Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Active Girl

It's been a long time since I've updated the blog and people have been bugging me for a post so here it is. Days just seem to fly by at the moment because Hannah is so incredibly active. That will make for a nice long post for you all though because I have LOTS of updates. Let's see, I think I'll start with physical accomplishments first

Hannah continues to climb absolutely everything she can. She's such a little daredevil. She's not afraid of anything when it comes to climbing. This means she's got lots of cuts, scrapes, and bruises to show for it. It's impossible to keep her off of things and to stop her from falling every time she gets courageous. Thankfully she is becoming a little more cautious about knowing where the edge of things are so that has reduced her accidental tumbles recently. Because I've had such a hard time keeping her off things that it's not safe for her to climb on like the chairs, bookcases, and even the dog crates, we decided that we needed to get Hannah something that it WAS ok for her to climb on. For the past 2 weeks or so I've been obsessively scanning the classifieds, going to yard sales and checking Ebay for a climber for her. Climbers are these little plastic cubes that have a small slide, a platform to climb on and underneath and little holes and tunnels to crawl through. We took Hannah to Menards and let her play on a lot of different ones that they had set up in the garden department and she had a blast. We had a major tantrum when it was time to go. We did get a good feel for what we wanted though so that was nice. Unfortunately what we wanted was more expensive than we were willing to pay so I starting searching for used ones. They are pretty big, so every time I'd find one on Ebay the shipping price would put it over the price we were willing to shell out. I'd had a few near misses at yard sales that were disappointing, but yesterday I was out gallivanting around town with my dad and Hannah and decided to stop in at the second hand children's store. I've been checking there regularly, but hadn't had any luck in the past. But yesterday lo and behold there was the exact climber we had decided we liked the best sitting outside the store on the sidewalk. I was sure that it would be already sold or maybe it hadn't even been checked in and made ready for sale yet, but when I asked the lady about it she told me yes it was for sale and it ended up costing exactly what Kyle and I had decided we could afford to pay for one! So I bought it and brought it home and dad helped me put it together as soon as we got home. Hannah LOVES it. First I set it up outside, but today I decided to bring it into the house (so I had to take it apart and put it back together all by myself!) and it fits really nicely in our library. Hannah and I played on it for more than an hour this morning. It really wore her out, so much in fact that when it was time for her nap I didn't even have to Ferber her. She almost fell asleep while I was reading her her story!

Besides her new climber, we've also been walking to a playground near our house almost every morning and Hannah enjoys playing on the jungle gym there and watching the ducks and crane on the pond we walk past to get there. Another neat physical thing that she's been doing is dancing. She absolutely loves to turn on any of her toys that play music and jam to them! She stands up and bounces her knees and waves her hands or she sits down and twists her upper body back and forth in time with the music. It's absolutely adorable to watch. She's been riding her bike that she got for her birthday a lot recently. Inside we use it in the rocking mode and she climbs on and off it all the time and loves to stand up on the footrest and throw her entire body weight into to make it rock like crazy. When we take it outside we turn it into a push along bike and she sits on it so nicely wearing her helmet and holding onto the handle bars with her feet up on the foot rest. Sometimes we do 5 or 6 laps up and down our street before she gets tired of it! She also enjoys playing at the play place at the mall. Yesterday when her Grandpa was here she crawled in and out of the tunnels in the playhouse and played peek-a-boo with Grandpa through the windows for quite a long time.

She still loves her pool and really likes anything to do with the water. We've made good use of it in this really hot weather. She loves to climb in and out of it and to push down on the sides to let the water pour out over her hands. Yesterday when we were cleaning up the climber and putting it together I filled a medium size tub up with water to use for scrubbing the sides of the climber. Eventually I abandoned the tub in favor of just dousing it with the garden house. Hannah had been crawling around in the yard and occasionally slapping her hands in the water and splashing herself. Then dad and both turned around to see Hannah sitting in the tub full of water. She had very carefully, without dumping the tub, climbed inside the tub and was sitting there with her legs crossed looking very pleased with herself. She just barely fit inside of it. It was a hilarious sight. I managed to get pictures of it which is good because no one would have believed me otherwise. The funniest thing was that she was fully clothed with her shoes on and everything. She couldn't have picked a more uncomfortable outfit to get soaking wet (she was in denim~I hate the feel of wet denim against my skin!), but once the damage was already done I just took her shoes and socks off of her and let her at it and she climbed into and out of it about a dozen more times before we finally went inside.

I'm sure you are just dying to know if Hannah's walking yet. The answer is no she's not yet, but she is starting to act like she might want to. She'll ask for me to help her walk by saying, "wok wok, wok, pees" Translated-"walk, walk, walk, please" and we will go all over the house with her just holding one of my hands. We've managed to coax her away from things she was standing next to and holding onto, but she's not gone more than maybe one step and those really were more like lunges towards us instead of steps. Right now she can still get and do about everything she wants to do by crawling and cruising so she doesn't seem to be in any hurry to give it a try. I'm sure she'll get to it in her own time so I'm not really too worried yet.

Ok, it's been several days since I started this post and Kyle tells me that I have to say that Hannah took her first step. I'm still not sure I'm convinced, but Kyle is a believer so I said I'd post it.

In the fine motor coordination department Hannah has been practicing putting her shapes in her shape sorter and is getting quite good at it. She also loves to take the Whinnie the Pooh characters out of the piano she got for her birthday out of their holes and then put them back again so that they will each make their instruments sound. Here favorite is Pooh who plays the drum. When she puts him in it makes the sound of a drum and she says, "dum, de, da, dum" right along with it. It's very sweet. She's finally learned how to turn on her rabbit that she got for Easter from her Pap. It's actually pretty hard to get the button pushed correctly, but she's quite good at it now. Thankfully we don't have to push it over and over again anymore, but now she can do it as much as she wants. So far I haven't had to resort to turning it off so that the button doesn't work anymore, but I've been close a few times! She likes to draw on scrap paper with her crayons which is fun. We have to keep the art sessions short though because almost always she ended up deciding to try to eat the crayons. Tuesday I stooped down to pick up a crayon she had dropped and when I popped back up she had bit a huge chunk out of another one and was happily chewing it up! She is still obsessed with remotes and phones. She calls the remote a "mote" and knows which ones actually work and which ones don't! We've tried to add some credibility to the ones that we removed the batteries from and gave to her as toys, but she's too smart. She knows which ones are the real deal! When she wants the phone she makes the universal sign for telephone-puts her hand up to her cheek between her mouth and ear and then motions towards the phone and says ish. Not sure why ish, but she's consistent! She's been playing with her phone a lot lately and holding it up to her ear and talking in it. She will say hello and da da da da on it. I think it's awfully cute that she's pretending to talk to Kyle. She also enjoys feeding her baby doll with one of her old bottles. She even holds the bottle like we used to and puts the nipple end up to the baby doll's mouth. At one point she even signed to the doll that she needed to eat more! Kyle and I had a hard time not bursting out laughing at that one. Finally her last fine new fine motor skill is learning how to open door knobs! It's a good thing all of ours are baby proofed because she's demonstrated her skill at Evelyn's house a few times now and she's fast on the way to honing that skill to perfection even though I'd rather she not!

Of course, staying true to herself, Hannah's language skills continue to blossom. Her newest words are water, bottle, blueberry, pasta, walk, milk, backpack, Nemo, Dory, knees, and Amen. I'm sure there are several more I'm forgetting, but it's hard for me to even keep track anymore she learns so many new ones each day. For the most part I've stopped introducing new signs unless she seems particularly interested in the sign for a particular object since her speaking has become so much clearer. She still uses the signs she has a lot and pairs them with her words. I'm sure she's picking up some of these new words as she watches her videos and reads all of her books. She asks for so many things now. She is really good at articulating her thoughts and making her requests known. If she doesn't know a word for something she will point to what she wants if you ask her to show you and at the same time either say "that" or "this" as she points! That always makes me smile. We've been trying to teach Hannah to say her name when someone asks her the question, "What is your name?" At first of course she didn't have any idea what we were wanting and then one day out of the blue she started responding by pointing to her chest and saying, "Me!" I laughed and laughed! I had no idea where that came from. Pronouns are a really hard concept even for elementary kids to grasp and there was no way she could really understand it, or so I thought. I racked my brain for over a week before I came up with what I think the most plausible explanation for how the answer "Me!" came about. I often sing her this silly song about Jesus being a king over everything and she absolutely loves it. The last verse before you get to the chorus is , "Who's the king of me?" and you point to yourself as you sing it. She must have picked up on that somehow and decided that me was one of her names, just like Hannah and Nanner! We've continued to work with her and now she's morphed from me, to me-Hannah, and finally Hannah when asked what her name is. I'd say she bats about 60/40 when being asked. She's much better at it when we ask her as opposed to a stranger, but she'll get there! My absolute favorite of all of Hannah's words has to be "Amen" she's got to the point where when we say her prayers before she goes to bed she says "Amen" at the end all by herself! It brings tears to my eyes every single time. She also loves to say it when we sing, "If you're Happy and You Know It."

We started going to the library and the bookmobile and checking out books. Hannah searches through the board books which are all on a low shelf and pulls out the ones she wants and those are the ones we check out. Sarah lets Evelyn do this so I decided to try it out and it was a HUGE success. She loves all her new books every week. We've also been checking out Baby Einstein movies and Veggie Tales. Hannah really isn't interested in the Veggie Tales yet, although she does like the songs, but Kyle and I love them (we watch them regularly on Saturdays if we are home!) so we thought we'd watch them and see which ones we like best so we'll know which ones to get Hannah once she is old enough. Hannah has several favorite books at the moment that she got for her birthday. The first one is this pop up farm animal book she got from Mamaw and Papaw. She absolutely loves seeing the animals move as you turn the pages, but has now had banned for all times except for supervised sessions because she has started to purposely pull the animals off of the pages and eat them! Her other favorite book she got from Jo, Terri, and Becky. It's a Sandra Boynton book called Barnyard Dance. It is basically a silly rhyme about animals doing a square dance and they call out all of the moves. I made the mistake one day of picking Hannah up and acting out all the moves in the book as I read it and turned the pages with my toes. Now it's not good enough to just read the book and it's not even good enough to act it out just once or twice in a row. Now we read and dance the book dozens of times in a row until mommy hides the book out of pure exhaustion!

Hannah has now become the official caller of the dogs. Whenever Ella is being bad and barking Hannah tells us bad dog and then yells, "Ellllllla!" Even when Hannah is out playing in the yard and she sees Ella running for the fence she yells at her! One of these days Ella's actually going to listen to her and we will be so surprised!

Socially Hannah has been doing better at the nursery in church. Now she only cries for about 5 minutes or so and then starts to play. This is BIG improvement. Unfortunately now that she's one she has to move out of the nursery and into the walkers room. So, she'll have a whole new room and set of people to get used to! Hopefully this transition will be smoother and go more quickly than the last one. She still has a really hard time dealing with her frustrations. We have lots of head banging and head slapping. This really concerns me, but the doctor is not concerned yet. I do hope that I'm just being over cautious and concerned for nothing, but at the same time if this keeps up or gets worse I refuse to be placated and told not to worry if in my heart I know something is not right.

We are now officially done with baby food and moved completely onto cows milk with no worries. We still have a few packs of baby food that we use as treats when we go out somewhere, but really Hannah just eats whatever we eat and seems to be loving it. It's quite messy and I must admit that every now and then I perform a hostile takeover and feed her myself instead of letting her feed herself which I know I should be doing, but there is only so much mess I can take! She now has 9 teeth and her first molar. Boy was that first molar rough coming through! We had probably a week where Hannah did not sleep through the night a single time! I was so tired. I think I'd forgotten what real sleep deprivation was like! We're still using the ferber method for her sleep issues although it has seemed to be a bit better this last week. I'm hoping this is a turn for the better and not just a fluke, but who knows. I've thought we were on the right path before only to be rudely shaken back to reality. Hannah's hair continues to grow and grow. It's been cut several times now and her bangs are currently all the way past her nose! This would be fine if she would only keep her pig tails in, but of course that would be too easy. You would think it would feel better for her to have her hair out of her eyes, but she refuses to leave any sort of thing in her hair. We've tried 2 different types of headbands, barrettes, pony tails, braids. You name it and we've probably tried it. Hopefully she will either start letting me do something with her hair or it will grow faster so that it will stay behind her ears soon! As it stands now most of the time she looks like a little rag-a-muffin with her hair covering up her eyes.

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