people will want to visit, a place that lifts up and doesn't drag down. I found that more often than not, that by writing about my day, it was my spirits that lifted. By focusing on my joys, even on the worst days, I always ended my day being thankful, and that is a beautiful thing.

The smallest things can make the biggest impacts.

On most days I shared "little" things. I shared the silly things Abby did and the funny things she said. I didn't dwell on disability, delays, or Down syndrome - because that isn't Abby. I have always believed that it is in the smallest moments that greatness can be found. When I piled up all of those "small" moments I am amazed at the picture I see. As I write this Abby's blog has had 23,827 page views. Oh, I understand that in blogging terms that number is imprecise, and doesn't tell me unique page views, traffic sources, blah, blah, blah. To me it doesn't matter. It tells me that Abby has reached many - in thousands of ways. Yes, her "small" moments have made a huge impact - of this I have no doubt.

Wishes do come true.

If I had one wish concerning the blog, it would be that minds would be changed. That is what I hope you have learned if you have journeyed with me at all - that any kind of challenge, whether it be obvious or not, is only a part of who we are, it doesn't define us. Along with that, I wish that the new parents of a special needs child would be able to peek beyond their fear and see there is a future with so much joy ahead of them. I wish that the families of those parents would understand how much their love, acceptance, and pride mean. I wish for everyone to see the person first, and rejoice in the specialness that makes us unique. I wish for Abby to have blown stereotypes so far out of the water, that others are viewed differently because of that.

I don't wish for much, do I? The thing is, I know that some of these have become a reality because you have taken the time to get to know one very special little girl - an I am eternally grateful.

My excellent teacher: Abby

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Snowy Day

Well, today more than made up for yesterday. The snow storm was every bit as plentiful as they had predicted, and therefore we did not have school - we had a Snow Day (or as Abby likes to call them "Snowy Days"). Unfortunately, we also didn't have power for the first part of our day. This could have been a problem, but we are hearty people and therefore when it did start to get a bit chilly, Abby and I simply went up to her room and read and colored while snuggling under her covers. Even though Jason "got" to go in to his warm office, I still think we got the better bargain.

Before lunch though, things were back on and I had no excuses for not throwing in that extra load of wash or getting some housework done. The thing is I've always felt that snow days are "gift" days, and therefore they should be spent doing only what you want to, not what you have to. Today I wanted to take it easy, and that's what we did. Abby was wonderfully low key and independent today, I think she was just as glad to have a bonus day at home.

She read books, she played with her dolls, and she did a whole lot of dressing up. I think for at least an hour this morning she was in her cowgirl gear and singing her heart out into her microphone. She was much more productive than I was, and at one point really let her artistic side shine, so I thought I would share some of her artwork from today. Get ready to be impressed - I was.

Abby came up with the concept and design of this all on her own.

"Tree with Leaves"
I asked her to draw me a tree, and this is what she came up with. I love
that she chose autumn colors (my favorite season) and that she caught some
of the leaves mid-fall.

"Joseph's Coat"
This morning she wanted to watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
The only problem was that it was in our DVD machine, and we didn't have power - so
I couldn't get the movie out, to play it on my computer.
She did get to watch it later and I thought his coat would be a fun coloring project.

"The Crowd"
This wasn't done today, but it was a drawing that came home from school one day last week. I just love it.
I haven't done it, but I bet if I sat down with her she could tell me who each of the people in the picture are, and what they are saying (did you notice the "scribbles" by some of the people? - those are "Abby words").

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Lesson from Miss Scarlett

Did you ever have one of those days?

I don't know if it was the full moon, the impending snow storm, or the fact that it was Tuesday - but today was one of those days for me. By the end of the day I'd lost count of the number of times the principal popped his head in my room and asked, "Could I see you for a moment?" Luckily, I  wasn't in trouble, but I can't say the same for some of my kiddos.

It was when the school day was over that the weather decided to up the ante - that's when the rain turned to sleet. Despite that, I was still able to run my errands and make it home in plenty of time for the bus. I should have known though. I should have known, as I stood in the driveway waiting for Abby's bus, that Abby's day may not have been stellar.

When the bus pulled up I wasn't sure if the look that Mrs. Cathy gave me was due to Abby's behavior, or the fact that the sleet had now turned to a heavy, wet snow. I found out soon enough - it was Abby's behavior.


I listened to the report, and tried to get her off the bus quickly - apparently not quickly enough because somebody waiting behind the bus lost their patience and honked their horn. Really? 

As we walked to the house I saw clearly that Abby was upset, and I got an even bigger clue when she kept saying, "I want Dada." I tried to ask her what had happened during the day, but all I could get out of her was a sad little, "No." This was one of those times when I really grieved the fact that her communication is delayed. She just doesn't have the verbal skills yet to tell me what might be bothering her. Despite the fact that she didn't have the words, I realized quickly that what Abby needed first was not a "talking to", but to know that she is loved.

I called her over and simply hugged her. We stayed like that for several minutes, me sitting with my arms around her and swaying slightly, while she stood between my knees and hid her face in my shoulder. After the day we both had it was exactly what we needed.

In true Abby fashion she bounced back quickly. Soon enough her smile was back and she was happily babbling about tonight's dinner and her upcoming birthday.

I'm sure that I'll find out what happened today, but for now this Tuesday has seen enough excitement. In true Scarlett O'Hara fashion, "I can't think about that right now....I'll think about that tomorrow...after all, tomorrow is another day."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Girls' Night

On the nights when Jason has to work late, or when he is out of town, I will often tell Abby that it is our chance to have a "Girls' Night". She usually gets pretty excited about this, even though for the most part it is business as usual. I think she just likes the idea that something special is bound to happen if the night has a special name.

Tonight I knew that Jason had a late meeting, and wouldn't be home until nearly bedtime, so this morning I told Abby tonight would be Girls' Night. I didn't realize how very excited she was about this until she got off the bus this afternoon. Her first words to me after telling be she'd been a good girl (which Mrs. Cathy confirmed) were, "Is it Girls' Night today?" I laughed and assured her that yes, indeed it was.

She was in a super mood and chatted with me as I made dinner, even helping me to package up some salad for my lunch tomorrow. Abby cleaned her plate and asked ever so politely for some ice cream. So, I gladly handed it over. How she managed to get ice cream under her shirt I'll never know, but by the time she was done she was telling me she was "dirty" and needed a bath. I agreed.

So, up we went. Her bath was followed by a quick, but intense period of dressing up, which was then followed by dancing with her imaginary prince (Edward, of course). From there we came down to do some work, me to knitting and Abby to some make-up work from a couple of weeks ago. By the time we'd had one more small bedtime snack, Daddy was home and Abby was off to bed.

You know, even though we didn't end up doing each other's hair or painting our nails, we still engaged in some time-honored "girly" things like, stuffing ourselves with pasta and ice cream, raiding Abby's closet and trying on clothes (looking for the perfect dancing dress), talking about boys (Abby brought up Prince Edward several times), and planning for our future (Abby told me she was going to be a Princess when she grew up and live in a castle). It seems that we did have a bona fide "Girls' Night" after all.

Mmmmm....she does love her "icy cream"

Practicing for The Ball - I caught her mid-twirl on this one.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Funnies

Remember newspapers? I mean actual newspapers that come to your door? The kind that weren't read on screens and got ink on your hands when you read them? Now, I know there are probably some of you out there that still get your morning papers, or at least the Sunday edition, but you have to admit that those people are becoming fewer and fewer. Even Jason, who prefers his paper Wall Street Journal, gave in a few years ago, it was just too convenient to have it delivered to his iPad, where he can have it with him wherever he goes.

Now, you may be wondering where all this is leading. Well, I can remember my parents getting the super-thick Sunday edition of the Detroit News. Along with all of the colorful ads, I remember the whole section of comics, and that on Sunday they were in color. Yes, when I would see that paper I would go right for the "Sunday Funnies".

Tonight I thought I would offer a variation on that theme. Tonight I'm going to offer some of Abby's Sunday Funnies.

Sound Effects

Today we were all in the car and Abby had her Merida and Queen Eleanor dolls. As we were driving Abby kept up a running dialogue between the two of them, much of which was yelling. At the end of each sentence she would make a funny sound. I knew what it was, but Jason finally turned to me and asked, "Is she spitting?"  

"No," I said, "she's shooting arrows."

Abby is big on being authentic, so when the time came for Merida to defy her mother and shoot the arrows, Abby made sure to make the sound of them leaving the bow and sailing through the air.

Entertain Me

Just like she does everything else (except get ready and out the door when we need to be somewhere), Abby eats fast. She's usually done with a meal before we are, and sometimes even before I have a chance to really start mine. Tonight she, once again, was done before we were. Instead of leaving the table and running off to play like usual, she let out a big sigh, put her chin on the table, and said, "Mom, I'm bored."

This was the first time I've ever heard that phrase come out of her mouth. It made me think of something my students would say, and I couldn't help but realize how quickly she's growing up.

But then she grabbed a wooden spoon and started sword fighting....and I breathed a sigh of relief.


One of Jason's favorite things to do is to ask Abby all sorts of questions, just to see the response he'll get. They usually are pretty funny. Tonight, though she really wasn't in the mood for them, because every answer he got was, "No."

I finally chimed in and asked if she was a liar - since some of her answers were certainly not truthful. This got her really mad because she said, "No! I'm not tired!" We realized that she thought I was asking if she wanted to lie down. So Jason asked if she'd ever told a fib. When she then talked about being hungry, we wondered if she'd heard "fig" and not "fib".

Finally Jason told her that she needed to clean out her ears. "No!" she said, "My ears are fine...they are all clean!" She heard that one loud and clear.

I'm sure there were other funny things that happened today, as there are every day - I just wish I could remember them all.

Oh man, this kid melts me!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Early Gifting

Over the years Jason and I have gotten a bit of a reputation when it comes to gift giving. It all started when we were first married and we just couldn't wait to exchange gifts. We would buy things for each other for Christmas or birthdays, and never seemed to be able to wait for the actual date to arrive before exchanging them. I mean really, why let something linger in a box? Why not have a few extra days to enjoy it? It got so bad that at one point our families were placing bets as to how long we would hold out before giving each other our gifts.

I'm happy to say that over the years we've gotten a bit better, although the "Do you want to know what I got you?" question still pops up every now and again. Our challenge doesn't seem to be holding out on gift for each other anymore - it's waiting when it comes to Abby's gifts.

With Abby's birthday a mere 6 days away gifts we've ordered will start arriving within days. Luckily we don't have many laying around to tempt us into early gifting....but there was one. Yes, I said was - because today I folded.

This Christmas we got Abby an American Girl Doll - actually we got her two. I figured that the smaller dolls they sell would be more to her liking, they offer these adorable ones called "Bitty Twins". We decided that Abby would get one for Christmas, and we'd save the other for her birthday. So, every time I've walked into my craft room over the last four months I've seen the other doll there, just waiting to be given.

This morning as I watched Abby play with some of her toys, I began mentally reviewing what she would be getting this time next week....and I thought about that doll....and how it just might get lost in the shuffle. I began to think, Wouldn't it be better if her gifts where spread out a bit? Wouldn't it be better if she got the doll today?

I put the question to Jason, and with a roll of his eyes he said something like, "If you really want to." I think I heard, "What a marvelous idea!", because within minutes I was running up to get the twin. I wrapped her in one of Abby's old baby blankets and brought her down, telling Abby I'd found something when I was upstairs. She asked her standard, "Tis it?" as I folded back the blanket to reveal the new baby I was carrying.

Oh her face was precious. The look of joy was priceless as she exclaimed, "A new baby? For me? Thank you!" Abby immediately asked what the baby's name was, and when we told her that it was up to her, she quickly decided "Hannah" would be perfect.

She played with Hannah and Annie for a bit, eating some popcorn with them and at one point having them fight like a couple of action figures, but soon enough they landed on Daddy's lap. Apparently they needed the rest.

I think it was a perfect idea to give Abby the doll today, because not only did she have some fun playing with it, but now as other gifts arrive I'll be able to wait to give them - since I've already "early gifted" for her birthday this year.

Hannah is the blond, Annie is the brunette, and Abby is the
one in the middle.

Can't you just hear here giggling in this one?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Tap Reading

I've mentioned before how Abby likes to read. She really loves books, and each night before bed we spend at least half an hour reading, until she usually falls asleep midway through a book. As a teacher I know how very, very important this is to her language development and to prepare her for reading on her own. As a mother, I relish that quiet time the two of us share - it really is priceless.

Now, I've also mentioned that Abby will toggle between digital books and real books. Some nights she sticks with digital, some nights she sticks with real, and some nights, like tonight, she'll request a few of each.

For some time know I've noticed a particular thing she does when she is reading real books that may seem a bit odd to the casual observer. Each time we turn a page, Abby will tap her finger to one, or several of the pictures and then make a sound effect, or talk for the character. This may seem odd..... if you've never read a digital storybook. See, most of her digital books are interactive, the characters move or say something when you tap on them. I like to think that this tapping has become another way for her to interact with books. I love that she is stretching her imagination further by anticipating what the characters might do, or visualizing how things might taste or feel, or delivering dialogue with great inflection and enthusiasm. In fact I think it would be a great thing to have a whole generation of "tappers" reading, don't you?

So, if you ever happen to cuddle up with Abby and a good book, don't be surprised if she won't let you turn the page until she has added a bit of her own twist to the story, I guarantee it will make the tale much more fun and interesting.

This has to be my all time favorite picture of Abby
reading - I think she was about two here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What Happens When....

Question: What happens when it's time for the nice man who does our taxes to come over, and our dog isn't polite enough to leave him in peace?

Answer: Abby and I are sequestered, with the above mentioned dog, in Mama & Daddy's bedroom, watching "Barney" and reading books, until the taxes are finished.

Question: What happens when the tax appointment is at bedtime?

Answer: Abby falls fast asleep in Mama & Daddy's bed, and needs to be carried up to her room by her strong Daddy after the nice tax man leaves.

Question: What happens when the tired kid is carried upstairs, but wakes up once she is deposited in her own bed?

Answer: Mama lays down "for a minute" with her, to settle her back to sleep.

Question: What happens when Daddy comes in two hours later to let Mama know that it is nearly 10 p.m.?

Answer: A blurry-eyed Mama wakes up in surprise and heads downstairs to quickly write her blog post, so she can go back to bed.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I'm a bit of a technology junkie. This is both good and bad. The down side to this is that there are some days when I am so used to checking my phone for all sorts of updates that I put off doing other things. I'm sorry to admit that there are even times when Abby will tell me to put my phone away - which I guiltily do.

The up side to technology is the immediacy of the communication. I can text a parent when a student has forgotten his lunch, or when another student is having an allergic reaction to something (both of which I did today). I can catch an email from Abby's teacher before the school day is over, or do a quick check-in with my in-laws before dinner. Technology is great like that.

The best though is when I get an update on how the morning went with Abby and Jason. Before my school day starts I will usually check in with them and I'm happy to say that I nearly always get a great report. I know how much Jason values that time with Abby each morning after I leave for school. I know they have fun together - this morning I got to see just how much.

Just after my students left to go to their "specials", I felt my phone buzz and saw that Jason had sent me a video - this video:

I couldn't help but notice how wonderfully the music fit with what she was doing and how just by watching her dance was going to make sure I started my day in a "bright sunshiney" way. I couldn't help but be thankful for the technology that not only let Jason capture that lovely moment, but that it also allowed him to send it right to me - and make me smile.

Yes, I'm a technology junkie, and on days like to day I don't mind that at all.

And in other news.....Abby earned another bear. Last week
was a rough week, so we were oh, so excited and proud
to see today's "beary" great day note.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Just Another Manic Tuesday

After such a nice, relaxing, and long weekend, today was a bit of a shock. Getting back into the swing of things is always a bit of a challenge, but especially after an extended weekend.

Today did have a couple of things going for it. First, it wasn't Monday. I had to continually remind myself to stick to Tuesday's schedule, and each time I did I was reminded that this is a short week. That's always nice.

Secondly, Abby had a field trip. Her class was going to see a play about "Skippyjon Jones", a cat who likes to imagine all sorts of adventures. That was exciting enough, but the theater just happens to be at the college where Jason works, so she got the extra bonus of sitting with Daddy during the play.

As you can see, she was all smiles and Jason reported that she danced in her seat during the whole production.

After school I had some errands to run, and I knew I wouldn't make it in time for the bus. So, I picked Abby up from school and we set off together. I told her that if she were very good it would make Mama so very happy. 

She was very good.

And we enjoyed singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" after our errands were finished. Abby is mighty good at yelling, "Hooooraaaayyyyy!" 

Finally at around 5 p.m. we finally got home. I have to say that it was a long, but good day. We ate dinner and before her bath Abby decided to catch up on some note writing.

Apparently she was still in the "theater mode" because she needed to have her viking hat on while she wrote.

Overall it was a fun (but busy) way to kick off the week, and you can't ask for much more than that, now can you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Perfect Play Date

Today Abby and I both got a "play-date". Since we didn't have school because of Presidents' Day, we invited some of our good buddies over for some fun. Abby could barely contain her excitement as Rachel, Jane, and their mom, Jessica, walked through the door - in fact she wasn't the only one that was thrilled. I think it took Bruiser a full five minutes before he stopped howling and barking, he was nearly beside himself with excitement.

Since they came bearing bagels and coffee, we enjoyed a quick breakfast before the three girls ran straight up to Abby's room. That's when our fun began. See, Jessica, has been wanting to learn to knit for some time, and since I'm a bit of a knitting freak (if you want to see how much, just check out Abby's Heirlooms - and here ends the shameless plug), so I was all about teaching her. She did excellently and as she worked on her knits and purls, I finished up a project I was working on.

I can't tell you how nice it was to have a relaxing day with a friend, and know that Abby was having one as well, although...I'm not sure I would call her time "relaxing". There were many yells and thumps coming from upstairs, but they were the good kind - the kind that let us know that they were all having fun. Periodically one, or all, of the girls would wander down to see what we were up to, or to just visit with Bruiser for a bit.

All too soon they needed to leave, but Abby kept talking about what a fun day she'd had and I had to agree. It was a perfect way to spend our day off.

As I was putting things in order to prepare for company, we had some
music playing. Abby just had to take a moment to belt out some tunes.

All the girls thought it was hilarious when Bruiser "sang" opera.
They all got him going - but I don't think he minded a bit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Card Shark

We've discovered that Abby has a new talent: Uno. Seriously, she's a regular wunderkind when it comes to that game.

Yesterday we all sat down again for a quick game, that turned into three games because Mom and Dad were trying to redeem ourselves. Abby daintily held onto her cards and laid them down each time her turn came, even delivering the dreaded "skip" card and the "Draw 2" cards to Mom with a sly smile.

Before when we've played, I've helped her along, but this time there was no need. She didn't tip her hand and at the last game, when I laid down a yellow 7 card and excitedly held on to the other yellow card in my hand, sure that I was slated to win, she surprised us all by getting rid of her final card - a blue 7.

You should have heard Jason and I laughing - and Abby telling us to stop, because she was under the impression that we were laughing at her. We were just so flummoxed. She'd beat us, fair and square, for three straight games. At that point we gave up.

So, I'm sending out this warning to all of you, if you ever sit down for a game of Uno with Abby, beware - she'll beat the pants off of you!

I know I've already posted this picture - but
it totally fit tonight's post.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Car Conversations

Today Abby got invited out for an afternoon of fun with some of her best buds. She was so very excited, and since we were ready a bit early I thought I would stop to get a coffee on the way there. As soon as we got in the car she requested, "Happy Ever After" (a.k.a. "Ever After" by Carrie Underwood - from the movie "Enchanted") on the radio. I plugged my phone in and soon enough the strains of one of her favorite songs was playing through the speakers. She asked me to turn it up and once I did she started belting away.

Although most of the time we both were singing, she did take a few moments to have some conversations during our drive. Here's how they went.

While waiting for my coffee
Abby: Mom, I want a pop.
Me: A pop? (she never drinks pop, so this was weird)
Abby: Yes.
Me: They don't have pop, this is a coffee shop.
(short pause)
Abby: Mom? I want a chocolate shake.

While waiting at a stoplight
Abby: (while pointing to a random house) Mom, let's go there.
Me: We can't go there, we don't know who lives there.
Abby: Moooommmm....let's go! Let's see them.
Me: Abby, we don't just go into people's houses that we don't know.
Abby: Why not?

Nearly at her friends' house
Abby: Mom, I love you.
Me: Awww, I love you too, Abby.
Abby: I want you to leave.
Me: What?! You want me to leave?
Abby: Yes, at Carters'.
Me: Oh...., you want me to let you stay there by yourself?
Abby: Yes, you go eat breakfast with Dada.

Pulling in and getting out of the car
Abby: We're here!!!! It's Carter's house!!!!
Me: Yep!
Abby: (as I get out of the car to let her out) Mom, stay here. I'm going by myself!
Me: I won't stay, but can't I come in and say, "Hi!"?
Abby: (big sigh) Okay....

She had a blast, and apparently put on quite the show for everyone. She was excited to tell me all about it. Tonight I am so very thankful for good friends that do so much to brighten Abby's day.

I've been terrible about taking pictures lately, so I had to
go to the "archives" for this one of Abby in the car. I thought
it was perfect, because she looks like she's mid-question here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Early to Bed

By 5:30 tonight Abby had picked out her jammies and was ready to head to bed. Now, whether that is an indication as to the kind of a week we had, or just that she wanted some uninterrupted "Mom time", I'm not sure - I'm suspecting it was a bit of both.

We did our bedtime routine and snuggled in. We played some games on the iPad, and even made some cupcakes (she loves the "Cupcake-a-roo" app, especially the part where she gets to "eat" what she baked), and then decided on the Cinderella storybook.

The last few nights, as I've read this story to her I've noticed that she doesn't make it all the way to the end before she's falling asleep. Tonight, neither of us did. We didn't even make it to the part where the evil stepsisters destroy Cinderella's dress before we were both out.

When I woke up I still had the iPad propped up on me and Cinderella was gleefully thanking her animal friends for their hard work on her dress. Abby was fast asleep at my side.

As I turned off the iPad I noticed that it was only ten to seven and Ben Franklin's words about early to bed and early to rise ran through my head. I was tempted to just stay put and hit the hay for the night, because tonight's early bedtime may not bring health, wealth, or wisdom, but it's sure to bring an early rising tomorrow.

 I came to a startling realization today - two weeks from
today Abby will turn 8! How is that even possible?
This was a picture from her birthday last year. If
you haven't read about that adventure, you may want
to catch up, before her next birthday rolls around.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sweet and Sour

When I want to "splurge" while ordering some Chinese food, I'll get Sweet and Sour Chicken. That sweet sauce, with just the slight tang of sour melds so nicely with the fried chicken and fresh veggies. Yes, I like sweet and sour in my Chinese food, but in my child?.....not quite as much.

Oh, I love the sweetness, and not a day goes by that Abby doesn't ooze incredible sweetness. Nobody can melt my heart faster than that little girl. At her sweetest she is a force to be reckoned with. There isn't too much better than one of her hugs, she literally wraps herself around you and infuses you with her love. The hugs may only be topped by one of her spontaneous, "I love you"'s - usually delivered just when you need it. Yes, Abby is, for the most part, sweetness personified.

But....then there's the sour times. Although they are normally short, they are potent. I know how they can sap my strength and leave me incredibly discouraged. Phrases like: She knows better! and Enough is enough! are usually followed by questions like: What is going on with her? and How do I make her listen - without crushing her spirit?

This afternoon I got a call from Abby's teacher, asking me to talk to Abby, since she was being so stubborn she was going to miss the bus home. I was not happy, and I let Abby know that. Unfortunately, Abby was excited that she got to talk to mom at school and all she heard was, "I'm on my way to pick you up." With an, "Okay, see you soon!" she handed the phone back to her teacher. Once I got there I discovered that things had not gotten better after my call, and although Abby apologized very sweetly, it had lost it's potency. Without a change in her behavior, "I'm sorry" becomes hollow.

Sweet and sour.

I suppose that we are all a bit of both, aren't we? I have some ideas on how to deal with the "sour" of my little darling, but right now I'm so very glad that we ended the day with a whole lot of sweet.

Now that's a whole lot of sweet!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day

I've always wondered how Valentine's Day got it's own party day. There are only three designated "party days" in a school year, and Valentine's Day snagged one of them. Maybe it's the emphasis on love, and round about February the kids need a big reminder to be nice to each other. Or, maybe it's just the fact that chocolate is involved. Whatever it is, it's always been a bit of a conundrum to me.

Despite my question about whether Valentine's Day is "party worthy", I do enjoy it. It may stem from the fact that it was always something that my mom enjoyed. Valentine's Day was the only day of the year, besides Christmas and our birthday, when we got presents. Each Valentine's Day there was a wrapped package waiting for us on our dinning room chair.

This year I was distracted with other things and it totally snuck up on me. Therefore, tonight after dinner I ran to the store and while Jason took over bedtime, and Abby slept peacefully, I made 43 Valentines. I also made sure to pick up a little something to put at Abby's spot at our table, keeping up that fun tradition.

Despite the fact that I procrastinated, I got everything ready.... so Abby is party ready. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

For Abby's smaller class I made some Tootsie Pop butterflies - thanks for
the idea Pinterest!

For her larger class I went the pencil route.

Abby will get a nice little surprise tomorrow morning!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Well, if I were superstitious I would say that it was my own fault for going on and on about how healthy Abby has been this school year...good thing I'm not superstitious.

I think I've had a feeling that Abby hasn't been feeling well for the last day or so. She doesn't usually complain about a sore tummy, so I could see this coming. Maybe that's what got me thinking about her health to begin with. At any rate, it doesn't matter. Once again, around three this morning, sickness came a' calling.

I will say that it was one of the easiest middle-of-the-night bouts we've been through. She got to the bathroom in time, and we were well stocked with supplies, Jason was particularly thankful there would be no predawn Meijer runs.

Despite the rough start, it was a good day. Abby kept ahold of her spunk and sense of humor, but still took it easy, and didn't fight her limited diet too much. Since she had a bit of a fever we'll be home tomorrow too. I'm hoping that's all it will take, and she'll be back to normal by the afternoon....although, even though I'm not superstitious, I think I'll refrain from making any definite predictions on that count.

Abby, right before her enforced resting time. She wanted
to be all covered up "like in the hospital".

Monday, February 11, 2013

Questions, Questions, Questions

Tonight, as I sat watching Abby eat her after dinner popsicle, I realized I didn't have an idea for my blog post. Sure, I could talk about how cute she was being, or even though she didn't get her "good behavior bear" she did get a good report from Mrs. Cathy (the bus driver), but I feel like I've hashed and rehashed behavior stuff, and I've already mentioned how cute she is - a few hundred times. So, I put out an "all  call" on my Facebook page for questions. I wanted to know if you guys had anything for which you wanted answers. I got a few bites, so here goes.

Peer Questions

One of my friends asked her daughter if there was anything she wanted to know about Abby. Katie came up with some great questions - from one seven year old to another.

Katie: I like to play Barbies, would Abby like to play with me?
Answer: Abby would love to play Barbies with you, in fact, she would be right over...if you weren't so far away. 

Katie: I also like to play with my stuffed animals, my Princess Kitty is my favorite. Does Abby have a favorite stuffed animal?
Answer: Abby's favorite stuffed toys are of the doll variety. She's been collecting Disney Princess stuffed dolls for quite a while, and nearly has all of them. I think she loves to make them dance and sing.

Katie: My favorite book right now is Chester, by Melanie Watt. Has Abby read that one? What is her favorite book?
Answer: Hmmm, I don't recognize that book - we'll have to look it up. I'm sure she would love it. Abby loves to read books, but the one that requests the most is any "Brave" book. She also loves "Goodnight, Moon" and "The Snowy Day" - two of my favorites too!

Thanks for all the great questions, Katie. We'll have to get you and Abby together some time, it sounds like you would have a blast!

Tummy Update

I had one friend ask how Abby's tummy has been. This summer Abby got a tummy bug that just wouldn't quit - literally. At our wits end, we decided to make some major changes to her diet. We have stuck to that with few deviations. 

We started by cutting out all gluten and dairy. Since then we've introduced the dairy back into her diet, but we've kept the gluten out. Now, she will periodically have something with gluten, but we try to leave that to the weekends - in case she has some issues. Since the summer she really hasn't had any GI issues. There was one point in the year that she got a bug, but she was over it super quick. Before her dietary change it wasn't uncommon for her to take at least a week to cover, not so any more.

Interestingly enough we not only saw a great improvement to her physical health, but also to her attitude. Maybe it is because she is feeling better that she's behaving better, maybe she was just due for a boost in maturity, whatever it is I couldn't help but wonder if there was a connection. No matter what, she is eating healthier and feeling better. If that means I have to keep buying $7 bags of pretzels - then so be it, it's worth it.


Another question I got was about dreaming. One of Abby's good buddies seems to be going through a scary dream phase. My friend wondered if Abby ever talks about her dreams.

Abby doesn't talk about her dreams in a direct way, but sometimes I really would love to see what she sees when she sleeps because of what she says immediately upon waking. I can't tell you how many times she's gotten up and talked about some movie we haven't seen in months, or talk about a character that I haven't heard of for quite some time. I always wonder if these characters and stories have made their way into her dreams. There are other times when she will wake up with actual people on the brain. She'll say things like, "Let's go to Carter's house!" or "Where'd Rachel go?" It makes me think that she's as active when she's sleeping, as she is when she's awake.

Something else that gives me a clue as to what she's dreaming about is her talking in her sleep. Every so often she'll yell out something like, "No!" or "I'll do it myself!" It is always so funny to hear her little voice on the monitor (which we still are using), yelling something out, followed by the silence that lets us know she's still asleep.

There are a few times when she's woken up and talked about being afraid. I'm never sure if that has to do with what she's been dreaming about, or finding herself in a dark room with nighttime noises. Dad's usually the "Go To Guy" for those moments.

Smart Answer.....for a "Smart" Question

Finally, Jason chimed in with a question as well. His question had to do with woodchucks and wood. So my darling, according to Neurotic Physiology a woodchuck "chucks" (or chews) 361.9237001 cubic centimeters of wood per day.

Thanks to all of you for your questions - and for providing amble material for tonight's post!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rumbly Tummy

I'd like to think I'm pretty good a finding a faker - especially when it comes to my own kid, but tonight she really had me going, and I'm still not sure if she was on the up-and-up, or if she was just having some fun.

Tonight after dinner, she told us that her tummy "was rumbly, like Pooh" and that her tummy hurt. She really put on a good show. She cradled her tummy and came to sit on my lap. She hadn't had that much to eat, so I figured she just needed some babying, which I gave her. Jason wasn't convinced that's all it was. He urged me to take her upstairs, in case she really was sick. I didn't get moving - until she let out a yucky burp....that got me up right away and headed up to the bathroom.

I got everything ready, the garbage pail, a towel, the tub, as Abby sat on the potty, still telling me her tummy hurt. This was when I began to worry and started making plans. Before long she popped right up and declared she was "all better now." This didn't stop us from continuing to ask if she was good. She assured us she was.

We went through the regular bedtime routine, with the addition of a quick manicure and pedicure - her reward for bath-time cooperation. It was when we were settling in to do some reading that she must have hopped a bit too vigorously into bed, because I looked over to find she'd gotten a bit more than she'd bargained for when she'd let out a burp. As I cleaned things up she continued to assure me she was better. I guess I'll have to take her word for it, and trust that she just had one bite of soup too many - at least that's all I'm praying it is.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Silent Night

Today's been a weird kind of a day. Oh, it started our normal enough. We got an early wake-up call from Abby, and then she hit the dress-up clothes like a pro. From there, I decided that I'd take some time to do some sewing. Of course Abby wanted to get in on the action (after she'd dumped out nearly every toy she owns) and she sat down to measure out a "a shirt for Papa, to make him feel better."

Yes, everything was chugging along just fine, until around 3 p.m. when we lost power. This is rather unusual for us, and since we weren't mid-storm we knew something was up. Later Jason found out that a tree had fallen down the road, taking out a power line and half of the township's power with it. Word was, we wouldn't be getting power until 9 or 10 p.m.

Luckily, Abby is a go-with-the-flow kind of a gal and so she danced for a bit to the music on my phone, and then sat down to enjoy a popsicle and and some note writing - along with "Brave" on the iPad, of course. Thank heavens for battery power.

Soon enough though, that got boring, so the family sat down for a good ole' fashioned card game - Uno, or as Abby calls it "Oh-No". I was soundly trounced by Jason and Abby - in fact, I don't think I won one game.

Before long we were having a hard time seeing the cards, despite the candles that we had burning. It was bedtime anyway, so with the promise of adventure, and a flashlight we hiked upstairs. Luckily there isn't much about Abby's bedtime ritual that requires electricity, so when she balked at putting away the flashlight I didn't get why. It wasn't until she mentioned telling a story with animals, and then put her hands in front of the flashlight, that I understood. She wanted a shadow-play - what an excellent idea! So, I told a story about Princess Abby and all the animals she loved (many of which looked exactly the same on the bedroom wall). It was worth all the hand cramps I got when she applauded my efforts.

And so, with her DreamLight projecting a starry night, and me reading Cinderella on the iPad, Abby fell asleep. I came downstairs to a nice fire and some quiet conversation with Jason. It was strange to have the house so quiet, but in a very good way - in a way that makes me think we should do this more often (shut stuff off - not lose power, it was getting a bit chilly after all). Finally, as we sat down to our dinner of ham sandwiches and chips the lights popped on.

Tonight I'm thankful for those who worked hard for hours to fix lines so that we could have a warm night, and for some unexpected quiet family time.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Abby's Perspective

Tonight I'm going to be selfish and tell you all about my day...I know, I know, this is Abby's blog and it should be about Abby, so I'm going to write it from Abby's's that for compromise?

Today started off weird. Mom was way more interested in her phone than usual, and for some reason, when the phone rang she seemed happier. It wasn't the kind of happy where she dances around and yells, "WooHoo!", but it was happy enough. I guess we'd gotten a lot of snow, which meant she didn't have to leave so early for work. She got to hang out with me and Daddy - and catch my excellent impression of a scary ghost.

It was fun having Mom help me get ready for school, but she just didn't understand how cool it would be if I wore my Merida nightgown to school. I knew that my friends and teachers would love to see it. I kept trying to tell her....but then she started counting...and it just wasn't worth it - so I gave in.

She must have been kinda crabby at that point, because when I saw all the beautiful snow that covered the driveway and lawn she insisted I stay inside, and not go out to play in it. Can you believe that? I mean really, how cruel is that? She made me wait with her, just inside the door, so I could see the snow, but not touch it until Mrs. Cathy pulled up in the bus. It didn't matter though, because I made sure that by the time I reached the bus, I was covered in snow, nearly to my knees - Ha! Take that, Mom.

I had a super day at school, because today was reward day....and I'd earned it. I got to go with my teachers and my class to the park close to my school and go sledding. I kid you not, the hill is massive, and even though Mom got worried about me, I was just fine - which I would have told her, but she had to talk to my teachers - ugh! Then, when we got back to the classroom we got hot chocolate (at least that's what I told Mom). 

Now, instead of Mom getting me off the bus like usual, Dada was there. Apparently, Mom needed to do the grocery shopping (which Dada usually takes care of), at first I was a bit relieved, since I was not a very good girl on the bus. But then, Dad had to go and call Mom to tell her what I'd done. That was the last thing I wanted. I felt horrible, and maybe even cried a little....okay, a lot,..... but I hate it when Mom is disappointed with me.

Soon enough she was home, and we had to talk about it - which made me cry again. So, I spent some time in my room, while she went downstairs to unload the groceries. Luckily she got a lot of groceries, so I figure she had plenty of time to cool down. 

I figured it was best not to push the pizza idea I'd had for dinner, so when she suggested a hot dog I acted really excited, like that's what I was hoping for all along. I ate it all up, too.... and I even cleared my plate. Since Mom was in the kitchen doing dishes, I figured that it would be really nice of me to stay in there and visit with her - so that's what I did. I asked how her day was, and when she told me she was tired and her feet hurt, I suggested she take some medicine - which she did, wasn't that thoughtful of me? I even told her she should take some of my vitamins too. Hey, they help me, they should help her too, right? She told me they were, "fruity". I thought that was funny.

By this time I knew she needed a break, so I gave her one of my best fake yawns and told her that I was tired - that we should go read some books. She fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Once we got upstairs I showed her all the books I'd found in my closet - there's a ton of books in there....who knew? We picked out a couple and then read those while I cuddled close to her. Mom's a pretty good cuddler. I knew when she let out that sigh she does, that she was feeling better, I know I was. 

Soon enough I was getting sleepy, and somewhere in the midst of the third "Brave" book Mom was reading I fell asleep...I think that Mom did too for a little bit.

Tomorrow is Saturday, I can't wait to see what exciting plans Mom has for us....I've even got a few of my own.

This was from a few days ago - when Mom actually let me
stomp around in the snow before the bus arrived. She was
more agreeable that day - but then maybe so was I.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Paying Attention

Do you ever have those nights when you look at your child and want to ask, "Who are you, and what have you done with my kid?" Well, tonight was one of those nights.

From the moment Abby got off the bus it seemed that things were not right. First she wanted pizza, since we already went that route this week, that was not an option. Then she got mad at Bruiser. She actually came to me to "tattle" on him, saying, "Moooommm, Bruiser's bugging me!" Apparently, Abby doesn't need to have a human sibling in order to argue.

Once we'd separated the "kids" and settled on a dinner option, the yelling started. It wasn't angry yelling, it was just very loud talking. I nearly suggested to Jason that maybe it was time to get her hearing checked. I had to keep reminding her that I was standing right next to her, and she didn't need to talk so loud - it didn't really help.

The next problem that cropped up was that her noodles weren't done on time. Abby has learned that the beep on the stove usually means food is ready, but she hasn't learned to distinguish the beeps that accompany the setting of the timer, and the beeps that signal time is up. Before I knew it, I was sucked into a "Yes they are/No they're not" argument about whether or not the noodles were ready.

Finally, I thought we were in the all clear when Abby decided to play upstairs in her room for a bit before bed. All that did was cause her to yell even louder when she needed me to do something for her, or get her a new toy.

Maybe it was because I'd gone to the dentist after school (something I dread), or maybe it was because today is Thursday and I'm tired...whatever it was, I didn't have a lot of patience. It wasn't until I heard Jason say, "It sounds like she just wants to spend time with you," that I was convicted. I'd been "too busy" catching up on some emails and doing my own thing to realize that he was right. She just wanted to spend some time with her mom. I closed my computer, chugged the last few sips of my coffee, and headed up to see her. I found her in the hallway, hugging a book, and saying, "Mom, read to me!" How could I not?

I got Abby ready for bed and we snuggled in to read some books. Before long I noticed she was fast asleep. I realized that my little angel had been there all the time, I just hadn't taken the time to pay attention.

Isn't it good that each day is new, and we can start again? I know tonight I'm very thankful for that fact.

It doesn't get much sweeter....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dinner Conversations

I'm sure that everyone could share some of their favorite dinner conversations - conversations that range from the bizarre, to the hilarious. Tonight I thought I would share some of the things that went around our dinner table.

Pray First

Abby will never let us forget that we are to pray before we eat. Tonight she told Daddy that he was to lead the prayer, and after he gave thanks for family and food, Abby added her own bit. She sat there with folded hands and said, "Thank you for Mrs. Currie and broken crayons." That's when my head popped up and I corrected her. See, today, in a fit of stubbornness, she decided it would be a better idea to break her crayon into bits rather than fill in the white spaces in her picture - not a good plan. I made sure to remind her that we are thankful for teachers who forgive us when we do things like break our crayons. With a, "Oh! Yeah!" Abby agreed. We then broke into a rousing rendition of J-E-S-U-S, a clapping/singing prayer that Abby learned in preschool. None of us can eat until this is completed.


Part way through our meal Abby decided to spice up our conversation. She put her elbow on the table, propped her chin on her hand, and said, "So...Mom..let's talk about food." She then proceeded to start counting the pretzels she was eating. Next, she told Daddy to talk about his food, then it was my turn. This morphed into a game of counting things on the table: one-two-three Abby....and so on.

She also shared a fun joke with us:
Abby: Knock, knock
Mom: Who's there?
Abby: Mom
Mom: Mom who?
Abby: Daddy.....ha, ha, ha....
It didn't matter that the joke didn't make sense - it got us to laugh, and that was the point.

No Worries, Dad

At another point in our meal Jason turned to me and asked if there was anything new at school today. Abby immediately jumped on that. Knowing that she'd already had one conversation with Mom about her behavior, she wasn't relishing rehashing it with Dad. Before I could answer his questions Abby started shaking her head and said, "Don't worry about school, Dad." Apparently she's got everything handled.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Daddy's Home

Oh happy day!

Last week Jason had to go out of town for work, and today, after seven days (or 6 "sleeps" in Abby-terms) he finally came home. Things just aren't the same around here when we all aren't under the same roof.

He was able to get home before Abby's bus arrived, and it was so fun to watch from the house as he greeted her. I could tell exactly where she was sitting on the bus, because she was the kid that was jumping up and down.

Now, if the only happy event was Daddy coming home after a long trip, Abby would still be over the moon, but she also knew that while he was away he'd picked up a few things for her. See, since he was very near Disney World he couldn't resist the pull of The Disney Store, and so he'd gotten a few things for his little darling. What he'd told Abby though, was that he'd had the opportunity to have dinner one night with Merida (from "Brave") and knowing that Abby is a sort of "super-fan", she'd given him a few things to pass on.

I have to hand it to Abby. She knew these gifts were coming (she'd been talking about her "gowns" all week), but she still sat through dinner and got a bath before getting them....and she did it with a smile on her face - pretty impressive to be sure.

Along with a Merida nightgown, and a Merida dress-up dress, Daddy got her a Queen Elinor doll. Abby quickly donned one of her "gowns" and ran downstairs to get her Merida Barbie doll. That's when she started yelling. It soon became apparent that some of her favorite dialogue from the movie was from when mother and daughter were yelling at each other. I heard her shout out things like: "I am Merida, firstborn of clan Dunbroch, and I'll be shooting for my own hand!" Which was quickly followed by: "Merida! What are you doing? Don't you loose another arrow!"...and the yelling went on. The best though was when "Merida" said, "but....but..." and "Queen Elinor" broke in with, "No buts!" That was when I lost it, it was just too funny. Luckily, the yelling didn't last for too long. Soon the two dolls were making up and giving kisses. They now seem to be living in peace.

Even with all the "arguing" it is so very, very good to have Jason home.

I caught her mid-yell on this one.

Too bad it's blurry. Luckily you can still see Abby's cute little face.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I'll Do It Myself

There are some days when I am in total "Mom Mode" and I fail to remember what it was like to be a kid myself. Tonight could have been one of those nights, but thanks to Abby, I got a few reminders.

Tonight there was one phrase that kept creeping up: "I'll do it myself!" Abby wanted to exert her independence - and I'm very glad of that, but sometimes it is hard for me to let go. The jammies would get on so much faster if I helped her....I'd be sure there were no messes in the bathroom, if I were there to supervise....the iPad game would work, if she just watched how I did it.... and on and on it seemed to go.

Thankfully tonight I was able to back off each time she reminded me that she could do it. I was able to remember that feeling of frustration when my own mother would try to help me out, and show me an easier way. I could recall that I didn't necessarily want an easier way, as much as I wanted my way. I remembered all of this and I stepped back....and you know what? She did just fine in the bathroom all by herself...and she got those jammies on....and the game ran just fine the way she wanted. Most importantly though, she was proud of the fact that she did things all by herself.

Tonight helped me be mindful of the fact that I don't need to hover quite so closely to my little lady as I once used to - thanks for the reminder Abby,....I'll try my best not to forget it.

After school Abby and I played in the snow for a bit.
She couldn't wait to have a snowball fight with Mom.
Luckily, for my sake, the snow was not good packing snow.

Bruiser would not be left out. He loves to chase snow, and Abby loves to
throw it, it was a perfect combination. When it was time to come in I merely
had to pretend I was the teacher, calling all the kids in from recess. Abby, of
course, was the line leader.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


I hear there is some sort of important game on today. You wouldn't know it by our house, because it was pretty much, business as usual. Honestly I've never been a football fan (no surprise to anyone that knows me), and if I did watch the Super Bowl it was only to see the commercials, but this year even that didn't draw me in.

Tonight, while others were dipping their chips and watching all sorts of pre-game hoopla, Abby and I were coloring and watching "Pride and Prejudice" - it really couldn't have gotten much better than that in my book.

But, for those of you who like a little something to watch, here's an interview I did tonight with Abby. I must warn you though, it has nothing to do with football.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I Love You

Today Daddy had to work, and whenever that happens on the weekend, he will request lots of pictures of Abby. Now, since I have gotten in the habit of pushing my phone in Abby's face and saying, "Look here, Abby!" she will sometimes see me grab my phone and say, "No, Mom! No pictures!" Today though, when I saw her start to protest, I would say, "This is for Daddy," and she would immediately be good with it.

This evening, as she was busy writing "notes" I thought it was time to send another picture. I told her to tell Daddy she loved him and this is what I got.

This reminded me of all the signing we did with Abby before she was verbal. She had quite the signing vocabulary when she was small. I still am amazed at how well she picked up on signs and how much she could tell us. Since she is now very verbal she has left most of the signing behind her (although there are a few times when I don't respond as quickly as she feels I should, and then without thinking, she will use a sign to punctuate her words). Despite the fact that we've moved past that, there is one sign that we still use often - "I love you."

I remember many a day when little Abby would climb on the bus to preschool and we would sign to each other out the window. It always made me feel a bit lighter that she was reminded of my love as she pulled away. We even used the sign yesterday when I dropped her off at school. She'd already marched into her classroom when I remembered that I needed to tell her teachers I'd be picking her up after school. I popped my head in and told them, and sent Abby an "I love you" sign on my way out - she promptly returned it. 

There isn't too much sweeter to my mother's heart than that.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Funnies

One thing I can say about Abby is that she certainly has the ability to make me laugh. Today I'd like to share with you some of those moments.

We were both happy it was Friday!


This morning I told Abby that I would pick her up from school. I got there a bit early and waited, as parents are asked to, by the office. I was just catching up on some social media when I heard someone yell, "MAMA!!! Mama's here!" Recognizing that voice I looked up to see Abby nearly run out of her boots trying to get to me. I started towards her, since she was still making quite a racket yelling throughout the halls that I had arrived. 

Abby's teacher and I got to her at about the same time, both of us "shhh-ing" her. Even though on the outside I was reminding her that she needed to be quiet in the hallway, there was a big part of me on the inside that was loving her exuberant welcome. I tell you I felt like a rock star. Abby finished off her great greeting by pulling me into her classroom and then yelling out, "Welcome!" as she made a grand sweeping gesture with her arm. Nobody can make a person feel special like Abby can.

"The Bear" Song

After a greeting such as the one I'd received, I was hoping that today had been a positive day. Sure enough, Abby had been a good girl. I watched her get her "bear" note from her teacher and then run/dance over to me to show me. "My bear! I got my bear!" she exclaimed. I showed her an appropriate amount of pleasure and told her I was so proud of her. She then proceeded to hug her classmates and thank her teachers and we were off to get her pizza.

On the way there I overheard her in the back of the car. She still had that "bear" note in her hand and I realized that she was singing to it. Here's a bit of how the song went, "The bear, the bear, the bear....I love the bear!" *kiss*

It was not only funny, it was incredibly endearing that she was so very excited about the happy note she'd been given - and the prospect of pizza, of course.

Abby, May I?

After dinner Abby was in the mood to be silly, actually she wanted to go upstairs and cuddle. It wasn't even five o'clock and she was telling me that it was time to go to bed. I tried to convince her that we still had time for some fun, but she wasn't buying it. 

At this point she climbed up on my lap and this, of course, brought Bruiser over to investigate. She laughed up a storm when he began nosing his way in-between the two of us. That's when I wound him up even further by singing. Abby quickly put her hand over my mouth and told me, "No, Mom. No singing." I gave her a rather sad face. It was apparently sad enough to make her feel bad because she stopped, looked at me, gave me a kiss, and said, "You may sing." Huh? Did I hear that right?

Sure enough it happened again a bit later when I was covering her face with smoochie-bugs. She told me to stop, I gave her a sad face, and she told me, "Okay, you may kiss me." I wish you could have heard her, because it certainly came out as imperially as you would expect. I guess I should at least be pleased that she is grammatically correct.

I tell you this was a great way to kick off our weekend!

Abby loved to see the newly fallen snow this morning.
She even helped me to shovel some of it.