I apologize for the recent quietness on the blog, but we've been under the weather here at the Spontak house-for about six weeks. It started with Hannah and a moderate cold, or so we thought, that turned into pneumonia. Surprise, surprise! Then I became sick with a cold and then a nasty cough that increased in severity and never let up. Then Kyle got sick and ended up with a cough too. Of course Hannah had a cough too. We were a fine bunch to listen to-still are in fact since we still haven't stopped hacking and barking away. Turns out what we thought was just a cold was not an innocent cold virus, but instead Pertussis or better known as Whooping Cough. Leave it to us to come down with another archaic disease straight out of Oregon Trail. Last year was Scarlet Fever. This year Whooping Cough. Now all we need is Typhoid Fever and we'll have survived the Oregon Trail trifecta! For those of you not familiar with the computer game Oregon Trail. It became popular back in the 80's. I used to play it back in the day on the old Apple IIe's with the black and green screens. It was loads of fun. Those of you who grew up in the 80s or who had children who did probably know this game intimately! Apparently Whooping Cough is making a come back due to under vaccination and since your protection from the vaccine wanes after 10 years or so after your last dose (around 4 years old) you become susceptible again to anyone infected with the disease. So, Hannah who hasn't had her full round of vaccinations for it yet caught it and then passed it on to Kyle and I with our diminished protection since we're a bit past 14 years old. Fortunately since we all have at least some protection the disease is milder than it might otherwise have been for all 3 of us, but it's still mighty uncomfortable and definitely annoying. According to the doctor it could take up to 3 months for us to fully recover. I'm praying it doesn't take that long. I could certainly use a good night's sleep well before then.
Hannah continues to thrive at preschool and is permanently going full day now. I feel so blessed that we were able to find this preschool that is so sensitive to her needs and also doesn't put up with any crap from her either. They seem to know exactly how much to push and when to lay low. Hannah is making friends and has several little boys that she is particularly fond of. She always was one to prefer men! She also has one little girl who seems to be her partner in crime. It's so good to walk into the classroom and see her interacting without adult prompting or facilitation with her peers. Unfortunately her new found social skills at school don't seem to be transferring to other places. In fact, I would venture to say that she's become even more fearful and reluctant to play with or interact with other kids outside of school. It's to the point at the play place that she won't even go up into the play structure and play by herself if there are other kids around. That's quite frustrating, but at least I know she's getting social practice at school. I just wish we could find some way to generalize those skills to other situations.
We are preparing for a two week trip, starting next week, back home to Indiana and Ohio for Thanksgiving and Hannah is seriously pumped. She can't wait to go back to Indiana. She's especially excited to see her friend Evelyn and meet Evelyn's new baby sister Vivian. It should be a whirlwind trip with little time for relaxation so I pray we all handle it well. We plan to visit with all the grandparents and some of the great grandparents, aunts and uncles, Hannah's birth family, and some friends. I hope we can squeeze it all in there. People have a tendency to get mad if they get left out, but we can't be two places at once and we only have so much time. Really we will probably be over extending ourselves as it is, but we still won't be able to make everyone happy. :(
The other day Hannah surprised me by demonstrating that she knows her ordinal numbers (at least up to the fifth place). She told me she was going to tell me five stories and then as she told me each one she said things like, "The first one is about. . . Here is the second story. . . Next is the third story. . ." and so on. I had no idea she knew those. I've never explicitly taught her them. It must either be something they learned at school or that she just picked up. She's always amazing me by the things that she just absorbs when we aren't looking. I'm sure it helps that she's got a mind like a steel trap and NEVER forgets anything. I can't remember exactly what it was, but just the other day she recounted for me with pin point accuracy something that happened last February that I'm pretty sure we hadn't discussed since it happened (or at least not recently)! I was completely shocked of course.
Night time potty training is finally going well. We had a few months of accidents almost every other day and I was starting to regret my decision to ditch the pull ups at bedtime, but all of a sudden she seems to be doing ok and we've had 20 days with only 1 accident! It's been so nice to not be washing urine soaked bedding every single day. That was getting really old. We are still getting her up when we go to bed to potty one last time for the night, but that's not too bad. I can handle that if it means no more diapers and no more (or at least very few) accidents.
Hannah seems to be adjusting well to her braces. She doesn't seem to mind wearing them at all (at least no more than she minds wearing socks in general.) The one thing she doesn't particularly care for about them is walking long distances in them. She will start saying her feet hurt. I can't really say that I blame her. After all her foot isn't on a cushy insole anymore, but instead on hard plastic. The orthotic technician that made her brace was able to trim it down significantly so that it's very unobtrusive. He cut it so her toes can hang over the end and was able to trim the top down so that it ends just above her ankle bones instead of mid shin. I am extremely grateful for that. I think that makes them much more comfortable for Hannah and she doesn't stand out wearing them. In fact you really don't notice them at all unless you look for them because they sit mostly inside her shoes.