Happy Birthday - YOU'RE ONE!

Hazel's big day was November 22, so at this point she's already 13 months. I'm terrible.

She started the morning by enjoying nursery time with her little friends at church. The ladies who work in the nursery love her (I'm not even kidding - they tell me how much every Sunday), and whenever I check on her during the service she's happily shaking the baby gate or taking toys from little boys.

The catch here is that we celebrated her birthday on Saturday, November 21st, because Mom and Dad took Nate and I to Trans Siberian Orchestra on Sunday night. I was so bummed to not spend her whole day with her, but Hazel did alright with Nate's parents.

So on Saturday, Day 1 of her birthday celebration, Nate and I scrambled to clean everything and prep food. I spent about three hours just dipping pretzels in chocolate. They were so good, but I really didn't budget that much time! The pictures I've posted here are from Mom and Dad's computer, so when I have access to mine at home, I'll add a few. I mostly have pictures of the spread before guests showed up.

The party started at 3pm, but folks started showing up around 2:30. We had several helping hands as we put finishing touches on things, so I slipped away to get Hazel up from her nap and dressed for her party.

The kid did awesome! She never acted overwhelmed by the amount of people in the house or the incredible, constant, hands-on attention she received all night. We all mingled for awhile until someone alerted me that Hazel was very ready to rip into presents.

She helped me for awhile, but then she became totally focused on some curled ribbon. I began to open all her presents for her and just hand them to her as I opened them. She was thrilled with each one. As a guest in our house, you might not have seen the "thrilled" aspect, but she was. When she devotes total attention to something, she's quite taken with it. The hollering comes when she finally feel she understands what she's holding.

People were so generous. She received many toys and dolls and books, most of which she visits several times a day in the family room. She has full on conversations with her dolls; she stacks, knocks over, and restacks her blocks; and she talks to the pictures of little boys and girls and baby animals in her books. We were blessed in a huge way by the attendance of so many friends and family.

After presents, Hazel got a chance to dive into her cake. She was interested in it, but not sure what to do with it. Finally she found her groove and started delicately shoving handfuls of chocolate cake into her mouth. Her legs were going crazy (whenever she eats a meal, she kicks the entire time, I think in anticipation of the next bite).

We had such a fun evening! The girl did amazing. She finally showed Nate she was pooped around 7:30, so he slipped away with her to put her to bed while I chatted with the few remaining guests. It was an excellent way to end the day!

Nate and I hosted Thanksgiving for both our families a week later, so I'll post about that next...and then Tree Killin'...and then Christmas.


Hazel's Last Few Months in Pictures.


Hazel spent a Friday with Mom while I worked. I got a frantic call in the afternoon from Mom, telling me that Hazel had been stung on the head by a yellow jacket. We weren't sure if she was allergic or not, so I called the pediatrician as I raced over. They told me what to look for and wished me luck. Hazel was just fine. Mom, on the other hand, was freaking out. She covered what she thought was the bite with a mixture of water and baking soda, so Hazel looked a little freakish when I got to the house. We decided to rinse out the baking soda so that we could see whether or not she'd actually been bitten. She was fine - completely unfazed and unharmed! But the best part of her day was this fancy hairdo, compliments of the baking soda...

This was the best family picture we got in Magone, and it's too bad it's from my phone (all these pictures in this post are off of my phone - I'm very sorry).

And here is Hazel gnawing on our coffee table in the family room! Still no teeth, so I wasn't at all worried about damage. Hah!


Hazel is becoming a big girl! This was one of the first times I let her sit alone, without hovering too much anyway. She was enthralled with this rocking chair, and even more thrilled by her own ability to rock it...

There are quite a few "eating" pictures on this post - just enjoy them. They're good for a chuckle.

I call this one, "I Love My Hat!" My friend Linsea made it and it's the only hat without a chin strap that Hazel will keep on. Sometimes I catch her in her carseat with it half off, but that's to be expected - she has a hard time not playing with it.

I snapped this one as we were getting ready to leave the house. I don't remember where we were heading, but I think it's a cute picture.

CHEESE! The kid loves cheddar.

Making espresso with Dad.

Eating steamed apples. They went absolutely everywhere.


I can't resist her baby behind! I was lucky with this picture, though - the first time I set her down to watch the tub fill up, she peed where she was standing. But not this time! Whew.

I took this picture after we spent some time at the pediatrician's office. Bronchiolitis. Poor kid! Her cough has been awful! She's such a trooper, though. She's really only been fazed by it once, but that was because it was exacerbated by an ear infection.


Tree Killing! We climbed a steep hill. And then crawled back to the car with nothing to show for it. I'm going to get a few better pictures from Mom and Dad and do a separate post on this tragic event, so I'll leave it here for now. I'll tell you this, though: Nate was not involved this year; Hazel nearly lost an eye...twice; I thought I was going to die; my lips lost feeling.

Hazel can ask for anything and I'll give it to her if she's just wearing this outfit at the time. I can't resist her in it.
*Oh, and do you like all the kleenex in the fireplace? Yeah, Nate and I have been sick, so we toss our used tissues in there. It's quite the build-up at this point. I don't plan on having any company over any time soon, let me just say.*

And this last picture has nothing to do with Hazel! Survivor came to our town to host a casting call for an upcoming season. I wanted to join the line, I itched to join the line, I almost joined the line, but I didn't. Nate had somewhere to be, so I would have been standing in the cold and rain with Hazel two hours past her bedtime. Even though I didn't join the line, I plotted my interview and felt convinced they'd cast me, knowing I'd be the highlight of the game for all of eternity. Ah well. Their loss I'm sure.

So this post clears my mind when it comes to my phone pictures. I've uploaded them all and now they're posted. What a relief! Nate and I are staying at Mom and Dad's for a few days (oil furnace is not working and we're out of wood; our house is sitting at a comfortable 50 degrees - and dropping - as I write this), so I'm utilizing their excellent wireless connection and my free time to get some blogging done! Seriously, it's like a vacation. I'm not distracted here. I'm taking care of Hazel, cooking for my family, and getting some laundry done, with naps tossed in there for good measure (for both Hazel and I).

I'm super delayed in posting about Hazel's birthday, but there's a good reason for that. I personally have six pictures of her party and they're all either blurry or dark, or both. But I discovered a wonderful, enormous variety of pictures from her party on Mom's computer, which elicited a huge, "Wahoo!" when I found them. So I'm going to post those next. I can hardly believe my little one is already 13 months old. Weird. But she's a genius. Have I ever told you that? And she's growing teeth like you can't believe. She waited until the timing was just so, as she does with all major developments in her young life. And she's just shy of walking. It's unbelievable.

So I'm off to finish making my chicken parmigiana. Nate is with some of his extended out-of-town family tonight, enjoying a martini and appetizers. Hazel had a super hard night last night, waking up every hour - she just wasn't used to sleeping in her play-pen all night (tonight will be better) - so I thought it best she go down on time rather than having Rick and Karen babysit her for a couple hours (sleeping at their house and then being woken up to come home). That can be quite disruptive to her poor little tired and sick body.

Nate's missing out. I make really good chicken parmigiana.