A couple weeks ago, Hanna had some visitors. Two wonderful ladies from CNIB came by to see how she was doing as far as Braille readiness, and Orientation and Mobility. She (literally) welcomed them to our house, and introduced them to her baby brother, which took them by surprise.
She sat down with Ben and I at the table, and visited with Shauna and Caroline, and took a look at a book they brought in for her to practice some pre-braille reading.
Eventually she had enough of sitting, and took off to play with her sisters. Caroline asked "How old is Hanna again, Jenn?" Hanna stopped what she was doing, piped up and said "Four."
Once again, they were surprised.
So I asked her "...but your birthday's coming up! When is it?"
Hanna: "October 22nd!"
Me: "Yeah! And how old will you be when you have your birthday?"
She responded with
She amazes me.
Hanna turned five years old today.
When Daddy got home from work this morning, she opened her present before even eating breakfast. We got a great big "Thank you guys!" and a big hug, and she carried on with her day. She got calls throughout the entire day with birthday wishes, followed by little "thank you"s and great big smiles. She had a good day.
She is an incredible little girl, who is a lot to a lot of people. She's a little sister, a big sister, a grand-daughter, a great-grand-daughter, a neice, a great-niece, a daughter, and also, a teacher, to all of us.
She has learned so much, in just the last year alone.
To ride her bike (with training wheels and a little help).
Monkey bars! (As seen above)
She can also tell you her first and last names.
She can identify (visually) a few numbers, many letters, and knows a few letter sounds.
She can write her name *almost entirely* legibly.
Oh my goodness. There's been so many gains this year. I could go on.
I have no doubt that this year, with everything we have planned for her, will show us just as much, if not even more, her abilities.
Lately, the girls have been cracking me up. They all have such different personalities, and they're all so persnickety! This is especially true at bed time. Last night I couldn't help but giggle to myself while shutting off their light after all of the good night kisses.
Right now, all three of them are sleeping on the bottom bunk, across the bed, the long way. (I could fit three more kiddos in their if I really needed to, this way!)
After they get dressed into the particular pajamas that they pick out, they all go into their room, and we read a story, then say prayers. NEXT. The hard part begins.
Gracie needs to have her stuffed cats "Rhonda, and Lilly", and her Tinker Bell pillow. She's the easy one.
Next to Gracie is Hailey. She needs to have her pink ruffle pillow, with the ruffles up(don't attempt to flip her pillow) and her baby Minnie Mouse. "Me don't want a bang-ket" so, Gracie gets her own blanket, and Hailey sleeps without one.
Next comes Hanna.
She has to have her night light on first. Then she jumps in, crawls over and fixes her ruffle pillow so that the ruffles are down, and positions whatever sleep toy she chose for the night (always between 2 slightly different baby glow worms, or baby Annie) perfectly slanted to the left side of her pillow. Sometimes she has both baby glow worms in with her, and they stay side by side, but the one with eyelashes has to go on the left, and the one without goes on the right. It's just how she rolls.
Hanna needs her own blanket too, since Hailey has to be in the middle without one. If Hailey decides that she wants her feet covered up, we have to angle the blankets just perfectly so that only her feet are covered with both Gracie and Hanna's blankets.
It's an event, let me tell ya.
I should note that it's not the end of the world if any of this goes wrong, which is why I let it continue. They all have their own preferences, and I think that's a great thing.
If I'm having a rough evening, and Ben won't let me put him down, things move much quicker, we skip many steps, and the girls deal with it without a fuss.
I'm just happy to be able to tuck them all in together, and then sit down quietly with my baby. If it's a good night, I can even get him down, get Matt out the door for work, and sit quietly. Just me, with a snack and a movie.
Whether I'm having an awesome-everything-going-perfect-and-smooth kind of day, or a I-want-to-drop-all-my-kids-off-somewhere-and-run kind of day, I can always look forward to the moment right before I get into bed.
When I open their door, and see everyone sleeping peacefully, resting up for tomorrow. When they will learn, play, and laugh making their mama feel like the luckiest person alive.
I felt that thing months ago peeking through, and today (it must've been literally an hour ago) it finally is completely through.
Poor guy. He's so good. If it wasn't for the biting and drooling, you'd never know anything was up.
It's also little Ben's first Thanksgiving today! It's a gorgeous day with the sun shining, and Matt's had a few days off for the holiday which is an extra bonus for all of us.
We have some financial stress right now, dealing with two mortgages, but that also gives us the opportunity to help my sister who is in a tough spot have somewhere to stay, and keep her close to us.
Being completely broke Having a stress like this will also be good for Matt and I, making us work together, and appreciate even more, the little things - which we all know are actually the biggest things.
Life is good.
Today is a perfect day to just soak all that good in.
I've got 4 gorgeous, healthy kids that I'm lucky enough to call mine, and I'm living in my dream location with my family close.
Who in their right mind wouldn't want a life like that? :)
Blessed I am.
So. Let's bring on this Thanksgiving!
We had an amazing dinner last night with my second family (Matt's side) and we're looking forward to tonight's dinner with mine.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of my family, friends, and fellow Canadian bloggers!
Just very recently Hanna began to draw faces! For the first time - ever.
For her Daddy's birthday she decided she wanted to draw him a picture of "daddy".
It quickly turned into a picture of "daddy and me", and then
"and Gracie, and Hailey and baby Ben".
Apparently I'm the most large face.
At least I look happy. :)
I was so impressed, to say the least! This little family portrait of hers is now proudly displayed on the fridge, until her next masterpiece replaces it. I walk by that picture every day, about 324 times, and it doesn't get old.
What a beautiful little reminder of how far this kid has come, and that she will do everything at her own pace. Once again, she's made me a proud mama.