Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sick Mommy and other random updates

I have learned just how hard it is to be a good mommy when you feel crappy yourself. I have now been home sick for 10 days, am on my second round of antibiotics and am just starting to turn the corner. Hopefully back to work tomorrow.
I have been very thankful for a good preschool so that Hannah can still have some stimulating learning and playing time while I get to rest. Her level of energy is hard when I feel sick.
We have developed a couple new habits that will have to change back when I am full speed again and working again.
--We have slept in--which means about 30 minutes later than usual--and have been able to get ready at a more relaxed pace with breakfast at home. Starting tomorrow we will have to get up earlier, get ready faster, and have breakfast at school again. I hope it goes well as we have both enjoyed these more leisure mornings.
--Movies, Nick Jr., and PBS--oh my. This will be a bad habit to break. I found out just how much Hannah relied on me for her entertainment and play. She is not very good at playing with her toys all by herself and since Mommy was worn out after about 20 minutes of any kind of play, I allowed a lot more TV time than we are used to. As hard as it will be to cut it back down, it got me through so I am grateful for that.
Hannah has been very sweet most of the time. She has cradled my face and said, "I am so sorry I can't make you better." and melted my heart. She has been very patient when I wasn't able to talk, she brings me Kleenix and anything else I need, and has shown great empathy. I asked her what she talked about at church school last night and she said "I prayed for my Mama because she has a bad throat and she has a cough". Aww--melt my heart.
She has also had a level of independence greater then usual as I lay on the couch for a few days and dozed on and off. Sunday afternoon when I took a nap, she found my good scissors and decided she didn't like her hair in her face so she cut herself some very short bangs. She actually did a pretty decent job and she still looks adorable but....we had just grown out her bangs and they were finally fitting in her pony tail. Oh well.

Other Hannah updates:
She completed her first cross country ski race--an event called the Barnebirkie that is held in Hayward, Wi. and had a great time. She skiied one kilometer while her cousins did the longer events--3K and 5K. There are a few hundred kids in the event and every kid that crosses the finish line gets a medal so of course, she felt like a winner and was very excited. It was a beautiful day and I had fun walking along with her on the course. The other benefit was staying in a hotel with her cousins and getting in lots of swimming time--so fun. We will go back next year.

I had the school district do all the special education testing to see if Hannah met the criteria for any extra help before or after starting kindergarten. She was awesome and her test scores amazed the evaluators. She is socializing well, and all her education scores were in the average range--well above the need for special help. Her vocabulary tested average and her mean length of utterance (MLU) was actually above the average for her age. To see how far she has come in the last year has been amazing. She still has some trouble staying focused and for some reason naming her colors is alluding her but everything else was great. I am so proud of my little honey.
Making a kindergarten plan was so stressful for me but I have registered her to attend the private kindergarten at her current preschool--Primrose. They have all day kindergarten and limit the class to 15 students which I think will be great.
Now that I know her test scores and have made a plan--with input from her teachers and the school district--I am feeling very good about where she will be next year.

Hannah has a "best" friend at school. From day one, she and this little girl have been stuck together like magnets. What I find interesting is that this little girl was adopted from the Ukraine when she was 2 years old. It is like they are kindred souls. She is an adorable girl and very sweet. In reality, she and Hannah act more like sisters--they always want to be together and yet they fight with each other and get in more trouble when they are together. It is actually getting to be hard for their teacher. Hannah has been having trouble in school with listening and sometimes she has been refusing to do her work during the learning centers. Then all of a sudden she had a great week where she had no problems at all. It lasted one week and then I learned that her best friend was gone that week when she did so well. I am not quite sure how to handle this except to keep working with Hannah on listening and doing her work. Any advice is appreciated.
For now I have been promising Hannah she can have gum after school if she listens good and does her work. So far, it is working. We will see how long it lasts. It is the first time I have actually used bribery as my parenting tool--not sure if I like the concept or not.

Children's Home Society and Family Services (our agency) had a big adoption party last month and we had a great time. We got to meet up with the other family I traveled with on my first trip so it was great to see them again. They adopted a little boy from Hannah's orphanage and we visited our kids together. He was only one year old when they met him so he is 2 now. The first thing Hannah told their little guy--"I didn't get a daddy--just my mommy". Too funny. I was told that Hannah was a little caregiver at her orphanage and it was funny to watch her take that role back with Drew. She held his hand in the hallway of the hotel and led him around showing him where to go, etc. She acted like a little mommy herself. The party was pretty cool. They had sections for each country they work with and had information there along with free crafts at each country for the kids to do. They had ethnic food served and free drinks for everyone and a main stage that showcased entertainment from all the different countries. They also had three bouncy houses there so there was always something fun to do. It was so fun to see so many people affected by adoption in one place. After the party we got to go to the Wilkin's hotel with them and have fun swimming. All in all, a great day.

My boss's father passed away this past week and I went to the visitation on Saturday. I took Hannah with and two of my co-workers rode with us. On the way there Hannah was telling them that she liked to dance with Mommy. My coworkers started laughing and joking--"how does Mommy dance?" "Is she funny" "I would like to see that" and all of a sudden Hannah spoke up quite loudly saying "Stop laughing at my Mommy--she is not silly--she is my Mommy and I like her". My little sweetheart--it melted my heart to hear her defending my honor and secretly I was very happy. I did try to explain joking to her and let her know that my friends were not making fun of me. Then she seemed okay with it.

She turns 5 in just three short weeks and she is getting pretty excited about it. She keeps asking me "Is my birthday ready yet?" I have planned a party at a local Nature Center. The kids will get to touch frogs, turtles, etc. We invited her whole class--20 kids and about 5 other kids. Should be a fun time. She is just growing and maturing so much--I miss my little girl but am so enjoying the girl she is growing into.

We have seen mothers with babies all over the place lately--at church, at school, and at other birthday parties. She is obsessed and has no shyness to walk up to mother's with babies and ask to touch them. It is hard for me to drag her away. Fortunately all the mom's have been very gracious and kind to her. We were at a birthday party where one mom was breast feeding and Hannah had her face right up there asking all kinds of questions. That night, Hannah said, "Mom, I want to be a baby and drink milk from your tummy" so we had to have that talk. If I was younger and richer, I would think about getting a baby for our family but it is just not in the cards.

She has also been telling me she wants a daddy lately too. The other night after saying she wanted a daddy, she announced "I want a new mommy and daddy". My immediate reaction was to joke with her so I tickled her and said "What--you don't want me for your mommy?" and she very seriously said "Okay--I'll take you but I want a daddy".

This single parenting is hard work some times. All though I am still loving every minute of it--in fact it just keeps getting better. Every morning I look at her sleeping and am amazed at how blessed I am.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Adoption talk

We have been more mention of adoption around here lately.
It has never been unspoken. Ever since day one we have been thanking God "for helping Mama go all the way to Russia to find Hannah and bring her home".
Hannah has often talked about being a baby in Russia and about flying home from Russia. She is proud to tell everyone that she is from Russia.

Last night we had the first "mommy" talk and I think it went well. You get to hear it because I want to document it somewhere.
It went like this:
H--One day I was a baby in your tummy?
M--No, you were never in my tummy. There was another Mommy that had you in her tummy.
H--When I was in Russia?
M--Yes honey, in Russia.
H--And you weren't there?
M--No, honey I was not there.
M--Because I was still looking for you. I looked and looked.
H--And then you found me in Russia and brought me home?
M--Yes Honey I did
H--And you are my Mommy.
M--Yes, I am your Mommy forever
Then we snuggled--both happy with our conversaton.