Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Monday, September 17, 2007

Officially a Walker

Hannah is now officially a walker. She now uses walking to get around as much or more than she does crawling! She still falls down quite a bit, but she always gets right back up and continues on her way. The past few days Hannah has been up to a lot of stuff. She seems to have had a learning explosion. She wants to know everything. We are back to walking around the house labeling things and labeling absolutely everything in books. We must read 100 books a day (no exaggeration!). Many of her books she has started to memorize and say some of the key phrases for each page or, in the case of her current favorite-Barnyard Dance, she does the motions for each page before I even read the words that tell her what move in the dance she's supposed to do! She's also really into listening to music and likes to sing along now to some of her favorites. She sings the ABC song, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, The Wheels on the Bus, and I've Been Working on the Railroad. Since she loves the ABC song so much she's become very interested in saying the letters. She will now repeat every single letter of the alphabet back to me when I say them for her. On her own she can sing A-B-C, but that's as far as she gets. Then she loses interest, or just don't know what comes next. She likes for me to point to the letters and numbers on her mat and tell her what they are and then she repeats them back to me. She has several alphabet books and she's been a bit obsessed with them lately. Yesterday when I was feeding her I told her she could have 10 more goldfish and I counted them out of the container and put them on the table. Then I put 4 of them on her tray and said, "1,2, 3, 4 fish" Then I went to put some dishes in the dishwasher and I heard her say, "un, doo, dree ish" I looked over my shoulder in amazement and she was pointing to each fish with her finger as she counted! I ran over to her and I said, "Hannah, are you counting? Count with Mommy." I counted the remaining goldfish with her and then she repeated it right back to me pointing as she went! I was blown away. Of course I tried to get her to count other things the rest of the day, but she had no interest after that. It may have been a one time thing, but I still thought it was pretty amazing even if she was just parroting back what I had said. That's a lot of words to string together all at once for a 14 month old! Lately her pronunciation of words has become much clearer. Many of the words she's had for ages are now clear enough that there is no mistaking what she is saying, even by strangers. She's really picking up on words that give her a sense of control. She's had up for a long time, but now she says down, out (new favorite!), yes, more, swing, slide, window, door, flower, stroller, walk, phone, excuse me, your welcome, thank you, please, juice mommy, daddy, bowl, spoon, and I love you. She's also broadened her greeting to include hello and bye-bye in addition to her regular hi. She loves to talk on the phone and asks to call Kyle all the time. She even leaves him voice mails. She says "Hi Daddy, I love you, bye" It's very sweet.

She got some new blocks a few weeks ago and has just started to really get into them. Now she can build complicated towers with them. She puts a block on, looks at it and decides if she likes it there. If she doesn't she takes it off and moves it to a different peg and then puts a different block in it's place. Sometimes she will play with them independently for a half hour if she's really into it. Along with that hand eye coordination she's been working with her nesting cups a lot lately as well. She's quite good at stacking them all inside each other in the right order. There are also animals on each cup and she loves to tell me their names as she stacks. She just got really good at rocking on her bike the other day. She finally learned how to coordinate her rocking to the motion of the bike to get the fastest and best rock. She's says rock, rock, rock while she does it and sometimes says Whee! She also likes to push around this toy car she has and say vrrooom as she pushes it back and forth.
Now that she is a proficient climber she has learned that she can climb onto the chairs in the dining room and look out the window. This is one of her favorite pastimes when we won't let her go out to play. She just looks longingly out her "dindow" and narrates the scene she sees. She tells us about the neighbor's dog, the squirrels, the rocks in the flower bed, and people pushing babies in strollers down the street! She also likes to stand up there and wave good-bye to anyone that is leaving. She keeps on waving and saying bye bye until their car is out of sight.

She's started telling on the dogs a lot lately. If she hears one of the dogs eating something she say, "dog eat." If she hears them barking she yells Ella. If she sees one of them by the back door waiting to be let in she tells me which one it is over and over again until I go let them in!

Water is still a big hit at our house and it never fails to put Hannah in a good mood. All we have to say is the word bath and she's on it! She loves to take off her clothes and be naked which she calls neigh neigh! She even told me once when Evelyn was naked that she was naked! Here's a video of Hannah and Daddy singing If You are Happy and You Know It in the tub.

Lately Hannah has been helping me do chores around the house. If she didn't "help" I wouldn't be able to get anything done. I think her absolute favorite chore is dusting. She holds onto the swiffer and shakes it back and forth across pictures on the wall and the tv. If something is too high for her to reach she loves it when I lift her up and put my hand over hers and make the duster shake back and forth really quickly. She giggles like crazy! She helps with the laundry by pushing the laundry baskets from the bedroom to the stairs to the basement and she also helps by loading and unloading the clothes from the basket (sometimes her loading and unloading is in direct opposition to what I'm trying to do with the clothes!). She also likes helping feed the dogs and cats and vacuum. She follows me around the house as I push the sweeper and she says "beep, beep, beep" as I get close to her and then crawls away quickly.

One final quick story before I post this. Last week (it's been another week since I started this post!) We had Hannah into the doctor's office because they thought she had a urinary tract infection. It ended up she was fine and we don't know what it was that was wrong but everything is ok now. Anyway, our doctor is absolutely wonderful. He's a Christian and he prays for us at every appointment. While he was praying this last appointment Hannah tried to say Amen for him 3 times during his prayer! When he was finished he joked that she was such a nice girl to help him out and wondered if that was her way of telling him to wrap it up because he was being too windy! It really made me smile. My next post I'll tell you all about our trip back to Pennsylvania this past weekend. In the meantime, enjoy all the new Hannah photos.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Little Hippie

Hannah wore this outfit the other day that was from Aunt Heather and I just fell in love with it. I thought she looked darling, just like a little hippie. I had to post the pictures of it even though I don't have many new updates!

Of course it's been a bit since I started this post and now I actually have some updates to share. Hannah has several new words that she just learned. Tonight she learned the word squirrel. We were taking a walk in the woods and she saw a squirrel and point to it and said rabbit. We told her it wasn't a rabbit and that it was a squirrel. As luck would have it, we saw half a dozen more squirrels on our walk and each time we told Hannah they were squirrels. Finally the last squirrel we saw Hannah actually pointed it out to us and said squirrel as she was pointing! My little girl is so smart! :) Another new word (well, it's not super new, but I think I've forgot to tell you all about it) is green beans. Hannah uses this for green beans as well as just about every green vegetable she eats! It's quite clear when she says it and it's oh so cute. Lion and cow are some of her other new animal words. She says them both and does the signs at the same time. Cow is quite clear, but lion sounds a bit more like Ryan! She's got the sign exactly right though and she always uses the same pronunciation when she says the word and does the sign and she can correctly point to a lion in a picture of lots of different animals so I think she knows it pretty well even if she can't say it properly yet. She has also added goat, pig, snake, and hippo to her repertoire. Kyle says she also knows reindeer, but I've not heard her say that one yet. Along with learning her new animal names she is also quite keen on learning the sounds that they make. So far she can tell you what a dog, wolf, cat, cow, duck, sheep, and horse say.

Besides animal words, Hannah is also starting to say excuse me whenever she burps or farts. It's so adorable and sounds like excuse, with the emphasis on the "x" part of the word. I've been working with her on saying you're welcome after someone says thank you to her and today for the first time she tried to repeat it after me when I said, "Hannah, say you're welcome." She did a pretty good copy of it too. I was impressed since it was her first try and she even attempted the sign as she said it. Kyle has been working with her on saying I love you and she will now tell us that she loves us each night before she goes to bed. She can't really do the sign, but has a cute toddler speak version of I love you that she says that I can't even begin to describe or repeat, but she does it the same every time. I'll try to get a video of her saying it sometime soon and put it up. Speaking of showing affection, I've also taught Hannah how to give Eskimo kisses by rubbing her nose against mine and she caught on really quickly. She knows the difference between them and regular kisses and can give you the type of kiss that you ask for every time.

Of all the words that Hannah uses every day (and she uses A LOT of them) "No!" is still the word she chooses to use the most even when she doesn't mean no! We've been working on teaching her yes and sometimes she will say it, but mostly she still likes to answer no to every question she's asked (and even some we ask other people!) and of course she uses it every time it's time to do something she doesn't want to do or stop doing something she does. Another new word she has is rocks and she is currently obsessed with them. She loves to pick them up, feel them, throw them, transfer them from the flower beds to the yard where Daddy can hit them with the mower, and try to eat them. We have tantrums when it's time to stop playing with them or when Mommy says no, we can't go outside to get them. She's also started using the words walk and backpack to tell us when she wants to go outside for walks and if she hears either word you had better be prepared to follow through because she's hard to distract if she gets her mind set on going out! She says water, milk, juice, cracker, pasta, peas, meat, bread, cheese, snack, eat (that's a very recent addition since she's only had the sign for it for more than 6 months!), apple, banana, puffs, and of course green beans. She loves to say she's hot and fan herself and shake her shirt to cool herself off and if you'll let her she'll shake your shirt too just to be sure you don't' get overheated! She loves to point out and name all of your body parts that she can get ahold of. Some of her favorites are head, knees, elbow (very cute to hear her say), arm, ear, nose, hands, and belly. She knows many more, but those are here current favorites. She loves to get her hands washed under the faucet and she'll ask for it by gesturing towards the sink and saying "hands." Today on our walk we went by a pond that has a fountain in the middle and she kept pointing at the fountain and saying "hands please!"

Speaking of walking she did lots of it today and she' getting much better at it. She still uses crawling as the primary mode of transportation, but she's traveling further and further while walking now. Sometimes if she's feeling uncertain, but wants to walk she will look up at us and reach her hand up and say, "Hand" which means take my hand or give me yours!

Her fourth molar (so that's tooth number 12) finally popped through yesterday. We were quite relieved as it had been a REALLY rough week because of it. Cranky does not even begin to describe her mood this past week. Fortunately today she was much better so hopefully we are done with teething for few months until it's time for the last of her front teeth to come in.

You should all be proud of me for being so on top of getting all of Hannah's recent videos uploaded to the blog. Most of the videos on this post are only a week old!

Hannah loves to ride her stuffed horse that Mamaw got her for Christmas.

Hannah likes to sit in the recliner in her room and make it rock just like Mommy does.

For a long time Hannah couldn't actually make her crayons leave any marks. She finally had a eureka moment and now she LOVES drawing with her crayons and thinks it's pretty neat to get crayons to draw on place mats at restaurants too! She can even say crayon.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

14 Months Old

Today is Hannah's 14 month birthday! I can't believe that 2 months have passed since her birthday! She's still not using walking as a mode of transportation, but she is getting much steadier about it when we coax her to walk towards us. Lately she's been riding her bike a lot. Kyle is teaching her how to steer and she thinks that is great fun. The climber continues to be a big hit. She quite good at navigating it now and has even started to branch out to the more complicated features of it such as trying to climb over and down the sides! I'm not quite ready for her to be doing that, but she is definitely determined! Lately Hannah has been very picky about eating. Often she rejects foods I KNOW she likes. She may even reject a food for lunch and then greedily eat all of that very same food for dinner! She's also very intrigued by bowls and spoons and always wants to hold the bowl or spoon you are using to feed her. This would be fine except that she won't leave the bowl on her tray. She insists on picking it up and dumping it out. Sometimes she gets so crazy about having a bowl and a spoon that she won't eat at all and the meal ends in a tantrum. Baths are another thing that have been causing tantrums lately. She absolutely loves having a bath, but hates to get out. I think I've seen some of her most impressive tantrums lately started by getting out of the tub. I'm becoming quite skilled at the art of tantrum interception. The normal bait and switch defense doesn't work well anymore so I have to work really hard at making her think the thing that would normally cause a tantrum is her idea to do!

It's been two days since I started this post and I have some exciting news to announce. Hannah has FINALLY started walking. All day today she has been randomly using walking to get from place to place without being coaxed to do so. She's even tried to carry some things while she was walking. I'm so proud of her! My little girl is growing up. On a humorous note, now that Hannah has discovered that she can get inside cabinets, she has also tried getting inside the entertainment center. Tina told me that once John got inside their entertainment center and fell asleep and she couldn't find him. Well, that could definitely happen to me now, well I guess it could if Hannah ever just took a nap on her own, but still it's a scary thought!

Another thing Hannah just learned how to do is draw with her crayons. We've been working with crayons for a few months now, but up until yesterday she never really pressed hard enough to make any marks on her paper. Yesterday it was like she had an epiphany and she went crazy. She used every single crayon in her box to make some beautiful masterpieces. She was really intent while she was working and tried very hard to make the crayon do just what she wanted. She made circles, zig zags, and colored in spaces by scribbling back and forth. I was so proud of her. I'm happy because that means we have another activity to do that will help keep her from being bored.

One of Hannah's new favorite words is Abby. She has been able to say Ella for a long time and likes to yell at Ella like we do when she is going crazy barking in the yard, but just recently she has learned Abby's name and now she likes to call Abby and give her hugs! She is so cute. I also taught her to say Happy Birthday so she could tell Kyle on his birthday. We practiced all day long and when the big moment came she would only say "happy!" Kyle thought it was sweet of her anyway and she eventually did say the whole thing, but it took lots of time and coaxing. Yesterday (it's yet several more days since the last addition to this post!) she learned and began using yet another word that we didn't specifically teach her-alligator. Of all the words to pick up! Anyway she says it now anytime she see an alligator in a book and she also said it when she saw a statue of one in the fountain at the zoo.

Hannah sliding on her climber.

Hannah the first day she learned to steer her walker.

Here are lots of videos of Hannah walking!

Hannah really likes to play with the piano she got for her birthday.

Hannah loves to play in the Tupperware cabinet.

Hannah playing at the park with her friend Addie.

Hannah reading with Kyle.