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!
Hazel had her first acting debut as the one and only Jesus Christ - big shoes to fill for a rookie. She did great and totally passed as our newborn male Savior. She was all smiles up there and enjoyed stealing the show at a local nursing home.
I on the other hand was upgraded from an Angel (back in 2008) to Mary! I could not be more happy. Hazel has changed my life in so many wonderful ways.
My sweet girl is 8 months old! I just can't believe it. I have a little tendon issue in my wrist, so I won't be typing much (so sorry, faithful readers). A quick little update on her my beautiful daughter and very best friend:
Says "mama" occasionally!! YIPPYYYY!!! Mostly it's "ma" or "mm" or "boogwoohdblah", but I know what she means. Crawls ... it began with a backward worm thing and now she will get into the plank position and creep forward. We're working on this one. She improves every day. Has 2 cute little teeth. Sucks at night lately (sleeping has been an issues lately). Loves finger foods and enjoys feeding herself. Laughs like CRAZY at her silly daddy. Still loves baths and splashing and playing with (in the form of chomping on) her animals and letters. Has stranger anxiety and is terrified of certain people ... like my dad. Poor guy barely gets a stare down before she starts bawling.
Now for the semi freak out part. If you are a true blog-stalker, you will have noticed that I blocked all readers for about 3 hours yesterday. This is because I all of a sudden got 7 emails about comments on posts from years back. I FREAKED OUT and thought I was being crazy-stalked, like almost murdered. You are now pleased to see that I have re opened my blog for your viewing pleasure. This is because I could not sleep because I was thinking about being murdered, and I came down to inspect a little further of my murderers, who turned out to be fellow graduate students. I see now that I am probably safe, and again trust the world. AMEN! If you haven't noticed my fan base under the "Graduate School Barbie" post from 2010, please explore it. I'm expecting an email from Matt Lauer inviting me to be a guest any day now. It's been fun reading all the posts from grad students and brings back fond memories of my grad school days. I mean, I've been officially done with all things studying for 14 days now, so I can barely remember what it was like.
I have been listening to The Help on my iPod - yes, months after the movie has been out, we do not move fast here, people - and I am in love. It's so wonderful. It has been a life saver as little Hazel becomes the HAZELMONSTER in the night. Mostly she wakes up and wants to be rocked, so I rock her for 30 min to 2 hours, whenever she falls asleep deep enough to stay asleep for more than 10 minutes. Not sure if it's teeth or Satan - but it's been going on for a bit. However, now that I have my beloved book to listen to, I bolt up with a smile when that little whine comes across the baby monitor and I can get back to snuggling my peanut and listening to my book. It's almost finished, but have no fears - I have reserved a Jodi Picoult book on CD (Sing You Home) to be picked up tomorrow. Fall zipped by, but we sure enjoyed it! Haze loves anything that crunches, so the leaves were a hit. Now we have a layer of snow. I never minded the snow or winter, but trying to hold a round girl in a puffy coat while wearing gloves and a puffy coat is nearly impossible. Also, it is too cold to run or walk with the little one outside, and we haven't done so since the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving with elementary cooking. I'm pretty much over this cold already and rip roaring ready for spring. Thank goodness we have the mall to power walk in. Hazel loves the Children's Museum here in town. Here we are playing away: We also have a Christmas tree! I wanted to begin a tradition of cutting down a tree with our little family, but C.J. talked me out of it. After all, walking out in the cold snow holding a slippery bundled baby, not to mention (observing) the whole chopping/dragging thing sounds more like torture than tradition. Maybe next year. Probably not. Our Christmases began with a 3 day adventure in St. Peter with C.J. extended family. Tons of fun seeing everyone! Here is Hazel meeting Santa for the first time. She didn't even cry - I was so proud!
I'll conclude this excessively long post with some BIG NEWS - I have passed the NBCOT ... ANNNNDDDD (PAUSE FOR EFFECT) I HAVE A JOB!! Woohoo!!
Hi Friends! The past 2 months have flown by - and here we are again, updating about a million things. Hopefully I won't forget anything!
Let's start with the 6 (actually 6.75) month update: At 6.75 months, my little honey girl... ... splashes in the tub like it's nobody business, but she's dead serious when she's doing it. ... plays with her toys in tub. ... says "dadadadadada" all the time generalized, so not technically a "first word" yet. Just began "lalalalalala" and "papapapapapa". ... drinks from a sippy cup with 50% accuracy. ... likes drinking water and 50/50 juicewater. ... can bring her bottle to her mouth, but doesn't lift it up high enough when seated upright. She can drink from her own bottle when tilted back ... attempts to eat cheerios! She puts them in her mouth, but pushes them back out. ... "eats" baby food, but she's not a huge fan yet. I'll probably be nursing her until she goes off to college. ... sits up very well. ... no longer has a constant mohawk, simply because the poor honey has lost so much hair they can't stick straight up. The long hair on top of her head still sticks up in a random pattern/puff on most days. ... can roll from back to front and from sitting to on her belly. ... gets annoyed fast at tummy time. ... loves her thick wooden puzzles, soft dolls and princess toys, fridge magnets, and rattles she can hold and shake herself. Also loves her tupperware with cheerios in it - who knew that would be so fun? ... is a mommy's girl but loves being with her daddy too! ... is starting to get some stranger anxiety with adults, but LOVES other kids! ... has an advanced grasp - the fine pincer on occasion, and inferior pincer more consistently. ... has 1 little 1/2 tooth so far - and that was a beast coming in. I'm thinking we'll stop at that. ... has had her first kiss!! A little boy at church walked up to her sitting on the floor, knelt down, grabbed her face, and kissed her on the mouth. She was all smiles and in 7th heaven.
Other things we've been up to is going to my beautiful cousin's wedding! We had a great time in Pewaukee and stayed at the hotel two nights for a mini vacation. It was a wonderful weekend and so wonderful seeing family that we rarely see as well! Isn't just fun to be all dressed up?
My good friend Megan is expecting her first baby! Yippy! I'm so excited, although it's such a bummer she lives in Colorado. Here are 3 friends with their 3 little friends ... obviously Hazel is over getting her picture taken. Here's a classic picture of Hazel with another baby (her boyfriend, Landon): She loves him. She reaches toward him and tries to hug and kiss him. She's all smiles and thinks he's just the coolest thing ever. Landon, on the other hand, is not as convinced of her amazingness.
Hazel, my mom, and I had a little girls' day last Friday. We went to the apple orchard and corn maze, the dollar store, out to lunch at Obsession Chocolates, and the Children's Museum. It was a very fun day!
FINALLY - sorry these posts get long when it's been 2 months - we had her 6 month pictures the other day by Forever Photography. Here's a little sneak peak! We are very happy with them:
At 4 months, my big girl ...
Weighs 15 pounds, 2 ounces and is in the 75th percentile for weight.
Is 23.5 inches long and is in the 40th percentile for height.
Rolls over from back to tummy within 2 seconds of being on her back.
Has a newly discovered hatred of being on her tummy, so obviously her problem solving skills are lacking.
Can laugh like you wouldn't believe, especially at her daddy.
Likes to swim and gets excited for bath time.
Is very content and rarely cries unless she's starving or tired. Mostly it's tired (obviously - she's pretty well fed).
Is held all the time.
Loves playing with mommy's hair and face when nursing.
Loves touching new things and reaches out for different textures whenever she can.
Has been sleeping through the night (woohoo!).
Can say "Momma, I love you" with her eyes.
Enjoys watching mommy and daddy cook or work in the kitchen from her highchair.
Loves to be read to and now actually pays attention to the words and looks at the pictures.
Reaches toward toys and pulls them toward her to play with.
Is a great traveler for short and long distances (a big milestone!).
Loves being outside.
Is just so sweet. I really love her. Seriously.
And for all you "crafty" bloggers, I've enjoyed seeing the pictures of the fruits of your labor and have promptly put them all on my to-do list. I'm also more than a little jealous that you have time and energy to put into little gadgets because they really do seem oh so fun and cute. Someday my time will come. However, this working momma has a new hobby, too - It may not be on the mantel but it IS in the freezer:
That's right, that right there is some good ol' fashioned pureed broccoli and green beans to be consumed by Haze after she's 6 months old. I'll be expanding her diet with more than just the green, but you have to start somewhere and that's where we're at. Bon appetit!
The crappy quality of some of these pictures are due to being from my mom's phone ... however, they are super cute and hence blogworthy. Last weekend we went to a friend's wedding in Rice Lake. We were not too sure how Hazel would do, but we were optimistic and it paid off. We were late to the wedding (obviously) and had to creep up to the balcony instead of walking in between members of the wedding party. This worked in our favor because we could stand with Hazel as she got squirmy. We then took the hour between the ceremony and reception to pump in the nursery instead of rush to start drinking and had to laugh at just how much life has changed (but of course in a wonderful way). It was a very fun night and beautiful wedding and Haze did wonderfully. 4th of July was so great this year. My sister, brother-in-law, and their 4 kidlets came to visit. We spent the early afternoon at the festivities in Carson Park and then hung out in our backyard playing beanbags and enjoying the beautiful day. After they headed home to Stillwater, the three of us went over to Ceej's aunt and uncles for dinner and fireworks. Well done, Altoona - you began before and ended after Eau Claire's fireworks (we could hear). Quite impressive. One Saturday afternoon Ceej and I decided to take our honey to Otter Creek. We hiked through the woods to reach the pretty little creek and took a dip. Back in the days of dating and newlywed bliss we used to bike the path and swim. It was fun to reminisce about those sweet days and introduce Hazel to one of Altoona's little gems. She did surprisingly well and seemed to enjoy the feeling of sand in the water, despite the water being pretty darn chilly. We were slightly worried Child Protective Services would interrupt because it was so cold, but then we decided her first experience in the sand and water was worth a few days in jail. Thankfully they didn't arrive. This is slightly out of order. I had 2 great friends visit from the cities. You know those people that are so wonderful that you don't even have to plan anything and you just have fun? That's them. We were friends and roommates from undergrad, and it always amazes me how close we are and lucky to have found one another. Truly genuine and good friendships are hard to find. We started with turkey burgers at our place and then made our way to the Livery followed by the Wigwam for karaoke, then back to the Livery. It was my first night out without Hazel or Ceej, and I was happy to be with these 2 girls (my other family). Now for the 3 month stats: Hazel Leann Thurner is approximately 23 inches long & weighs approximately 13.5 pounds. Emphasis on "approximately" as this was not done at a hospital but rather on my 90 year old bathroom scale and paper "growth chart" on the wall. I wouldn't bet lunch on its accuracy. Anyway, she is practically out of size 1-2s and quickly fitting into size 2 diapers. She is now out of the expensive diapers with the lovable "wetness indicator" and soft fabric-like cover(Pampers) and into the more reasonable ones albeit equally effective ones (Luvs). She has 5 rolls in each arm. Her record in the stroller is 75 minutes. She has giggled exactly one time, on my Birthday (more on that day at a later post). Overall likes tummy time & sometimes gets mad enough that I think she's about to roll over ... but then I cave and pick her up. Has slept an 8 hour stretch, but last night decided to wake up at 2, 3, 4, and finally up for the day at 5. Now, at 6:45, after mommy has had her caffeine and is wide awake, she is sleeping blissfully on my arm. Not impressed, Haze. She loves touching her hair when she's nursing or sleeping. Likes her pacifier, but it pops out a lot still (we're working on those oral motor skills). She is happy, and so are we. I just love her so much.
There is just too much to write about ... so I'll do a quickie "catch up" post so that I'm not as overwhelmed with posting next time.
As I sit here snuggling my little peanut, I can't believe how much she's grown! At her 8 week appointment she weighed 11 pounds, 11 ounces. Now at 11 weeks, she's a tank. The little honey went from 10th percentile for weight at birth to 70th. She's a wonderful cuddler and is becoming a wonderful sleeper as well, giving mommy a 7 hour stretch at night. Evenings can be rough, but ... she's improving and we'll just leave it at that.
Hazel spent her first weekend at my family's cabin in Balsam Lake. We have years and years of memories here (it's been in my family for generations), so I was quite excited to show her the ropes. We went for lots of walks & watched daddy fish & went to the flea market. What a fun, relaxing weekend!
We spent the past weekend in Hartford for my cousin's bridal shower. It was so great to see her and the rest of the family and spend some quality time with them. It's a long trip (4 hours!), and Hazel was a champ. Hazel met a lot of new people - here she is with her great papa Neil
That Sunday was Ceej's first Father's day. We brought him breakfast in bed (never mind that it was Triscuits with mozzarella balls) and spent time with gram before making the trek back home. We stopped in the Dells for lunch and a little shopping at the fabulous Tanger Outlets... ahh good bargain-finding memories... and after we got home went for dinner with Ceej's family. Hazel made her daddy a stepping stone with her little footprint in it for our dirt garden. This will be our tradition, I've decided (except hopefully we'll have flowers next year).
We took the little lady to Phoenix Park for our favorite summer event: Sounds Like Summer concert series. She loved the live music and fun atmosphere. She laid on this blanket in the grass for 2 hours. Awake & happy - 2 good things.
Hazel has a new boyfriend! Landon Robert is finally here. I can't believe how big/slightly obese Hazel looks next to him. Just 11 weeks ago she was a full pound smaller than this handsome little guy. I told her not to worry - she won't always be the larger one.
We've also begun house browsing! We are going to walk through 5 tonight ... oh boy! I say browsing because we aren't desperate, but we are ready if/when we find something perfect for us.
In other news, I start my second 3 month long fieldwork at a hospital July 11th. I am so sad to be leaving my baby. Although I have been blessed to be spending her first 14 weeks with her, it feels too soon. 1 year would be sufficient, I reckon. Or maybe 5. Okay, 18. I am only now starting to feel the sweet in the bittersweet and feeling some excitement in getting back on the track of becoming an occupational therapist (just a week ago I would start crying at the thought of not spending every day with her ... yes, I am one of those moms.). I never thought that after working so hard & so long for my education in a field that I adore I would feel so fulfilled staying home with my baby. I never looked down on anyone who chose to stay home, I just didn't think I would wish I could be one of them. I will press on and be a working mom, but it breaks my heart. I am so thankful to have my mother-in-law able to take care of Hazel every day, because I know she will always be with someone who adores her.
That's my life lately. Very happy. Very fulfilling. Very wonderful.
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).