I find myself stunned that we have only had Hannah in our lives for a year and a half. I look at the pictures on this page (which I couldn’t bear to delete, so I have moved them down), and can’t believe not only that she is growing so quickly, but that we haven’t known her all her life. She is constantly on the move, always ready to help, and persistent beyond belief.

The best thing is her relationship to Will. We didn’t really think that she would be affected very much when Will was taken away from us for two long weeks. It wasn’t until he returned to us that she began to ask every morning to “see Will,” as if to confirm that he was still here. Several times she even asked, “Will go home?” As gut-wrenching as it was to watch our children go through that process, it is equally heart-warming to see them love their baby brother, with no thought to how he came to be ours or the difficulty we endured to get to this point.

Hannah doesn’t like to play (or do anything, for that matter) alone. She likes to be in the middle of whatever constitutes action. If I am making coffee, she wants to help. When I feed the cat, she wants to be involved. Hannah regularly is involved in watering the garden, picking vegetables, making sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls, changing diapers, folding clothes, cleaning the floor, putting dishes away, setting the table, folding napkins, and numerous other things that I can’t even remember.

Independence is the key word in our house these days. Hannah can do many things herself, including buckling her seatbelt, putting on her own clothes (and taking them off again, unfortunately), removing DVDs from their cases, opening lotion bottles, and opening the refrigerator door and climbing up to get things. I think she gets this from me. In these pictures she dug out some of Jaycie’s old clothes and was having a fashion show.

Of course she is heavily influenced by her big sister. She wants to do the things she does, likes the things she likes, etc. One of the funniest things is her love of “Camp Rock,” which actually means anything by the Jonas Brothers. She even has favorite songs, and will ask for the “Step one.” I don’t know which one that is, so I play songs until she agrees to one. This brings out the other thing that partially amuses me, partially bothers me. I just don’t think that it is right for a 2 year old to know about “sending e-mail” and “iPod.” I understand that this is a part of the culture in which she lives, but still. Disclaimer: I used to do Hannah’s hair – I really did. It just seems now that little things like comforting a crying baby and surviving until Ashley can come home to rescue me are more important.