Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween day 2009

I had to get a picture of Hanna in the same little Halloween outfit Gracie wore exactly 2 years ago. Cute, huh? Note that Gracie is only 6 months old, and Hanna fits into the same outfit!

 The difference though, is that it was probably 20 degrees warmer when I took the one of Gracie. I made poor Hanna sit out there in 40 degree weather in the wind, on the cold porch at 8:00 am. 
I know...mean!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

first year pics!

Hanna's first year pictures are due, so I got the wagon, found a nice, leafy spot in the yard, and starting shooting like crazy.

I got a couple cute ones. Hanna wasn't sure if she wanted to laugh or cry because she wasn't in the mood to pose. But I actually got quite a bit of pretty nice shots! She appears to be her regular happy little self!

And of course we needed some with her big sister.

Gracie's so great with Hanna.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

pictures of the day

Out for dinner...
Gracie's really concentrating on getting those crayons out! 
 I guess that table didn't taste very good!

Monday, October 26, 2009

party party

Well that's it. We had the last party for Hanna's birthday. She's now!  I can't believe my baby's already a year old. This past year flew by!  



  She barely made it to the cake cutting! The whole thing was pretty overwhelming for her. She got tons of nice, noisy toys, a couple baby dolls, and even an outfit! It was a cute little party. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My computer's finally loading up the pictures! Here's a couple of random ones today so I can catch up!
 When we were first trying to actually get Hanna to take steps with her own balance, we started using this big, beaded necklace. As mostly a security item that would be support, but not too much. It worked like a charm. Four days later she was taking steps on her own!
See! Hurray! This is the day she took FOUR STEPS at her Gramma's house!
This is her Birthday present from Gramma. She loves it! Light up and noisy toys are always the perfect choice for Hanna.We've been celebrating her Birthday for about a week, and we still have one party left! It's kind of confusing for Gracie...but not so overwhelming for Hanna.
More presents!  On her actual Birthday.
   She knew exactly what to do with the bongos!
   More noise makers! :) She'll be a musician one day.
We spent the day of Hanna's Birthday at Pointe Pelee. Gracie collected leaves, stones, sand and twigs, into a container to bring home. She had to show everyone the "treasures" she found. 
Hanna's actually the "big" girl in the little circle of babies. 
The oldest, and still one of the smallest!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Did you know...

that it is estimated that 80% of what we learn is through vision? That's a scary thought. But with this considered, I think Hanna is doing excellent. Here's just a few brief examples of how a visual impairment can effect different areas of development. 
* This information is from the Ontario Division CNIB Early Intervention Specialist Program*

1. Large motor skills

Strong vision gives us motivation to move, and helps a child understand the space they are moving in. Vision also gives a child the opportunity to imitate how others are moving. Visual Impairment or blindness can make movement less appealing and more challenging for a child.

2. Cognitive/Concept

Children who have been blind or visually impaired since birth will have a very different experience of the world than a sighted child will have. If the child has some vision, he may be able to learn visually, but the information he takes in visually may be fragmented, incomplete, and inconsistent. Blind or visually imp
aired children miss the opportunity to watch, learn from, and imitate what others are doing. All new skills and concepts will have to be directly taught. A visually impaired child may need more time and many repetitions in order to truly understand a new concept or task. 
Vision provides information instantly. It takes much longer to gather infomation through the other senses. The other senses dont automatically replace vision. Example: reaching towards a visual target develops before reaching towards a sound. A blind child will not learn to reach towards a sound any earlier than a sighted child.

3. Language

Children with visual impairments may have very limited access to distant objects, so they have fewer things to learn to label. A toddler with strong vision will go through a stage of pointing to objects saying "what's that?". A visually impaired child may miss this stage and miss many of the objects she could want to know about. She is limited to the objects she can actually physically touch.
Most sighted children learn nounds first, as they label things they see. A visually impaired child may learn verbs first, as actions will likely have more meaning for her than objects will in her early stages.

4. Small motor skills

This can be quite a challenge for many visually impaired children. Vision allows a child to immediately see aspects of a toy to explore that they might want to explore with their hands. Visual impairments may cause a child to need extra assistance to develop movements of their fingers and hands. The child may not see small items that would be tempting to pick up. She also will have fewer opportunities to imitate how others explore a toy and may not see all of the possibilities of a toy. 

Just a couple things to think about.  :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Someone's a birthday girl!

And that someone is our little Hanna Bean! Happy birthday sweet girl! 
I figured this would be a perfect time to give everyone a nice big update on Hanna! For some reason I can't post pictures right now. I'm long overdue for some. I'll catch up with those soon, I promise!
Anyhow, back to the update!
Here we go...

1. She's getting cuter everyday!
I love her hair! She had the cutest little natural "bob" for the longest time, and it looked so darn cute. It had grown a lot, so I actually cut it! (Shame on me...) So she's still got her "bob", it's just not so natural anymore. :)

2. She's now got seven teeth! 

And man, does she like to use 'em!

3. She's getting around!
She's crawling everywhere and now even walking a little bit! Tonight she walked back and fourth to Matt and I until she tired herself right out! She's got the balance thing down, and she's getting braver every day. Jody is going to have someone come to the house with a little white cane for her. Mostly just to introduce it to her. But I'm excited for that! They actually have to have it custom made because she's so teeny.

4. She loves food.
She eats pretty much anything which is awesome. Feeding problems are common in children with a visual impairment, but she's no concern. Chicken, yogurt, blueberries, mac 'n cheese, and toast with blueberry jam are among her favourites.

5. She sleeps really well.
She's sleeping through the night now. Well, she wakes up once to come into bed with me, but that doesn't count. She usually goes to sleep around 8 or 9, and wakes up around 3 to come into bed with me. Then she lasts until about 7:30 or 8:30, or whenever Gracie wakes her up. :) She also has a nice, long nap during the day as well!

6. She's still a teeny little thing.
Last time she was at the doctors, she weighed in at a whopping 13 lbs, 6 oz. Hopefully she's at least up to 14 lbs by now. We'll know in a couple weeks. She's also 27 inches long.

7. She's babbling.
She knows every consonant and I swear she just goes up and down the alphabet all day long adding an "a" after every one. She yells at Gracie a lot with a "na na na!" maybe meaning "no no no!" and has used "ma" a handful of times when she wants more of something. It's hard to know if she's actually using certain sounds for certain words, but I'm sure it will come in time.

8. She's our precious little girl!
We love you little peanut!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Yep! Hanna took 4 unassisted steps today! We were having an early celebration of her birthday at Matt's parent's house, and she took some steps! I swear it's the carpet. We don't have any carpet here at all, but there's a carpet in their basement. I wonder if she feels more secure and confident on a softer surface. She started crawling on a carpet as well. I don't know, and really, I don't care the reason for it! All that matters is she did it! HURRAY!! I'll post pictures of the "big event" soon. I'm having some issues with my computer, so I'll figure that out ASAP and get some pictures up!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

quick update

Good news! Just got an email from Lucie at SickKids, and Hanna's CDG (congenital disorder of glycosylation) testing came back normal. A congenital disorder of glycosylation is one of many rare inborn errors of metabolism. They often cause very serious malfunction of different organ systems, and there is no treatment available. Thank God this test came back normal! I'm not really sure what other testing they are doing, but I know there was a lot in the metabolic area, so please keep Hanna in your thoughts and prayers.

another birthday!

Kristyn and Brian had Bryanna's 2nd Birthday party tonight. It turned out really good. Bryanna couldn't have been any more adorable! Every gift she opened she said "OH MY GUY!". I'm assuming she meant God. :) She put her hands on her cheeks every time while saying that too. She was just so excited about every single little thing. That's what makes you feel good about buying a gift! It's so worth it for a great reaction!
Here's just a couple pictures.
You can tell she hasn't opened any gifts yet...
Little princess!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Today while I was making dinner for the girls, I gave each of them half of a mini Kit-Kat bar to keep them busy. Hanna ate hers up pretty fast, and then said "ma!" I whipped around so fast, and said "what! MORE?" and she gave me the biggest grin I've ever seen. Proudly, with no hesitation at all, I gave her more! I was so excited! Dr. Mendoza is the one who ordered Hanna's MRI, and he's really hoping that everything comes back normal. He was really impressed with Hanna's progress in August, but said he'd like to see how her  language skills progress. He was happy to hear her say "mama" and "dada" but I've really been trying to get her to say something new so we can have something for him when we see him November. 
Maybe it was a fluke and she just blurted out a noise...who knows. But I believe she said her first real word! Yay!!  I've really been pushing "more" on her. So maybe it finally paid off! We'll have to wait and see if she says it again!

Since I'm bragging about little Hanna, I think I'll update everyone on all the little things that she does that I'm so proud of!
Like how she knows that her straw cup stays upright to drink, and her sippy cup has to be held upside-down (which she does all by herself).
And how she holds her arms out to help me put her shirt on.
And how she knows to pee every time I put her on the toilet.
And how she waves "hi" and "bye".
And how she crawls over (without running into anything) to her push toy, (a toy she shouldn't be able to see across the room), pulls herself up, and walks so proudly back and fourth across the living room!
You'd be proud if you were me, too :)

Birthday cakes

Since Hanna's birthday is coming up, I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what kind of cake she'll have. I want something that she hopefully will be able to see and want to bury her face and hands into! I was looking for ideas online, and came across a Canadian Living Magazine article. This is the cake featured...

...Perfect, right? I think so! I was feeling brave, and figured I'd attempt to make this cake. Hanna's birthday isn't until the 22nd, but I figured this would give me some time to make a different one if this one turns out not-so-rainbowy and cute. :)
 Anyhow, so far so good! It's in the freezer for now, to keep it nice and fresh. I'm not going to do the top icing and decorating until the day before probably. It will be much easier to do if the cake is frozen first. Especially since it is a pretty heavy cake, with three different layers and 3 layers of icing.  I don't want that thing toppling over! 
So you have to mix up the cake batter, divide it into 3 different bowls and colour each bowl of mix differently. Then you have to bake each colour separately. (This takes FOREVER if you only have one pan, like me.) Anyhow, then you have assemble the cake and after each layer put a ginormous layer of icing. This is only the beginning. Now I have to ice the outside of it and figure out what kind of cute little picture I'm going to "draw" onto it. was definitely a pain in the butt to make. It will all be worth it though when I see little peanut covered in it! We'll have to wait and see what it looks like when we actually cut into it! I'm crossing my fingers! I really shouldn't have put the picture of the original for everyone to see. Mine would've been so much more impressive! :)
I've been making Gracie's cakes every year as well.

The bear was her 1st, and the train was her 2nd. But I wanted to do something different for Hanna. And a rainbow I think will be perfect!

Monday, October 12, 2009

gobble gobble!

This weekend has been a busy one! Just wanted to say happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone!
And happy Columbus Day to all of my wonderful American readers as well! 
I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The girls and I were outside playing, and building a "stone castle" and Gracie came across an earthworm. She yelled "mama! wormin...wormin!!" with a terrified look on her face. I didn't correct her and say it's actually called a worm, but I did make sure she knew he wasn't going to bite or pee on her...which is exactly what she thought he would do. The whole experience actually reminded me of all the words that Gracie...well...has her own words for: 
 "door" = four

"die" = five
"deet" = fish
"Nana" = Hanna
"Da-door" = Michelle
"Binny" = Bryanna

"bean" = blanket

"done" = fun

"dutt" = stuck

"booty" = birthday

...and one word that she says a little bit too well, that I wish she didn't...


she's mobile!!

I can now say that Hanna is officially crawling! She's very slow, and cautious, but she's got the whole concept down and gets where she wants to go! 
We were concerned for a while about her arm strength. She never seemed to use her arms, but I was told that it's very common for blind or visually impaired children not to use their arms at all during "tummy time", and some don't even attempt to move until 2 years old! Apparently crawling is a very hard milestone to accomplish for babies with limited or no sight. I honestly figured she'd skip right over crawling and walk, but she's just so happy to be moving on her own! You can only imagine how proud we are of our sweet little girl! Keep up the amazing work, Hanna!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

no news=good news?

I talked to Lucie (in genetics) briefly and she told me that Hanna's urine test came back "inconclusive".  So now we're waiting for prerequisites in the mail so we can have the local lab send out another sample. Lucie also said that Hanna's amino acids are still elevated, but they can't pinpoint a reason for it. She told me she was going to talk to Dr. Mendoza and see exactly what he thinks we should do about it, if anything, and if we should be concerned. I'm thinking since they haven't really been in a huge rush on any of this, hopefully it means that it's normal for her and just part of her "genetic makeup", and won't be a problem. I should be hearing back from Lucie anytime though, so I'll keep everyone updated. 

And just for fun, here's a picture! Hanna's trying to scoot around with this little car toy, but she couldn't get too far with Gracie riding as a passenger! Didn't seem to bother her much though....'cept for maybe her poor little nose that was running down her face! We've all been fighting a little cold.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Big 24!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to my sweet, loving, husband, Matthew.....
Happy Birthday to you!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Don't try to stop her...

Remember how I said she's gonna be so happy when she's finally walking on her own? Well this is an example of what I was talking about! She goes like crazy and you can't wipe the grin off her face for anything! She's even starting to lift the little walker up now when it gets stuck on the carpet. Pretty good, huh?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apple Season


 Kristyn, Brian and the kids were gonna go apple picking, and they invited Michelle and I and our little brats to come along. It was going to be the only nice and sunny day this week, so we figured it was the best day to go! 
The only one I don't have a really good picture of is Cameron. He's seen with Kristyn wrapped up in a blue blanket. Sorry you can't see his adorable little face...