Hannah had a good Halloween this year. She wore her Squirt costume again even though it was a bit small on her. She looked really cute in it and had fun passing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters. She loved how she looked in her costume and kept running into our bedroom to look at herself in the full length mirror and say "tur-tell."
Hannah is enjoying talking on the phone more and more lately. She will actually listen to what the other person is saying and answer the questions they are asking her which is kind of neat. It is funny though that if I tell her to tell someone on the phone that she loves them, she automatically says, "Nigh, nigh" right afterwords like she thinks it's time for bed!
At the moment bedtimes seem to be going ok. We did have a really rough night last week where she cried for literally hours during the middle of the night, but other than that there have been less tears and quicker falling asleep times than in the past. I hope this continues. I am ready for her bedtime battles to be over! The daylight savings time switch has thrown Hannah for a loop again. Once again I didn't start adjusting her schedule before the change and then it hit, bam! Now both she and the dogs are waking up at their normal time which is really an hour early and demanding to eat. I actually think it might be the dogs waking up Hannah, but it's hard to tell. Anyway, it hasn't seemed to matter how much later I put Hannah to bed, she still wakes up an hour earlier than I want her too. UGH! Looks like I'm back to being an early bird again.
The other day Hannah went with both Kyle and I to vote (she got to go twice and get a sticker both times!) and she had a great time there. She loved that they were passing out stickers and she gladly wore her "I Voted!" stickers all day long and even stole mine! Something that was very interesting about going to vote was that the vote center was in the building of our old church. Hannah probably doesn't remember going to church there since she was only about 6 months old when we switched churches, but recently a friend we had from that old church passed away suddenly and I had to take Hannah with me to memorial service because I could not find a sitter. We sat in the back and I prompted Hannah many times to be very quiet and said "Shh" a lot. Well, as soon as I walked into the building with her to go vote Hannah turned and looked at me and said, "Quiet, Shh. Mommy Shh." I couldn't believe that she remembered that and that she knew that this was a building where Mommy had told her she must be quiet. Later that evening Kyle went to vote and he took Hannah with him and she did the same thing to him. She told him, "Quiet, Shh" as soon as they walked in the door of the church! She's such a smart little girl.
Today Hannah and I went to visit a friend of ours who has a little girl who is almost 6 months old. We had to pick up some baby items that they had borrowed. While we were there Hannah got very jealous while I was holding the baby. She even went so far as to come over to me, put her hand on my shoulder, lean around and give me a kiss on the lips. She looked so sad. It was like she was saying, "Mommy, don't forget about me!"
Not this weekend, but next we are going to go speak at IAC (the agency we worked with to adopt Hannah) and talk with couples that are currently waiting to adopt at a support group meeting. Both Tiffany and Mike are coming to speak too so we will get to have an extra and unexpected visit before Christmas. I'm very excited to see them both and for them to see how much Hannah has grown since her birthday. When I was talking to Tiffany on the phone the other day to confirm our plans Hannah just jabbered away to her and she talked to Mike on the phone about a week ago. I can't wait to see their expressions when she starts having a conversation with them. That should be so fun.
Hannah is really starting to get interested in pretend play. She's been rocking her baby doll in my old doll cradle and then pushing around her walker while I run the vacuum and pretending she's vacuuming too. She even makes the sweeper sound while she pushes and she pushes and pulls it back and forth just like I do the sweeper! The other day I got her this little barn with plastic animals that go inside it and Hannah has been taking the animals in and out of the farm and making them run around and make their sounds and lay in their beds and pretend to eat and all sorts of other imaginative things. Tonight she was playing in her Tupperware cupboard and she pulled out an empty peach container with out a lid. She started walking around with it tipped up to her lips and was pretending to drink from it like a cup. When she would take it away from her mouth she would kind of smack her lips and say, "Mmm. . Good!" That really made me laugh! It makes me smile seeing her make those connections for herself and to see her engaged in playing solo.
Even though I really like that Hannah can and will play by herself, I'm getting a bit worried about her lack of interest in socializing or playing with other children. When placed in a group of kids Hannah doesn't even really acknowledge that they even exist, not even to go over and take their toy away or anything! If she wants a toy that another kid has she will come to me and ask "Please, help" but she doesn't interact with the child at all. Is that odd? Wouldn't most toddlers just go try to take what they want? Hannah doesn't even seem interested in playing beside them or watching what they are playing. She just takes her toy or book off to the side by herself somewhere and does her own thing. If one of the other kids tries to come over to her either she moves, or cries because they are invading her personal space. I've been trying really hard to get her out to places where there are other kids for her to interact with like at the library, gymnastics, the play place at the mall, but so far I haven't had much luck with getting her to play or even interact with anyone at all.
Another thing I worry about is that Hannah is so sensitive. She cries if another child bumps up against her or even invades her personal space a bit. She gets jealous and seems betrayed when she sees us paying attention to other kids. And, when she thinks she is in trouble she will go hide somewhere and sit and cry silently, just tears and no sounds at all and she looks so sad and hurt that she was reprimanded. We always have to go pick her up afterwords and give her lots of kisses and hugs and tell her that we still love her even when she does something wrong. Is that normal? I really have no judge to gauge Hannah's social development by so I have no idea if all these things she is doing or not doing that I am worried about are perfectly normal and par for the course or if I really do need to be worried and trying to teach her more social skills.
Last Friday Hannah and I went with my friend Kristie to the barn to visit her horse and give Hannah a pony ride. Hannah was a bit intimidated by Jake while she was standing on the ground, but she did eventually pet him a bit and even brushed his legs! BUT once we got her up on Jake she was in heaven. I had taught her to say "walk on" to make Jake go and "whoa" to make him stop and she gladly told him walk on to start him up and then even started saying walk on when she thought he was slowing down too much! When it was time to get off Hannah refused to say "whoa." It was as if she thought that if she didn't say the word then she wouldn't have to get off! All week this week Hannah has been saying "horse, Jake" every time she sees a picture of a horse or one of her stuffed horses. Yesterday she was down crawling on her hands and feet in that old elephant crawl she used to do and was going through the house saying, "walk on, Jake, walk on!" and then neighing like a horse! Last night when Kyle was feeding her dinner Hannah kept saying something that he couldn't quite figure out what it was. He thought she was saying walking, but when he asked her if it was that she said no. Eventually he figured out that she was saying walk on and then she started saying "Jake" and then walk on and horse. Kyle asked her if she wanted to go ride Jake again and she said, "Yes!" She's turning into a little equestrian after all. That makes me so happy!
I don't know why it still shocks me when Hannah communicates her wants and needs to us so clearly since she's been doing it forever, but each time I am always taken aback at how sophisticated her knowledge of what she wants and when she wants it is. For example, today we were outside raking leaves. Hannah was having fun jumping in the piles, digging through the leaves and inspecting all the tiny details of various leaves. After we had been outside for about a half hour Hannah was playing in a pile of leaves about half way across the yard from me. All of a sudden she got up, walked over to me, touched my leg and said, "All done rake. Eat hungry." I looked at my watch and it was 3:05pm which is her normal afternoon snack time. When I didn't pick up the rake and immediately start walking to the house she made her request again, but this time she added her signs just to be sure I understood her. She said, "All done rake, all done. Eat, eat." She signed all done and eat as she was saying the words.
Here are some more videos I managed to get uploaded last night. Enjoy.
This one is of Hannah carrying around a plastic bag. She loves to carry bags, purses, or anything else she can loop over her arms around the house. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3757887218754269545&hl=en
These next two videos are of Hannah practicing using her spoon to scoop up fruit out of a bowl. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7580559781126877656&hl=en
Here are two videos of Hannah playing with the loose corn at the pumpkin patch. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6112826176074159498&hl=en
Here are several videos of her petting the animals at the pumpkin patch. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6107319117233195303&hl=en
Here are some videos of Hannah supposedly resting when she had pneumonia. I'll let you be the judge of whether or not this constitutes resting! http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6339993111185418773&hl=en