Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Friday, October 12, 2007

Off and Running

Now that Hannah is pretty steady on her feet, she can really put some speed into her traveling. It's definitely safe to say that she is now off and running. This new found speed however is a bit hazardous to her health. She's constantly running into walls, doors, pets, and just about anything else you can think of because she can't slow herself down fast enough to avoid a collision or because she's moving so fast that she misses her turn! Yesterday she took a serious header outside on the sidewalk and has a big bruise and road raspberry to show for it on her cheek. Really she's falling and conking her head so much that I'm worried they're going to think we are abusing her at her well baby appointment next week!

WARNING!!!! THIS POST IS RATED PG FOR BABY NUDITY If you think you might be offended by the following pictures then scroll through quickly!

Lately all Hannah wants to do is play outside. Back when it was unseasonably warm we had been taking multiple walks a day, going swimming in her pool, and playing in the rocks pretty much all day long. We spent very little time inside. Now that it's cold Hannah still wants to be outside just as much, but I've had to rein her in a bit because I don't want her getting sick. She already has a bit of a cold and cough and I'm scared it might progress if she gets too chilly outside or sweaty while she's playing out there.

Speaking of colds, I'd been giving Hannah this cough suppressant/decongestant per doctor's orders and today I read in the paper that they have pulled all infant cold medicines off the market! The one we had been using was on the list as well as just about every other kind I saw in the store. I'm taking Hannah into the doctor today to talk about what to do about her discomfort now that there are no over the counter meds that are deemed safe for her to take. It's quite scary to know that I've been giving it to her for the past few days and now the FDA says its not safe for any child under 2 years old!

I'm back later this afternoon and Hannah's doctor's appointment was an adventure. The doctor heard wheezing in Hannah's chest and suspects a possible case of pneumonia so he sent her to have a chest x-ray done again. This time I watched through the window as the 2 x-ray techs struggled to get Hannah into the baby torture device. Once it finally seemed as if they had succeeded it turned out that they couldn't latch the thing because Hannah was too big for the device! So after she was all worked up about that they wanted her to sit perfectly still on a little step stool with her back up against the film and hold her hands above her head. Yeah right! Like that ever had a shot at working! Then one of the techs came out and said,"Mom, is there any chance you might be pregnant?" I said, "Um, no," and she immediately handed me the lead apron and had me come in and try to help them hold Hannah still and in position. It took several sets of failed x-rays before they finally got two usable shots of her lungs.

It's been over a week since I started this and here is an update on Hannah's condition. The chest x-rays were inconclusive and Hannah's wheeziness continued to increase so the doctor ordered a second set of x-rays. This time we had one of the same techs that was present during the previous struggle so there was not even a suggestion that she go in the baby straight jacket! Hannah remained fairly calm (of course there was a lot of crying, but not too too hysterical!) since they gave me a lead apron right away and there was no power struggle with the techs. It only took them 5 x-rays to get the two usable ones they needed instead of the 12 it took last time. This set of x-rays did end up showing that Hannah had fluid in her lungs so she got another bacterial pneumonia diagnosis. :( They started her on azythromiacin right away so hopefully that will knock it out. She also had her well baby (even though she wasn't well!) check up and shots the day after the x-rays and the doctor said we had a healthy and happy little girl. After listening in on one of Hannah's conversations with her favorite nurse while standing outside the exam room door and then watching Hannah's problem solving abilities as she opened one of their childproofed cabinet doors in the room, he was finally forced to concede to the fact that maybe Hannah's communication and problem solving skills were a bit above average for her age! As far as her stats go, Hannah had lost a pound in the week since she first went to the doctor for her cold that ended up being pneumonia so she weighed in on Thursday at a slim 25 lbs which is in the 75th percentile for her age. The doc said not to worry since she'd been off her chow a bit because she was feeling yucky. Her height was 33 1/2 inches tall which is past the 99th percentile for her age. Her head circumference also maxed out the 99th percentile for her age. When her weight was plotted against her height (not taking into account her age) she was in the 35th percentile. She's turning into a tall and skinny little girl. Besides being tall and having a huge head, she's also got big feet too. Her newest shoes are a size 6 1/2! Getting back to Hannah's sickness, she has learned one new skill from all of this and developed an odd addiction as well. The good new skill is that since she's had so much snot in her nose and she hates for us to use the bulb aspirator on her to suck it out she's learned to blow her nose-sort of. Her new addiction is Vick's' Baby Vapor Rub. Hannah absolutely LOVES to have it rubbed on her chest and back and asks for it by saying, "cream" almost every time she is on the changing table. It's just about the only way we can get her to hold still while we use the aspirator. We tell her she can have some cream when we are done and then she grudgingly complies and starts asking for cream as soon as we stop the snot sucking!

Getting back to playing outside, Hannah is so cute when she is playing outside. I remember last spring when I was worried she'd be a city girl and not want to play outside and get dirty. I shouldn't have worried a bit, because she has no qualms about getting dirty outside. She digs in the flower bed, piles rocks up on the sidewalk and fills her pockets with them, picks flowers, and splashes in the water and then gets grass and mud stuck all over her body. While we were in PA, Kyle's aunt gave us an old Little Tykes toddler swing that they had for us to use with Hannah. Kyle just got it hung up earlier this week and Hannah has been LOVING going out to swing in her own yard and not having to go to the park to get her swing fix! The only problem, if you could call it that since Hannah doesn't seem to mind at all, is that since none of our trees have a level branch low enough to hang the swing from Kyle had to improvise and hang the swing with ropes that are not the same length. Because of this the swing doesn't swing straight back and forth. It twists and turns as you push it. It's a bit unconventional, but Hannah still loves it. It's too funny to see her try to decide when she goes outside if she wants to ride in her swing or play in the rocks. It's a tough decision since she loves them both so much! Lately Hannah's had a new outdoor obsession that has rivaled the rocks for top spot on her "to do" list. She's enthralled by the neighbor's flowers. They have some mums and some other kind of fall flower that I have no idea what they are, but they are pretty and Hannah loves them. She sees them from the window and asks to go look at them. We take one step outside and she's after them like a rocket. The problem is that they are across the street so I really don't want her just running off towards them. Since she's so obsessed with those flowers I've used them to try to teach her colors and she's been really interested in that. The flowers are red, purple, and orange. She has actually used those colors spontaneously for other things and it was actually the right color. Besides red, purple, and orange, she also knows blue and green. While she doesn't always answer with the right color when we ask her what color something is, she always answers with a color at least. I think she understands what we mean by color, but can't always identify the right one. She knows red, blue, green, purple, orange, and yellow are colors at least. I think that's a good start. Besides the flowers, another new outdoor pastime she's found is filling her shirt, pockets, and pants up with rocks. She grabs huge handfuls of rocks and drops them down the back of her shirt or shoves them in the cuffs of her pants. Then, when it gets uncomfortable, she wants me to fish them out. Of course as soon as they are out she's busy filling her clothing back up again! Her interest in the rocks has been at least somewhat educational, however. She loves to hand me handfuls of rocks and watch me drop them one at a time back into the flower bed as I count them. She then takes her own handful and copies what I say as she drops her own back into the pile. Her favorite numbers to say right now, in addition to the old stand by of 3 are 11 and 13. She always gets this goofy, pleased with herself smile every time she says 13! Yesterday she was out enjoying the nice weather and playing in the rocks and she picked up a rock that was much larger than the rest of the rocks in the bed and said "big" and held it up for me to see. I said, "Yes, Hannah that's a big rock." Then she put it back down, picked up a smaller rock and said, "Small." I was so proud of her. I really think she's actually learning the concept of size and what those words mean! The other day she said big and small together and used the arm gestures we use while she was looking at the right page in her Nemo Opposite book, but I just thought she had the page memorized not that she really got what big and small meant, but I think I was wrong. I think she really gets it. She did the same thing with open and closed and hot and cold last week too. She amazes me every day at the amount of new things she learns.

I apologize that this update is turning into a novel. Hannah just has so many new accomplishments and has done so many neat things that I just have to tell you all about it! It doesn't help that it's been several weeks since I've actually had a chance to sit down at the computer! Here's some more new updates in no particular organizational structure!

Hannah has taken to moving the pets out of the way when they are keeping her from doing what she wants or going where she wants to go. She will push them aside while at the same time saying, "excuse" just like she does when she burps! It's very cute and I like that she does it spontaneously because it tells me that she actually gets it and is not just doing something on our prompting. She continues to help with all the pet related chores and has graduated from handing me the lids to the cat food cans to actually putting the lids back on the cans. She gets so excited when she gets to do her part! She's also started putting the dogs in their crates. When I say, "Abby, Ella, crates!" Hannah yells, "Abby, Ella" and then goes over and waits for them to go into their crates and then shuts the doors on them! She also likes to help me put the dogs out and she'll yell, "out pups" when they are running to the back door to be put outside.

Hannah is now quite good at using a spoon to feed herself and can even scoop up solitary movable objects like a piece of peach or a pea with her spoon and manage to keep it on the spoon all the way to her mouth! That's a huge hooray for us because if she can feed herself then we just might be able to actually eat our food before it gets cold sometime in the near future!

Yesterday, even though she was sick and shouldn't have been exerting herself quite that much, she taught herself how to climb into and out of the climber by scaling the outside wall and shimmying through the window! She was using some serious upper body strength and coordinating her hands and feet to just the right places to step and grab in order to accomplish her new skill. She was quite the little monkey. I actually managed to get some of it on video once I was satisfied that she could do it and wasn't going to break her neck in the process!

Last year for Christmas Heather got Hannah this Finding Nemo purse. Up until a few weeks ago Hannah never really showed much interest in it. Now, however, she carries that thing with her all over the house and loves to stuff things inside of it. She'll put her baby keys inside of it and her credit cards and then put her arm through the loop and wiggle it up onto her shoulder and strut off just like she's on her way to the store! I hope this isn't a sign of things to come, I don't want a shop-aholic toddler!

Hannah has learned the names for all the Whinnie the Pooh characters on her piano and just the other day she finally noticed that my sunglasses have Pooh on them. Now, whenever I have my glasses on, she reaches up and touches the small picture of Pooh and says, " Glasses, Pooh!" like it's the most interesting and exciting thing she's ever seen! It hasn't seemed to lose it's appeal yet. Speaking of learning the names of characters, for her birthday Hannah got a bike that had stickers of a Nickelodeon show called the Backyardigans on it. We'd never seen the show since we don't get Nick so I had no idea what it was about or what the characters' names were. Well, Hannah has always wanted us to tell her what the animals are. There is a moose, hippo, penguin, kangaroo, and this other pink animal that I have no idea what it is. Hannah's favorite was the moose. Well, the other day when we were at the bookmobile Hannah saw the cover of a DVD of a Backyardigan episode. She immediately started saying "Moose" and gesturing at the shelf. I decided I'd check it out for her and we took it home and watched it and Hannah was enthralled. The characters sing and dance almost the entire time and the story lines are cute and the animation simple. Hannah listens intently and sometimes even repeats back what the characters say. In her favorite episode some of the characters pretend they are part of a motorcycle gang called the Do-Gooders. They go around helping everyone and say they are rough, tough, and nice. They always say, "Grrrr!" after they do anything and Hannah just thinks that is hysterical! Every time they do it she turns to me and says, "Grrr!" right back. After a few days of watching through the video (there were 4 episodes on it) Hannah started to ask to watch it. She would gesture at the DVD player and say, "Moose Mu." It took me awhile, but I finally figured out she was asking for her Moose Movie! Now that we've returned the DVD to the libray she still asks for it and seems sad when I tell her that we had to take it back! Oh, another thing about the Backyardigans. Hannah's favorite character before we watched the DVD was the moose, but after watching the movie her favorite character became the pink thing that I don't know what kind of animal it is. Her name is Uniqua and everytime she would come on the screen Hannah would say "Neeky" and point at her. It is very, very cute. Yesterday we were grocery shopping at Walmart and Hannah spotted on an endcap a set of toddler dishes and tableware that had the Backyardigans on them. She started saying "Moose, Neeky, Bird" and pointing back behind her and trying to turn around in the cart. I stopped walking and asked her what she was talking about and she repeated her words and then pointed to the shelf and I saw it. She's got such good eyesight! I ended up getting them to hold back for her for Christmas. I put them in the cart when she wasn't looking and hid them under some groceries! She's not ready for a plate and metal fork just yet, but it won't be long.

Hannah has been very disappointed, now that the weather has turned cooler, because she can't swim in her pool anymore. Because I've been lazy and haven't deflated it yet, she can see it on the deck and asks for it almost daily by pointing at it and saying "Splash." After many times of me telling her that it was too cold to splash in the pool she has started answering herself by pointing at the pool and saying, "Splash, no, cold" and then looking at me with a sad look on her face. I've really got to get that thing put away so she won't have to keep being disappointed.

One of Hannah's favorite parts of her bedtime ritual we added only recently, but it's about the only way we can get her to start getting ready for bed without a tantrum. She absolutely hates going to bed and will run away from you if she thinks you are going to try to put her to bed or she will start stalling by asking for a drink, another book, to eat, or anything else she can think of. Fortunately for her, Daddy is a big softie and a huge pushover so she usually gets away with a certain amount of stalling when he's on bedtime duty since he wants to spend more time with her anyway! I just reread what I wrote and I still haven't told you what Hannah loves to do at bedtime! She loves to pick out which pajamas (or jammies as she calls them) she's going to wear. We give her two choices of temperature appropriate jammies and she studies them for quite awhile before finally settling on the ones she wants to wear. It's quite cute to see her examining them.

One exciting new development in Hannah's communication skills is that she has started to sing along to some of her favorite songs and will ask for specific songs that she wants to sing or wants you to sing. She really likes to exercise her control by telling you what song to sing and then saying "all done" in the middle of the song and then asking for a different one. If you don't stop when she says all done she will keep saying it, louder and louder until you finally stop! Some of her favorite songs that she will sing along with are I've Been Working on the Railroad, Patty Cake (she asks for this alot by saying "Backy Cake!" Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Jesus Loves Me, Wheels on the Bus, and Who's the King of Me. I'm sure there are several I am forgetting, but I just had a brain lapse and can't remember any of them! I also taught her two new songs the other day that I used to sing as a kid with the partner clapping, Miss Mary Mack and Peas Porridge Hot. She thinks these are great and has been asking me for them alot. For Peas Porridge Hot she says "Peas" and then smacks her thighs. For Miss Mary Mack she says, "Elfant."

Another new communication skill she has learned is adding -ing to some of the words that she knows. Now, instead of saying, "wok, wok, wok" while she is walking, she says, "woking." When she hears the dogs bark she says "barking" and when she sees them eating or chewing on a bone she says "eating" instead of "eat." Also, instead of saying "kick, kick, kick" when she's kicking me in her highchair or kicking a ball she now says, "kicking" instead. Lately her favorite new language skill is to add the "eee" sound onto the end of all sorts of words. Now we have mommy, ducky, doggy, puppy, and daddy instead of the previous mom, dad, duck, and dog. Some of her news words she's added to her vocabulary are monkey, pony tail, color, cream, hurt, pumpkin, mailman, and flower.

Hannah loves her books so much that it's a lot of fun to take her to the bookmobile every other week. I didn't realize how much she actually enjoyed going to the bookmobile until a few weeks ago when she started saying and signing book every time we walked past the Friendship House (a retirement home across the street from us where the bookmobile stops) or anytime she saw a bus (the bookmobile is a long trailer pulled by a dually truck that is a disel and sounds like the sounds the buses make). It's quite hard to explain to a 15 month old that the books aren't always there and that the bookmobile only goes there every other Thursday! I think it's interesting that after only a few months she began to associate both the place and the transportation that brings her beloved books to her!

Hannah is still very interested in letters and the alphabet song. Lately she's been pointing at letters on her mat and asking me to name them for her. I always make the sound the letter makes and say a word that begins with that letter when I point to it and she has started to make some connections. She knows that M is for Mommy and that Z is for Zeke and that Z makes the zzzz sound!

A few weeks ago Hannah went to a pumpkin patch and had her very first pony ride. They had a petting zoo at the pumpkin patch and we let Hannah wander around in that barn and look at the animals and then we went outside just to watch the ponies. We didn't figure Hannah would want to ride since she wasn't very receptive to being on Julie's back (my sister's pony) the last time we were at my mom's house and she's always been one to like to admire the horses from afar and not really even pet them very much. The most adventurous she had ever been with horses had been when she asked to "Pat, Pat, Pat" the horses next door to Baba's farm last month. As we watched the ponies it was evident that Hannah wanted near them and really wanted to ride. She even asked Kyle to ride. So I said, "Hannah do you want to ride on the pony?" and she replied, "Yes!" and gave a very emphatic nod of her head. We got the tickets and when it was her turn she sat up on the horse so tall and proud and while we were waiting for the other kids to get on and we were just standing still she starting rocking forwards and backwards and shaking the saddle horn to try to make the pony go! She had so much fun it was unbelievable. She had a huge smile on her face the entire time and of course there was a tantrum when it was time to get off. I eventually got her to say bye-bye to the ponies and give her pony a hug and a "pat, pat, pat." I'm so excited that she liked riding the pony. I was very worried that she wasn't going to want to learn how to ride. That would have been very sad for me since I've been dreamign about teaching her how to ride before she was even born!

A few days ago Hannah did something that totally shocked me and made me realize how much she's learning everyday that we don't expressly intend to teach her. Every day we go get the mail together and Hannah rips up the junk mail as I read through the good stuff. Well I was pretty absorbed in reading an ad from a politician and I didn't really realize that Hannah had even got up and walked away until I heard the trash can close. I looked up and Hannah was picking up the shredded pieces of junkmail and putting them in the trash. Everyday when she's done with the mail I pick it up and put it in the trash. I asked her, "Hannah, what are you doing?" and she said, "Trash" clear as a bell and walked back over to the junkmail on the floor, picked up some more and took it into the kitchen and threw it away! Ever since then she loves to throw the trash away, so much so that I've already had to stop her from throwing some things away that weren't trash! It's constant vigilance now and we'll have to be sure to take a quick peek in the trashbag before we take out the trash each week to be sure there isn't anything important in there!

A very helpful new sign and word that Hannah just learned is "Hurt." The other day she started signing and saying hurt and we asked her what hurt and she said and pointed to her teeth! She had been pretty cranky so we believed her and gave her some teething tablets. Her mood improved almost immediately. Now whenever she bumps her head or falls down or anything that might cause pain she signs and says hurt. Usually if I ask her where she is hurting she'll tell me where it hurts, we will talk about it and that gets her past being upset about it. It's great!

As Hannah becomes more and more independent there are lots of things that she wants to do by herself and she doesn't want me to help her. The problem is that she can't really do all the things she wants to do alone. For example, she really wants to be able to dress herself. She LOVES to put on socks. She's really getting pretty good at it and holds the hole open with both hands and tries to pull it over her foot, but she just can't keep her grip tight enough to get them completely on. This makes her VERY ANGRY. Eventually she asks for help, but she doesn't like having to ask for it. She's also been working on trying to put her pants on. Yesterday she managed to get both legs into the right holes and everything, but of course she couldn't pull them up while she was sitting down and she didn't want to stand up. We had a pretty big tantrum there, but eventually she let me stand her up and help her pull her pants up and button them.

Speaking of tantrums, we had our first public tantrum a few weeks ago in IHOP. She had been getting pretty antsy towards the end of the meal and really wanted out of her highchair. When Kyle was finished eating he told her she could get out, but that she had to sit on his lap until I was done. She said OK, but of course she wanted down as soon as she was out of the chair. We finished eating and I was packing up and Hannah kept trying to run off and then she just threw herself onto the floor (I had ahold of one arm so it wasn't too hard of a landing!) and started screaming. She's got quite a set of lungs and pretty much the entire restaraunt turned to look at us. It was a bit embarassing, but what could I do. You can't just make a kid stop screaming, especially a toddler in the middle of a tantrum. Tantrums aren't rational so it's not like the kid can stop them either. We just got her out of there as fast as possible and waited for it to blow over which it did fairly quickly and then we got her into her carseat and drove home. Of course she was really sleepy (we were out near her bedtime) which was our fault and she just couldn't handle one more thing so on the way home she completely crashed. We were able to carry her into the house, take her coat off and put her right into bed still asleep. I love that she can sleep through a transfer from carseat to bed. That makes errands so nice because if we run just a bit past her normal naptime I can count on her falling asleep on the way home and being able to just take her to her room without worrying about her waking up and losing her entire nap.
The final Hananh update I have for you is that Hannah has finally masted playing her harmonica. She can now suck air in and blow air out to make the harmonica make music. She loves to play her harmonica with Daddy. The two of them make pretty good music together. It's very cute and I have a video of it so you all can see just how cute it really is! She's actually better than I am at playing it!

1 comment:

Angela - Life w/ Two Busy Boys said...

What a LONG post...I'll have to come back to finish it later. :) Love all the pics...even if I had to cover Joshua's eyes for some of them.