Hazel Turns 3 (a.k.a.- the draft from 2017 I never published until 2018)

Looks like I’ve found myself with a nearly 2 year old blog draft. Rather than leave it unpublished forever, I’m hitting the button to make it official. I will say this though about Hazel’s 3rd Paw Patrol Birthday Party– It was the year momma forgot the candles. Additionally, we had none in the cabinet from birthdays past secretly hiding. So, in a pinch, I reached in a drawer and pulled out the Advent candles, hence Hazel having three, quite large and at various levels of burnt, purple candles. LoL

One Full Year

Right around noon today, our sweet Hazel will have officially been in our lives for one full year.

Today is truly something special.

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Hazel, we are so glad God decided to let us have you, and that he saw fit to let us keep you, even when the odds said you shouldn’t have survived momma’s wreck. Even without that fact, you would be an amazing daughter, but there is truly something special about you, dear one. You are a fierce little girl that will overcome anything. Your laugh is infectious, and your curiosity is exhausting. We can’t believe how much you have grown and changed in one year’s time, from hair to bald to hair again, and everything growth change in between. You are the first child of ours to walk before her first birthday, even if still a bit shaky, and honestly that comes as no surprise. Likely you will always be a trailblazer. There is so much love for you little girl, from those near and those far, those present and those gone. Your story has only begun and it is already a lovely one. We can’t wait to see what the next chapters hold, but please go a little slower as you fill up the pages :)

hazel collage 1 hazel collage 2IMG_7478 IMG_7645 IMG_7668*Very pretty photo credits go to our two photographer friends from college, Simply M Photography and Alison Weakley Photography. 

Currently, at 11 months

I haven’t tracked her growth and development enough, but life has been keeping pretty busy. I am just glad I am getting this one done! It’s true though, Hazel is 11 months old. You can now insert the following phrases into your mind, cause I am sure you are thinking them already:

“That can’t be right!”

“Already?”

“That was fast!”

And it’s all true….. super fast indeed.

Bless this sweet baby! We are glad she is ours, but I can say we would be even more thrilled to call her ours is she slept through the night. Just sayin’

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IMG_4379Currently, at her ripe ol’ age of 11 months, she is able to stand without holding on to anything, but I have yet to see her go from sitting to standing on her own. Hazel can also cruise and crawl her way into anything and everything. Earlier this month, Thomas sent me this picture with the words “The peace has ended”

Besides now having to block off the steps, we have also put a baby lock on the kitchen cabinet doors under the sink. We have to close the bathroom door or be sure the toilet lid is down, cause splashing in the water makes her happy, even if it is gross. If the dishwasher is open, or in the process of being open, she desires to be right in the middle of that action, reaching for a knife or rubbing her hands all over a ketchup covered plate. The other day, I was determined to unload the dishwasher while she was awake rather than asleep. I came up with a plan to turn on the TV for the very first time for just her, complete with a PBS kid cartoon. She was watching so diligently and was enthralled. I left the room, opened the dishwasher, and then Hazel jetted straight towards me. I closed it back up and turned the TV off, plan completely thwarted.

2015/01/img_4325.jpgShe finally loves something besides nursing. One of her favorite foods seems to be boiled eggs. I currently boil several at a time to use for a few days, and then I just cut up the whites into tiny pieces for her. As she eats them, you can hear her say “yum, yum yum….mmmmmm…yum yum….mmmmm.” She’s obviously a fan! Other goodies that she eats are applesauce pouches, yogurt drops, black beans, and oranges (she sucks the juice and then spits out what is left). She will try just about anything we are eating that I put in front of her. It was a long process it seems to get her to enjoy any sort of solid, but once she decided she was going to eat, she just took off!2015/01/img_4246.jpg

2015/01/img_4216.jpgAt 11 months, she has 1/2 of one tooth. I don’t honestly remember off hand when the boys got their first tooth or when they got the rest, but I am very certain it was sooner than this. Hazel is working to add three more to the count though, so soon enough they will push through a little. (you can see the one little white spot in the picture below)

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When it comes to her brothers, she is in love. They make her laugh by blowing her her belly. They read her books, track down her paci at bedtime and naptime, and generally just dote on her. We’re still working on the fact that they can’t leave anything out or she will destroy it, albeit unintentionally. We’ve had a Pokemon card or two meet their untimely demise due to this fact.

2015/01/img_4203.jpgOne of her favorite activities is to take stuff out of where they are. Markers out of the marker bin. Items out of her diaper bag. Her cloth diapers out of her diaper holder. Kleenex out of the box. You know, typical tasks for her age. (Important side note: we are extremely proud of her double crowns, which create a spiky mohawk in the back. We have Thomas to thank for this great phenomena. Fortunately, she is a girl, so her hair will one day grow long and this will become flat.) 2015/01/img_4353.jpg She also likes running with me. I am also thrilled that she will cooperate so nicely in the running stroller. It’s obviously way too cold to have her out much, but we had some unseasonably warm days and I took to the road with her. She was so peaceful, still, and quiet each time that I would have bet money that she was asleep. Turns out, she was just happy.

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Just the other day, she got to touch her first round of snow! We only went out for a second, mainly to just take the picture. THe snow was wet and cold and Hazel was less than thrilled with it. 2015/01/img_4336.jpgFortunately, Hazel will allow just about anyone to hold her or take care of her. I know that might alter soon as her development changes, but for now it is helpful. There might be a tear or two, but she quickly can be distracted so momma can run off to Bible study or to teach the youth at church. I’ve had a few friends watch her here and there, and they speak on how sweet and good she is when they watch her. I am grateful that is the case, cause it has allowed me and Thomas to take a date night or allowed me to complete a task kid free.

Next month, she’ll be a year, so I better savor these last few weeks before it’s official and she is an age that is not counted in months!2015/01/img_4163.jpg

2 months with Hazel

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Our dear sweet Hazel is officially two months old. We went back to the pediatrician for the first time since right after he20140429-161040.jpgr birth and she weighed in a 10lbs 15.6oz. Thomas was like “Really? They couldn’t just say 11lbs?” :) That puts her in the 50th percentile for weight and her length placed her in the 80th percentile. All I know is that momma’s milk does a baby good! She’s happy and healthy! (the picture to the left is us at her official 2 month check-up)

 

 

 

 

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On a whole, she is just a wonderful baby. Hazel sleeps well and has a mostly contented personality. She’s started smiling quite frequently, and I love how when she hears my voice her eyes light up and she starts scanning to room in the direction from which she hears me coming.

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She doesn’t spend too much time in her crib, for at night she is either in her bassinet next to my side of the bed or she is in the bed with us, even though she is sleeping quite well at night. I just honestly don’t want to walk up the stairs to get to her in the middle of the night in case she actually does need me for nursing, so next to the bed she shall stay for now. Because of little crib time at night, I will often put her in her room while I hang up clothes, do a task, or play with the boys.

 

 

 

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If I am out and about, Hazel totally rocks it in the sling. I even lead a meeting with my sweet girl tucked away. Every time I place her in it, I know it is only a matter of minutes before she dozes off to sleep!

The biggest negative in her life is when the paci falls out when she really wants it in. Rarely does the precious girl cry, but as you can see in this pic, when I pulled20140429-161230.jpg her paci out for a photo op, she let me have it. Totally not a fan! (although I think she might be upset about the size of that flower on her head! ha!) It is a little humorous when you see her flail her arms and make a little baby gasping sound when it falls out and she is anxious to have it back. Fortunately this isn’t a huge issue at night, and when she doesn’t want it, she’s calm and collected if it drops.

 

 

 

 

20140429-161436.jpgWe have adopted quite a few nicknames for her thus far. “Sis” and “Sister” are said quite a bit. “Hay-zee” has become a new one that I find myself uttering several times a day, but honestly I picked it up from Wesley. It must be the pet-name for his little sister, which he rightfully adores. A final one that I think often each day but rarely say aloud is “Four outfit Hazel” because she changes three times and I tend to have to change once, making a grand total of 4 outfit changes for one day with baby. She is quite the spitter-upper (take note of evidence to the left!).

 

Most folks tend to say she looks like Wesley more than Daniel. The main consensus is that she looks like her father more than her mother. As I say in return, “He sure can’t deny she is his!” :)

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“Hazel, Sister”

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We’ve had our sweet Hazel in our life for exactly 3 whole weeks one full month, almost 5 whole weeks (yeah, it’s taken me that long to begin and complete this post). What a joy she has been, honestly. I am quite amazed with how smoothly she has added to our family. We’re getting a decent amount of sleep at night, sans those two nights where she thought being contentedly awake from 2:30-3:30 after she nursed as a fun idea. She nurses like a champ, the boys love her to pieces, and she is generally just full of a great disposition, even if a bit gassy at times (which makes me think of the line from Frozen: “Don’t know if I’m elated or I’m gassy. But, I’m somewhere in that zone.“). Little girl clothes are adorable, she makes the greatest faces, her hair is amazing, especially when freshly washed and fuzzy, and we just couldn’t be happier with our new addition. Since the birth, I have felt great, and she is healthy. We’re bless, indeed.

 

I wanted to share why we chose the name we did for our little girl, our “Hazel, Sister” (sang in the tune of “Hey Soul Sister” by Train).

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My friend Julie shared a link that helped people find the trends behind their given names. Turns out Hazel was obviously very popular “back in the day.” Frequently, middle aged people have said “Oh, that was my grandma’s name!” or “That was what my great aunt was called!” I have not, however, heard of anyone young in age going by this name, whether it be from personal connections or from others. Actually, I take that back. three days before my Hazel was born, my friend Tiffany sent me a text to show that Jim from The Office welcomed a Hazel into his life.

20140325-130444.jpgSo, John Krasinski beat us to it on record, but I am sure we picked it first!

 

Why did we pick it? Well, for one, we like it, despite the fact a few crotchty 60+ people don’t appreciate it (and yes, they’ve let us know that fact, but fortunately we don’t care!). The whole idea of her name comes from the Smoky Mountains. This location has served as a great respite and memorable place for us as a couple. We went there for 20140325-141258.jpgour honeymoon. After what was at that point in time the hardest year of our life, full of a miscarriage, an unexpected move, and a job change, we took a long weekend there together. Then, for our 10 year anniversary last year, we ventured there once again. While there celebrating our 10 years married, as we dove away from our cabin and took a final view at the lovely mountains, Thomas jokingly said, “If we have a daughter one day, we will need to name her Hazel, because of the haze on the Smoky Mountains.” Turns out, it was a grand idea, and being that I was never going to agree to naming a daughter Rebekah like he would want, that is just what we did.

As for Karen, her middle name, we’ve known this to be our preference since right when we got married. Karen was the name of two beautiful women that the world lost all too soon. Karen O. was the wife of our college minister. She was quiet and wise and introspective. Thomas and I were engaged to be married when she received the diagnosis of melanoma; it seemed like we lost her all too quickly. However, even in her struggles of health, she remained faithful to God and did not waver, at least not before our eyes. At the time she officially passed, it was honestly the hardest thing we had to deal with at that point in our relationship. Walking with each other as a couple through that grief was memorable. I can still remember crying on Thomas’s shoulder in the back seat of our friend Eric’s car as he drove us all back to campus after we received the news that her moments with us were mere minutes. A woman like her deserves to be honored.

Karen W. was my second mom growing up. She was loud and funny and affectionate. So many of my childhood memories involve her and her daughters. When Thomas and20140325-141320.jpg I became engaged, we actually stopped at her house to show off the ring before we made it back to my mom to show her. On that day, Karen pulled back a small bandaid on her calf and showed me a mole that had recently been biopsied. It was just a casual conversation that day on something of minor significance, but in reality it was melanoma.  Before we left her house, as an accomplished baker, she proclaimed with joy that she would make our wedding cake, as her gift to us. She was at our wedding in May, and before I walked down the aisle, Karen brought to me a blue handkerchief that belonged to her mother. It was to be my “something blue.” I bawled like a baby into that little piece of soft fabric as I recited my vows. After, I bit into a delicious cake made just for us by her diligent hands. Our cake was the last cake she ever made, and when I look at my wedding photos where she is present, I can tell from those pictures that she looks so sick and tired, which at the time was less evident.  The next year, in February, Karen passed. We spent our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple at the funeral home, grieving. Until her last day, Karen remained a Godly pillar. A woman like her deserves to be honored.

Karen is also a name to serve as my restoration. Although I never initially chose this name for a daughter based off this reason, it is fitting. Job 42:12-15 are the near to last verses in the book. There reads the following:

12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

20140325-141335.jpgAfter Job’s losses, he was restored what he once had. No, it wasn’t the same daughters and sons or oxen, but God gave him back what he painfully had taken. When we miscarried our third child, cause Hazel is technically our fourth, it was devastating. Very few people knew about it as we were walking it, and few know the details today, although we do openly share that it occurred. Thomas and I had both felt like the lost baby was a girl. Although we did not ever get a confirmation of that, we didn’t need it. Our hearts said it to be true. A few weeks before we became pregnant with Hazel, I was out for a run when I felt God telling my heart that I would be restored a daughter. It was a peaceful assurance.  So, when the pregnancy test was positive, I already had a feeling it was a girl. As I battled the first trimester fears of miscarriage, God kept prompting me to recall the restoration He was promising. Two weeks into my second trimester, I wrecked, and a whole new series of fears and worries had to be surmounted. Even still, in that chaos, I felt God telling me again that He would restore what I had lost over a year prior and that this baby would be fine. I had to spend days, weeks, and months with positive self-talk to recall the peace of that spring run last year, but God proved himself true, and we were given a daughter. Likely, had it not been for my friend Jennifer that named her daughter Keziah, I would not have been overly familiar with the names of the beautiful girls he was blessed with by the Lord. With a name Karen already chosen before any pregnancies, and especially before any loss, it is neat to see that the name Keren/Karen was already laid out as a fulfillment of what once was.

So there you have it: Hazel Karen.

We love her dearly, and I hope that if you are in real life friends that you would come by and visit, snuggle with her, and share in our joy! We’re so proud of our little miracle.

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Hazel’s Room

20140127-145843.jpgWell, here it is: Hazel’s room!

I am very happy with how her room looks! Most everything is repurposed or reused from the boys’ nursery or from around our home. A trip to Goodwill plus some pray paint and it all came together just as I had hoped.

There are two items that I purchased for her room: the sage sign with the verse from Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”  When I saw it, I immediately loved it. Same goes for the “She knew she was worth far more than rubies” pillow that is in her crib at time of the photos (don’t worry—when baby comes out, pillow will come out).

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My sister-in-law, Elizabeth, was quite the detective and came across a few of my likes and was able to manage some pics from Thomas to get a good grasp on what colors we were adding to the boy color pallet. She also talked to me and discovered a few of my decorative wants, such as a big “H” to display, which were all completely sold out upon my jaunts to the hobby stores. Go figure.  She shared the news with my mom-in-law and sis-in-law, Michelle, too.

With the help of my friends Tiffany, I managed to find a lamp and a nice frame at Goodwill. She and another friend, Amber, arranged the collage items with me how we thought looked best, and we ended up using some items in ways 20140127-145934.jpgdifferent than I originally thought, such as the small letters inside the turquoise frame, compliments of Michelle.

Finally, I had the cushions on the yard sale glider recovered by one of my mom’s very talented friends, and a wonderful husband moved and compiled and nailed and spray painted everything until we got our finished product.

Now, we wait a bit to see until when baby Hazel decides to come and see her room!

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Baby #3: Almost There!

Well, we are almost there for baby #3’s arrival, sitting at about 3 weeks left, which is hard to believe! So many people have said “It doesn’t seem like it has been that long!” and even as the one that is pregnant, I have to agree. The reason behind this I think is that the first trimester it was a special secret that we kept. The second trimester, we finally shared, and then about 2 weeks later I had my wreck, so there was a hospital stay, two months of a wired jaw, and two surgeries that filled that time. The third trimester came and life was quickly greeted with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, and now, just a bit is left, and since we really like for baby to pick her own birthday, we know that 3 weeks until due date could mean she comes tomorrow or in 4 weeks. We’ll know soon enough!

So, with this being the neglected pregnancy as far as documentation, I thought I might take a quick moment to finally make another blog post and to share some baby bump pics, some “preggo selfies” which are extremely hard to take as far as fitting in face and belly, yet infinitely easier than trying to get a kid to take a belly pic or to manage to keep myself looking cute until Thomas comes home. I will also give ya a few thoughts on this pregnancy, which are based off some questions a college friend posted on her blog. All the pregnant pictures feel a bit narcissistic but I really do want to document her growth in me and not let her be that poor neglected third child!

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22 Weeks Pregnant!

How far along? 36 1/2 to an official 37 weeks…..keeping track has gotten hard honestly!

Total weight gain? 18 pounds. Don’t think I’m a saint in this aspect. This is just the culmination of a nauseous first trimester with no weight gain and a wired jaw second trimester that resulted in weight loss at the start.

Maternity clothes? Um, yeah, totally. At this point,  it had become more about “what still actually fits?” and also we’ve had some really cold weather, which wasn’t a battle with my pregnancies with the boys, so I am trying to layer the more summerish wardrobe to make it work.

Sleep? Up until last night, I would say things have been great. I flip flop sides a bunch, but mostly I sleep nicely. Last night, however, I ended up with some awfully annoying lower back pain and I jabbed the hubby quite a bit of snoring, which ended up just making me mad.

Best moment this week? All the moments when the boys just come up and put their hands on my belly, hug the bump, or kiss Hazel in the womb. They will just do this frequently throughout the day, with such love and gentleness, and that is pretty special. I also enjoy all the times when Thomas will lean over at night and talk to her, telling her that he loves her.

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25 Weeks Pregnant!

Miss anything? I miss working out and running. I feel soooo out of shape. First, I took a fitness sabbatical for a few weeks after my wreck. When I picked things back up about 5 weeks later, my body had changed so much with baby that it was already harder to do many simple tasks. Then, the holidays and now the extreme cold, coupled with the bigness of belly, I feel very restricted in what I can and should do at this point. I am eager to get back at running, mainly cause it is a major stress relief and spiritual prayer time.

Movement? Hazel is totally a mover! Right now, things are at the alien stage, where it looks like a crazy thing is trying to escape, which is humorous, beautiful, and creepy all at once.

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31 Weeks Pregnant!

Cravings? At the very start, it was tacos. That was all I wanted to eat. That has basically gone by the wayside and now the new craving is water.  I mean this for real. I drink an unbelievable amount of water lately. I honestly wonder how my body can hold that much. Thomas says the fact it is so cold allows me to drink more, cause my skin is soaking up so much due to the dry and cold air. I am obviously gearing up for delivery, cause I just want water and more water. Thomas and I even took what we viewed as “last date before baby” on Sunday and I had three, yes three, glasses of water just for me, which the waiter had to fill back up for me. That means I drank 6 glasses of water, just as dinner.

Have you started to show yet? Yeah. I totally can’t comprehend those “I didn’t know I was pregnant” people. It is completely apparent. I am obviously showing enough to get the  “Any day now, right?” and “You look like you are going to pop” comments, which make me want to punch the speaker in her face. Not joke. I just grin and smile but really want to reply, “It is whenever baby decides!” and “What are you? My 4 and 7 year old? Cause they think that the baby is just going to pop out of my belly. Babies come through vaginas. You should know that.You have had 3 of them yourself.  Oh—-and at least I have a reason for my belly. Can you tell me what yours is?” If it were just said once,”You are about to pop!,” it wouldn’t be a big deal, but people say it a lot, like they are being original or something. There are truly only two things you should say to a pregnant woman: 1: You look great! or 2. Nothing. That’s it.

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33 Weeks Pregnant

Labor signs? Yeah, lots of practice contractions have been happening, but nothing painful or regular. She’s doing the right thing though, so that is good.

Wedding ring on or off? Just this past week, the wedding rings have felt a little tight, but with all the cold weather, they get loose occasionally too. I sometimes wear a ring that belonged to my grandmother, coupled with my True Love Waits wedding band,  to make a nice “fat fingers” set.

Name possibilities? Hazel Karen! We’re very pleased with this choice. We have great stories on why we chose each name, which I will share at some point :)

Looking forward to? When she will get here! I can’t wait to see when her birthday will be! (and birth time—both boys greeted us in the early morning hours)

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36 Weeks Pregnant!

And so, we’re almost ready for her to greet us. We have a few more things to finish up in her room, a bit more organizing and washing of clothes to do, but mainly we are set. The boys think they are ready (they thing she is going to come out ready to play with them–ha!). Thomas already knows she will have him wrapped around her finger, and I am ready for precious cuddles and nursing, not so much the sleepless nights though.