Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Dear Hazel,
On Sunday, you turned one. ONE. I can't believe it... you're growing up so fast! It seems like just yesterday you were this tiny little body with long flailing arms and legs that could not be contained by a mere receiving blanket, screaming into my ear because you had a gas bubble that just wouldn't pass. And I can't believe it but I remember thinking then how glad I would be when you grew up and could fart on your own.

Careful what you wish for, right? Because I'm so. not ready for you to grow up yet. My heart still melts when you reach for my hand to steady you on your feet... but it seems even now - at just 12 months! - those moments are fewer and farther between. You want to do it on your own. You want to do everything on your own. You want to do everything that Mommy and Daddy do... but you certainly don't want, or need, our help.

Walking, sitting on your own chair, brushing your hair... even feedings!... those have all been taken over by you. We are not allowed to cut up your food for you anymore. You will take the banana whole, thankyouverymuch. And that grilled cheese I made the other day... the one that I gave you half and cut up into small pieces for you and then attempted to eat the other half? You'll have my half, thankyouverymuch. And don't ever pull that crap again, okay Mommy?

We've had to actually buy you your own spoon and fork. Not that you're actually able to use either of them much. You do enjoy holding the fork while you hand feed yourself, though. And you'll dip the spoon into applesauce and then attempt to lick it off. And all of this pleases you very much. So much so that you lift both arms up in victory... and then place both of your (usually food covered) hands on top of your head and proceed to wear whatever is left of your food. Which makes for really fun cleanups.

Also, just in time for your birthday? Your first molar!!! Or, as Daddy and I like to call it: THE RUINER OF EVERYTHING THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD. Let's just say that your first molar breaking through isn't going all that well. It makes you wake up early and walk around the house groaning and crying. Nothing we've tried, short of Tylenol, seems to help much at all. So we just have to listen to the constant cries of pain that cannot be soothed. And keep repeating our mantra: This Too Shall Pass. IT MUST.

I think you're coming out of the worst of it, though. The other day we actually saw a smile. One that had been missing for the last few days. So that was nice. I tried to capture it on camera, so I could look at it to remind myself that the monster living with me right now is only temporary and my darling angel is still in there, somewhere... lurking.... but, you know how you are with photographs. YOU HAVE NO TIME FOR PHOTOGRAPHS WHEN THERE ARE THINGS TO GET INTO AND BREAK!

You absolutely love your newfound mobility and have this fun little habit of taking off whether or not Mommy wants you to. And you seem to make it a specific point NOT to follow Mommy and Daddy or go where they want you to. Mommy and Daddy are there on the left? RIGHT TURN IT IS!

You've also discovered the joys of swings and if we let you, would probably spend the rest of your life in one.

You have also discovered ducks. We made a trip to Dinosaur Park a few weeks ago where you got to feed them and were absolutely amazed by them.

Feeling inspired, the next day we took you to Beus Pond... which absolutely blew your mind. The sheer number of ducks and geese were enough to blow MY mind. And when the geese started to get a little fussy because of a dog that was being walked nearby, and they started to run towards you (as you were standing on the path to the water)... well, you didn't even flinch. Mommy flinched enough for you. Of course, Mommy's beaten up a few geese in her day so it was no big deal. Canada Geese are nothing compared to a Mommy in protection mode. Much less, a pregnant Mommy in protection mode.

Last week, we dressed you up in your Halloween costume and took you to the Nature Center for their Halloween celebration. We were kind of rolling the dice with you, since you usually melt down around 7 each night, but we felt that it would be worth the risk. And OH. BOY. Was it ever! At the Nature Center, you discovered leaves. LEAVES!!!

I mean, it's not like we have trees and stuff in our backyard, right? The Nature Center leaves are THE BEST. And when we took you away from your beloved leaves, well, I thought the world might just end right there.

We ran into some friends from college that had a little girl just a few months older than you. Not that you really noticed since she pretty much stood still next to her mommy.... while you practiced "running" down the road. You know... where all sorts of wild animals are. And a significant drop-off into a ditch. Luckily, Daddy was there to save the day, pick you up, turn you around so that you could run back the other direction. Meanwhile, the 15-month old that I just mentioned? Stood there watching. Pretty sure I only saw her blink once. And I still gotta find out from her Mommy: WHAT MEDICATION DO YOU HAVE HER ON... AND WHERE CAN I GET MY HANDS ON SOME?

Yes, yes... you're a bit of a Hazel Tornado these days... which makes it awfully hard to get a good picture of you, so I just have to wait and take one when you've fallen down.

Ain't nothin' containing you. I think we'll take you up to the football field this weekend and just set you loose. I'll watch from the stands. I remember laughing at one of my girlfriends from college that I played basketball with. She had a little boy who would seriously run laps around the track and never tire. And I kept thinking: "Yep... That's definitely YOUR kid." Because she seemed to believe that she was never that hyper as a child. And I tried to remind her that she WAS that hyper as a 20-year-old. And yet here I am. I KNOW I was never this active... no matter how many times people remind me that I was a total tomboy. I distinctly remember never liking to get my hands dirty... whereas you routinely like to play in the dirt and rub it all over your head.

Yep. You're clearly your father's child.

Yesterday, you had your one-year immunizations. And that was fun. Really. Like shove bamboo sticks through your eyeballs fun. You had a pretty rough day after that. But guess what? This morning... SOMEONE SLEPT UNTIL 7!! You haven't slept until 7 in weeks! And you woke up happy... just like the little girl we remember from the summer! You have no idea what that does for Mommy and Daddy's psyche, baby girl. And if it weren't for an unfortunately head-first tumble in to the bar stool this morning, we would have had a tear free morning for the first time since your molar started coming in.

You've turned into quite the little girl, Hazey. You're no longer our baby... and that makes me sad. Every day I see something new in your development and I always wonder if I'm doing the right thing by having you in day care while I work. I love day care. You REALLY love day care. You get to play with your friends all day, every day. You even get excited in the mornings when I put on your socks, shoes and jacket because you know that means that pretty soon you get to see your people. When we finally get there, I put you down in the lobby to check you in and then you lead me through two rooms to get to your room... where I open the door and everyone goes: YAY!! Hazel's here! I'm not even kidding you. That's the greeting you get. My hope is that you get that kind of greeting for the rest of your life whenever you enter a room.

And then... well, then you turn around and start to explore the other room instead of walking into your room. You never get upset when I drop you off, unless you're sick and just want to be cuddled. And the socialization you get in that place simply cannot be replicated if I were a stay-at-homer. But sometimes... sometimes I wish that I was a stay-at-homer. Just so I got to be the one to frost cookies with you for the first time. So that I got to be the one to teach you to dance to Thriller. So that I got to be the one to finger paint with you for the first time. So that I got to be the one to teach you how to crawl down the stairs the right way, or to teach you how to play nicely with others. Two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening plus the weekends... well, they really don't add up to much, you know?

But then again... I seriously might go crazy if I stayed at home. So, there you have it.

Ah... motherhood. A never-ending trip of utter, soul-consuming guilt. I can't believe that I waited until I was 33 to try it.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Bump Watch Weeks 21 and 22

Dear Squirt,
I know, I know... late. AGAIN. Geez, Mommy. Get it together, already!

Yet again, I find myself apologizing for failing to update you on your (my) progression in these months of you growing inside me. I would take full responsibility for it... or try to throw your sister under the bus by proclaiming that running around after a toddler who has learned to walk and continually fall directly on her face is exhausting.

But, no... I think the blame for this whole thing lies with... YOU. Holy cow, Squirt! Have you ever worn me out these last few weeks. I'm exhausted when I go to bed. I sleep like the dead. And then wake up just as exhausted! I don't recall having this level of fatigue in the second trimester with your sister, so it's gotta be something you're doing. Like, I dunno... stealing all my energy and my mojo, perhaps?

I guess, though, to be fair I should at least attempt to update you on the events of the last few weeks so that when you're old enough to read and experience sibling rivalry over the number of posts generated during my first pregnancy and compare it to the second... well, then you and your sister will actually have something to fight over, right?

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the doctor and had our ultrasound to make sure everything is okay in that little tiny space you call home. And, of course, since we have absolutely no patience and like to plan ahead, we found out that you are a GIRL!!! Holy crap! Another girl! We are so excited!

Your Daddy is proud as a peacock and can't wait to be "That Guy." You know, the guy outnumbered 3-to-1 (actually 4-to-1 if you count the cat) by females in the house. He's also looking forward to buying another gun... one for when Hazel starts dating, and the other for when you start dating. It surely didn't help matters when I reminded him that the first guy I dated, I ended up marrying. Of course, I was like 20 at the time...

Anyhoo, we got to see some great pics of you via the ultrasound. You're already so different from your sister. When she was in utero, she was positioned (for the most part) on her tummy, with her legs and arms curled up under her. Looking peaceful and calm. She looked like an Anne Geddes photo in black and white.

But you? You are flat on your back, with your legs and arms BEHIND your ears. I'm sorry... but this just CANNOT be comfortable. There's no way you're getting in rest that way. It looks neither peaceful nor calm. And Anne Geddes would be thrown in jail for posing a child that way.

We also got to see your beautiful little face. And I guess in a few months we'll know for sure, but I swear that you have lips. YES!! Lips! We could tell that Hazel didn't have lips at her ultrasound... further proof she was a Nadolski. But you? You've got my lips. In that, you know... you have lips.

We can't wait to see what other differences you have. When your sister came out, she looked like the perfect mix of Mommy and Daddy.... and I gotta think that you're going to be the same. Only with lips.

Besides being completely fatigued all the time and, yes, I will admit, falling asleep at my desk and drooling on the keyboard, I'm experiencing other pregnancy issues. Most notably, the pain in my back.

My doctor explained to me that the reason my back hurts so much now when it didn't hurt at all with the first pregnancy is that my abs never really had a chance to recover and strengthen before throwing myself onto this rollercoaster ride again. Which is why I was showing at 4 weeks. But, man... by about 2 p.m. every day, my back has thrown in the towel and has explained to me that it will see me tomorrow morning. Goodnight! Also, the fact that I seem to be carrying you very, VERY low... well, I'm no doctor but that can't be helping matters.

And, of course, by 7 p.m., it has threatened to fire me for crimes against the spine. The good news is that your Daddy feels bad for me and actually volunteers to give me a massage. And if that's not good enough, he sends me to a day spa the next day to get a real massage. Which is why at 12:30 today, you and I are gonna be in HEAVEN!

But honestly, if it weren't for the back pain, fatigue, incredible acid reflux and the fact that I feel like even my maternity pants are screaming in horror when I put them on every day, I would hardly know I was pregnant. Occasionally, I can feel little flutters from you and last night your Daddy was actually able to feel you kick. Or what I can only assume was a kick. And if that's true, then perhaps you've gotten out of your turtle-stuck-on-its-back pose? We can only hope.

21 weeks!

This picture was taken last week after your Daddy and I had our weekly Friday lunch date. You're going to grow up loving this river, Squirt. Trust me. We can barely keep your sister out of it. Of course, we can barely keep her out of the toilet these days. Do me a favor? When you're old enough, save your fascination with water for the bathtub or pool, mkay?


Monday, October 4, 2010

11-Month Update

(Written on Sept. 24, posted on Oct. 1... because I couldn't find the pictures I wanted!)

Dear Hazel-Basil,

This month has been full of excitement for you. We have had quite a few visitors come see you. Notice I didn't say us... this is because it's all about you these days. You finally got to meet your Uncle Vince and his daughter, Avery. Avery was pretty excited to meet you, since the two of you are the lone girls amongst all of the cousins. Keep that in mind in the coming years when we go to the family reunion at the beach. You two need to stick together!

Anyway, the two of you were adorable together. It was love at first sight. Avery was sooooo great with you and you were so excited to have another kid running around making noise in the house. It gives me hope for when Squirt comes along.

The following weekend, Uncle Bart came to visit with his son Matthew and your Aunt Natalie's son, Kyle. Oh. My. Goodness. All of this excitement was almost too much for you to bear! Both of your cousins are so pleased with you and I know that they're always going to look out for both you and Squirt. You're so lucky to have been born into such a great extended family.

After they left, and your Daddy and I failed miserably to entertain you with the same kind of excitement, Aunt KC came over and I've never seen you get so excited without peeing your pants. (Although, that last part is supposition... you probably DID, in fact, pee your pants... just cuz that's what you do!). Aunt KC crawled around the floor with you, chasing you, letting you chase her and then... well, then Mommy brought out the Choo-Choo train and made Aunt KC take you out on the sidewalk. From that point on, it was THE BEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD for you.

Ah, the Choo-Choo Train. Let me give you a little background about that little ditty. Last month when we visited Granny and Gramps up in Preston, you had a blast pushing around my old baby rocking chair. You pushed it and pushed it and pushed it. And laughed and laughed and laughed.

So, your father and I, being those parents who will do ANYTHING to hear you laugh again and will spend their last dollar on a toy that you like, rather than the toilet paper we so DESPERATELY need, immediately went to Target and picked out a Winni The Pooh Choo-Choo Train that you can either push or ride.

And, let me just state for the record what a HUGE mistake THAT was. Because while you love to push the train around, you don't quite yet understand the laws of permanency (i.e.: walls, fridge, sofa). And when you run your train into the wall, you scream holy terror for someone to please, MOVE THE WALL! I'M ONLY TRYING TO WALK HERE!

So, yea... we're banking on you learning how to actually steer the train sometime in the next few months because when that train is out, ain't NOTHING getting done in the house. That's why, when Aunt KC comes over, she is instructed to take you outside and let you push the train to your hearts content. And then when your legs finally get tired, you can ride the train the rest of the way.

It makes you happy because it's awesome.

It makes me happy because I can actually cook supper.

And it makes Aunt KC happy because she's counting that as her workout for the day. So it's aces all around.

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to the world of peas. And things have never been the same. My goodness, baby girl... do you. love. peas. I just pour them on your tray, and it's like Christmas in September. We call it the scoop and score because you grab them - sometimes a handful at a time, sometimes one at a time, depending on how dainty you're feeling that day - and shove them down your gullet in no time at all. And things only got better when we sliced up some watermelon and put it next to the peas. You couldn't decide which one to eat. Ultimately, the watermelon won out. Which makes sense since I pretty much lived on watermelon when you were just a twinkle in your dad's eye... and an elbow in my bladder.

And adding the peas to your diet has really made my life easier because I just couldn't find a green veggie that you would tolerate and I was stuck trying to sneak in chopped up broccoli in your spaghetti. And, I'm sorry... BUT THAT'S JUST NOT RIGHT.

You know what else isn't right? The fact that my sweet, precious, darling baby girl is starting to throw fits. Like full-on, throw herself face-first into the floor when she doesn't get her way... or when Mommy's had enough of the train and takes it away... FITS. And I've heard this stage lasts a while. Fantastic.

My biggest concern with these fits? That you'll chip a tooth on the floor when you hit it. Sersly... you've got 4 on top and 4 on bottom now. A full mouth! And I just know that one of these days, that headbutt to the floor is really gonna cause some problems and I'm gonna have a snaggle-toothed baby until your real teeth come in... in about 5 years. FABULOUS. The fact of the matter is that I'm just not ready to go dentist shopping for you. So, if you could hold off on leading with your face during your tantrums, that would be spectacular. Really.

Besides throwing the fits, you're also a big fan of snuggling. Man, do you like to snuggle with both Mommy and Daddy. Especially in the mornings when you've just woke up. You're a big snuggle bunny then. It takes about 5 minutes for you to really come out of your grogginess and then it's game time.

Speaking of the mornings, when it's just you and me getting ready for work and school, you make it a point to be in whatever room I'm in. And when you locate me, you squeal in happiness and then proceed to see what you can do to "help". If I'm in your room trying to pick out an outfit for you, you make sure that you pull out every single article of clothing and throw it on the ground. You know... to help.

If I'm in the bathroom, you make sure you open all of the cabinet doors and attempt to eat the AJAX while I'm drying my hair. Because Mommy and Daddy haven't yet gotten around to baby-proofing the bathroom. So then Mommy has to hold the doors shut with her knees while she applies her makeup. And that's fun. Yep... you're great and locating and accessing the most vulnerable area of any room. Very helpful.

And when I'm making breakfast, you find it most reasonable to be underfoot because if you're under my foot, then you know exactly where I am, don't you? AND THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF YOUR EXISTENCE, IS IT NOT?

I think the other point of your existence is to make sure that changing your diaper and your clothes be like shoving a badger into a picnic basket. Seriously, baby girl... you. are. impossible. If you're not wriggling out of position, then you're screaming bloody murder. With your screams, one might wonder if your PJ's are, in fact, made of acid. It's THAT bad. I don't even try to put you on the changing table anymore because I'm not sure I can keep you from falling on your face from 3 feet up. So, we do most changes on the ground... and hope that no poopy's fall onto the floor. I could really get over this stage quickly... but it's been going on for a few months now with no end in sight. Heaven help us.

This month, you also got to go to your very first football game. You were enthralled by it all and we can't wait to take you to the next one. You loved all of the action and seeing all the people and kids at the game. You especially love the band and got really excited every time it started to play. You were a total rockstar and stayed awake and pleasant the whole time we were there until we left midway through the 3rd quarter because it was already 45 minutes past your bedtime. I suspect that you're a bit of a social butterfly. Who knew?

(Side note: Holy blond hair! Where did THAT come from?)

And I absolutely cannot forget to mention the swing. Oh... how you LURVE the swing. You like to get pushed up as high as possible and then just swing until you stop. At which point, we must start the whole process over again. You also like to throw your woobie down on the ground and then try to look at it from the swing as if to say: "Hey! Get back up here!" Yep. Cause and effect is big time in your world right now.

And the horror that comes with LEAVING THE SWING? Unforgivable. Unless there are goldfish involved. In that case, all is forgiven. I seriously can't believe we didn't have this all summer... such rookie parents we are.

You'll learn that as you get older, Hazey. Your Daddy and I? We have NO clue. And we're just trying to figure things out day-by-day with you. And once we've finally got a handle on whatever new thing you've got going on... well, then you go ahead and throw another curveball at us. And we're not quick learners like you.. our brains take a while to wrap around an idea and come up with a plan. I can only ask you now that you don't hold this against us too much when you're old enough to understand just how clueless Mommy and Daddy really are.


PS - The fact that you're almost a year old now? HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?