Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Friday, April 27, 2007

She's Walking!

I have several updates for you, but first I must get to the important news. Hannah is walking! Yesterday she was trying to climb into her rocking chair, but the chair kept moving on her. Then she got the bright idea to push it in front of her like a sled and walk behind it. So, we immediately got her walker out (not like the old ones where the baby sits in side, this one is like an old person's walker only with wheels) that Tiffany gave her for Christmas. Up until this point all Hannah was interested in doing with the walker was playing with the toys on it, but last night she used it to help her walk the entire length of the living room more than once! She's done it several times already today and is really excited about it. She can't move quite as quick as when she crawls because if she tries to go too fast she falls on her face, but already her speed is increasing. It was so awesome to see her traveling along by herself and completely upright. I guess now we need to have a pool going to guess when she will actually be walking on her own with no support from the walker, furniture, or mom's hands.

Ok, now for the updates. We've been working on getting Hannah to drink her formula from her sippy cup and I stumbled upon a good strategy the other day. I put some of the formula in the sippy cup and some in the bottle and started to alternate them with each sip before she could realize what I had done I'd quickly switch her back to the other. I started with only an ounce or two in the sippy cup and only one sip at a time in the cup, but now we are up to 4.5 oz in the sippy cup and only 2.5 oz in the bottle and she will take 5 or 6 big gulps out of the sippy cup before she wants her bottle back. I really think we are making progress here. I've got 2.5 more months (give or take some) to get her weaned completely over so hopefully things will continue to go well.

Hannah is continuing to love table food, but she definitely has her own likes and dislikes. She absolutely hates applesauce. She likes apples, but must hate the texture of applesauce. She makes the most horrible face I have ever seen, gags, and twists her tongue out of her mouth. Well, she's also been doing this same thing with some of her jarred baby food meals and last night she did the exact same thing with some homemade baby food peaches that my friend Sarah gave me. They had that same texture as applesauce and Hannah just hated it. She was gagging and trying to spit it out and at times she would refuse to even shut her mouth if she had some in there! Kyle got a video of her doing it and it's pretty funny.

Here's an updated that I forgot to tell you all about a long time ago. Back when Hannah got sick and we had to take her to the ER I called the hospital afterwards to complain about Hannah's misdiagnosis and the choice of meds she was given. I didn't want them to do anything per say, I just wanted them to be aware of what had happened so that it wouldn't happen again to another baby. Anyway, I eventually got a call back from the head of medicine from the hospital. He had reviewed Hannah's case and agreed that some serious errors were made and that we were all lucky that Hannah only had a nasty bout of diarrhea and diaper rash to show for it all. He said that the ER doctor (who we NEVER saw) and the PA (physician's assistant) who handled Hannah's treatment really dropped the ball. He said that the PA should have been more aware of the side effects of the medicine she chose to prescribe and more careful in evaluating the results of the chest x-ray in lieu of her other symptoms. He agreed that Hannah did not have pneumonia and even if she had it would most likely have been viral (so no antibiotic) and even if it had been bacterial, she should have never been given the antibiotic that was prescribed. So, basically the PA's treatment was wrong on more levels than we could count. Also the ER doctor that should have been supervising her dropped the ball because he did not carefully check the PA recommendations for Hannah's diagnosis and treatment. Ultimately he is the one that was responsible and he did not do his job properly. So, they both have to go through this big peer review of Hannah's case and basically explain how they messed up and why in front of everyone and then the entire staff trouble shoots on how to keep the situation from happening again and how they need to improve for next time! So, even though my call didn't help Hannah, at least it sounds like it might help someone down the road.

Ok, this blog has taken me almost a week to write and I have more updates. Hannah is now waving good-bye when asked and can now do the sign for dog and say dog whenever she sees a dog. Occasionally she still relapses into all dogs are named Ella, but she's used the word dog spontaneously enough in the correct situation that I think she knows it. Yesterday we even thought that she tried to call Evelyn by name. Sarah and I are not sure, but it was so close that it makes us wonder.

There are many more updates to add to this post since it's taken me another entire week to get back to it, but I'm going to post it anyway and try to get the new stuff on another post.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Little Fish

Apparently Hannah's Finding Nemo room has made an impact on her because I discovered this week that Hannah is part fish. We started going to a Mommy and Me swim class at the YMCA and Hannah loves it! She splashes and kicks around like she was born to be in the water. She even dunked herself on Monday on accident and didn't get upset about it at all. That being said, Hannah is not half the swimmer that her friend Evelyn is. I think if Sarah let Evelyn go she would actually just start swimming around! The instructor even commented to Sarah on how good Evelyn was doing and she's even the youngest baby in the class!

Besides swim class, Hannah and I have been playing outside as often as possible and I think Hannah has finally gotten over her distaste for grass. In fact, I think she has literally acquired a taste for it! I have to spend a good portion of our play time keeping Hannah from grazing! You will all be happy to know that Hannah broke in her new play clothes this week and has her very first grass stains on the knees of her play jeans! I'm such a proud Mama. Maybe, just maybe she won't turn out to be a city girl after all.

Hannah's cold is pretty much gone although she still has a runny nose. The snot is perfectly clear though which makes me wonder if she has allergies. Her nose seems to run more when she is outside and her eyes water some too. Tiffany has allergies so I suppose it isn't far fetched to think that Hannah might have some as well. If it gets any worse I may take her to the doctor just to talk to him about it.

Hannah's hand-eye coordination continues to improve and she can now easily put the rings on her rock and stack on the first try pretty much all of the time. She's even started experimenting with other things that might go on there like the blocks from her shape sorter, teething rings, the lid to the shape sorter, the list could go on and on. Books also continue to be a love of hers. We read dozens every day (sometimes the same book dozens of times!) and she also spends quite a bit of time looking at them on her own. Yesterday she was obsessed with her Five in the Bed book and asked me to read it so many times that I couldn't stand the thought of reading it again so I hid it under a stack of other books on her shelf and then distracted her with another toy. Eventually when she wanted another story and I told her to go get a book I assumed she would take the top book on one of the stacks and I would be spared another go round of "Roll over, roll over," but much to my dismay she rummaged through all the piles of books until she found the Five in the Bed book and then brought it over to me and signed for me to read it! I was absolutely shocked that she searched through the piles to find it. I had always thought that her choice of books was random and she just picked up whatever book she happened to get her hands on, but apparently not. She seems to actually be choosing books based on her interests for the day. That is so crazy for me. It seems so odd to think of her as a little person with actual tastes in literature already, but she is growing and maturing so quickly that I shouldn't be surprised.

I'm back again and now it's Wednesday. Hannah and I just had a battle over a nap. I eventually won, but boy did it take it out of me. While her sleep at night is getting much better, naps are becoming more and more of a struggle. She just wants to go go go all the time and now that she can stand up in her crib she will hold onto the bars and shake them and scream and scream. Before if I left her to cry it out and fall asleep at least she was already laying down. Now while she's screaming standing up she has no chance of just drifting off to sleep. It's such a hard problem to figure out. I feel like such a meanie letting her cry. :( I know she's tired. She knows she's tired. But she just doesn't want to miss a single thing that might happen while she sleeps and so she fights. Hopefully this stage will soon pass before I get too many grey hairs.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Yucky Cold

Hannah has a yucky cold at the moment and it's making her really cranky. Last night she just did not want to go to bed :( Bad timing since Kyle's PE exam is today! Eventually she did go to bed, but she was up early this morning and was of course cranky by 9:00am. Other than this recent cold, Hannah's sleep has been much better lately. She's been going down without a fight and even taking some longer naps!

She continues to love her table food, especially watermelon, and is really scarfing it down. The saga of the sippy cup continues. You will be happy to know that I have not completely turned Hannah away from her sippy cup. She will again gladly drink water from it just like before, but she is pretty hesitant about anything else. I did manage to get her to drink some extremely diluted juice from it two different times, but still no formula :( It's like she has this little rule in her mind that says that formula is for bottles and mommies hold bottles and water is for sippy cups and babies hold sippy cups. I'm going to try some formula in the sippy cup again today and see how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

As far as her language development goes, she's started to catch on to the sign for dog and likes saying the word cat which comes out at tat. She's also decided that she loves to have books read to her and she will actually bring me a book and sign more and then climb in my lap for me to read it to her! This just melts my heart :) I have always dreamed about snuggling up to read a good book with Hannah and now it's reality. Sometimes she'll even be on her play mat and sign more and I'll ask her what she wants more of and she'll look towards her book shelf. When I say, go pick a book and mommy will read it to you, she crawls over to her shelf, rummages through to find the book she wants and brings it right over and hands it to me. Then she crawls in my lap and makes the more sign to tell me I haven't started reading fast enough! I'm working on teaching her the sign for book so that she can be more specific, but so far she hasn't caught on to that one yet. Another cute thing she has been doing lately is saying hi anytime someone walks into the room or anytime someone says hello to her. It makes me smile so much to hear her say it because she sounds all sweet and innocent when she does it. We tried to get a video of it, but she was more interested in the camera than talking. I'll post it anyway as soon as I can get it uploaded as it is quite funny.

Other news in the physical development department is that Hannah has another tooth. It's her top left one. I think I can see her top right just under the skin, but so far it hasn't popped through. Pulling up in now old hat for Hannah and she does it left and right on everything she can. Yesterday I caught her standing up holding onto the seat of the bar stool at the breakfast bar with her knee up on the bottom rung. She was trying to get it stable enough to bring her other knee up and climb! UGH! I am not ready for that! Hannah's hand eye coordination is also getting better. She can now easily put the rings on her rock and stack (all except the orange and red ones because the holes are really small) and is starting to try to put the shapes through the holes on her shape sorter.

Just a side story for you, for Easter Pap (Kyle's dad) and Mindy gave Hannah this pink fuzzy bunny that sings "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands." while it's ears go up and down to the beat. We thought she might be afraid of it because it's loud and I think a little scary, but Hannah absolutely LOVES it. She will crawl over to her toy box and make the more sign (she does that when she wants anything these days it seems!). I'll ask her what she wants more of and she'll get this shy look and reach in and swipe at the bunny and smile then make the more sign again. I tell her, well then get him out. Usually she tries to pull him out, but he's kind of heavy and she can't usually get him. After I make her try for awhile I ask her if she needs help and get the bunny out for her. She then makes the more sign and smiles so I turn the bunny on and let him sing. She gets really quiet while he sings and watches it intently. Then, as soon as the music stops she makes the more sign to start it up again. Usually we have to eventually tell her all done, otherwise she would listen to that bunny all night and drive us absolutely crazy! I dread the day when she has the coordination to actually make it sing on her own! We may have to make the batteries disappear when that day comes!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stranger Anxiety

Hannah has a BAD case of stranger anxiety at the moment. She absolutely does not want anyone besides me, Kyle, Grandpa, or Sarah to hold her or really even look at her. She's even been giving her friend Evelyn the cold shoulder :( My books say that this is normal and even a healthy display of her attachment to us, but it worries me. It seems like overnight she went from a social, happy little girl to a terrified baby who clings desperately to me any time she thinks I might leave or someone else might touch her. I'm at a loss for what to do. Do I comfort her and hold her until she warms up to people or do I make her tough it out and leave her at the nursery at church. It's so hard to decide and I've found literature supporting both approaches. I don't want to prolong this stage or keep her from learning how to branch out on her own, but it hurts me to see her so unhappy when someone else reaches for her. It really does break my heart when she clings onto me for dear life.

Hannah's skill in pulling up and standing is getting quite good. She really does not need anything to grab ahold of now to stand up. She just needs something like a wall to brace herself against. She's even started cruising a bit on the furniture, but I'm not sure she really gets that she can travel around that way yet.

Hannah had her 9 month check up on Monday and she passed with flying colors. She now weighs 21 lbs and is 29 inches long. She's in the 90th percentile for height and the 85th for weight. Her growth has slowed down a bit although her weight did take a major setback when she got sick since she lost an entire pound in 5 days from the diarrhea! Speaking of her weight, she's getting so heavy that it's really starting to get difficult for me to pick her up and carry her around. My hands and wrists are starting to get sore from the repetitive motion of it all. Even Kyle says he's starting to get sore from hauling her around. She had better learn to walk and travel around by herself pretty soon if she plans on getting any heavier.

Hannah continues to plow right through her food and seems to be hungry ALL the time. She makes the sign for food about every 1 1/2 hours! Consequently she's been eating more table food because of that and she LOVES it. In the past week she's had watermelon, apples, honeydew, lasagna, cheese cubes, and toast. That's in addition to her baby food, formula, and of course her wagon wheels, veggie puffs, cheerios, and zweibeck toast!

Books continue to be one of Hannah's favorite things to play with. She will sit in her tunnel for sometimes 15 or 20 minutes and just intently look at her books. She flips the pages one by one slowly as if she's actually reading them! Of course we know she's just looking at the pictures, but it's still very cute!

Ok, so it's been almost a week since I started this post and I have a few new things to add. First, Hannah has started saying the word "hi" when she sees someone (even herself in the mirror!). Today she was with me at the grocery store and twice when she caught people looking at her she said "Hi!" in a very sweet voice. Of course when they tried to talk back to her she got scared and ducked her head, but at least it's a start. She also says "hi" to Kyle everyday when he gets home from work.

The next news is a little weird. You see, Hannah has this purple caterpillar that has 26 legs with a letter of the alphabet on each leg. Well, the caterpillar does many things like say colors, letters, letter sounds, and play music. It also would make this creepy little laugh every so often. That laugh really wigged me out, but I could never figure out what button needed to be pushed in order to make it laugh and I never actually saw what Hannah did each time that it laughed. I was starting to be convinced that the caterpillar was possessed or something. Anyway, today it made that laugh again and Kyle happened to see part of what Hannah was doing just before it went off. I had thought I had pushed every button and combination of buttons on that darn bug to try to get it to laugh, but apparently not because Kyle was able to figure out the secret combination of buttons to make the caterpillar laugh. Not only did it laugh, but it also said, "That tickles!" So, the verdict is that the caterpillar has to be in the letter sounds mode and you have to push the "A" leg and then immediately push the "Z" leg in order for it to laugh. It's kinda like an Easter Egg on a DVD or video game or those hidden warp levels in Mario Brothers! I wonder how many more secret combinations of legs there are that will eventually weird me out even more about that darn caterpillar?!?

Ok, on to more news, yesterday Hannah had a surprise visitor. Her birthfather, Mike, stopped by to visit her! He was in Lafayette on business and was trying to get to Crawfordsville and got lost. He called me up for directions and it turned out that he was less than a mile from the house! So, he came on over and got to see Hannah for the first time since October and I wrote him out directions to get him where he needed to go. We are also going to get to see both he and Tiffany and the twins tomorrow after church since they will be bringing the pictures that we got taken of all the kids in their Easter outfits. I can't wait to see them again and actually have some time to sit down and visit without being rushed.

Hannah continues to use both her signs and words to express her feelings. Besides using hi she also uses mom mom and dada quite often along with Ella. I'm pretty sure she thinks that all dogs are called Ella since she says that every time she sees a dog or hears one barking, but we are working on that. I'm making a special effort to call the pets dogs and cats when she sees them and I've introduced the signs for dog and cat too. It seems like Hannah is a little sponge just soaking up information and trying to copy everything we do so I've really stepped up the signing and she really seems to be enjoying it. She's now proficient at using eat, drink, and more in the correct situations. She understands the signs for no, don't touch, and gentle touch and I've introduced dog, cat, help, mother, father, brush your teeth, brush your hair, and bed.

After talking to Hannah's doctor at her 9 month appointment I decided it was time to start slowly weaning Hannah off of her bottle and transitioning her to drinking her formula and eventually milk out of her sippy cup. Unfortunately Hannah is not too keen on that idea. Putting formula in her sippy cup caused huge tantrums! So we decided that we need to get her used to having other things besides water in her sippy cup. Today we gave her some diluted juice in it and after two tastes of it she refused to drink from the cup. She actually covered up her mouth and pushed my hand with the cup away to protest the juice instead of just not picking up the cup to drink! It looks like it's going to be a long road ahead teaching her that more than just water can be in a sippy cup.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Pulling Up

Hannah pulled up on the coffee table for the first time last night! She actually repeated her new trick several times that night and has done it once today as well. She's been using our hands to pull herself up for quite awhile now, but this was the first time she was actually successful using something other than us. She continues to enjoy walking around the house with our help and her crawling speed is still increasing (it's unbelievable how fast she is!). Pretty soon she'll be cruising around the furniture I suppose and then my life will REALLY change. Hannah's also started to repeat the words that we ask her to say. She can now repeat mom mom, dada, cat, dog, duck, cat, and hi. Yesterday she even yelled Ella when Ella started barking, just like we do! She continues to study intently everything she can get her hands on and has even started sorting objects although I'm not always clear on her categories! Yesterday she was sorting bibs and then taking them out of their basket and putting them back in one by one. It was very cute! She has a little crawl through tunnel (it used to be her play gym) that she loves to drag books inside and "read" them. Today she spent probably 15 minutes alone in her tent reading and comparing her books. She such a big girl!

Well, I'm back again and now it's Friday. Hannah pulled up on all sorts of things yesterday and is getting quite good at it. Today when she didn't want to go down for her nap I found her screaming standing up in her crib shaking the bars! It looked like she was in prison :( Hannah has also been eating many more finger foods. Now she's tried tomatoes, chicken, tortilla, cheerios, onions, and toast. She's getting really sassy about asking for food and wants to try everything we are eating if she isn't busy eating something of her own!

Hannah has also been liking to "help" us do things. She loves to turn off the light in her room, turn the pages of books we are reading to her, brush her own hair as well as mommy's, and brush her teeth. The brushing her own teeth is absolutely adorable. She opens her mouth and says "Ahhhh" as soon as she sees me getting out the toothbrush and toothpaste! Then she holds the brush with me while I brush her teeth. Then I give it to her to do by herself and she opens her mouth, says ahhh, and moves the brush back and forth inside her mouth. It's absolutely adorable. I can't wait to get a video of it.

Well, that's all the updates I have for today. I'm sure I'll have many more soon as it seems like Hannah is making developmental leaps and bounds every single day.

PS. Notice in the picture that Hannah wants to hold the leaf by it's "handle" AKA the stem. It's the only way she would touch it after she initially felt it!

Monday, April 02, 2007

New Word

Hannah learned a new word yesterday. Now, besides saying Mom Mom and DaDa, she can say Ella! When Hannah was first born we used to joke about Ella being Hannah's first word since she hears us yell it so much and it seems like we weren't that far off. She's really been enjoying trying it out.

She continues to crawl absolutely everywhere and it really wears me out. She is so curious and wants to explore everything. She knows there are certain places that she is not supposed to go and there are certain things she is not supposed to touch. She even tells us no by shaking her head as she is crawling towards them, but she just can't help herself from trying to touch them anyway!

Her proficiency with her signs is also improving and she's telling us she is hungry a lot now. She's also been taking longer naps this past week so I think she may be hitting another growth spurt. Hannah as also become more interested in eating table food and has tried shredded cheese, cheerios, broccoli, and corn lately. She really likes to sit in her high chair and eat dinner with us.

The tantrums have continued although they seem to be getting better. I can usually predict when one is about to hit now which is nice. Her new thing however is stranger anxiety. She has not been liking to be held by or left with anyone she doesn't know really well. I actually had to go get her from the nursery at church yesterday because I could hear her screaming from the basement while I was upstairs in the sanctuary during service! The poor thing was terrified. Apparently my friend Sarah (Evelyn's mom) had been down there earlier dropping Evelyn off and Hannah calmed right down when Sarah took her from the nursery worker, but that calmness didn't last after Sarah left :(

Here is one last video I have of Hannah playing in her jumperoo.