Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The B Word

Yup, you guessed it, Hannah is obsessed with the B word. Bananas are now her favorite food. In fact we have to be careful not to say it unless we are prepared to give her one right then because she will want one if she hears it. If we walk past bananas in the store, if she sees some on TV, notices them on the counter, or even hears the word in a song she starts saying banana over and over again and really expects you to get her some to eat right that very second! Whenever she is eating something else she will almost always work in a request for bananas and then look at us expectantly waiting for that sticky yellow fruit to appear on her tray. It is very cute, BUT if there are no more bananas or it's not time to eat then things can get a bit ugly!

Hannah rode in her bike trailer again last night and really enjoyed herself. We went on a much longer ride this time than in the past and she just hung out back there checking out all the sights. By the end of the ride she had fallen asleep. She was so sleepy that Kyle actually managed to get her out of the trailer, take her helmet off, and put her in her crib without her really waking up. She slept for over an hour then and we eventually had to wake her up because we knew she needed to eat at least one more time before bed if she were going to make it through the night.

Hannah is doing better about drinking her formula and is eating lots of solid foods, but now her sleep issues are back. We are having to ferber her almost every night and I have to do it for most naps now too. :( It's really hard to hear her crying, but something has to give. She has to have some sleep. Lately when it is time to go into the room to calm her down a bit, she's been rolling over on her side and curling up in a ball while I rub her back. She sniffles and gulps as she fights to stop crying and does that until she falls asleep. It just breaks my heart to hear her, but I don't know what else to do. I don't even bother rocking her while I sing her songs to her anymore because she just gets upset because she knows she's going to bed. She also completely weaned herself off of her pacifier so she doesn't have that as a comfort anymore either. Her lovey helps some as does her aquarium music maker, but there doesn't seem to be much else we can do to help her get herself to sleep.
Hannah has been using the word and sign for help a lot lately. Whenever she wants to do something but is having trouble doing it, instead of immediately getting frustrated and crying she looks at us with a questioning look and signs and says help. Two incidents that happened lately were really cute. Hannah was playing with the remote control on the floor and Kyle grabbed a hold of it and wouldn't let it go. Hannah kept pulling and pulling, but she couldn't get it out of his hand. So, she turned to me and signed and said help and then looked back at Kyle and locked her eyes of the remote! After a few more repeat performances of Daddy holding the remote hostage Hannah decided that it wasn't even worth it to try to pull the remote out of his hands so as soon as he picked it up she signed and said help to me without even reaching for it at all! Then yesterday Evelyn was over and she was looking at a book that Hannah really wanted to play with. Hannah made a few half-hearted swipes at the book in Evelyn's hands and then turned to me with such a sweet face and said and signed help! She wanted ME to take the book away from Evelyn! We had a little conversation about sharing our toys and how Mommy would not take the book away from Evelyn since Evelyn had it first, but that she could see it when Evelyn was done. Then I tried to distract her!

I have lots of videos to post of Hannah. Many of them are from all the way back in April, but I thought you all might like to see them anyway. I'll try to spread them out between several different posts.
This first video is of Hannah brushing my hair.
These next two videos are of Hannah reading books in her tunnel. The book she is reading is actually the same book she wanted me to help her get away from Evelyn yesterday!
Hannah was really proud when she finally learned how to make her top work all by herself.
The dog crates provides hours of enjoyment for both Hannah and Evelyn!

PS. Take note of all the funny faces Hannah is making in this post. I don't know what got into her, but I was getting all sorts of sassy faces out of her that day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

First Sentence

Hannah used her first sentence the other day and I about passed out I was so shocked! I was feeding her solids (a banana and cereal) and she signed more and then said banana. When I just stared at her she repeated the combo! Ever since she's been asking for bananas every time I put her in her highchair. Sometimes the word sounds like nana, but about half of the time she gets it almost exactly right and says all 3 syllables (or sometimes four if she gets excited)! It sounds like Baaa nanana. Yesterday she also made the sign for cat for the first time and pair it with tat. She's been obsessed with the box of cat litter (not the actual litter box, but what you buy the litter in) today. It has pictures of cats on it and she keeps crawling over to it and saying and signing cat. She's also been playing with her new picture magnets a bunch today and saying mamaw over and over. Hannah still hasn't been very interested in her walker lately. She is however practicing walking using my hands. It really does seem like she is concentrating on learning to talk rather than on physical accomplishments. She jabbers all day long and uses the words she knows get results as often as she can!

Swim class ended yesterday and I must say it was a bit disappointing since the instructor didn't even show up. We may try to go some place different for swimming this summer. Who knows, maybe Hannah will get her own baby pool.

I can hardly believe it but Hannah is almost a year old! I got an email from one of the online baby development sites I visit and it just hit me. I thought, "wow, surely it hasn't been a year yet?", but I guess it has. Thankfully, I finally got around to reserving the shelter house for her birthday party so we will all have somewhere to party in a few weeks. Her party will be July 7th at 2:00pm at the park by our house. Everyone is welcome to come help Hannah celebrate her big day with cake and ice cream. Feel free to bring your bikes, Rollerblades, basketballs or other outdoor toys to play with at the park. I'm looking forward to all our friends and family meeting Tiffany and Mike and for them to meet you all! Hannah has so many people who love her. It will be awesome to have them all in one place for once.

It's been a few days since I started this post and I already have some more updates. Hannah has learned two new signs and a new word! Hannah now both says and signs cat. She would say it sometimes before, but not do the sign at all. Now she's even doing the sign when she sees a picture of a cat or even a cat on TV. Tonight I was watching Shrek 2 to prepare for Kyle and I's next date night where we plan to watch Shrek 3. Every time Puss N Boots came on the screen Hannah would sign and say cat. It really made me smile. Interestingly enough, every time she saw Donkey she would either say Ella or sign and say dog! Her newest word and sign she did for the first time tonight, but I'm sure she's got it down pat as she did it continually is cheese. She loves to eat cheese and I showed her the sign for it for the first time on Friday. Tonight I did it again and she immediately did it back to me and said, eeze. Every time she would run out of cheese on her tray she would sign more and then sign and say cheese! So, a new sign and another sentence. In other Hannah news, she's finally decided to get back to using her walker again. She's been going all over the place with it this weekend. She even improvised while at Grandpa's house yesterday and used his rolly chair!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Bottle Battles

Since my last post Hannah's formula consumption went from bad to worse. She started refusing all formula from a cup or a bottle and screaming at the top of her lungs when she even saw any. She was SO HUNGRY, but she refused to eat. We thought maybe her teeth were hurting her so we tried Oragel and Tylenol. We tried holding her, putting her in her highchair, and even letting her sit on the floor. Nothing worked. We had several tense days where I fretted over her getting enough nutrition and I almost called the doctor again, but then finally she began to eat a little again. Oddly enough she will start out her formula in the highchair drinking from the sippy cup. She will drink maybe one or two ounces and then refuse to drink from the cup any more even if we hold it (that's a complete backslide as she was drinking her entire amount from the cup for at least two whole weeks prior to this recent battle). If we try to force the cup she will scream and cry. So, now we have to put the rest of the formula into a bottle and hold it for her in her highchair or pick her up and hold her for her to drink the rest. Sometimes she will drink it all and sometimes she won't, but at least she's getting most of it down. We have cut her back to 6 oz a bottle again until she starts consistently drinking it all. Today she did ask for more during two of her bottles so that is encouraging. I wonder what caused all this fuss? She seemed to be doing great and then BANG! she lost all the progress she had made. Maybe she's just not ready to be weaned yet. I might have to break down and buy some more bottles after all :(

Hannah is so active these days that I am absolutely exhausted at the end of each day. Actually I'm exhausted by 9:00am, but who's counting! She goes like a mad woman all day long and she's into absolutely EVERYTHING. She's even become sneaky and will crawl away really quietly while my eyes are turned for just a second. When she realizes that I've found her she will giggle and start to crawl away faster! She's only taking one nap a day now so I have no time to really get any work done. It's no longer safe to go into another room for even a second to grab something to work on and I have no means of containing her other than her crib and I don't want to use that as anything other than a place to sleep so I'm pretty much out of options. Hannah and I play and read all day (or I chase her around and try to undo the destruction she leaves in her wake) and then I kick it into overdrive the minute she goes down for a nap to try to get things done.

Hannah's vocabulary continues to increase and she really uses her words and her signs to get her point across. In the past week she's started using "up" a lot It's so hard to say no to her when she asks so nicely!) and every time I take her to our bedroom she makes a beeline straight for the bathroom saying duck, duck, duck and grabs her rubber duckie off of the edge of the tub! She's also said Grandpa, banana, and Mamaw for the first time and has started naming people in her picture books as we look at the pictures. She can correctly identify, Mom, Dad, and Evelyn. The Mamaw utterance was also in response to a picture of Mamaw. Phones continue to intrigue her and she talks to Daddy on the phone everyday at work. She even left him a voicemail this week!

I almost forgot to tell everyone that she got her 4th and 5th teeth in. Now she has 3 on the top and two on the bottom. She's still drooling like crazy and chewing on everything so I figure another one on the top can't be far behind. Her stranger/separation anxiety continues. She's going to be spending the day with Mamaw and Papaw tomorrow so hopefully she will go easy on them! I'm praying that this stage will ease up soon. It really does break my heart to see her so scared. It hurts people's feelings too. They really want to hold her, but Hannah wants nothing to do with them.

The dogs and cats have been so good with Hannah lately and she's started to get a lot better about gentle touches. She was hugging Abby like crazy last night and Abby actually seemed to enjoy it. Every time we let Ella out of her crate she immediately runs over to Hannah and tries to lick her on the face! Hannah thinks that is pretty funny. Even Sadie and Penny have been less apt to run for the basement when they see Hannah coming. The other day Hannah kept putting her bugaboo around Sadie's neck like a necklace! She was such a good cat and just sat there patiently while Hannah took it on and off over and over again. Unfortunately for Saddie, Hannah's not very good at just lifting it straight up so Sadie had to endure a fair amound of pulling on her head and neck each time Hannah attempted to remove it. She was a good cat though and never even acted angry.

I'm back again after our weekend excursion to work on Grandpa's house. We almost have it all done. There's just a little bit left to do next Saturday, but basically it's good to go! :) Hannah won't know what to do without Grandpa at her house anymore! Hannah spent all day Saturday and all day Sunday with Mamaw and Papaw while we worked. On Saturday she had a really rough time. She was fussy the entire day and went on another hunger strike. She refused 2 bottles and a solid food feeding. Eventually though she couldn't hold out any longer. Mamaw took her on a walk which made her sleepy so she took a nap. After she woke up from her nap she ate for an hour straight! She had a bottle, a full meal of solids, plus wagon wheels and veggie puffs. On Sunday she did MUCH better. No more hunger strikes, no more fussiness, and she even learned some new words. Mamaw is now firmly engrained as part of her vocabulary as is Zeke (Mamaw and Papaw's dog). Mamaw gave her magnets that have pictures of she and Papaw and one that has Zeke's picture on it and Hannah can look at those magnets on our fridge and tell us it is Mamaw or Zeke. Occasionally, Zeke is called Ella (that's still proving to be a tough habit to break! surely all dogs are named Ella!), but she does know his name and loves to give his picture on the magnet kisses :)

The last two nights have been really rough in the sleep department for Hannah. She has absolutely refused to go down at night. We do her entire bedtime routine and she is fine, but as soon as we turn out the light to sing her her first song she goes ballistic. On Sunday night Kyle used the vibrating rocking chair to finally get her calmed down, but last night we just let her cry and did the Ferber method. They both seemed to work equally well, which translates as neither worked very well at all, but in the end she did eventually go to sleep after much screaming and hysterics. Her 6th tooth popped through Sunday night so I thought that maybe that had been the problem so I did preventative care last night before I put Hannah to bed by giving her some Tylenol and oragel, but it didn't seem to help at all. So far I've only got to see that new tooth twice and very briefly both times. Kyle still hasn't got a glimpse of it yet, but it's definitely there.

Hannah just keeps growing and growing. Recently I bought her some really cute clothes at Old Navy using a Christmas gift card I had. I bought size 18-24 months. Sounded reasonable to me given Hannah is only 10 months old! Well, apparently I was wrong because when I got them home I decided to try them on her before I cut the tags off (good choice on my part!). The T shirt I couldn't even get to fit over her head and the dress I managed to get on, but it was already snug. So, back I went to the mall later that week to exchange them both for 2T sizes! The worst part is that neither of those 2T sizes are any too big. They fit her just perfectly now. There will be no "growing into" these particular clothes. They fit right now and once she grows a bit they won't fit at all! So, if anyone ever has the urge to buy Hannah clothes absolutely do not get anything smaller than 24 months that you want her to wear right this second and nothing smaller than 2T that you think she might wear for the rest of the summer. In the past two weeks I've had to retire 4 pairs of pants, 3 shirts, and a jacket. We even had to buy all new socks sized 24-36 months! I also think I forgot to mention to you all that Hannah got her feet measured at the specialty shoe store in the mall and she wears a size 4 1/2 wide. That explained why the size 4 shoes she got for Christmas and the size 5 shoes that I recently bought her to replace them did not fit. Her foot was just too wide to even get inside! It didn't matter what the length of the shoe was since I couldn't even get it shoved through the hole!

One of Hannah's current favorite activities is wearing things as bracelets. She likes to use the rings off of her rock -n- stack or her bugaboo as bracelets for her arms and legs (and mom, dad, or grandpa's arms and legs) or as necklaces for the cats! She's got this funny little one handed flip thing she does to get them on her arms and she thinks it's great fun to put them on and take them off repeatedly. Another new skill Hannah has been working on is putting the shapes into the right holes in her shape sorter. She understands that the shapes go inside the holes, but she lacks all the necessary hand-eye coordination to consistently get them through the hole each time. Then there is that pesky business about picking the correct hole to shove them through as well. Mommy has to help with that, but she is learning to try another if the first one doesn't work.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Formula Frustrations

Hannah has decided lately that she just doesn't want her formula anymore. She would much rather eat Cheerios, baby food, or whatever mom and dad are eating. Unfortunately, the doctor says she's not old enough to wean herself off of the formula yet so somehow we have to make her drink it. That's not an easy task either. She's such a strong girl that it's difficult to force her to do anything. On a positive not, what formula she does drink is now entirely out of sippy cup! The bottles are history and just in time too. They've been dropping like flies in the dishwasher lately. We lost 3 alone last night when the heat of the dishwasher cracked the plastic. Since she's been taking all of her formula out of the sippy cup we decided to see if she would hold the cup herself (we had been holding it for her like a bottle-one step at a time!). If we were holding her she refused to hold the cup, but when I put her in her highchair last night and this morning she held the cup by herself and drank all of the formula that she intended to drink! So, even though she's not drinking as much formula as she should be, at least the formula that she is drinking is being fed to her by her own hand. That's an achievement anyway!

Hannah still has her cold mentioned in a previous post. It started to get better, but then came back. Now, however, she's traded a fever for laryngitis. Her poor little voice is about gone. It cracks when she talks and is all husky and raspy sounding :( Actually, it's very cute to hear, but I know it's not good for her because it's all that drainage that's causing it. Kyle and I have become expert snot suckers. We have our routine down to a T. Poor Hannah absolutely hates it and I can't say that I blame her, but it's got to be done. When I'm home alone with her it's quite a challenge to clear it out though. She is SO STRONG. I can barely even get the aspirator near her nose. Maybe if I had four arms, but even then I'm not sure!

Hannah got a new bike helmet (this one is smaller than her previous one and she can't pull it off) so she finally got to be ungrounded and go back out in her bike trailer with Daddy. She really didn't care for wearing the helmet, but at least she couldn't get this one off. Eventually she gave up and just sat back and enjoyed the ride. She enjoys riding in her baby back pack so much that I hope she eventually gets as excited about riding in the trailer as she does about it. It's to the point when she sees us get the backpack out she crawls over really fast and gets excited. I'd love to see her get that way about seeing her bike helmet too!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Talking Up a Storm

Hannah has definitely got the hang of the whole communication thing. She's been talking and signing like crazy lately. For example, the other day Kyle was feeding her and she wasn't wanting to eat. She kept grabbing at her bib and pulling, but the Velcro was too strong for her to get it off. Eventually she got frustrated and signed help to Kyle while also saying "elp" Then I told her that if she took her bib off then she would be finished and so she signed finished! Kyle and I just looked at each other in amazement! So, here's a rundown of all the signs she does, the ones she knows, but doesn't actually do, and all the words she can say. Signs she actually makes: eat, drink, dog, help, finished, book, more. Signs she knows, but does not do: don't touch, no, cat, diaper change, gentle touch. Words she says: mom mom, dada, Ella, Evelyn (sounds like Eva), dog, up, help, uh book. She also understands a lot of what we say to her now as well. I can ask her to go get a book and she will bring one to me. Kyle told her to put back some onesies she had taken out of a drawer and she put them back. She amazes me every single day :)

Since Hannah has been so focused on language lately she's not been very interested in walking. I haven't got her to go more than a few steps with her walker in the last week. She's been much more interested in examining absolutely everything she can find. I took her outside today and she had a blast playing with the sticks, rocks, and flowers in the yard. In fact, she had so much fun that she threw a tantrum when it was time to go inside.

Last weekend Hannah was very busy. Kyle and I did the mini marathon so Hannah had to stay with her Aunt Heather, Grandpa, and Terri. Becky was there part of the time too (thank heavens since Hannah loves Becky!). Hannah was not very happy about being left without mommy and daddy so she decided to pull a hunger strike and refused to eat her bottle and her solid feeding for any of them! She also behaved so badly that it took two people to get her pants back on after a diaper change! After Kyle and I were done with the mini we went to Tiffany's house for the twins' birthday party. Hannah had fun crawling around the yard and swinging on the swing set with daddy.

Hannah continues to enjoy her Mommy and Me swim class and has graduated to a bubble belt (see picture) to help her float. She's also been practicing blowing bubbles and she's done it twice, but mostly she just likes to drink the water when I put her face down in the water!

As Mother's Day approaches I am amazed at what a difference a year can make. This time last year I was sad, but hopeful that one day I would be a mommy (we were matched with Tiffany and Mike, but we had not heard from her in awhile). Attending church was just too painful so we skipped the service and went out to eat instead to take my mind off it. This year I am overwhelmed with the love I feel for my little girl. When she smiles at me I just melt. Just sitting here thinking about her as I write is making me tear up. My life has changed more than I ever thought that it could, but I can't imagine anything that could ever be better. For Mother's Day Hannah and I are going to go get our pictures taken together at JC Pennys and I am going to splurge and get one of those multi-image enhancements that I always drool over. It's my first Mother's Day, I figure I deserve it! :) Now I just have to decide what we will wear!

Lately Hannah has been enjoying talking to people on the phone. She especially loves to talk to her daddy at work. She will say Hi, Dad and Bye-Bye to him. It's so cute. Speaking of saying Hi, Sarah and I went shopping earlier in the week and Hannah said hi to no less than 6 different people in one store! It was quite cute. She can be very persistent with her "Hi." She may say it dozens of times to the same person just to be sure that you are paying attention to her!