Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Steadier on her Feet Every Single Day!!!

Hannah`s walking is steadier every single day! Currently she walks around the house about 25% of the time and crawls or hops the rest of it. She's doing so well although I notice a marked difference in her steadiness as the evening gets later. Once 7:30 hits she`s better off to stick to her knees but she tries to walk anyway. My little weeble wobble does fall down but gets right back up.

Here`s a video taken Mondy night when we were at my parents mooching for dinner. Way to go Hannah!!


I'm working on a little project with Hannah and decided I wanted to include her hand prints. I thought I was careful enough when I bought the materials but obviously I was wrong!

I purchased this ink: (M3...there`s that `dead` language again! :o)
which said this on the back:

To me, that meant we were good to go!

Ummm....nope! I'm guessing the Fuchsia colour I chose was one that met the 'may require repeat washing' statement on the back. LOL!! Together we happily stamped her hand prints where I wanted them and even did a couple of extras for mommy. The problem arose when I went to wash off the ink it barely budged!! We tried soap and water as well as baby wipes but my daughter was still sporting pretty pink hands. Also, while in the midst of stamping and before I could stop her, she put her hand up to her mouth so for a brief time her beautiful rose bud lips looked like she had lipstick on them! Oye vey! Thankfully that little bit came off when supper was consumed.

After multiple attempts to get the colour out it was still quite prominent. She was funny as she'd go about her way playing and then I'd notice her look at her little hands as if to say, 'Hey! I don't remember them looking like this before!' We even added an unscheduled bath to tonight's routine to see if that might help but, no, not really. Here is my sleeping XiaoFen with her pretty pink hands. Much better than where we started...but still pink!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Little Book Worm

Hannah is busy, busy, busy these days! This sight made me giggle the other morning when I saw what she'd been up to. I could hear her taking books down from her bookshelf behind me as I checked emails but to see the final result brought a big smile to mommy's face. Hannah and I read every day and I hope to instill a love for reading in her.

K1 and I were shopping together this week and one of the sales clerks laughed at me when she overheard me say to Hannah, 'I'm not going down that aisle. That's the danger aisle!' What aisle was it? Books!! I love to buy books for Hannah and I know that they're one of my weaknesses. I ended up succumbing to the temptation of going down that aisle and sure enough I bought a book for her! Justifying my purchase I took advantage of the store's complimentary gift wrapping and had it wrapped. I'll use it as one of her gifts next Sunday morning from the EB.

She's holding a tape measure in this pic. Possilbly measuring for more book shelves?

Monday, March 29, 2010

It Was Going So Well...Until Mommy Left the Room

Hannah is beginning to use a spoon to help feed herself so I captured this first video showing how well she's doing. That's my girl!

I also wanted to capture some pics so had to leave her to run to another room to get the camera. Silly me left her cereal bowl on the high chair and you can see what happened. Oops! Yes, that's my girl too!

The video came to a quick and abrupt end when she started throwing her food on the floor. was time to clean up.

I love capturing these moments as I already know firsthand that time passes far too quickly and these moments will be fleeting. She sure was messy but oh how I enjoyed watching her experience this. I must say that for myself, being an older mom has granted me a whole new level of appreciation of motherhood. I'm not sure if I had my children in my early 20's if I would have taken the time to watch her grow, learn and experience the feeling of oatmeal and bananas running through her fingers.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mini Vacation

Last week was March Break which meant I didn't teach piano. No piano teaching = freedom to travel! Since we still don't have Hannah's passport (we applied for Monday so it's on it's way!) we needed to stay in the province.

We were invited to stay with friends for a couple of nights and it ended up turning into a great 7 day vacation and Hannah did wonderfully! Packing for a 7 day trip with a few stops was a little more challenging for mom but we did it. Here's our bag of formula packs. Probably the last time I'll have to do this as I'm guessing I'll be transitioning Hannah to milk soon! It was the first time we'd been away from home for more than a night or 2 but she did great! She slept like a champ which to me is one of the biggest concerns about travel. Her bedtime routine was the same each night as it is at home, we were just in a couple of different places. I realized the very first morning how important keeping things 'normal' for her was when she first woke up. I could tell from her body language that she wasn't sure where she was but before I could even say anything to her she rolled over and picked up her taggie blanket and Winnie the Pooh and looked back at me with a huge grin on her face! Ahhh...all was good in her little corner of the world. After a few moments of cuddles and snuggles she crawled down to the end of the bed where some of her favourite books were waiting for her and she picked one up, smiled at me and crawled back with it for me to read to her. This is part of our normal morning time at home which helped her when we were away.

Here Hannah and her little friend are enjoying some fish crackers together. His mom and I are trying desperately to stifle our laughter as he was holding the bag upside down which meant the crackers kept falling out and they couldn't figure out where the crackers were coming from. So cute!

While on our vacation we took advantage of being near our friends and stopped in to spend a fun day with them! It was the first time all our children were together and we had a great time hanging out at their place and taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather by going for a walk. Thanks for the great day Karen!

Denver and Hannah checking one another out

Denver and Samara hanging out with the plant stand

Tuesday we met up with my parents and headed to Windsor to visit with some of our family there. For 11 years now my cousin Bridget has carried out a beautiful tradition on behalf of both of us and this year Hannah and I were able to join her. Our tradition is that on St. Patrick's Day we take green carnations to my grandparents at the cemetery. This year we went along with all our children and truly it was beautiful. One of Bridget's little guys asked if we should say a prayer so we all held hands and prayed together. Precious moments....precious memories.

From the cemetery we headed to a park and enjoyed more of this beautiful weather. Ahhh...spring!!

What a wonderful week sharing time with family and friends!!

Sleepy XiaoFen

I am so thankful for my parents and the huge role they continue to play in Hannah's life! Each week my mom babysits her for a couple of hours 2 different evenings while I go down the basement and teach piano. The moment they walk in the front door Hannah's face lights up and she can't crawl to them fast enough!

The last Thursday of each month mom has a commitment so dad comes instead. Hannah sure loves him...and the pen he keeps in his shirt pocket. She takes it out over and over and over again every time he holds her. This week she had fought her afternoon nap and I just wasn't able to get her to sleep. When I was on my way downstairs to teach she was looking pretty comfy and sleepy sitting on Grandpa's knee. Her little hand was held up to her face is a sure sign that she's tired. We call it her sleepy hand as it always goes up to her face before she falls asleep.

This is what I found a short time later. So sweet! I love to see them together!!

Hannah is 13 Months Old!

**An update on Hannah for Feb 28, 2010 to March 27, 2010**

Another month has flown by! Where does the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was trying to stop time so that Hannah didn't turn 1? I even delayed purchasing her birthday invitations hoping that would help but nope, time marched on and still does....and now she is 13 months old!!

Hannah at 13 months
Height: still 30 1/2" (no change in height this month and currently in 75th percentile)

Weight: 19.85lbs. (a gain of 1.725 lbs and currently in the 20th percentile) Still my long 'n lean little girl!

Teeth: Still 4 but 2 more on the top are close to popping through.

Sleeping: On average 10-11 hours at night (9:30/10:00 until sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 the following morning.) 2 naps. You're not a huge fan of sleeping in your pack 'n play but we're working on it. I'm in the room with you and encouraging you to nap there but there have been many tears...most are yours but some are mommy`s too as I hate to hear you cry if even for a few minutes.

Weekly Activities: Books and Bounces (Library on Tuesdays); Swimming lessons (Thursdays); Music Class (Fridays with Auntie K1, Chick and Pea)

This has been another wonderful month as Hannah's sweet, loving, cute, charming, AMAZING personality continues to burst forth! She has the sweetest personality and listens so well. Most times if she's touching something I don't want her to I just need to say, 'Ta ta Hannah' and she'll let go and crawl off to find something else. That's not always the case and sometimes I need to redirect her but more often than not she listens really well. What works for us is that I have tried to baby proof much of the main floor to make life easier for both of us. There are still things I need to remind her are 'not for babies' but in general the majority of the main floor is hers to explore, touch and learn from. Unfortunately she thinks this includes the toilet so I'm trying to remember to close the lid. Heh! My choice is to have it baby proofed this way rather than have to tell her 'no' all day long. I use the word 'no' sparingly hoping that eventually she will learn 'no' is for something I truly want her to stop doing. I'm sure as she gets older she will push harder for what she wants but right now she's pretty easy to redirect. This being said, I find myself saying, 'Not for babies' many times a day, especially when she thinks I need her help with the computer! I can no longer use the laptop on the couch as she likes to 'help' me type and also thinks pulling out the power cord is a pretty neat trick!

- This month Hannah has felt the need to put almost everything she finds on the floor into her mouth. Her fine motor skills are amazing as she can literally pick up crumbs...and then proceed to eat them! Oops!! Sometimes it's just the Cheerios she dropped earlier and I let her enjoy those but when it's something else I need to get it out of her mouth. Once again she normally listens really well and when asked she will either take the item out of her mouth or stick out her tongue to let me get it myself. It makes me laugh when I say, 'Give that to mommy please' and this cute little tongue sticks out with a soggy Cheerio on then end of it.

- Sometimes I get little pieces of food for Hannah by biting something off and then giving it to her. I love maraschino cherries and we've discovered that she does too so I'll bite off little pieces and then put them in her mouth. She's now copying this and I've eaten my fair share of soggy, pre-slobbered Cheerios this month. Isn't is amazing how when it's your child you don't mind this at all?

- As Hannah has become more mobile and often travels on her cute little feet rather than her adorable seat and knees, it has meant I needed to re-baby proof the house. Things she hadn't noticed or paid any attention to in the first 4 months home have now become exciting new adventures and places to play. The stairs are around a corner and so far she hasn't paid much attention to them but I have a feeling that's going to change soon. There is a gate on the stairs but it's been propped open since a friend put it up in September. That may change soon and it will mean big changes for us. I'm often carrying Hannah and 'stuff' up and down the stairs at the same time. When I need a hand to open the gate it will mean changes for us.

- This month Hannah began eating a lot more table food. She still eats rice or oatmeal cereal most mornings and veggies and fruit lunch and supper but I'm also giving her a lot more table food. Pasta, cheese, crackers, potatoes, ground beef, watermelon and peaches. We went out for Chinese food to celebrate my dad's birthday and we all laughed when the only food she spit out was the rice. I think it's just a texture thing and we'll work on it.
- She finally began enjoying bottles with water and juice mixed in them this month. She still just drinks a bit to wet her whistle while enjoying a snack of fish crackers or something similar but I'm glad to see her finally enjoying water to keep her fluids up

- Hannah's tummy finally seems to be settling. I still burp her after each bottle but her spitting up is lessening. This is a very good thing.

- Something Hannah picked up this month that her mommy is not at all happy with is squealing. It's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me so I'm quickly trying to nip it in the bud. She seems to do it mainly when I'm not doing what she wants (ie. doing dishes when she wants up or on the computer) but it happens a lot of other times too. Hopefully it will be a quickly passing phase or that she'll get tired of mommy saying, 'No screaming! It's not lady-like!' Heh!

- Hannah's new toys are kitchen gadgets. Guess mommy forgot to put the paper towels out of her reach!
- Hannah loves to tear Kleenex! One tissue can provide endless entertainment. I have an entire post I need to write about this.

- Each night before bed Hannah sits in her little chair and enjoys a Baby Signing Time video. I'll post something dedicated to this soon.

Here are some of Hannah's accomplishments that I recorded on her calendar:
March 1st: Standing up from a squatting position. I think you'll be walking soon. *sniff*

March 3rd: Grandma and Grandpa Ryan gave you a Princess riding toy for your birthday and you're pushing it around like a champ!

March 4th: Today you nodded your head 'yes' when I asked you a question. You're understanding so much!

March 5th: Today Grandpa asked you where your head was and you pointed to your head.

March 6th: Current signs that you know and use are: milk, all gone, brush teeth, bath and bye
March 8th: We went to the park today and you went on a swing for the first time. You really liked it!

March 9th: Mommy's first attempt at putting a fountain pony in your hair. So cute!! Too bad it only lasted about 30 seconds until you found it! :o)

March 10th: We went to the Mandarin to celebrate Grandpa's birthday!

March 11th: Today you took your first steps alone!!! A few in the morning but more and more as the day went on. Sometimes 3 steps before sitting down.'re WALKING!

March 15th: Today we bought your first walking shoes! Cute pink 'Stride Rite's with a flower on the side.
March 16th: You use the sign 'all gone' at every opportunity you can. You like to drop toys and then look at me and sign 'all gone'. You also cross 2 fingers when you do this. So cute!

March 17th: I'm sure you've learned how to wink with only one eye. So smart!

March 18th: Today you took 7 steps in a row! A little wobbly and oh so cute!

March 20th: Bath time has changed. For months you would curl up your legs and put them on mommy's first but now you put them right into the water a you also like to play in the water coming out of the tap. Splashing on your face doesn't bother you at all!

March 21st: You like to hold a spoon now and help feed yourself. You're doing really well getting the food to your mouth and also the spoon's 2nd job is to paint your tray with baby food!

March 22nd: 6 month immunizations - 2 shots. :O( Today we also made a plastic container cupboard for you to play in and you love it. We also applied for your Canadian Passport.

March 23rd: Our morning routine is to wake up, snuggle, read stories, tear kleenex and enjoy a great start to the day together! Next you go back into your crib with Pooh, taggie and ladybug blanket while mommy makes the bed...and you pat me when I get near your crib. I love the feeling of your tiny little hands patting me.

March 24th: Grandma took you for a walk today. The first time we've been apart. You did great! Mommy cried 3 times because I missed you. While out with grandma you heard a dog bark and looked at g'ma and said, 'woo, woo'. You're so smart!

March 25th: I still look at you every single day and can't believe how blessed I am to be your mommy! God sure loves us a lot to bring us together as a family!

March 26th: You're walking more and more every day. Sometimes as many as 8 steps! You still crawl about 75% of the time. I have also started to transition you to homoginized milk. Right now you're drinking 75% formula and 25% milk in your bottles.

March 27th: 13 months old today! You are adorable, cute and busy, busy, busy! Mommy has made a plastics cupboard for you to play in which you love! Kitchen cupboards and drawers are now places to play but I keep trying to redirect you because you catch your sweet little fingers and it breaks mommy's heart!

As always, I love, love, LOVE being Hannah`s mom and watching her learn and grow daily! Still pinching myself that we are so blessed to have one another!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Lurve Patterned Tights!

I cannot tell you how happy I am to be able to dress Hannah in adorable little patterned tights! They're not easy to come by but I was oh so happy when I found these at H&M the other day! I originally bought 12-18 mos but they were too big so rather than return them I just packed them away for next winter and bought another pair sized 6-12 mos. Aren't they just adorable?!!

I'm also noticing how my little sweetie's legs are filling out. They were so teeny, tiny when I got her but although still tiny are a little more filled out now.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh How I Love This Beautiful Face!

This past week I've taken a few pictures that capture Hannah's wonderful personality so well!

In this one I see eyes full of love.

'Hey Mom! Look what I can do!!'

Oh how I love my Hannah XiaoFen!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Whole New World!

Hannah's confidence is growing and it is wonderful to see her beginning to feel more confident and exploring her little world. Until the past couple of weeks she never ventured more than a few feet from me.

At first when her confidence grew she'd go around the corner of the couch but peek often to ensure that mommy was still where she left her. Also, at music class she would crawl about 5' away to play with the little shaker eggs. This distance was a big move for my little girl!

Next she would venture down the hall to check out the goings on down there.

This week we have been on a mini vacation and spending time with family and friends. It was neat to see her relax as we spent time in different homes and after a few hours she would cautiously venture into adjoining rooms but then always check back to make sure mommy was just where she left her.

I love that Hannah is learning, growing and doing so well with attachment. We're still very close and I still am very aware of doing all I can to assist with her bonding and attachment. I continue to 'wear' her almost every single day and both of us love this time. Sometimes it's around the house and other times it's when we're out for a walk or shopping but it's almost a daily occurrence. I've also come to realize that when she's having a tough time and 'out of sorts' it's time to 'wear' her for a while and she settles within seconds.

I also continue to be her primary caregiver for feeding, changing and comforting. Occasionally someone will give her a little bite of food but all bottles are given by myself, meals fed by myself and I also get the joy of changing all those diapers....and I wouldn't have it any other way!! Some may not understand but many in the adoption world do. Also, most who may not really understand or even agree with what I'm doing still support that I'm doing what is best for my child and I am so thankful for that!

Hannah and I are a family and I am forever blessed to have her in my life! I still look at her on a daily basis and think, 'Wow! She's actually mine!!' God has blessed me beyond measure and I am forever thankful to Him!
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