I really should get more creative with my titles. Nonetheless, here is the 14 month update on little Hazey:
*She's been cruising all around these days - walking, running, falling; usually in that order.
*Can make the following animal sounds: moo, baa, meowmeowmeowmeow, something like ruffrufffffff.
*Is eating real food more consistently - turns out that trying to feed her real food after nursing her was not too appetizing. Who knew people don't eat when they're not hungry?
*Gets at least one bump or pinch daily. Welcome to toddler-ville.
*Loves her swing, the slide, playing outside, putting things in and out of containers, putting anything with a handle around her arm and carrying it around.
*Has begun potty training. And by "potty training" I mean that we have a little potty sitting in our bathroom. It is currently being used to put in/pull out washcloths repeatedly by Hazel when I get ready for work. On one occasion I had her sit on it before bath. She looked at me like I was nuts. Not quite at that stage I guess (much to my dismay). We'll start that when she shows more interest. Until then, it sits as a shrine.
*Says "hi" to everyone like it's her job. She also waves and blows kisses usually on command. This is adorable and always makes me feel like a superb mom. However, when I tell her to do it and she stares blankly, I feel quite dumb. It's a tradeoff.
Below is a picture of Haze swinging at the drive in. We had a nice date there - how fun to play as a family and then the little one konks out right before the movie start. Genius!
Random picture below: I walked into Haze's room this morning as she was just "hanging" out waiting for me.
We spent the weekend at our family cabin in Balsam Lake and had a ball! It was so gorgeous and peaceful, as per usual. However, a 14 month old is not the ideal age for this. I must admit that it was exhausting being on the poor girl constantly while outside ... we're all enjoying the safety of our own yard with more freedom to roam again. It was well worth the efforts for special family time and memories at the cabin. Looking forward to next year already! Maybe I'll even be pregnant with our second baby?? I hope so!
Happy Mother's day to all of you mommies out there - it really is a special day to celebrate all of the love and responsibilities that entail being a mommy. It's a wonderful all-time job that is the most amazing blessing for anyone to receive. We spent Mother's day pretty casually - brunch with my mom (morel mushroom/ham/veggie/cheese omelets and fresh fruit ... yes.), a long nap for Haze, a couple of hours playing outside and working in the yard, and then Burrachos for dinner at Carson park followed by a rollerblade ride. As you can see from the picture, I am not the most confident rollerblader, hence the protective gear. I had asked for the gear for Christmas thinking it would help me feel more at ease and able to go fast without the fear of falling. I was RIGHT. Look out world, here I come ... ON ROLLERBLADES!!! It was great, obviously.
As a little 13 month update - Hazel continues to amaze us. She makes us laugh all the time and is just so sweet! She's such a spunky, independent little honey already. She is so happy most of the time and just a pure joy to be around. I love her! She also:
*TALKS a ton and has been repeating a lot of things we say. Not all of them are perfectly understood, but some things she's repeated are: animal sounds (mooo, baa, ruff, meow), i love you (wuv woo), all done, book, bubbles (buba). Some words she says more clearly are: mama, dada, daddy, dog (DAWWWGGGG), nana, uh oh.
*blows kisses and waves bye bye when prompted verbally or when someone puts a coat on goes by the door.
*WALKS!!! 6 steps is her record. She's so proud and totally awesome.
*loves her babies ("dadas" in a soft voice) and pushes them on her little walking car to go for a ride.
*loves carrying around anything with a handle ... lunch boxes, coolers, daddy's shoes, whatever.
*loves carrying around anything small ... bandaids, hair binders, tampons, whatever.
*loves opening containers and putting things in or taking things out of them.
A last little update - we had a 2nd annual "4 Generations" trip at Kalahari resort - SO FUN!!! Haze loved the water and I loved getting away for the weekend. Hazel did not, however, love sleeping in the new environment. She knew all of the activity going on around her and sleep/naps were last priority for the little party girl. We came back rejuvenated albeit not especially well-rested.
It was a great weekend to celebrate the birth of my sweet daughter. I just can't believe how fast time has gone! Last night I was rocking with her and she put her little head in the crook of my neck with her body sprawled across mine. This was her favorite position as a newborn and young baby, only I could hold her there securely with one arm. I miss those days, but I am so in love with watching her grow and see each new stage she's in. Did you know that some people consider one year the beginning of toddler-hood? Oh my gosh - not ready to use that term for my little baby!! I actually need to get out of the habit of calling her "little baby" at work in conversation, as in "I have a little baby at home". I get a strange look when they ask her age and I tell them "a year". New goal: "big baby" or "young girl" or "young toddler" or "older baby". Hmm. Maybe I'll just say "baby". Anyway,these days Hazel has been busy! Here's the latest update: - Stands in one spot for a few seconds. - Will walk along while her hands are held. - Says "mama" more often (still more like "maamaaa"), but still "dada" for most things including her daddy. Says "uh oh" (sort of) when she drops somethings with about 30% consistency and "Da!" for "doggie". - Loves books and will usually sit to listen to half of a short baby book. - LOVES DANCE PARTIES!! She will crawl up to our CD player when it is playing, turn it up, dance/wiggle, crawl away, dance/wiggle. The other night she was downstairs and music was on upstairs. She paused, danced/wiggled, then proceeded to crawl up the stairs, pausing every 2 steps to dance until she got to the CD player in our room to turn it up and dance some more. It is pretty dang cute. - Improving on consumption of baby food, although she still mostly eats a wide variety of "big people food". Actually, she still mostly eats breastmilk with teeny portions of a wide variety of real food. - Loves playing outside and eating dirt. Still loves the toilet. Loves toys that make noise, puzzles (she does not put them together - we're not that advanced), her lamby, and all her new Birthday toys! It's been fun playing with the new stuff as the old stuff has gotten ... old. For both of us.
We spent Hazel's party mostly indoors due to the surprisingly cold day. We ventured out for a bit at the end to play some outdoor games as it slowly but surely warmed up. We also played parachute games (thanks for the idea Ashley!), which were a huge hit for all of about 5 minutes (this is considered a success considering the age range of party guests). On Hazel's actual Birthday we went to Irvine Park for a walk around the zoo and some swinging after church. It was nice to spend this time together, just the three of us. Happy Birthday little girl!
We have been loving this gorgeous weather! Haze and I get out running and she loves her little hair blowing in the wind and tossing cheerios in the air with as much joy as if they were rose petals on her wedding day. This past weekend we made a point to have some quality family time and took a little stroll downtown with some friends. It was a perfect way to enjoy the weekend and welcome in the new season (finally!).
About this time two years ago, there was a huge baby boom among people I love. My twin nieces had their Birthday party this past weekend, and we had a great time seeing family! As Hazel gets older, it's fun to see how she gets along with her cousins. I'm sure they'll only get closer as time goes on.
My daughter is 11 months old. At this time last year, I was a rolling beast in disbelief how much life would change at "any moment" (Isn't that what we say at 36 weeks? As if a first baby will come then.). Life has changed so much, and I can't even remember what it was like living only for myself. I was just obsessed with my schedule and had details and planning down to a T. Now it's second nature to know that my "schedule" is totally dependent on how Haze is feeling, and that is perfectly fine with me. As a mom, you naturally become less selfish and self-involved because there is someone else you're living for. My little someone is just the sweetest peach you will ever meet; I'm so blessed to have her in my life! She's growing fast, and here is what she's up to lately: *Waves "Bye bye" when you put on your coat without being prompted; waves with prompting, too. *Improving with consumption of real food, and she eats a variety of teeny portions including black/refried/kidney/white beans, all cooked veggies, imitation crab, tofu, tortillas, bananas, strawberries, mango ... I guess this is a dumb list because she'll sample anything right now. Moving on. *Can feed herself with a bottle or sippy cup one handed, but usually uses two. *Typically sleeps through the night. Emphasis on Typically. *Still says "dadadadada for most things. Specifies it for the real "dada". Says mama more consistently but it sounds like it's in slow motion "muuuumaaaahhh". *BLOWS KISSES!! And smacks her lips loud to make kissy noises. This is really new and really cute because it kind of surprises her, but she keeps repeating it and smiles/gets surprised with each little kiss. *Is smiling/laughing most of the day. *Is SO EXCITED FOR HER BIRTHDAY PARTY. Oh wait, that's me. *Still enjoys power walking the mall, but is lasting for shorter periods of time. Yesterday, on the 50 degree day, we went out for a long walk with a friend and she lasted over an hour. Thank goodness Spring is coming and I have an outside loving girl. Bring it on! On a different note, we were ALMOST homeowners. I mean signed contract, official at the bank, TWO boxes packed. It ended up falling through, not our fault, and it's okay with us. Everything was happening way too fast, and it was an emotionally exhausting roller coaster of a week. Back on the hunting/browsing track for us, although I'm afraid we're a little gun shy at this point. We were so excited/close to buying and it fell through, and now we're happy about it... how does that happen?? And what does that mean for the next one that we're so excited/close to buying??? UGH it's a scary thought. Not TOO scary as we've already been out looking at houses again, but if it's up to my husband we'll just buy the duplex next door and with a little construction - tada! A 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom house and no moving! Just kidding - although he did bring that up.
No pictures to post here because, well, we don't take any pictures without Hazel in them. What consumed my picture-taking obsession prior to my daughter's birth is one of life's true mysteries. This Valentine's day was a success - C.J. and I went to our church's Enchanted Valentine Dinner for Married Couples (I love that they specified "married" in the title). Before you slap us with the "Major Dork" label, let me tell you - it was a perfect night! We had a delicious dinner in a beautiful, romantic setting with wine and hearts galore. We were super impressed. There was a speaker about marriage who was also excellent, and we even renewed our vows, so it looks like we're in it for the long haul. We took full advantage of a night out and stopped out for a margarita and guacamole after dinner. This was all Saturday, by the way, as the official Valentine's day hasn't even happened. The real Valentine's day might consist of a heart shaped pizza or something along those lines if C.J.'s lucky. Either way, we thoroughly enjoyed our little celebration. Happy Valentine's day everyone!
Apparently I only post these monthly updates. Poor you - must be a snooze to read. However, I know I will enjoy looking back at how my sweet girl has changed over the months, so here we go: At 10 months old, Hazel Leann: -Waves bye bye -Calls everything dadadada or dada or da. Even mama. Sweet. Girlfriend, I did NOT give birth to you naturally and nurse you for 10 months and counting to be called "dada". This stops now. -Loves sledding, playing with her baby doll, the toilet, magnets, eating tortillas, getting scared by her parents, playing peek a boo, crinkly toys, plastic bags, ripping paper and eating it, ripping napkins and eating them, snuggling, playing in daddy's closet, family dance parties, going for walks, playing at the mall, eating big girl food. -Claps, clasps her hands after we pray (timing isn't her strong suit), waves both arms to cheer, signs all done after eating. The last one might be a wave, but she also won't eat any more after she does it - so that's a sign to us. -Practically runs up the stairs. The girl is fast.
She's just the delight of our lives, if you can't tell.
I just cannot believe how fast this whole parenting thing goes. Whoa.
My NINE month old daughter is up to the following:
Tries to sit up from laying down. In actual sit-up style. Crawls all over and loves exploring! LOVES mommy & daddy ... quit saying "dadadadadada" generalized and says "mama" or "ma" with me or when looking for me somewhat consistency. Squeals with delight when I return from an outing sans baby, hence melting my heart. Has crawled up the bottom stair platform with standby assist and can crawl steps with moderate assist. Can pull herself up from sitting position onto furniture. GOT BIT IN THE EYE by a little demon at the mall. Plays "peek a boo" and clearly thinks it's the bee's knees. However, she keeps eye contact with me most of the time as she peeks around the blanket. Drinks from a sippy cup and bottle with set up and occasional min assist Loves books! Especially those with touchy-feely things. Has a real baby doll that laughs and Hazel stares at her and laughs right along with her like two little friends do. It's adorable. Loves other kids! Especially boys. She stares and laughs at them at the mall. Or climbs on them. Oh no. Is still working on the whole sleep thing. Talked to her pediatrician today and he recommended letting her cry for 5 minutes, comfort, cry for 10, comfort, cry for 15, comfort, and cry for 20, sleep. He said to do this for a few days, and she will be cured. Apparently it will help her establish good sleep habits for the rest of her life because she needs to learn how to put herself to sleep. Great. Welp - we've had 1 nap since then, and let's just say we're 0 for 1 in the following of that sweet little regimen. We had a little "crafternoon" the other day with a friend and her two kiddos - thanks to Anna for the easy crafty idea! I had intended on doing this months ago but got discouraged when I didn't have an exacto knife and regular scissors would not suffice. To save time this time around, I just used the older picture. I'm so glad I did! I didn't realize the mohawk was so out of control. I miss it.
As with most families with large and chopped up extended families, we had a lot of rounds to make this year. I reckon this makes it fun as it gives me an excuse to truly rock out to the Christmas tunes for an extended period of time. As always, it ended up being a very wonderful love and family-filled month. Christmas began in St. Peter on the 10th and will end this Friday the 30th. We spent the Friday before Christmas Eve with my extended family in Stillwater, having a less traditional lasagna feed and gift exchange. Oh boy! This was even more splendid considering that little Haze has not reacted from me eating dairy in the past 2 weeks, and hence it has returned to my diet in full force. HELLO CHEESE! I can't believe I went 9 months without you. Apparently my body forgot how to digest it during this time, forcing me to reduce it to a minimal to moderate intake from here on out. Live and learn.
Christmas eve morning was brunch at my dad's - our traditional cheesy scrambled eggs, pancakes, hashbrowns, and mimosas, followed by a large pile of presents and smiling children. It ended, naturally, with tired, crying children of all ages. It never ceases to amaze me how this little family of my dad with 3 daughters has turned into a full fledged familial party. Rock on! That night was another tradition for my other family - my mom, brother, and their significant others - dinner at the glorious Red Lobster on Christmas eve. This tradition began 21 years ago, believe it or not. This is where the dairy binge truly took off - clogging these ol' pipes RIGHT up. It did not disappoint at the time, but cheddar biscuits, blue cheese dressing on a salad, and crab Alfredo proved to be the perfect storm. I'm still not sure if I regret the decision. At this point we had had 3 Christmases in 24 hours - and as wonderful as it is seeing family and having the opportunity to enjoy the holiday with them - I know we are SO blessed and would never complain about having a lot of people to love - we were flat out zonked by Saturday night. Christmas day was a day to recuperate and focus on the real meaning and how blessed we truly are. This was the first Christmas that I can remember not having a larger family celebration on the day. Hazel, C.J., and I slept in (Ha! Obviously that's a joke.), opened gifts from Santa, made a nice breakfast, and then went to church. After church Hazel took a long nap, and Ceej and I played a game of Scrabble and watched the Christmas Story. P.S. - Did you know this movie was on repeatedly for 24 hours on Christmas day? I mean, seriously, that is some fame. Anyway, it was a perfect day and I have zero complaints. Well, besides the fact that I did all the shopping this year which meant that C.J. didn't get me anything. NOT A THING - not even a card and ornament which we've done every year for the past 10 years - because he "ran out of time". I was over it by the night before and how I managed to refrain from being passive aggressive and crabby all day is beyond me.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you felt as blessed as you are!
After being crazy in love for a decade, we officially became a family on May 23, 2009. We are thrilled to be married and enjoying this exciting time in our lives! Ceej worked as a Journeyman plumber and is now bidding jobs for a local plumbing company, and Em graduated from UW-Madison in December of 2008 and is in the Masters of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Minnesota to be completed in the Fall of 2011. Our sweet baby Hazel Leann arrived April 1, 2011 (no foolin'!) and is the biggest joy and blessing we didn't know we needed. Life isn't perfect, but it sure is wonderful - We're truly enjoying every new second of God's awesome plan for our lives!
Pictures credit to Forever Photography (family/baby) and McManigal Photography (wedding).