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.