Adoption Interview

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012

Saturday, March 29, 2008

First Ear Infection

The cold I mentioned that Hannah was getting in my last post turned into her first ear infection. She's now on a 10 day course of antibiotics that she has to take 3 times a day. I'm extremely glad that she is good about taking medicine because I don't even want to think about having to give her meds multiple times a day by myself if she didn't cooperate. The fact that Hannah is so good about taking medicine is probably partly just her personality, but I'm sure the fact that she sees me take so many meds has something to do with it too. I didn't know quite how in tune she was to my physical health and my meds until one day when we were in the grocery store and I put a bottle of vitamins in the cart and Hannah tried to take it from me and said, "Hannah hold medicine." She will also try to diagnose me whenever I deny her requests to pick her up, dance with her, or play the "get you game" (chase her). The first thing she will say is "Mommy hurt" and then once I confirm that she is right she will then try to decide what hurts. She will guess my back, head, or legs. It makes me sad that she is not even 2 years old, yet she already has a good grasp on my pain and it's limitations. If I say that I am hurting she will usually give me a hug or kiss and say, "feel better Mommy."

Potty training is going fairly well given that we aren't very serious about it. I try to take her to the bathroom at least a couple of times a day, but that doesn't always happen. She's not asking to go sit on the potty yet, but she has been telling us when she pees every now and then and she pees almost every time I sit her on the toilet now. She's also pooped four times. Today I took her in to sit on the potty when she had a dry diaper and then she peed as soon as she sat down. I'm not sure if she was actually holding it or not, but I'll take it as a good sign. She's also asking to stay on the potty for longer and longer periods of time ever since that first time she pooped. Even though she's not asking to go in and sit on the potty, I wonder if these other things are a sign that I need to get a little more serious about the potty training. I don't want to push her too quickly, but if she's ready to be rid of diapers then I certainly don't want to prolong the process! I'd love to have that money we spend on diapers to use for other things.

Today we took Hannah to the gym where she takes her gymnastics class for their Saturday open play program. She had an absolute blast and completely wore herself out. By the end of the hour she could barely haul herself up onto the trampoline or even walk straight! She was so cute running down the room long trampoline bouncing all the way. Speaking of gymnastics, next month Hannah will be performing in her first gymnastics meet. The gym has a preschool gymnastics show to raise money for St. Jude Hospital every year and this year Hannah will be participating. I can't wait to see her show off for everyone.

Recently we got a pleasant surprise. Mike, Hannah's birthfather, was in town for work and he called to ask if he could drop by. We hadn't seen him for awhile so it was nice for Hannah to get the chance to spend some time with him and get to know him better. Next week we also have date set up to see Tiffany and the twins so we can get Easter pictures taken of the kids again like we did last year. We haven't seem them since before Christmas so I'm anxious to see how the twins have grown and for Tiffany to see how much Hannah has changed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

So Smart

My little girl is so smart. She continues to soak up things faster than I can even process what she's learning. Her new letter identification count is A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, M, P, Q, R, S, T, W, Y, and Z . She can sometimes get L, N and X. She also has a new letter sound both the long and the short A sound courtesy of that new home preschool curriculum I started last week. She's starting to be able to identify some numbers although she's not mastered any of them completely yet. So far the ones she's been able to get at least semi regularly are 1, 2, 3, and 4. The coolest thing that has happened in her learning lately is that she now really pays attention when she is counting to be sure she counts only one number for each object that she touches (or that I point to) and then stops once she runs out of objects. Once she gets above about 7 she starts to lose track a bit when she's counting on her own. I think that as the number of objects to count increases she gets confused about which ones she's already counted. BUT if I point to the objects then she will wait for me to point to each object before she says the number and can go all the way up to 13 which is basically as far as she can count. "School" has been a huge success. We are on our second week and she couldn't be happier. The theme this week is jungle and she's just as into it already as she was the cow theme last week. We introduced her to the Disney movie version of The Jungle Book and she loves the song where the elephants march around the jungle. I bet we've watched that scene a dozen times already since Saturday! A cool benefit to Hannah's school is that she enjoys me giving her "homework" to do and this allows me to get some chores done like unload the dishwasher, make a shopping list, etc. Her homework consists of me assigning her the task of searching the house for everything that's green, square, etc OR searching through her books to find all the cows, letter A's, jungle animals, etc. It's so funny to hear her shout out from another room, "I found one! I found another one!" Along with a weekly theme, letter, number, and shape/color, the program also has a weekly nursery rhyme that usually goes along with the theme at least somewhat. You are supposed to recite it at least once each day. It took almost no time at all for Hannah to memorize last week's nursery rhyme-Hey Diddle Diddle and she's been going around saying it constantly. This week's rhyme is not as catchy (at least I don't think so since I'd never heard it before) so I'm not sure if she'll memorize it or not. I'll keep you posted!

At the moment Hannah is sick. She started getting a cold on Thursday and then on Sunday she had a fever of 100.8 degrees. It came down with Tylenol and then stayed down until about 6pm tonight and then it shot back up. She's got a ton of thick green mucus and the poor thing is coughing constantly. I'm positive she has already got me sick since I've been blowing my nose all day and am starting to feel really run down. I just hope I don't get too sick since I'm not sure I'd be able to keep up with her! Even though she's sick she's still pretty energetic and then you have to add to that needy because she doesn't feel well.

Despite being sick, Hannah had a big moment today. She pooped on the potty for the first time and also peed four separate times while she was up there. She got SO EXCITED. She kept asking me to put my hand out so that she could give me high fives. Her eyes got as big as silver dollars when she heard the splash in the toilet. It was pretty funny to see her and then hear her gasp and say, "I did it!" She had to call Kyle and leave him a message and then call Pap and Mindy and leave them a message and then call Uncle Kevin, and then finally call Mamaw and Papaw. I didn't think the phone calls would ever stop, but I didn't want to rain on her parade so I let her talk herself out.

The new bedtime and nap routine is still working very well. Hopefully this will really be the breakthrough we've been waiting for. She just seems so much better rested and less cranky which is so nice. I get a lot more done too since I can guarantee that I'll have at least an hour (sometimes more if she doesn't go right to sleep and reads for awhile) to get chores done. It is so nice!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Big Girl Potty

Hannah has been showing some definite interest in the potty for quite some time now and it really ballooned about a month ago. We didn't really have room for a separate potty chair so we ordered a new toilet seat for our guest bathroom that has a little kids' seat built in that hides up in the lid when not in use. It's a definite space saver and Hannah doesn't mind one bit. So far she hasn't actually asked to sit on the potty, but she always wants to flush and wipe. Sometimes when we ask her if she wants to sit on the potty she does and sometimes she doesn't. We read a special potty book while she sits on the toilet and the little girl's name in the book is even Hannah which she thinks is pretty cool. We've been using a sticker chart and a stamp on her hand as an incentive to sit on the potty and the 3 times she has actually peed on the toilet we've given her two stickers and two stamps. When she fills up her chart she can cash it in for a surprise (she LOVES surprises!). One day she peed both times that I sat her on the toilet and she got so excited that she wanted to call everyone she could think of. She called Kyle twice, Mamaw, and Sarah. She wanted to call Grandpa, but there was no answer and then she changed her mind about calling Aunt Heather as I was dialing the phone. It was pretty funny to hear her singing everyone her potty song that I made up.

Sleeping at night became a real problem again and we were back to long periods of screaming and bargaining for another song or anything that would keep Kyle and I in there for longer. She was so tired all the time because she wasn't napping and wasn't sleeping very long at night. We HAD to do something different because what we've been doing for the last year and a half or so obviously wasn't working. So, I checked out a book about toddler sleep solutions from the library and read it through. We picked several things to try and started them on Sunday at bedtime. I know it's really too soon to tell if any of this is going to work given how we have been faked out before, but so far the results seem promising. She cried for only about 5 minutes Sunday night, 3 or 4 minutes for nap yesterday, 30 seconds or less Monday night, and no tears at all today at nap time and each and every day I left the room with her awake! We changed her bed routine pretty drastically and are working harder to get her in bed sooner and keep as much light as possible out of her room to help her fall asleep and not wake up too early in the morning. When she moved to her big girl bed she lost her crib music machine and her fan so she no longer had any white noise. We didn't want to have a fan running with her loose and able to stick her fingers inside it. Her CD player hasn't worked for almost 9 months, but the radio still works so I tuned it to static and turned it up loud. That part seems to work because she really can't seem to hear us with it on when we are walking around the house. We also started closing and latching the top part of her dutch door to keep out sound, sights, and light. In the beginning that really made her angry, but she doesn't seem to mind now. I've got some drapes ordered for her room so that as it stays lighter and lighter outside at night we will be able to make her room as dark as possible at bedtime. She has a blackout shade, but a lot of light sneaks in past it through the edges of the window. The drapes should fix that problem since they will extend well past her window frame. We swapped her singing and reading order at night. Now we sing first while cuddling in her chair and then move to her bed and let her choose 3 books to read before bed. She REALLY likes this part. Then we sit on her bed while she lays on her pillow and read to her. Today after reading for her nap she didn't even try to get out of her bed until I was well out of her room. This is a HUGE change. Now she did get out of her bed eventually because I heard her reading later. I do wonder where I'll find her when she wakes up. She's been getting awfully fond of napping in that rocking chair! But, I don't think I mind it too much if she actually does nap.

Hannah has been craving things to learn lately and I have been finding it really hard to satiate her desires. So, I decided something had to be done about that too or we were both going to go crazy. A friend of mine pointed me towards a preschool curriculum designed for kids who are home schooled for ages 2-4. I checked it out and it was great. She has EVERYTHING you could imagine on her website and it's all free. I got everything organized and we started yesterday. Hannah is loving it and is already obsessed with it. She wants to DO SCHOOL all the time. The first thing she asked about when she woke up this morning was school! I think it's going to work out really well for her (and me too). She'll get some structured, but fun learning time, we'll get to spend some quality time together, and I get to get my teaching fix without actually having to go back to work! Everybody wins!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hannah Do It!

Hannah is officially Miss Independent. I hear the words, "Hannah Do It!" dozens of times each day and while I know that she must practice new skills and I fully appreciate that I will like it once she can dress herself, brush her teeth, etc, those words are getting old VERY quickly. The problem is not that she wants to do things herself, but the fact that she refuses any suggestion that she might need even a shred of help. She's so close to being able to dress herself and if she would just let us help her a tiny bit she would be able to do it, but the merest of suggestion that she might like some help is enough to send her into a wild tantrum. However, if she isn't helped then she gets more and more frustrated the longer she tries and cannot do it on her own and then she still has a tantrum. It's a Catch 22. One day last week it took us 45 minutes to get dressed! I had to constantly stop myself and take a deep breath and pray for God to grant me patience throughout that whole ordeal. I thought the dogs were going to explode from waiting so long to get out of their crates and both Hannah and I were near tears by the time it was all said and done and we were eating breakfast. A funny story about Hannah and dressing herself happened the other day while she was insisting that she put her coat on herself. I was getting so frustrated because we really needed to go that I just had to walk away to the other room for a second. Then all of a sudden I hear, "I did it!" and Hannah comes stumbling into the living room with her coat on facing the wrong way (zipper to the back) and the hood up over her face! She was so proud of herself. :) It was one of the funniest things I have seen in awhile. It was a nice reminder that I need to stop and smell the roses every once in awhile and not try to rush her too much if I can help it.

As Hannah continues to learn new things like dressing herself, I am reminded of how far she has come and have been a bit nostalgic lately for some of her baby days. The things I think I miss the most are her mispronunciations of words when she was first learning to talk. I'm kicking myself now for not writing them all down, but here are the few that I remember that have long since passed away and then some of my current favorites that I'm sure I'll be sad to see go someday.
Old Mispronunciations: bup-puff, hamel-camel, Eva-Evelyn, RoPocack-Rose Spontak, Hera-Sarah, Neeky-Uniqua (Backyardigans character), mammies-jammies/pajamas, Nona-Noah, noonal-noodle, peapot-teapot

Current Mispronunciations: nerroscerus-rhinoceros, zookie-zookeeper, welcome-Malcolm, Tifanwee-Tiffany

The other day it was really warm outside so Hannah and I went out to play. The snow was melting very quickly and so it was puddled in the street near our house. Hannah and I put on our rain boots and went out to splash in the puddles. She had SO MUCH fun and so did I. It was such a blessing to be able to experience something as simple as stomping in mud puddles for the first time with her and to see her joy. It was infectious.

Hannah has now pretty much mastered all the basic colors: red, blue, yellow, green, orange, purple, brown, black, white, and pink. She can point to something that is the right color or name the color if you say, "what color is this?" She loves to dig through her crayon tub and say, "What color I want? Um, pink" or red, or brown, etc. She's got the shapes of circle, square, heart, and triangle mastered, but she still has trouble with star, oval, and rectangle. She's still just counting to 13 consistently, but every now and then she gets farther and she loves to pull out all the other "teens" up to 20. She's getting better at her alphabet and recognizes more and more letters when she sees them as well as signing the alphabet song. She's also beginning to learn some of the sounds which is pretty cool. So far she can identify A, B, D, E G, H, M, R, S, W, and Z pretty much all the time. She can sometimes get C, L, N, T, and X. She knows the sounds for D, E, I, H, J, M, P, R, S, T, W, and Z although I wouldn't say she's mastered them yet.

We were having a really good run in the big girl bed as far as bedtime was concerned and then on Thursday she decided she wasn't going to just peacefully go to sleep anymore. So, Thursday-today (Monday) she's cried herself to sleep. Well, Saturday she didn't cry the entire time. She eventually decided to read instead and read herself to sleep. That was the first time she had actually got up to play or do anything else besides cry at bedtime since the introduction of the big girl bed. We get playing pretty much every day for naps, but it was a revelation for her I think that she could do the same thing at bedtime too! Today at nap time she did something hilarious. She cried for an hour and then decided to play. I heard her reading books and putting on her shoes and clothes. Then I heard her climb into her chair and start rocking and singing to herself. She started to sing "Jesus Loves Me" which is the song we always sing to her before bed or nap time. Then she started singing Jesus Loves Ernie, Hannah, and Addie (her friend that she was going to get to go play with AFTER her nap). Then the singing stopped and I thought she must have finally gone back to her bed and fell asleep. When I went to check on her I found her passed out in her chair with her books around her. The little stinker rocked, sang, and read herself to sleep just like we used to do! I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a picture of her even at the risk of waking her up with the flash and I'm so glad I did because the results are too cute.
Here's a video of her singing Jesus loves Addie and Ernie while she is supposed to be napping today. Just ignore the picture and turn your volume up full blast to hear her singing.

Hannah dipping her strawberries in BBQ sauce at Chick Fil A.

Hannah playing on our bed.

Hannah dancing on my shoulders.

Hannah cooking.

Hannah vacuuming.