What a Big Girl <3

Today Hazel shut herself up in our room about 12:45 p.m., which is about 15 minutes before her normal naptime.  We just decided to leave her in there, since she wasn't crying or anything, and seemed to be playing quietly.  After about half an hour we realized that it was completely quiet, so I snuck in to the room to take a picture of the first time Hazel put herself down for a nap.

Only after I got in there did I realize that she was having a fashion show in her bed before finally conking out.  She even put on her own shoes, on the right feet and everything.  It's just adorable!

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Moving so far away, combined with the onset of spring, has spurred a flurry of social activity lately.  We are lucky to have met so many wonderful people during our time here, and we want to see everyone before we go, since we are unlikely to make it back here until at least next year.  Last evening Brittany came to see Hazel and I while Amos was away at the SUNY IT Awards Banquet; Hazel was hilarious, showing Brittany all her toys and her bed.  At one point I'm pretty sure she threw a curse at us, complete with pointing.  

Today has absolutely flown by!  We packed some this morning (well, Amos did; I got to sleep in until 8:20!!), then headed off to Common Thread's open greenhouse.  That CSA has been a big part of our experience here, and we are going to miss the farm itself almost as much as the awesome owners, Amy and Chris.  We got to meet their absolutely adorable baby girl Georgie for the first time as well; holding her sweet little 3-month-old self made me acutely aware of my empty uterus.  Yes, I DID just say that, Hazel's grandmothers!  :)
FarmLittle girlMama & HazelGreenhouse

Afterwards we had lunch at Eddie and Zina's, this tiny diner on our way to the farm.  Last year we would stop there on the way to the farm every Saturday, since we were up early with a one-year-old.  It was bittersweet, eating there once again.  I took a couple of photos of Hazel, who loves to eat, loves eating in diners, and kind of likes having her picture taken.
Doesn't she look so serious and beautiful?  I love her smile, but I love her composed face also.  It makes her look curiously adult to me, which is also kind of saddening.
In this one, though, she is clearly wondering why no food is in front of her, which is just SO HAZEL!
Tonight we are headed up to Thuy, this amazing noodle place in downtown Utica.  There is absolutely no decor, and the ambience comes directly from the big television in the corner, but I would put up with guerilla warfare for this woman's #12 soup.  

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Football Socks and Clinton Adventures

I finished Hazel's Auburn Pride Socks last night!  They are just slightly too big, which is perfect; by the time game day rolls around, they should fit nicely!  War Damn Eagle!  I was too excited to try and wait for some nice light coming in the windows, so here's a picture in the early morning blue light.

I know this is a kind of crappy picture, and it's because Hazel was staring at Monsters Inc. like she's never seen that movie.  I'm serious – take a look:  
Yep.  She's a zombie.
Luckily she eventually recovered, because we have had a busy day already!  First we met up with the gorgeous Pat Murphy for some coffee and poker.
The gamblerThe gambler

And then we got to have a delicious lunch at Nola's with Amos and Hazel's honorary aunts!  I even made them all take a picture together, although it is obvious that Hazel was interested in walking around more than posing.
Thanks, everyone, for such a beautiful day so far!  Although Amos has an awards banquet tonight (good luck, Amos and Pat, for the Excellence in Teaching Award!), Hazel and I have planned another walk, this time to the Post Office to see our friend Valerie, which will end in some outside playing time if Mama's fingers aren't frozen off.  It's sunny out today, I know, but tell it to the icicles I have for fingers 😉

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Cookie Monster

Tonight was another one of the rapidly dwindling firsts Hazel has experienced:  her first cookie.  Amos was baking our favorite cookies for some friends of ours.  We came up with the recipe and named them Buttermilk Snickerdoodlers (now that is a long story) and they are full of delicious, healthy stuff.  This batch features carob chips, cinnamon, kefir, and almonds.  

We don't make them too often, but they are an awesome treat every now and then.  Amos suggested letting Hazel have one, since she "helped" him cook them, so of course I got out my camera!  I had to document this child's first cookie; we have made sure to not fill her diet up with unnecessary sugar, and what she has had has mainly been honey-sweetened whatever, so this was a BIG DEAL.  Except that, apparently, it's kind of not that big a deal!  She just started to eat the cookie like it was a totally regular, normal kind of thing for her.  So funny!

Amos and I sat down with our own Snickerdoodler, with Hazel in her high chair close by to the table.  She was doing great, just eating her cookie like any old normal thing, but suddenly she started to cough a little.  Then a little more.  Then she turned red.  Then she was choking.
It was over in a matter of seconds; first I smacked her back, but when I saw that she had food completely blocking her airway and that she wasn't breathing at all, I picked her up and gave her the Heimlich.   Up came the cookie, plus all her dinner, on her hands, the rest of the cookie, the tray, and me.  
The poor girl's first cookie experience was a disaster!  She not only had her first cookie, but she also threw up for the first time.  

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Shrek on Ice!

Ok, so there is no Shrek here…or ice, for that matter.  But these new pigtails Hazel is rocking make her look like Shrek to me.  And I love it.  Here she is doing a little snack-chair-dance.

Crackers are her favorite snack.  Who knows why?
If you had your hair in pigtails all day it might look like this too.

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Tranquil Sunday Mornings

There are some moments that Hazel is truly hilarious.  For me, it's those moments that make up for all the spit-up down my shirt moments (although the rare minutes of quiet when they are newborn are pretty awesome too).  Hazel lately has been working her comic muscle.  This morning was one of those times; it's not that she was doing knock-knock jokes or anything, but I got the feeling that she just thought EVERYTHING was funny, and she was just acting crazy.  For someone who has to relate complex theory in long papers I have done a poor job of describing this, so naturally I'll just let the pictures tell you the story.  

Now you get it, right?  She was insane!  So awesome.  
Here are a couple of bonus pictures from yesterday in the green!  All these photos kind of look the same, but I have to post them anyway 😉
Made in the Shade(s)RunningPigtails

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Run Away From Mama

That was the title of today's game.  Seriously – all my photos are from this angle.  ALL.

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Doing What She Does Best

Which is play, play, run, be cute, play!

Since the weather has been awesomely awesome these past days, we have been getting outside as much as possible!  These days that means heading over to the village green to play on the gazebo and around the fountain; pretty soon that will mean turning Hazel loose in our back yard.  That's right – we are officially housed!  I am so relieved that we have found a place to rent in Athens!  This was our favorite house (well mine, anyway); it has three, count 'em THREE, bedrooms.  This means Hazel will have her own room!  Also, this house has a fenced back yard, which means she can run around and play more freely without me hovering, making sure she doesn't run straight into the busiest street Clinton can boast.  Even better is the location; it's behind an elementary school, on a circle with only one other outlet, and it's about two minutes from Amos's school.  It was at the top of our price range, but I really feel like we lucked out in finding a house so close to ASU and so fitting for Hazel.  Here's a photo that Mama took when she was cruising around finding houses for us:
Very simple, and of course it will look better when someone actually lives there, but I can't wait to get down there and fix it all up.  I am so excited to be living in a house again, with a yard, instead of an apartment!  Although I will say this was the best apartment ever; it's right over Tom's Natural Foods, which is the BEST store in the whole area, in my opinion.  
I'll close out with all the pictures I took of Hazel yesterday!  The first two are actually from Sunday at the playground.
Driving Mr. DaddyPlaygroundI found a rock.Running!Running!

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Easter at Tom and Bonnie’s!

We were invited to our friends Tom and Bonnie's house for Easter, and this is about all the evidence I have to show for it (well, this and the awesome smoked ham I have in the fridge!).  We all took advantage of this beautiful day and ate outside at their camp in the woods, complete with a fire, picnic table, and rocking chair.  Hazel had the BEST time walking around, up and down this step, showing off for all her new admirers.  Amos and I had a great time also, even though we had to stay back from the fire where everyone gathered (it was a little on a hill, so we stayed kind of far away, worrying that Hazel might tumble down over there).  Even though we cut out early because of Amos's allergies, we had the best time with those guys.  They will be sorely missed when we move to Alabama this May.
PS – I was showing Amos this video, and we just realized what she's trying to say.  Every night, when Amos gives her a bath, she helps wash her belly (and some other parts, but mainly the belly) and they sing a song we call "Soapin' Up the Belly."  Here it goes!
Soap, soap, soap.
SOOOO-apin' up the bell-ay!
You got to have soap,
SOOOO-apin' it up!
Let's all soap!
SOOOO-apin' up the belly!
We got to have soap, 
And go SOOOOO-apin' it up!
Nice, right?  I sing this pretty much all day long.

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Just a Regular Morning

I live with two crazy people 😀

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