Monday, September 24, 2012

Just catching up

I started this post with nothing profound to write about but realized it has been so long since I've posted and I really should get some of our life down in word.

Summer has just zoomed by. The many hot days of July seemed to slow us down a bit as it was just too hot to go the park or do anything outside other than swim so we had quite a few pool visits.  It is one of Hannah's favorite things and there were always other mom's there so it was all good.

In July we did vacation in Northern WI and stayed at a cabin on the lake with my sister and her family.  My brother's seven year old daughter came with Hannah and I and the girls had a blast.  We lucked out with the best weather that week and truly enjoyed every minute of it.  It was interesting having another girl along with us.  I was worried about my niece getting lonely for her mom and dad and she did a few nights but overall did very well with it.  Hannah's reaction was interesting also--at one point she reminded me, "I am your only daughter, right Mom?".  Another time I called my niece sweetheart and Hannah said, "You can call her Mary Lou--you can only call me all those other names."  Made me smile inside.

We also had a great McNab campout weekend in August.  Our biggest turn out ever with 63 people there.  Kids running around having fun for three days.  My cousin's wife added a new feature this year by planning a very elaborate three hour scavenger hunt that has us running all over town.  48 of us participated and were divided into 8 teams--it was really the highlight of the weekend.

If you look back two posts ago, you will recall that I struggled some with the decision of what grade Hannah should attend this year. 
She started first grade and is quite cute in her uniform if I say so myself.

The first week was the honeymoon.  On the first day of school the teacher sent home a puzzle piece and asked the parents to write their wish for what they want their child to get out of 1st grade.  I had many wishes in mind like learn to read, understand math, etc. but had to think about what my one primary wish was and I wrote "to learn the love of learning".   She had already asked the children to fill out the same thing. When we went to school the teacher had the parents puzzle pieces up on a board next to their child's.  Hannah's puzzle piece said "To love school".  I was so thrilled to see that Hannah and I had the same wish for her at school.
Then the adjustment started and it was quite an adjustment.  When the homework started, the tantrums started and it was hard for about a week.   She practically begged to go back to Kindergarten and said she wanted a different teacher because "I just want a fun one, not a learning one".  School has not come easy and she needs to work hard.
Fortunately she has a great teacher who sees her for who she is, enjoys her, works with her, and reassures me that she is working very hard in school so don't get to worried about grades.  She also qualified for Title One reading and has begun that which is a very good thing.  Spelling words every night were such a struggle that first week. 
I have talked with her teacher and listened in on a webinair about adoption and school.  It made so much sense and gives me some good info and ideas.
We seem to have made it over the worst part--she does homework willingly most of the time, she tells me she loves her spelling words, and I am seeing improvement in understanding and study habits.  She is working hard and is so happy when she does well.
Yesterday in the car she started writing in a little notebook she has and she told me--"I am practicing my numbers because I want to keep my brain thinking".  When we got home I saw she had written 1 through 65 and had them all in correct order.
I know we will have to keep working hard this whole year and probably many more to come but I think we are on the right track and I know Hannah can do it--she is a very bright girl.  Hopefully we are headed towards that love of learning we both desire for her.  Although she still says her favorite part of school is when it ends.
In this past week we have added activities also--I have kept the school nights free but on weekends Hannah has lessons for ice skating, ballet, and swimming.  I heard her tell my mom that she likes them all allot but swimming is her most favorite.  We got to keep some fun in our lives and Hannah has already learned that she likes Saturdays best--no school and no church--ha!

When I in the middle of the adoption process I found a small group of women that were all adopting also and had formed an adoption support group.  It was and still is an invaluable group to me.  All the women have children now but we still enjoy getting together and now include our children some of the times.  The woman who started and organized the group has a very busy life and stepped down from the organization of the group so I volunteered to take that on.  We always take the summer off and are now starting back up in October.  I have kept in pretty close touch with some of them but  I am excited to reconnect with all of them.

On a closing note--we are both loving this fall weather.  Hannah can't wait for winter and snow but I hope it holds off for quite a while.