Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hannah at 12 Months or *GULP* 1 Year!!!

**Sorry this post is so late. It's been a crazy busy month and these monthly wrap-up posts seem to take me forever to put together. The info here was from January 28th to February 27th when Hannah turned 1 year old. Also, some topics and pics in these monthly updates will be repeats as someday I hope to put a book together of these posts which are monthly glimpses of my baby girl**

How can time fly so quickly??? I know many have said this before me but I'm going to jump in and say too that the time that seemed to drag as I awaited Hannah's referral suddenly has sprouted wings and is flying by at an alarming rate!! Noooo!!! The thought that my maternity leave is almost half over makes me sad. I will be forever grateful to the Canadian government who recognizes the benefits to both mother and child being able to spend this amount of time together to truly bond. I don't talk about it here often as I know many are not as fortunate but there are times when I'm just overwhelmed with thankfulness as it is allowing me to spend every moment of every day with Hannah. Soon I will need to force myself to leave her but so far that hasn't happened other than to go downstairs to teach. Or, a brief 11 minute trip to the grocery store while she was with Sharon and where I cried all the way to the store, ran through it and grabbed the one item we needed for supper and had to placate myself with chocolate. Soon I will need to leave her but I just can't bring myself to do so yet.

The speed that time is flying by hits me every single night as we're enjoying our bedtime routine of books, kisses, prayers, bottle, snuggles and bed, that another day has passed. Wasn't it just minutes earlier that I was doing this very same routine last night?

Hannah at 12 months/1 year
Height: 30 1/2" (she grew half an inch this month and is in the 90th percentile for height)

Weight: 18.125 lbs. (she only gained half an ounce this month and is in the 10th percentile for weight)

Teeth: Four!! Hannah cut 3 new teeth this month! Saturday, Feb 13th her top right tooth came in. Monday, Feb 15th her top left one and Tues, Feb 16th her bottom left tooth. Yes, she cut 3 teeth in 4 days!! She was a trooper through it all and I didn't know she was teething until they popped through.

Unfortunately cutting those 3 teeth in such a short amount of time was tough for my sweetie and by the end of that week she was one sick little girl. She had an ear infection and ran a fever hovering between 100.0 and 103.2 for 6 days. Poor sweetie! We were at the doctor's twice and the second time he diagnosed her with an ear infection and prescribed an antibiotic for her. Within a couple of days she improved greatly and by the following week was back to her normal, cheerful, happy self. It's awful to see your little one sick and not be able to do more than you were. We'd alternate ibuprofen and infant Tylenol every 4 hours and that did the trick to control her fever.



Hannah's illness also meant that she avoided her next set of immunization shots. She was due to get the third set (6 month ones I think) but we'll have to wait until our next appt. in mid-March to get those.

My long 'n lean little girl is still wearing a combination of 9 and 12 month clothes and size 2 diapers. We received some size 4 diapers in a diaper cake as a gift but at the rate she's going I'm not sure she'll ever get there. Most of her sleepers are 12 month size so that they fit her in the length and even those she is filling from chin to toes.

Hannah's mobility also improved a lot this month. She began pulling herself up using furniture and then walking along some of that furniture. Her little legs are getting so strong!
After a little while she also began standing alone without holding anything! She would get engrossed in a toy or dancing and suddenly she'd let go and be standing alone. Sometimes she'd realize what she was doing and clap long with her mommy. Standing is a reason to celebrate!
Hannah is also much more stable on her feet these days and when she does go down she either makes it to her seat or if not, she's much better at protecting her little head. It still bonks sometimes but not as often as it used to. Another thing is that by about 7:30 at night, as Hannah gets more and more tired her stability virtually disappears. It's at this time she becomes mommy's little buddy and goes into a carrier to help me with dishes, bottles, laundry, etc. Bedtime is normally around 9:30 - 10:00 and she sleeps until 7:30 - 8:30 the following morning. She wakes briefly a couple of times each night but a quiet 'shhhhh' or a gentle hand on her belly with a whispered, 'It's okay Shaoey, Mommy's here' will normally calm her. Other times she needs a little cuddle and I'm only too happy to provide those.

Here's a video of Hannah 'helping' mommy with the laundry just before bedtime. I can't figure out why daily activities take longer than they used to. :o)

We also began to attend a weekly baby music class with our friends K1, Chick and Pea. We both really enjoy this class and Hannah likes to play with the shaker eggs and tambourines. She's not too sure about the parachute at the end but is getting better with it.

Hannah made my day when she began to say, 'Mama' on Feb 11th. To this day she uses it sparingly but she knows who Mommy is for sure and truly that's what matters.

This month Hannah and I enjoyed cheering for the Canadian athletes as Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. We watched a lot of the events on TV and if I'd say, 'Go Canada Go' Hannah would look at the TV and begin clapping.

Speaking of athletes, Hannah is loving her swimming lessons and does so well!

She enjoys the water and goes under like a champ!
We celebrated our first CNY together by going for lunch with friends from our China travel group.

Hannah also became an official Canadian citizen this past month! What a wonderful day that was. Even though it was official the moment her feet hit the ground in Canada there is just something special about receiving her citizenship card in the mail.

Dancing became a daily/hourly occurrence this month and she made me smile every single time she did it! It doesn't matter what she was doing; when the music started she started dancing! The funniest had to be the time she fell asleep on the way to church and as soon as we hit the foyer and she heard the music her little eyes popped open and she started dancing from her head to her toes even though she was still in her car seat! Here she's playing with a little activity table that a friend had when her daughter was young. She sure does like this little table and dancing to the tunes that it plays!

The month came to a conclusion with the wonderful celebration of Hannah's 1st Birthday!!! She was surrounded by family and friends who love her and had a great day of love, laughter, gifts and cake! Happy 1st Birthday baby girl! Mommy loves you!!!



Some favourite pics from this past month:
Hannah enjoying some playtime under the kitchen table. This was a favourite place to play...and sometimes get stuck.

Some new eating habits were established this past month too. Sometimes trying new foods from mommy via chopsticks.

And, Hannah decided that her toes made a wonderful bedtime snack.

I love these beautiful little hands with the gorgeous long fingers

Have I mentioned how busy and inquisitive my sweet baby girl is? Here she found my wallet and helped me organize my receipts. Guess it's time to update the budget.

Celebrating her first Valentine's Day
Special time with special friends

Oh how I love her!!!!! My precious baby who is already 1 year old!

Happy 1st Birthday Hannah!!!

My amazing, precious, beautiful, loving, smiley, adorable baby girl is ONE year old today!!! Happy birthday sweetie! Mommy loves you SOOOOO much!!!

We're off for a day of partying like a Princess with family and friends and will share pictures and videos soon. Until then, enjoy this picture of my little love.

Happy 1st Birthday Shaoey!!! Mommy loves you!! xoxoxo

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Crazy Hair!

One of the many aspects of my beautiful daughter that I first fell in love with was how her cute little hair stood straight up on her head. This picture was taken on our 2nd full day here in Canada, Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Look how little she was!!
As her hair has grown in over the past 3 1/2 months it has gotten longer and lays more flat. My little miss also likes to sleep with her head tucked up into the top corner of her crib which produces the same effect.
In order to give Hannah's hair some fun bounce and lift we have instilled 'crazy hair' into our morning routine. Normally it's when we first get up and are brushing our teeth and washing our faces. I'll say to her, 'XiaoFen...do you want some crazy hair?' and she'll get this huge grin on her face and immediately swing her head to look in the mirror. I take a wet cloth and get it as messy as we can as we both giggle! I love these little moments that we share together and how much she is now understanding!!


In this picture it looks like she's saying, 'Mommy....why do you do this to me every morning?' but in this one she's sporting her crazy hair with a big ole grin on her face and enjoying being silly with Mommy!

I took this video of her after we'd finished breakfast one morning and just before her bottle. I am amazed every single day at how she is growing and changing and how much she understands! I am so thankful for baby sign language as is gives us a way to communicate!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cheering for Team Canada!

When I finish teaching piano on Wednesday nights Mom and I have gotten into the fun habit of going out for dinner with little Miss XiaoFen. Tonight we went to Boston Pizza and the place was hopping as Team Canada was playing Russia for a place in the Olympic semi-final game. It was fun to be there as Canada quickly took the lead. Hannah was in on all the fun and ready to cheer on Team Canada. Here she is watching the TV that was above our heads

and here she is when Canada scored one of their many goals! That`s my party baby! Go Canada Go!!!

The Sweetest Sight!

This may look like a weird picture to post but it's what I saw this morning and was so thankful for!! Today for the first time in almost a week, Hannah woke up and crawled down to get her toys and books that she knows we keep at then end of the bed. Since last Thursday she has crawled to me and just wanted to snuggle when she woke up but this morning she was feeling so much better and crawled down to get some stories for us to read together. Our morning cuddle time is a precious time of the day and I was so happy that this morning it included stories, toys, giggles, chatting and games! Not only is her fever gone today but her temp is back to normal and she is her happy self! Phew....thankful to have this past week behind us!

Off to play with my little one....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Little Shovelling Partner

We've had a cold winter but with far less snow that normal. Usually boots become daily footwear from December until March but today was the very first time I put mine on and truly that was to ensure I didn't slip while shovelling the little bit of snow we had. I dressed my little miss in her winter woolies, strapped her into the Baby Bjorn and we set to clearing the driveway. I used the new style of shovelling with one hand and then using my foot to kick the back of the shovel to get the snow off. It was snowing while we shovelled and Hannah loved it! She kept her little head back the entire time allowing the snow to fall on her face and grinning up at me the whole time!

Thank you to all for your kind words, concern, prayers and emails while Hannah has been sick. I believe we've finally turned the corner and she's on the mend. Her little nose is still running and still has some blood in it but we've made it through the entire day without any Tylenol or Motrin as her fever was low enough that she hasn't needed it. She's also much more her happy little self. I hadn't realized how much Hannah chatters during the day until she was quiet for the past number of days. It was awful! Rather than giggles, chatter and playing she was happier just to sleep and spend the day in my arms reading, crying most times she was placed on the floor with her toys. I am so thankful to have my little girl feeling better!!

Blog Maintenance

I recently found out that my blog was causing many people's computers to freeze or slow down greatly as it loaded. I've changed it so that only the 5 most recent posts load when the blog is opened so hopefully this helps the problem. From what I've heard it seems to have done the trick. That's good news as I felt bad for slowing down people's computers!

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Teething Troubles :o( **Updated Monday Afternoon**

Hannah handled popping 3 teeth in 4 days like a champ but today it's all caught up with her. She had a slight fever this morning that Tylenol took care of but by the time she woke up from her afternoon nap it was 102.2 and has stayed above 100.1 since then. We're taking meds as have been directed and thankfully we already had a doctor's appt. booked for tomorrow morning so will check to make sure it's nothing other than a teething fever. It sure is awful when your little one isn't feeling well! Mom was with her tonight when I was teaching and this was the sight I met when I came upstairs. Poor little lamb.

Friday morning update
Hannah had a great sleep last night and other than the 2 times I woke her to take her temp and give her meds, she slept for 12 hours. She still had a fever this morning of 100.2 but the doctor checked her out and her ears, throat and glands are ok. It could be the beginning of a cold so I'll keep a close eye on her. Working on keeping her fluids up which is most important when a little isn't feeling well. Thank you for all your kind words and prayers.

Monday morning update
Sorry for the lack of blogging. Still snuggling and cuddling with a sick little baby. Poor lamb! I'm just waiting for her to wake up to see if she still has a fever and then if so will head to the doctor for him to re-check her ears. She's been fighting a fever all weekend. Yesterday morning it seemed to break but by evening it was back again. It's probably just a nasty cold as her nose and a little cough seem to indicate but I hate the thought of her being in pain if her little ears are inflamed. Saturday we spent the majority of the day snuggling on the couch and holding her as she slept but yesterday she was much more herself. I believe she's getting better and really has done very well with it but the fever has thrown me. It's the first time she's had one for such an extended period of time and I want to do all I can to help her through this yuckiness.

Monday afternoon update
When Hannah woke up it was evident that she still wasn't feeling well. Rather than crawling down to her toys and books which she normally does, she crawled to Mommy and when I picked her up she promptly fell asleep on my chest even though she'd been asleep for over 11 hours already. Her fever was back so I called the doctor and his receptionist said to bring her right in. In spite of her cough her chest is clear but one ear is a little inflamed and her fever was still around 102 so he's put her on antibiotics. I always thought I'd be a mom that avoided antibiotics unless absolutely needed but seeing your little love in pain and lethargic just makes you to help them! By the time we got to the doctors office her little sneezes were not only producing a runny nose but there was blood in it too so it was another indication that things were not right. We've had a humidifier running in our room each night which I'm extra thankful for now.

Once we got home from the doctors and having her prescription filled, I gave her her meds and a bottle and she promptly fell asleep in my arms for over 2 hours. The good news is that when she woke up she wanted to get down and play which is what she's doing now. SO thankful for these little moments when she's more like her happy, cheerful self and also thankful that she's still drinking most of her bottles as fluids are so important. I know this is just a minor illness but it sure is tough to be Mom when your little one is sick and all you want to do is make things better. I'm sure my sweetie is on the mend now that we have the meds to help her out. Her 1st Birthday is this Saturday so I want her to be healthy for her big celebration!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Am Canadian!!!

Hannah's Citizenship arrived on Monday! She was a Canadian the moment we arrived home in Canadabut her official citizenship card will allow me to apply for her Passport and will also be used for things such as school registration....waaaay in the future!

I had originally received her citizenship card early in January but unfortunately her name was mis-spelled so I had to get it corrected. I must admit that tears filled my eyes as I read the sentence that stated her citizenship will grant her all the rights and priviledges offered to a citizen of Canada.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teething, Teething, Teething!

Why did I write that word 3 times? Because Hannah has cut 3 new teeth in the past 4 days!! Her upper right one popped through Saturday; upper left on Monday and today her lower left one was through! She's been a teething champ I must tell you and other than some finger chewing and crying last night which led to some Tylenol, I didn't known she was even cutting any. She's a champ! It does make me wonder though if they've possibly been waking her up in the middle of the night. Normally she sleeps through but 2 different nights she's been wide awake and ready to play at 4am. I thought she was just on a funny schedule but maybe it was her teeth waking her up? Oh well, we cuddled for a while and then she played for a bit then would fall asleep again until morning.

I don't have any good pics of her upper teeth but here she is showing you the lower ones. That first one which popped through on January 7th is finally up most of the way. It took amuch longer than I thought it would to get this far.

Here's my smiling little sweetie showing off today's new tooth!

This video is just a fun one taken at lunch today. This weekend we were introduced to new Li'l Ones yogurt which Hannah enjoys much more than the plain stuff. She also learned how to blow raspberries with food in her mouth (something I won't be encouraging) and she also surprised me when she picked up the cloth and wiped yogurt off her fingers! I am still wonderfully suprised daily at how much day to day stuff she picks up by watching me. That will keep mommy on her toes for sure. A couple of times her upper teeth can be seen too. So thankful I captured that video last week with her gummy smile as it won't be here for long.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Sweet Valentine!!!

I can say without a doubt that this year is my very best Valentine's Day ever as the little love of my life is here with me!!! There are moments every day that I still find myself stopping and pausing, gazing at my sweet baby girl and almost pinching myself. I still cannot believe she's here and that she's not going anywhere! Before Hannah, I knew love. Now that she's here I know how deep love can be!

Last night I dressed her in these adorable little sleepers to celebrate her 1st Valentine's Day. Too sweet!
Today, may you know the love of many people in your life. I am thankful to have that in my life and the most precious love is that of my daughter whom God has blessed me with. I am thankful to Him daily for Hannah XiaoFen!


Gung Hay Fat Choy!!

Hannah and I were invited to join friends for our very first Chinese New Year celebration! Russ, Leslie and Beckett were in our China travel group so are very special friends! They also invited our friend Norma and her husband too as Norma was in China with us and she and I also know Russ through work. It was really neat how Russ and I met and you can read about it here.

We met at a great Chinese restaurant in Toronto and feasted on a delicious meal of dim sum. It was so good to sit around the table and talk about our time in China as well as get caught up on life since returning home with the babies. Hannah and Beckett were the 2 youngest babies in our group and Beckett's 1st Birthday was yesterday so we celebrated with her! Only 2 short weeks until Hannah's 1st Birthday. **sniff!**

When we had finished our lunch it was time for the dragon dance.

I wondered how Hannah would react to the dragon but she did very well! She was content for us to stay back from it but really it didn't bother her at all.
Here she is checking him out. Once he had passed us she could even clapped and danced!



Gung Hay Fat Choy!! Happy year of the tiger!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Go Canada Go!!!

Hannah was all decked out in her Canadian Olympic gear when she went to the airport last night to pick up Grandma and Grandpa.

Once back at Grandma and Grandpa's we settled in to watch the opening ceremonies which were great! Hannah and I are happy to have 2 teams to cheer for this year! Here she's showing her support for the Chinese team
and then later team Canada!


By the end of the night she was a tired XiaoFen and just wanted to go home to bed! My precious sleeping baby girl. Awe...Her sweet cheeks were pink because while sleeping she was working hard on pushing through her second tooth! She now has an adorable bit of a tooth on her top right and the next 2 are close behind.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Sweetest Word EVER!!!

Today Hannah began to say, 'Mama'!!!! And, she knew it was me!!! For a long time when someone would ask her, 'Where's Mommy?' she'd look at me and smile but the words just weren't there. She was getting closer as last week she could say, 'Mum mum' for her cookies but I knew she meant her cookies and not me.

Today all that changed and for the very first time in my life, my daughter, my daughter...called me 'Mama!!!!' My heart melted, tears sprang to my eyes and Hannah was pulled into a great big (Mama) bear hug and praised up and down!! As you'll see from the video she still uses it sparingly but she uses it and oh the joy that fills my heart!!!


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Dance Baby Dance!

Hannah's joy of music has been evident since the day we met! She loves to listen to music and often notices it long before I do. It's sometimes her adorable little wiggle that draws my attention to tunes that would otherwise be missed.

Lately she has added her sweet head bob to her jig and I was so thankful to capture it here. She does this at our library class, music class, in the mall, at Grandma's house and any place else she hears music and without fail it causes people to smile and sometimes laugh right out loud! I have a feeling you might find yourself giggling too as you see her dancing to her Leap Frog Fridge Farm!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Look Who's Standing!! Wheee!!

Check her out!!!

It's funny. Whenever I thought of a child learning to stand I always pictured them beside a couch, chair or table and then thinking, 'OK...I'm going to try standing' and then slowly lifting one hand and then the other and fully concentrating on standing. It was all so methodical in my untrained mind.

Once again, oh how wrong I was! Hannah has been standing holding on to furniture for a couple of weeks now and slowly she's begun to let go. But....she doesn't let go to concentrate on standing, she lets go because she needs her hands to hold something, reach for something or, just to flap in the air! Also, she's learning that her dancing is so much more free if her hands are up in the air!







The big question right now is, 'Will she be walking by her birthday?' My guess is 'yes'....*sniff!!* She's growing up so quickly!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Bottle Dance!

It just kinda happened. As I would prepare Hannah's bottles each time I began to do a little jig and soon she was doing it too! I have a feeling it happened because she was pretty anxious for mommy to get that bottle ready so I would dance to entertain her while I prepared it. Soon 'The Bottle Dance' was formed and even friends know the 'tune' and can be heard singing along. Okay...I'm not a budding jingle writer but it works for us!

I tried often to catch Hannah doing the bottle dance but she normally became camera shy. This time with my mom holding the camera she danced and squealed with delight! My little lamb is one smart cookie as very soon after she began doing the dance in her high chair she picked up on the fact that I first shake it one way and then switch to another! Brilliant I tell you!! (Okay....mommy's little brilliance is oh so normal and just got stuck under my chair while I was typing this and needed help to get out. :o) Have I mentioned today how much I love my amazing daughter??!!!

video

I think Mommy enjoys bottle time as much as her little XiaoFen!
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