Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Good-Bye Bottle

Hannah has finally given up her bottles. She now drinks her formula exclusively from her sippy cup with no complaint! I'm so glad we were able to get rid of the bottles before it was time to get rid of the formula too. I think two changes at once would have just been too much for her. She really doesn't seem to deal with changes regarding food well! Speaking of food, she now has a new favorite food that has ousted bananas (they are still near the top though!) as top dog. Her new favorite is goldfish crackers. She absolutely loves them and asks for them by name. It so neat to see her sign/say "more fish please." She really is turning into a little person!

On Tuesday I bought her one of her birthday presents, but it was so cool that I couldn't wait to give it to her. So, I caved in and cleaned it up for her to play with (I bought it at a second hand kids store) and we have had a blast playing with it. It's this little dinosaur that has 4 holes with ramps attached to them. You put a ball into one of the holes and it pops out of the dinosaur at the end of the same colored ramp. It also plays a little song each time you put a ball in. One of the ramps exits out of the dinosaurs mouth and every 3rd or 4th time a ball comes out the dinosaur makes this little growl at the beginning and end of the song that plays and I think that is Hannah's favorite part of the toy. Each time she puts a ball in she looks at me expectantly and goes, "rarow". It is SO cute. I'll have to get a video of it so you all can see what I mean. I'm positive it doesn't sound as cute in writing as it does to actually see it!

Hannah continues to try to repeat almost everything we say and today she was on a kick of saying "bible." She kept climbing up in the library chair and trying to get my bible off the coffee table. I kept taking it away from her and saying, "No, that is mommy's bible. Here is Hannah's bible" and then giving her her book. After that she kept raising up the book and saying bible. :) What a smart girl she is! Hannah has also been really practicing her climbing and is getting good enough at it that her fearlessness is starting to scare me. I don't know what she'll be into next (possibly climbing the bookcases!), but I'm sure it will give me a heart attack.

It's been a few days since I started this post and I have some more Hannah updates to write before I publish this entry. Hannah continues to be really interested in reading her bible (and unfortunately mine as well!) in the corner chair in the library. That is officially the bible chair. I guess since she seems me read my bible there quite a bit she has decided that that is where she should read hers too. All morning today she kept climbing into the chair, saying bible, signing book, and tossing her bible at me to read. Then of course she would lose interest in her bible and make a lunge for mine! She certainly keeps me busy.

Yesterday we went to visit Kyle's brother Kevin. It was the first time Hannah had been to Uncle Kevin's house and I think she approved of it. She had a nice time exploring things and really enjoyed it when we played Kevin's Wii. We were playing a tennis game and we were all jumping around and swinging our arms and Hannah got so excited she started yelling, laughing hysterically,and swinging her arms around too and banging her hands on some boxes on the floor. It was quite cute to see her.

Today we took Hannah back down to the park and she played some more. Once again she loved the swings so much that she threw a huge fit when we took her out of them. We actually got some video of this fit so I'll try to post it soon. She rode the Gecko rocking toy again (which she aparently thinks looks like her new dinosaur toy because she kept saying "rarow" when she was on it!) and climbed all over the jungle gym. She's getting to be a pro at climbing up stairs and really enjoyed crawling on all the different platforms of the gym. What we didn't expect was that Hannah would like the slide so much and be so good at it. By the time we were ready to go Hannah was going down the slides by herself! She's a little adrenaline junky so she thought going fast was really cool.

We're gearing up for the big party all this week. I still can't believe that it's been a year already. I took all her pacis out of the cabinet today and I must say that it made me a little sad to think she's so grown up that she doesn't need what I think was the staple of her baby existence-her paci. The time has just flew by so quickly. I still remember so clearly when Donna (Tiffany's mom) came out and told us that we could come in and see our daughter. It was the most amazing moment of my life. I never imagined that she would grow into such a beautiful, wonderful little girl this fast. Right before my eyes she has blossomed into a little person with such an unique personality and so full of love. I feel so blessed that God gave us the task of raising her. She has taught us so many things.

In honor of her first birthday, tomorrow we are going to start weaning her off of formula and onto cow's milk. We plan to start off with a half and half combo until we finish the can of formula we have open and then switch over completely. That's the plan anyway. We'll see how it goes.

Ok, it's Monday now and I still haven't managed to publish this post. We've started introducing the whole milk today and as I feared it isn't going well. Hannah is only drinking about 3 oz of the mixture before chucking her cup and asking for goldfish (or any other food besides milk!). She just threw a HUGE tantrum about 20 minutes ago and is now sleeping in her crib because she exhausted herself screaming when I wouldn't give her any goldfish until she finished her milk.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Busy Weekend

Hannah had a very busy weekend. Thursday Kyle and I took her to the zoo and she really enjoyed herself. She had a play date with Evelyn Friday night so Kyle and I could go watch Evan Almighty. Saturday IAC (our adoption agency) had a picnic so we traveled to Franklin for that. Sunday was the Clod reunion so we did that and also stopped by to visit Mamaw and Papaw on the way there. Hannah was absolutely exhausted after all of our traveling, but she still had trouble sleeping. Both nights she was up several times during the night. We think her teeth are bothering her and that she is hungry. She's finally back to eating as much as she did before she got sick and then some! Yesterday and today she has been hungry ALL day. She would seriously eat all day if I let her. I'm having a hard time of knowing exactly how much to let her eat. Not even a week ago I was calling the doctor because I was worried she wasn't eating enough and now I don't know how to tell if she's eating too much!

Today she accidentally stood on her own for about 20 seconds. That was exciting! She pulled herself up on me and was trying to get my sunglasses off my head (we were wearing our sunglasses in the house to get used to having them on!) and as I moved my head around she just let go of me and started swiping at the glasses with both hands at the same time. Eventually she realized she wasn't holding on, freaked out, and fell down, but still she was pretty steady before she noticed. The problem is that she doesn't really WANT to stand on her own. Her friend Evelyn is rock solid and can stand up from the floor without even holding onto anything and then stay there infinitely, but Hannah has no interest in that. She's spending all her time developing her vocabulary. At the zoo she learned some new words and signs and loved practicing the ones she already knows. Her newest and most endearing sign is please. She's getting really good at asking for things and adding the please onto whatever she wants. She even pulls it out when she really wants to do something and we are telling her no. She's finally got her name down pat and likes to point to pictures of herself around the house and say, "Haaanaaah." She almost always draws the vowel sounds out, but it's so cute to hear her.

Lately she's been loving sharing fruit with me. She really likes to bite off the pieces by herself instead of me cutting a piece off for her. I guess sharing that apple with her way back when started something. She now loves to eat apples, peaches, and plums as well as bananas just like a big person. She does think that apple is the universal word for round fruit that you bite off the core, but we are working on that. Last night we were sharing a peach and she sucked every last shred of fruit off of the pit and then threw a major fit when I had to throw the pit away and we were done. I guess she really likes her fruit.

When we were at the zoo, Hannah really enjoyed seeing the fish in tanks, the zebras (she called them horses), and the ducks. I would have liked to have stayed longer and went back through the oceans building, but it was so hot and crowded that Hannah started to get cranky and we had to call it a day. Maybe next time we can visit the butterfly gardens too.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Super Virus

Well it turned out that the virus that Hannah, Evelyn, and the other baby (Eleanor) got was a super contagious one because entire families have been succumbing to it! The casualty count is now 3 babies, 2 siblings, 3 daddies, and 2 mommies (and that's just what we've heard of so far)! Both Kyle and I came down with it, as did Evelyn's parents, as well as Eleanor's dad and two brothers. Hannah is still not completely back to normal, but hasn't had any vomit or diarrhea since Friday. Now the challenge is to get her fever to go away completely (it keeps going away and then reappearing again) and get her back on a regular eating routine. She actually did some pretty good eating today, but it just wasn't consistent. Sometimes she was absolutely ravenous and at others she didn't even want to look at a bottle, sippy cup, or piece of finger food. I seem to be through the worst of it. My fever is gone and I've been vomit free for over 24 hours. I'm starting to get a bit of energy back, but am still feeling quite weak and achey. Kyle is just starting the process, however, so I hope that for him the virus has weakened as it has passed through Hannah and I and maybe it won't be so hard on him. The hardest part about Hannah's entire illness was yesterday. It wasn't the puke or the diarrhea, but her desperate pleas for food. Because she was vomiting everything she ate or drink straight back up, the doctor said she was only allowed to have 2 sips of water every 15 minutes and then a few bites of applesauce if she managed to keep her water down. She was so thirsty by this point that she wanted to just guzzle the water down and 2 sips was just torture to her. She would get hysterical when we took the cup away and sign more to drink over and over again while she looked at us like she couldn't believe we were starving her! It would take the entire 15 minutes to get her calmed down and distracted by something else and then it was time to give her another sip and we had to start the whole process over again. Once she was tolerating her water and Kyle gave her some applesauce (which she ate greedily and that is a big deal since she HATES applesauce!) she even signed more to eat PLEASE to Kyle. She just kept pleading and pleading for more to eat and drink and it broke our hearts to not be able to give it to her. Today Mamaw came to watch her since Kyle and I could not keep up with her and she was really good about eating and drinking for awhile and then decided she didn't want any more to eat or drink at around 6pm. I'm worried she didn't get enough today, but I couldn't force it on her. I bet she won't make it through the night. I actually hope she wakes up in the middle of the night hungry. I would feel a lot better if she would even take 2 more ounces of formula.

Here are some more videos of Hannah from before she got sick.

This video is of Hannah and Evelyn using the cat food tins as drums. They get more enjoyment out of those old pop corn tins than I think they do out of any other toy.

This is Hannah's first balloon. She LOVED it (she actually still has it although the helium of course doesn't make it float anymore). Her favorite thing to do was hold it and then let it go and watch it float up to the ceiling. Then she would say and sign help for Kyle to get it down so she could do it all over again!
Here is Hannah's first time having a bowl and spoon on her tray. She really wasn't quite sure about the whole thing.
Hannah developed her own way of using her spoon. Unfortunately she got sick the day after these videos were taken so we haven't been able to continue her spoon training!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mountain Climber

Hannah is now a little mountain climber. Since she learned that she could climb up steps at the park she has now learned how to climb onto chairs. Today she crawled up onto the footstool and from there onto to the chair to get to me! After I put her back down on the floor she climbed right up again into the chair and then turned around and gave me a look like she was so proud of herself.

Lately Hannah has been obsessed with the sign for flower. She finds flowers all over the house (it's not hard considering all the daisies I have everywhere) on the walls, in pictures, in books, on her videos and does the sign for them ever single time. She's so cute when she does it because she scrunches up her nose and sniffs like she's smelling a real flower in addition to doing the sign. Last night she was sick (I'll tell you about that in a bit) and I had her in the guest bathroom stripped naked trying to clean vomit out of her hair. I sat her on the counter and she kept pointing to the pictures of the flowers on the wall and making the sign for flower for each one. She did the exact right number of signs, one for each picture. Even though she was feeling so crummy she still couldn't let her flower guard down!

Ok, now about her being sick, this week I was helping out at Vacation Bible School and Hannah was staying in the nursery at church. Well on Tuesday night one of the other babies in the nursery ended up getting sick and was vomiting. So, she obviously was not back in the nursery yesterday. So, yesterday Hannah had a great day in the nursery and even actually enjoyed herself for most of the time. Then at home around 7:30 Hannah did not want to finish her bottle. So, I took her back to her room to read her a story and put her to bed and she vomited pretty much the entire contents of her stomach onto me, the chair, the floor, and her book-or so I thought it was the entire contents. I got her cleaned up and ready for bed again and she went to sleep easily. Then at about 9:00pm I heard her choking on the monitor. She had thrown up again and was on her back and it was pooling in her throat and nose! I could not believe she even had anything left in her stomach, but she threw up a considerable amount and since she was laying down it all pooled around her head and in her ears and hair. So, I tried to clean her up some more and then she started having dry heaves. The poor things was so scared. Her stomach kept contracting, but there was nothing left in it so just mucus came up. Today she kept her morning bottle and some cereal down, but then threw up her noon bottle. She is also running a fever today which she wasn't doing last night. Other than being more tired than usual she seems to be acting normal so that is a relief, especially after the last time she was vomiting and we ended up in the ER. Along with Hannah, another baby in the nursery also got sick last night and was vomiting. It turned out to be a little epidemic with at least 3 of the 6 babies getting sick. I haven't heard from the church today to see if any of the other 3 babies came down with the same thing, but I sure hope they don't. Hopefully they were able to clean and disinfect the nursery so that nobody else picks up whatever it was that these girls caught.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Now that Hannah has top and bottom front teeth, she really enjoys eating fruit that she can bite off with her teeth. The other day she helped me eat a peach and today we shared an apple. She really loved the apple, especially hearing her teeth crunch through it! I think eating that apple together finally made the sign and word for apple stick because she's been going around saying "Apuh" and making the sign nonstop ever since!

The other day when we were at the grocery store Hannah had her hair up in pigtails and was being exceptionally cute. She was even flirting with the bagger boy! Anyway, he said that she looked just like Cindy Lou Who from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I had to laugh because just before we left home for the store I had been telling Kyle that I thought she looked exactly like her too!

In the signing department, besides apple Hannah has a few more new signs that I think she knows pretty well. They are flower, banana, and peas. She continues to search out things in the house to label and the other day she had crawled over to one of the bookcases and kept saying horse and making the sign for horse and I kept telling her, "No Hannah, there are no horses over here." But she kept saying it over and over again, so finally I got up and walked over to pick her up and sure enough there was a horse on the cover of one of the books that I couldn't see from my vantage point and she was pointing right at it! That little girl has eagle eyes! Continuing with her communication, a few days ago Hannah's birthfather called us up to chat and while I was talking to him Hannah kept trying to grab the phone like she always does and was saying hi. Mike was so surprised. He said, "Is she saying hi to me?" I said, "Yup she sure is!" and he could not believe that she was talking on the phone already! Speaking of talking on the phone, last night I was chatting with my Aunt Myrna and Hannah was watching me talk. Then she crawled over and got her Sesame Street remote control, which looks a lot like a phone, and held it up to her ear and started jabbering away into it. It was so adorable. It made me smile so hard my cheeks hurt.

Yesterday Kyle and I took Hannah to a little park near our house that we had heard had some new playground equipment for toddlers. It was really neat and only about a 15 minute walk from our house. It had a baby swing which Hannah loved and threw a fit when we tried to take her out of it! It also had a bouncy gecko thing with a spring which she liked rocking on, some small slides which she liked going down, and lots of steps for climbing. Up until now, Hannah had not been able to actually climb up on anything. She would put her knee up, but then as her foot would start to slide back she would get scared and quit. But yesterday she climbed up 4 steps to get to the top of the jungle gym and go down the slide. I was so proud of her! Then, later on that night she practiced climbing up the step onto our deck. She wasn't sure how to get back down from the step on the deck and asked for help from me to do that, but it's definitely a start.

Here are some more videos. I'm finally getting some current ones uploaded! To see the video just click on the links below.

This is a video of Hannah playing with her rings.

This is a video of Hannah and I at the play place in the mall when we went to get our Mother's Day pictures taken. She loves to watch all the big kids run around and act crazy.

Hannah likes to use anything that is round as a bracelet.

Here's a video of Hannah actually drinking her formula out of her sippy cup.

The next two videos are of Hannah terrorizing poor Abby.

Hannah is playing with her magnets that Mamaw gave her. Listen closely for her to say Mamaw and Zeke. Poor Papaw doesn't get a name!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Solo Standing

Hannah stood by herself for the first time today (well for any significant length of time anyway). I was feeding the cats and Hannah had pull herself up on the cans that I keep the cat food in. When it came time to open the can that she was leaning against I said, "Hannah, move your hands. Mommy needs to feed the cats." and she just let go and stood up! She stood there perfectly balanced while I removed the lid, scooped out the cat food, put the scoop back in the can, and replaced the lid. Then she went right back to resting her hands on the can! I was in shock that she stood for that long because she hasn't shown any interest in standing on her own at all yet. Every time we try to get her to let go of our hands to stand alone she panics and thrashes around to get a hold of us. Today she was calm as could be and actually let go on her own. She's been using her walker to get around quite a bit this past week and she has finally decided that cruising the furniture is a viable mode of transportation. She even makes transfers between different pieces of furniture.

In the communication area she has a new word. It is puffs (which include veggie puffs, cheerios, and wagon wheels). It sounds like bups when she says it, but she is consistent about using it in the correct context so I'm pretty sure that's what she means. Last night I was feeding her some carrots and she started saying bups. When I went to give her more carrots she threw the carrot on the floor, gave me a disgusted look, stared right at the cheerio container, signed more and said "bups." She made her point very clear! Lately she loves to have things labeled so we walk around the house saying the names of anything we can find. She will point to something and I will tell her the name and she will repeat it. She attempts to repeat pretty much anything we say now, but most of the things I don't count as actual words in her vocabulary until she uses them spontaneously. Oh, I almost forgot she has some more new words! Horse, Hannah, and socks are the newest. She also knows the sign for horse, although she gets confused with her animal signs sometimes now! Anytime she sees pictures of the pets, of horses, or people on our walls she will point to the picture and say the name and then look at us to see if she got it right. If she has said the wrong word we just say the correct name back to her and then she repeats it. She loves to go down the hallway and see our wedding pictures. She points to them and says, Mama, Dada! She is so proud of herself when she gets them right. She's also been pointing at the various fish on the walls in her room and waiting for me to tell her their names. Just fish doesn't satisfy her anymore. She expects the character names now. I thought she was trying to say Nemo today, but it didn't sound anything like Nemo. She just kept saying the same thing over and over each time she pointed to any of the Nemo stickers in her room so maybe she has her own special name for him!

She's been VERY clingy lately and wants to be held all the time. "Up" is her favorite word at the moment and I get extremely tired of hearing it! She's now 24.6 lbs ( I have her exact weight since we weighed her on the jockey scale at Indiana Downs Tuesday night when I went to visit Heather!) and that's way too heavy for me to be carting around all day long. She also uses the word "up" when she wants down. We are working on teaching her the word and sign for down so we don't have to hear "up" when she is already up! Sleep continues to be a struggle for her, both at night and during naps. I just keep praying that this too shall pass. The poor thing just gets so exhausted that I wish she would sleep more, but she refuses to miss anything. On Tuesday night she screamed in the van for over an hour on the way home from the racetrack. Poor Kristie and Chris got a big dose of the realities of parenthood that night since I was driving and they were left to listen to her/try to comfort her (which of course doesn't work when she's decided that she does not want to be comforted!).

Transitioning away from the bottle is pretty much stalled at the moment. Sometimes Hannah will drink her entire bottle from the sippy cup sitting in her highchair all by herself and others she will barely drink an ounce of it from the sippy cup and I have to pour it back into a bottle and hold it for her so she will drink it. I feel like I'm stuck in a Catch 22. I think the only way to get her to transition solely to the sippy cup is to not let her drink from the bottle at all anymore and if that means she doesn't get all of her formula then so be it, but the doctor said that she absolutely has to get at least 24 oz of formula every day and we have to do whatever it takes to get it down her. So, there goes that idea. I guess I will just have to hold out until her 1 year check up and ask him what on earth I am supposed to do! The good news is that her hunger strikes seem to be over for the moment and she is back to eating 7 oz of formula at each bottle.

As far as solids go she is feeding herself very well. We give her quite a bit of table food now and she could conceivably feed herself an entire meal now I think. Today I bought her some suction cup bowls and I pulled out her spoons. We are going to give using dishes and utensils to feed ourself a go tomorrow. That should be interesting!

Here are some more videos. Just click on the links below to watch the video.

Hannah loves to help brush her teeth, but she got performance anxiety during this video!

We were trying to catch Hannah saying "HI" but she wanted to get the camera instead!

Hannah's favorite place to nap is in her baby backpack on Daddy's back.

This is one of her first tries using her walker.

Hannah likes to share her toys with Evelyn.