October 12, 2008

21 things about Hannah

I have not yet mentioned that October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month (hence, all the Buddy Walks). I don't know why it's October. I do know that World Down Syndrome Day is March 21 (because it is 3/21, or three of the 21st chromosome).

There are many bloggers that post about their children with Ds, and a whole slew of them are posting each day of the month to increase knowledge and awareness of Down syndrome (31 for 21). I'm not that ambitious. But here are 21 things about Hannah. I think some of these characteristics she'd still have if she didn't have an extra 21st chromosome, but after a decade of living with her, I really can't tease out what is "Hannah" and what is "Down syndrome". She is really just 100% Hannah to us.

#1. Hannah recognized her first written word at age 20 months.

#2. She knew over 200 signs before she was two years old.

#3. She is extremely obstinate.

#4. When she was first born, she was wrapped in a pink blanket, under fluorescent lights, her hair looked carrot-red. I was so upset--I cried to God, "All these problems (she was critically ill), and You had to give her Carrot Red hair too???" When we took off the blanket and put a yellow duckie near her, we discovered that she had strawberry blond fuzz instead of carrot. Chris was excited to find that they shared the same hair color!
#5. She had beautifully straight baby teeth; they all came in on time or early (kids with Ds tend to have delayed and erratic tooth eruption). Her permanent teeth did not behave so well. Two more years to go until she gets braces and gets a nice smile back!

#6. She has a cameo role in the documentary film Emma's Gifts.

#7. She detested coloring and drawing as a preschooler. Now it is her favorite past time.

#8, She recently started a laundry business. Her brother is her only customer, who pays her a dollar per load (wash, dry and sort-of-fold).

#9. She has been taking piano lessons for 2 years, and has performed in four recitals.

#10. She has a favorite teddy bear, named Molasses.

#11. For years her favorite toy has been her dollhouse, but she is gradually outgrowing it.

#12. This past summer she learned how to ride the ocean waves.

#13. She wants to get a Bichon Frise puppy when she's old enough. She will name it Flower.

#14. Her favorite food is pasta. We call her a pastatarian. Her first three-word phrase was, "More noodles, please."

#15. Hannah has congenital non-focal cataracts, which have to be supervised closely to be sure they do not grow into her primary field of vision.

#16. Hannah used to want to be a scuba diver, a ringmaster or an astronaut. Now she wants to be a doctor or a dentist.

#17. She has pronated feet and wears custom orthotics to help keep her feet in proper position.

#18. She has outgrown her Wiggles obsession! We are SO relieved!

#19. She is learning a little Italian, with James. (I think her motivation is pasta.)

#20. She loves to help give the dogs a bath.

#21. For years her favorite (and only) TV show has been "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."


Anonymous said...

i love your list!

Fearless Leader

All 4 My Gals said...

21 GREAT things! Thanks for sharing your girl!

Anonymous said...

Loved your list and your blog, keep up the good work! My daughter is 6 and although she is in kindergarten for now, I expect to be homeschooling her someday. Have you found local support for special needs homeschoolers?