Hannah is officially a year and a half old! Last weekend someone asked me how old Hannah was and I was taken aback when I had to say 18 months. That just seems so old for my little girl! Some good things are coming with her new age and maturity. Some of her stranger anxiety is lessening-FINALLY! We went to a family Christmas on Saturday to see family Hannah hasn't seen since last Christmas and she did great. After 15 minutes or so to warm up she was running around like she owned the place. That made me so happy. She's also been using 3 and 4 word sentences a lot to express herself which is really nice. For example she will say, "Mommy do it please," when she wants me to do something she is pretending to do like be a cow and "eat" the "grass" on her play mat. Or "Daddy's chair move it," when she wants me to pull out Kyle's chair so she can stand on it to look out the window. Every day I am amazed by something she says. Lately it seems like she has a one track mind. If I try to distract her from something she wants or wants to do and I think that once I get her down for a nap or interested in something else she will forget about it, it almost never works. If I tell her we will do something after her nap it is ALWAYS the first thing she asks about when she wakes up, even before I get her out of her crib! One day I told her we would be going to the bookmobile after her nap and I heard her saying on the monitor when she woke up (I wasn't even in the room yet!) "more new books please." She even surprised Sarah when she was asking for a cracker and Sarah told her she would have to ask me about it when I came back into the house. The moment I stepped through the door Hannah asked, "Mommy, cracker?" Sarah was shocked. Her memory is always cause for my amazement. She seems to just know so much that I don't even intend to teach her. For example, one day she was in her crib and supposed to be taking a nap. Well, she wasn't sleeping and hadn't been for 40 minutes. She was alternately crying and just randomly talking and then all of a sudden she started asking every person, animal, and object she could think of to get her down. She went through mommy down, daddy down, Abby down, Ella down, Sadie down, Penny down, Pap down, Kevin down, Grandpa down, Mamaw down, Papaw down, Zeke down, Toby down, Sarah down, Evelyn down, Jason down, Sidney down, Heather down, Kristie down, Jake down and on and on using duck, zebra, lion, elephant, etc. The crazy thing was that she naturally grouped all the things/people who went together into family groups or equivalents. For example she did Kyle and I and all of our pets together, she did Kyle's family together, she did Sarah and her family and dog together, etc. She even put all the random animal names together and furniture together!
It's been interesting lately to see her learning from other people. For example, her friend Evelyn says "upy" when she wants picked up. Hannah has always just used the word up and then up please to indicate she wants picked up, but all of a sudden she started using upy after spending a day with Evelyn. It was funny because we knew she knew that wasn't the right word to say because if we pretended not to hear her she would completely change her tactic and say "Up, please!" :) Another example is sneezing. When Hannah sneezes or when someone else sneezes we always say bless you, but we had never instructed Hannah to say it. Now she ALWAYS says bless you to anyone who sneezes or coughs. It's very cute. She has also learned how to say excuse me properly. Instead of just saying, "excUse" she says, "Excuse Meeeeee". It sounds a little snotty at the moment like she's back talking, but I'm pretty sure she's not doing that yet! We'll work on the delivery after she gets the idea of it a little better!
Lately she's been much more affectionate and has been giving spontaneous hugs and kisses and I love yous. She's even started asking Kyle to turn his head from side to side so that she can kiss each cheek over and over again. It makes me smile when she asks for kisses!
She's really getting into being a "Big Girl" and doing absolutely everything for herself. She can now feed herself exclusively, even soup or other liquids such as cheerios with milk. This actually makes things difficult sometimes because when I try to stop her from dumping something when she's not paying attention she gets really angry and throws a tantrum. Speaking of eating, she has two more new teeth that finally came in. Now she has pretty much all of her teeth except for her last set of molars. I will be so happy for teething to be completely over. She's not been a good teether and it will be nice to be rid of at least one more thing that can potentially make her cranky!
Hannah spends a lot of time talking about Jesus. She's been praying a lot on her own and reminds me to pray at meals sometimes. We've been working on bowing our heads and closing our eyes (along with folding her hands which she's mastered) when we pray and the other day she just climbed up on the couch and said "Pray Jesus" and folded her hands, closed her eyes, and bowed her head and then sat silently for a brief moment and then said "Amen" I was so proud of her.
We finally took the rocker off of her bike and have been letting Hannah push it around the house with her feet. She can almost reach the pedals now, but can't quite extend her leg all the way to actually pedal. I'm sure this spring she'll be able to reach them and will be rearing to go!
This winter our family has been plagued with our share of colds, sniffles, and stuffy noses. Hannah finally had her first doctor's visit with no tears and she even bravely let them take her temperature and look in her ears and mouth! Her congestion forced us to get the dreaded aspirator out again and by the end of it Hannah had actually stopped struggling while we did it. In fact it was as if she was putting up with it just so she could get to the good part which this time was twisting the cap back on the saline solution that we squirt up her nose first! She is also honing her skills at blowing her nose and is very interested in everyone else blowing their noses too! Speaking of doctors, today I had a doctor's appointment that I had to take Hannah with me to and while the doctor was entering some information into the computer she get very excited because she wanted to see the "pishurs" on it. Because we do so much digital photography, Hannah thinks computers are made for nothing but displaying pictures of her and she is very surprised anytime there is a computer somewhere else that doesn't have a picture of her on it!
Back before Christmas we went to visit Tiffany and her family and Hannah got to see Tiffany's brother Robert for the first time since May. Every time Robert has seen Hannah since she has been born she has screamed bloody murder whenever he held her. BUT for some reason this last visit was different. Hannah really warmed up to him quickly and they became fast friends. I wonder if it's the facial hair (Robert recently let his beard grow much longer) since Hannah seems to have a thing for men with facial hair. We got some great pictures of them together and when we were walking into the church to see the twins' Christmas play, Hannah wanted to hold Robert's hand! It was really cute. Ever since Hannah has been asking about Robert constantly and completely fixates on his picture in her photo album. I know it made Robert feel good and I'm happy that Hannah is developing closer bonds with all of her birthfamily.
Ever since Hannah had her last bout with pneumonia and the x-ray tech gave her a sticker, Hannah has been very intrigued by stickers. Then, she started going to gymnastics and she gets either a sticker or a stamp on her hand after each class. That pretty much sent her into full fledged sticker obsession. This is pretty much a pain in the butt since she likes to take them on and off of the various things she chooses to stick them on and then they lose their sticky and they get lost and she has a fit when she can't find her sticker, but I have managed to find a bright side to the obsession and use it for my benefit. Lately Hannah has been asserting her independence which has caused some serious obedience issues. Consequently we try to praise her like crazy whenever she does obey without a fight. So, here recently, I've been saving all those crazy stickers that charitable organizations send me (like Easter Seals for example) and using them as rewards/incentives when Hannah obeys. She is so proud of herself when she earns a sticker and sometimes even wants to call Kyle at work and tell him about it! I'm thinking that if this sticker obsession continues until she is a little bit older then I may have hit the jackpot in the discipline department because she is also devastated if she loses a sticker for being disobedient or naughty. Maybe, just maybe stickers will be the key to a quick and painless toilet training.
Hannah got several new art related supplies as gifts for Christmas and she's really been enjoying trying them out and releasing her inner Picasso! She got some Crayola first markers and paints and some new crayons from her grandpa and she LOVES to use them to color the pages she gets at gymnastics and at the bookmobile. She also got this cool little magnetic drawing lap desk from Kyle's aunt and uncle that she is crazy about. It even has these little magnet "stamps" that are animal shapes that she can stamp on the desk and then it all wipes clean with one swipe of the ladybug lever and you can start all over. It's really cool. Even I like playing with it. The best thing is that it's designed for kids 18 months and up so I don't have to worry about safety concerns like I would have to with a normal magnadoodle or the equivalent. Hannah loves to pretend she's writing her name on the screen and even pretends to spell it out. She knows several of the letters in her own name although she doesn't usually get them in the right order when she says them out loud as she pretends to write. I can't wait to try this toy out in the van the next time we need to take a road trip. We let Evelyn borrow it when they took their trip back to Minnesota for Christmas and we heard it was a lifesaver.
Hannah has always loved to be tickled from since she was really little. Once she learned the signs for more and all done and then the words more and all done she also loves to get you to start and stop tickling her on command repeatedly! For the past few weeks she's branched out in the tickling department from just being the tickled to now also being the tickler. She loves to tickle me and of course announce what she's doing by saying, "tickle, tick, tick!" as she's tickling me. She's also started trying to tickle the pets which is pretty funny to watch. I'm not so sure that the dogs or cats really get it, but they've been good sports about it so far.
To update everyone on Hannah's love of numbers, she has officially mastered counting to 6 and has even counted to 10 a few times on her own too. It's been so exciting to watch her just explode with knowledge the past few weeks. She's had a color learning explosion as well. She can now accurately name red, blue, green, orange, and pink about 95% of the time. She gets yellow and purple only about 75% of the time, but I think that's pretty good for an 18 month old. It seems like her favorite thing to do these days is to count or play the "color game" which is pretty much either me pointing to something and asking her what color it is, me saying "Hannah find the (insert color) (insert object)", or her matching colors. She likes to have me pull out a green block and then ask her to put all the other blocks of the same color by it. She loves to do that sorting game. To her everything is a game and she just soaks it up and constantly asks for more. She's just so bored when she's not learning that she gets herself into all sorts of trouble.