Hannah has been having an absolute blast with the toys that we borrowed from Evelyn for the week. Sarah and I decided that we ought to do toy swaps with the girls so that they don't get too bored with their own toys and then will be more excited about them when they return. This past week we borrowed Evelyn's Noah's Ark and her dome playhouse. Hannah absolutely loves them both. She sits in the dome and reads books, plays with the cats and even pets the dogs! It has a little door on the front with a working doorbell and Hannah loves to push it and say, "Ding Dong!" The ark has been a huge hit too. She loves the animals that go with it and can now name them all. She loves to put them into and take them out of the ark over and over again, line them up on shelves, and even pretend to make them eat out of her nesting cups! The best part about the ark is that she's become interested in the story of Noah in her Bible and now also loves to sing the song Arky, Arky. When she ask for the song she says, "No-nah, Arky?" The verses are pretty complicated, but she loves them and listens closely for her favorite words and chimes in with them at the right times. It's so cute to see her doing it.
Hannah continues to take an interest in helping do household chores. She asks to dust almost every day. It's gotten to the point that I've set up a special swiffer duster just for her to play with because she's so obsessed with it. She still likes helping feed the pets and has now graduated to actually scooping the cat food out of the cans. She'd love to do the dumping part too, but she's not quite tall enough to do that yet. She also loves to help with laundry. Her favorite part is pushing the baskets full of dirty and clean clothes to the appropriate place in the house. She chants, "push, push, push" as she does it too!
Gymnastics continues to be a blast for both Hannah and I. She's learning so much there. It's amazing. One day she just sat down on the floor and started doing some of the warm up exercises and calling out the correct positions as she did them. It's neat to see her doing the pike, straddle, tuck routine all by herself. :) She's starting to attempt forward rolls by herself ( I always have to correct myself when I say somersault since apparently that's not the appropriate gymnastic term!) and to do the table top which is apparently a precursor to the back bend. It's kinda like the crab walk thing we used to do in gym class at school. Today she tried to do her handstand all by herself, but just couldn't quite walk her feet all the way up the wall to the vertical position, but she did managed to wedge her feet against the wall so that she was at a 90 degree angle and support her body with her hands that way which I thought was cool. She really likes her teacher and will now go to her willingly for just about anything. She even gave her a spontaneous hug today! We actually found out the other day that her teacher attends the same church that we've been trying out and Hannah is in the nursery with her daughter! It's a small world I guess. It's been awhile since I started this post and Hannah can now do a forward roll all by herself. She is so proud of herself every time she does one. I caught her doing it on tape yesterday and she kept wanting to do more and more of them and for me to take a "picksher" so she could watch it on the camera afterwards! It was so cute. She's also started to try to jump, but all she can really do is do toe lifts. She bends her knees, balls up her fists, and pushes up with all her might, but her feet never leave the ground! I'm sure she'll be hopping around everywhere soon since she loves this gymnastic stuff so much and it's one of the skills they are working on. If Miss Heather says to do it then Hannah will try her hardest to do it!
Hannah is quite good at her shape sorter now and likes to branch out with it now and pick out all of one shape and put them all in before she moves onto another shape. She won't say the words for them spontaneously yet and she can't point the right type when we ask, but she can definitely tell which ones go together and group them that way. She's really interested in their colors right now, but at the moment everything is green to her. Maybe she just likes how that word sounds! Who knows? She's also been using the blocks for stacking and making towers. So far her record is a tower 3 blocks high. She's almost managed 4 several times, but just hasn't been able to do it yet. She is so funny when she's stacking though. She lays down and gets this serious look on her face and moves her hands so slowly and carefully. Its like she's playing Jenga or something!
Hannah is now pretty much an independent eater. I'd say the only thing I haven't let her try to feed herself if soup. She could probably do it, but right now I'm too scared to give it to her. Unfortunately, soup is one of her favorite foods so I'm still doing my fair share of feeding! I'd say she's pretty much mastered the art of using the spoon. We haven't introduced the fork yet, but so far she's been able to do everything she needs to do with the spoon. I love that I can put a bowl down in front of her filled with food and she knows not to just pick it up and dump it. Don't get me wrong, accidents still happen like when she's chasing around a piece of greenbean that just won't get on her spoon and she pushes the bowl right off the tray in her attempt to corner the greenbean, but all in all she's a pretty neat eater. I'm definitely grateful for that. I've seen pictures of some other babies feeding themselves and it's not pretty. Right now one of Hannah's favorite library books is about babies learning how to eat and she thinks it's hysterical that the babies have food all over themselves. She can basically quote the entire book, (there's not too many words) and calls it the "oh, boy!" book because the first two pages say, "Oh, Boy! What a mess!" She likes to tell me on each page where the babies have managed to get the food-on their nose, chin, hair, etc.
Hannah did something yesterday that shocked me. I've been working with her on getting her to try to tell us when she's wet or has a dirty diaper, but she hates having her diaper changed so she says no everytime we ask her regardless of whether or not she needs to be changed. Well, yesterday when she woke up from her nap I walked into her room and instead of saying "Hi!" like she normally does she said, "Stinky, wet diaper," and then grabbed the front of her diaper. It was as clear as a bell. I was so surprised. I said, "Hannah do you need your diaper changed?" and she said yes. I took her to the changing table and sure enough her diaper was really wet and it was poopy. I praised her over and over for telling me about it. So far she hasn't done it again, but it's a start anyway.
We had been having a really good stretch of bedtimes and naps with Hannah, but now she's started waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes it's easy to get her back to sleep. I just go into her room and lay her back down, cover her up, and turn on her music and leave. But other times she just will not go back to sleep and cries for a half hour or more. She's also started using stalling and manipulation techniques to get us to pick up back up out of her crib. She's been telling Kyle she has a stinky diaper when it's hardly even wet and then when Kyle picks her up and checks she's got what she wanted which is to be in Daddy's arms and then she refuses to go back to sleep. She starts talking about stuff in the room, asking for food or drink, or even saying that something hurts. Today she fell asleep in the car when we were coming back from having lunch with Kyle. She stayed asleep when I brought her into the house, but I didn't want to lay her down in the crib with her parka on so I tried to take it off of her. Well, the sleeve got stuck on her arm and I ended up waking her up. When I saw that she wasn't going to immediately go right back to sleep (even though she's only napped for 5 minutes or so) I went ahead and started her naptime routine. I turned on her humidifier, read her a story and sung her two songs. Then I put her down in her crib. She wasn't asleep and had no intention of going to sleep. She screamed for 30 minutes as I listened on the monitor and then started saying "stinky, stinky." I hadn't changed her diaper before I put her down so I thought there might actually be the possibility that her diaper was dirty so I went in and changed it. It wasn't dirty and it was barely wet. She'd tricked me just like she does Kyle. I put her back in her crib and she screamed hysterically (her I'm super mad cry, not a sad or scared cry) for another 30 minutes while I listened on the monitor and then started saying, "hurt, hurt" in a pleading voice. I ran into her room thinking she might have got her arm or something stuck through the slats of the crib and she was standing there looking absolutely fine. I asked her what hurt and she said her teeth. I wasn't convinced, but I got out the oragel anyway. I told her to lay back down on the crib and I'd put her medicine on her. Usually if her teeth really hurt she's so relieved when we tell her that we're going to give her some medicine that she immediately stops crying and opens her mouth. This time she was obviously hoping I'd pick her up out of her crib to apply the medicine because when I said lay back down she started to scream again (she'd stopped crying the minute I walked in the room). I put the oragel on her gums just in case and then walked back out of the room. She screamed for another 20 minutes before finally falling asleep exhausted. The doctor had no advice to help us with her sleep disturbances and we are really out of ideas. We've given several different methods of teaching Hannah to go to sleep on her own a try over the last year and none of them have proved effective for Hannah. There are times that I worry that she has some sort of a sleep disorder and that I'm being cruel for trying to force her to go to sleep when she just can't do it. I know first hand how hard it is to deal with a sleep disorder and I would hate to think that I'm hurting and not helping Hannah with our current sleep strategy, but really it's too hard to tell if a toddler has real sleep problems or not. UGH! I really want to help her, but we just don't know what to do. Nothing has helped a bit.