Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

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.

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