So no one has any ideas for a contest prize that I could use to help rename this blog? Surely there are some creative people out there somewhere in the blogosphere!
We have our first two weekends of Christmas events under our belt and so far things are going pretty well. Last weekend we went to see Kayla perform in the Nutcracker and exchange gifts with Tiffany and her family. Hannah loved the Nutcracker just as I had predicted and managed to sit through the entire show just fine. She was even really good about being passed around to some people she didn't know at all and some others that she doesn't know very well. It was easy for us to see that it made her quite anxious, but there were no melt downs and she recovered quite nicely. She even managed to open up at dinner when it was just the people she was most familiar with. I had such a nice time at dinner watching Hannah and Kayla interact. Kayla is in kindergarten and just learning how to read, write, and spell. She would write a word she knew on a napkin with a crayon and then Hannah would read it. They had a blast together. It just melted my heart. Another wonderful thing that happened during the visit was that Tiffany's dad finally started to open himself up to Hannah a bit. He's a very nice man, but has been very distant from us and Hannah because he was afraid of getting too attached to her and then us not letting them see Hannah. Since Hannah's birth we had only seen him twice (at the twins' birthday party this summer and last) and both times he showed no interest at all in interacting or spending any time with Hannah. Usually during our visits he is purposely working so that he is not around. This time was different though. He chose to go to the performance we were attending, went out to dinner afterwords with us, offered Hannah a seat on his lap, and even bought her a snow globe at the souvenir stand during intermission. The best part though was when he referred to himself as Grandpa Charlie to Hannah. I am so happy that he is willing to let himself be a part of Hannah's life. But then, I don't know who would NOT want to be a part of her life after meeting her and getting to know her amazing personality. Those big blue eyes of hers are enough to melt just about anyone's heart!
This weekend we went to see Kyle's Dad and brother and exchange gifts with them. Kevin made an amazing lunch and afterwords we opened presents. We were all spoiled rotten, Hannah especially. Then the boys and Hannah had a huge Nerf gun fight. Hannah had a blast running around and shooting Uncle Kevin in the knees. She also loved collecting all the ammo. For dinner we headed over to my aunt's to deliver gifts to the family we adopted for Christmas. The family seemed to like their gifts and were very appreciative. It's nice to be able to help someone out so that they can eventually help themselves.
This week we have Christmas with my mom's side of the family on Tuesday and then Christmas Day at our house. After Christmas we will have two more holiday get togethers before the whole season is done. I guess that's just what happens when you have a large and complicated family.
The weather here is freakishly cold. Today it got into the negative degrees without the windchill and we had 35 mile an hour winds! We decided to pass on church instead of trying to take Hannah out in the cold. I'm hoping that the cold lets up a bit tomorrow because we have to go out since Hannah and I both have dentist appointments. This will be Hannah's first dentist appointment and she's never been to watch any of Kyle or I's so I'm a bit nervous about how it will go since she's not overly fond of brushing her teeth to begin with. We've been reading tons of books about going to the dentist and talking through what will happen while she's there, but I still don't know if it'll be enough to keep her from freaking out. Keep your fingers crossed that it all goes well and that she doesn't bite the hygienist or the dentist.
The word "NO!" has reared it's ugly head here at the Spontak house and it is not pretty. Hannah is saying no to pretty much everything and is rarely cooperative at all. It's gotten so out of control that we've had to institute a strict no tolerance policy for it. No more warnings, simply an automatic reminder (AKA spanking) for any utterance of the word in response to a direction. Even with that, the nasty word's grip does not seem to be loosening. We still hear it upwards of 50 times a day. Maybe even more. It's difficult to even come to terms with the magnitude of the problem it is so huge. She even says no when I know she wants to answer yes when asked a question about whether or not she wants to do something or eat a certain food. We aren't even telling her to do something. It's her choice to make and still she says no automatically. When you add that to all the other typical two year old disobedience, there are times when I think I just might pull all of my hair out by the roots.
Ok, so the dentist trip transpired before I had a chance to publish this post. Hannah handled it like a pro! I was so proud of her. Never in a million years would I even have dreamed that it would have gone this smoothly. She was fine with the electric toothbrush, the metal picks, the floss, the chair laid back, the light, and even the crazy magnifying glasses that the hygienists wear. Everyone in the office gushed over how cute she was and how great she did and she got to choose not one, but two treasures from the prize chest. She was thrilled. Shouldn't be a problem getting her to want to go back again next time.