Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Big Girl Bed

We got Hannah's new big girl bed and she's been sleeping in it for about a week and a half now. The transition has actually gone MUCH smoother than I expected. In fact she might even be sleeping BETTER in the big girl bed than in her crib! She's at least doing just as well. She really likes her bed and finds reasons to sit and lay on it during the day and doesn't even put up much of a fuss when it's time to go back to her room for a nap. Now, she still cries usually when we leave the room and gets out of bed and goes to the door, but she usually gets back in her bed on her own and falls asleep on her own. Yesterday she even covered herself up with her blanket! Today, however, she didn't nap at all and alternated crying with dragging all of her onesies out and putting them on over her head! Consequently she fell asleep during her bedtime routine with Kyle tonight because she was so tired. So far we've been able to keep her in her room by simply closing the bottom half of her dutch door, but that may not be enough soon. Yesterday while playing in her room with a friend she managed to open her door by turning the doorknob by herself twice in a row. I watched her do it with a sense of panic that our easy transition to the big girl bed was about to end, but so far she has not duplicated the feat today even when she was attempting to get out during nap time. I also remembered last night that when Kyle put the second door knob on the door he reversed the bottom knob so that the lock is on the outside. So, if we have to, we can lock her in at nap time and bedtime and still leave the top part of her door open for emergencies.

Last week Hannah stayed with her friend Addie for the first time alone and she did great. I was nervous since she hasn't had very many babysitters (pretty much just Evelyn's parents and Mamaw and Papaw since she's been old enough to realize we weren't around), but I shouldn't have worried at all. She's getting a lot more flexible and she loves Kim (Addie's mom) so even though she'd never stayed at their house or been all by herself with Kim for more than a few minutes she stayed pretty relaxed and even went down for bed at a reasonable time!

Hannah's big girl bed has been helping her perfect a new skill, jumping and actually getting both feet off of the ground. She's been working on jumping ever since she started gymnastics back in October, but she hasn't really been very successful at getting both of her feet off the ground at the same time. Since she got her big girl bed she has learned that she can stand on the mattress and hold onto the foot board with both hands and bounce up and down. She's gotten some serious airtime and that has helped boost her confidence I think and help her learn what it really feels like to jump. She's been practicing a lot on the ground and can now actually manage to get both feet off the ground about 30 % of the time. Whenever she does it she gets this huge grin on her face and tells herself "Nice Try!"

The more Hannah learns how to do things herself the more insistent she gets about doing them herself EVERY time. So, I've been trying to use this to my advantage by giving her more and more responsibilities around the house. She's had the job of helping feed the animals and been responsible for helping put her toys away for quite some time now and she's always loved helping push the laundry baskets to the living room so that we can take them downstairs to the laundry room, but now I've started giving her some things that she is responsible for doing all by herself without my help. For example, we put up a coat hook for her that she can reach and taught her how to hang her coat and hat up. Now she is responsible for taking off her coat and hanging it up by herself whenever we get into the house. She's also responsible for putting her dirty clothes in her clothes hamper and for putting away her clean onesies, socks, and PJs in the right bins in her Nemo organizer. She knows where everything goes and puts things away as I'm folding. It's actually a big help because it eliminates a step for me and then we can get back to playing sooner. She's also responsible for taking her dirty clothes hamper into our room once it's full and sorting out the whites and colors into the appropriate laundry basket. This may be her favorite chore of all because once she's done she ALWAYS asks for more and sometimes gets upset if I tell her there isn't anymore laundry left to sort.

Speaking of clothes, Hannah's starting to strip off her clothes whenever she gets a chance. She's mastered taking off her socks and pants and and any jacket or sweater that has a zipper and just the other day she surprised us by taking a shirt completely off by herself. It seems like as soon as I get her fully dressed she starts the process of undressing. Fortunately she hasn't figured out how to undo the snaps on the bottom of her onesies yet otherwise I'm convinced I'd be finding her stark naked and peeing on the carpet quite regularly since she really loves being naked. To be fair, she's also quite interested in dressing herself as well as undressing. She's able to get her head in the right hole of a shirt or onesie pretty much all of the time and can sometimes even get her arms in the right holes as well. She knows the theory of how to put on socks and shoes, but gets quite frustrated as she attempts it and usually ends up chucking a sock or a shoe across the room because of her impatience. Pants are pretty hit or miss. She can often get both legs in the right holes, but lacks the coordination to stand up and pull the pants up over her butt without falling and doesn't quite understand why they won't pull up while she's sitting down! Now, if she already has pants on and has pulled them down while she is standing up then she can usually pull them back up on her own, but that's about as far as she can go with that.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mini Martha Stewart

Hannah is fast becoming a miniature Martha Stewart. She is REALLY into doing arts and crafts at the moment. We made a Valentine's Day card for Kyle and that basically got her hooked. Now she's not only into coloring, but also scrapbooking, stamping, and various other paper crafts! She's got her own stamps now since she's none too gentle with them and I bought her some non toxic ink since I couldn't keep her fingers out of her mouth. She's been stamping pretty much every day and works on her own scrapbook about every other day. She thinks that it's the best treat EVER to get to do those things. Once she is able to be a little bit more trustworthy with her supplies and a little more independent then maybe I can get back into scrapbooking and making my cards and we can do it together. That would be fun. I really look forward to it.

Besides crafting, Hannah is also really into cooking right now. She LOVES to cook with her daddy and even has her own apron. She looks so cute all decked out ready to cook. It's a good thing that Kyle is a good cook otherwise Hannah might never learn how to do it!

Hannah just started pointing out letters and singing pretty much the entire ABC song this past week. It all started when we were out buying her stamps. We were getting into the van and she started saying "M, Mommy" I didn't see a "M" anywhere so I asked her to point and sure enough she pointed right at a big sign that had an upper case "M." I thought that was pretty neat, but thought it could have just been a coincidence since "M" is one of her favorite letters on her letter mat and with her fridge phonics. Then we were stopped at a stoplight waiting to pull out of the parking lot and she started shouting, "Z, Zeke!" and pointing straight ahead. We were looking right at a huge Lay Z Boy furniture billboard. By that point I was getting a bit freaked out and managed to calm down and not wreak as we pulled out of the parking lot. Then we were stopped at the next stoplight and she got really excited and pointed out the window and said, "W, water." She was staring right at the Lowe's Home Improvement store sign! Of course I had to call Kyle right away and tell him what a smart little girl we have. Then a few days later she started singing the ABC song and just kept right on going past ABC and she wasn't even singing along to the song or anything. She was coming up with the letters all by herself. She's been practicing on her own a TON this week and she can consistently get up to R before she starts skipping some letters. She ALWAYS skips "X" and DOES NOT like to be corrected. If you try to tell her it's wXyz she will shake her head and say "NO! WYZ." and that's the end of that conversation! Since that first day of pointing out the letters on the signs she's continued to point out the letters W, M, and Z on signs, shirts, and in books. She's also correctly pointed out G, H, S, and D. She's got quite the little eagle eyes and loves to point out any letters she can find.

She still loves to count and can now consistently get to 13 and she also randomly starts doing the other teens after she hits 13! Up until a few days ago I was sure that she was only repeating the sequence of numbers she had memorized, but had no real concept that numbers actually stood for a one to one correspondence to objects, but then she blew that theory out of the water. Whenever I vacuum it is Hannah's job to move all of the stuff on the floor out of the way so I don't hit it with the vacuum and then put it back once I'm done. She was returning some shoes to our entry way the other day and she decided she was going to take them one at a time. She picked the first shoe up which was one of Kyle's and put it back and said, "One Daddy," and then went back to get another one. The next shoe she picked up was one of mine and as she set it down she said, "One Mommy," and then went back again. She came back with another one of Kyle's shoes and said, "Two Daddy," as she set it down and after returning with my final shoe she said, "Two Mommy." I was pretty impressed, but then she is my little girl and I think EVERYTHING she does is brilliant! :)

Another pre mathematics skill she's been working on is sorting. The other day she dumped out all of her mega blocks (like Legos only much bigger for little kids) and then sorted them all out into two piles. One pile had all the blocks that have only one peg and the other pile had all the other blocks. She didn't make a single mistake at all. Then she put all the multi peg blocks back into their basket and made a tower using only the blocks with one peg. We've worked on sorting those blocks before, but NEVER based on how many pegs they have. We always sort based on color. I figured number of pegs would just be too hard for her. Apparently I thought wrong. While all of this was happening I was just sitting on a chair watching amazed. I couldn't believe that she just decided to sort them all on her own and then did it correctly. Apparently she must have been planning what she wanted to build and she knew exactly what she wanted.

Hannah is still memorizing song lyrics and has now moved on from memorizing children's songs to the songs off of her Hannah's Dance Mix play list on the IPOD. Some of the songs that she knows partial sets of lyrics to are: Yellow Submarine, Jump in the Line, Day-O, The Theme Song from Ghostbusters, Can't Help Myself (Sugarpie, Honeybunch), and Call Me Al. She loves to listen to her songs and dance and sing along.

Hannah finally outgrew her first pair of tennis shoes and when I took her to have her feet measured we found out the she has two different sized feet! One foot is still a 6 1/2 and the other is a 7. So, we bought her new shoes at the second hand kids store while Mamaw and Papaw were visiting that were size 7. I wonder if eventually her feet will end up being the same size or if one foot will always be a half size bigger?

Speaking of outgrowing, it seems as if Hannah is outgrowing a lot of things lately. She recently decided that she was too big for her crib by attempting to climb out of it! She probably would have made it all the way out had she not announced what she was doing as she was doing it. She was in her crib and was supposed to be napping, but in true Hannah style she WAS NOT sleeping. She was at her old tricks as usual, but since they weren't working she apparently decided she would have to take matters into her own hands. She said, "Climbing!" and then proceeded to climb over the railing. Fortunately I heard her make this announcement and sprinted to the nursery in time to hear her say, "Foot, stuck, help" She had her leg all the way on top of the railing and had hooked her ankle over the top. She was basically doing the splits standing up. The next morning when I went in to get her up out of bed I found that she had pulled one of the bins from her toy shelf into her crib (she does this often so that part was not surprising) and was standing on it like a step stool and was holding onto the end of her crib! She proudly announced "Standing!" as I walked into her room and she was indeed standing. So, we decided that it really was time for her to be done with her crib and we went out and bought her a twin bed this past weekend and some new big girl sheets. She helped pick out her new bed. We found one that is basically like the one I had when I was in college my freshman year and is used in thousands of universities across the country. It's infinitely adjustable as far as height goes and can be basically a mattress on the floor to bunk bed height that a dresser can be slid underneath. If we ever want to buy more pieces and she still has a tiny room that needs more space then we can add two extra end pieces and turn it into a full sized loft that can fit a desk underneath. For her new big girl sheets she chose Diego from the Nick Jr show Go Diego Go (which she has never seen, but she LOVES Diego from multiple "readings" of a fisher price catalog that has several Diego toys that feature him doing fun stuff with animals) and a set of Little Mermaid sheets. Since we are also going to get rid of her changing table when we take down her crib and that means she'll have a bit of extra space in her room, we got her a child sized table and chairs which she absolutely adores. She got to color on it for the first time today and was absolutely enthralled. I think she really felt like a big girl sitting in her own chair with the box of crayons right on the table with her coloring instead of sitting strapped in her highchair with Mommy handing her crayons. We'll see how the actual transition goes to the big girl bed. She's all pumped about it now, but since she's not a good sleeper to begin with I don't have high hopes of this going very smoothly. We could be in for a rough month or two (or maybe 3 or 4, but let's hope not that long!).

Here's one final story to make you laugh as I finish up this blog post. On Valentine's Day Kyle took Hannah and I to Chick Fil A for dinner. Hannah loves to eat there and play in their play place and we love how friendly and clean it is and how great the food is. Anyway, Hannah has recently discovered that she loves to dip chicken nuggets into BBQ sauce courtesy of her friend Addie. While we were at the restaurant Hannah was dipping away with her chicken and then all of a sudden picked up a strawberry and held it poised over the BBQ sauce and then gave me a sly little look that clearly said, "So, are you gonna stop me?" I just looked back at her and said, "Do whatever you want. It's your strawberry." Hannah then proceeded to dip strawberry after strawberry into her sauce and eat them. I don't know if she actually liked the taste or if it was just a novelty. We'll see if she remembers about it the next time we go to Chick Fil A. We got some cute video of her doing it so I'll try to post it here sometime in the near future.

Here's a video of Hannah and I playing Doggies.

Here are two vidoes (really they are only adudio) of Hannah NOT napping. I'm standing outside her bedroom door so just ignore what you see and listen carefully. You'll probably need to have the volume turned up pretty far to get the full effect of what she is saying.