January 2012


Woah!  That was a month already??  I see how this goes, you get older, more kids and time starts to fly by.  Here’s to slowing down and remembering.

All about Hazel:

  • I was looking forward to a tiny newborn who would placidly sit on my lap and love to cuddle.  I heard girls were like that.  Nope, not this one.  She’s a squirmer, and since day one would throw her body weight around to be anything but still.  If Miles was “spirited” she is spirited-plus and lets you know what she wants when she wants it.
  • Speaking of body weight, she seems to have put on a bit already.  OK, a LOT.  Not sure how big she is at the moment, but she has already been through 3 wardrobes (luckily all generously borrowed) – NB the first week, 0-3 mo for the next week and a half and now into 3-6 month size.  Mainly all due to her extraordinarily long torso and all the clothing being onesies and bodysuits.  Sorry, you have momma genes to blame for that one, I never could wear a leotard.  Or a dress.
  • She has rolled over from back to front on at least 3 occasions, once on day 2!  It is by no means intentional, it’s just all that wiggling, but I am not leaving her on the couch any more.
  • Eat. Poop. 5 minutes of calm alertness. Scream bloody murder. Sleep. Repeat.  It’s the simple life.
  • Fingers, toes, eyes and nosehairs all crossed: she shows no signs of colic, or “extreme fussiness”, or “happy hour” crying like her big brother blessed us with for 10 weeks of his infancy.  Two more weeks and we will know for sure, but seas looking smooth.
  • I thank the puking.  This one pukes after every meal.  Four weeks in and I still don’t have the habit of covering my shoulder.  I’m that mom with the eau de baby-puke, but I do carry an extra shirt in the bag.
  • It took Miles 8 months to get anything close to sick.  After her week one escapade with fever, she’s already on illness #2 – this one with a blocked nose, cough, and if its like me a headache and blocked ears too.  Miles has it too, he’s getting over it first, which means he brought it home!  Poor little thing.
  • She is known locally as Bazel.  Thanks, Miles.  Looking forward to the nickname she will bestow upon you once she tries to talk.
  • She hates the car and the stroller, but loves the swing and the sling.
  • Her eyes are turning the bluest blue.  She’s still bald as a monk on top, though.  Don’t worry, sweetie, it shows off your Buddha cheeks.

I never thought it could be possible to love another baby the same way, but we do. There is exponentially more love in our house right now, all thanks to our sweet Baby Hazel. ❤

Today I turn thirty. I’m older, yes, but wiser. I was reminiscing about the day I turned 20 and cried for the loss of my teens. Yes, to cry for a loss of innocence is ok, but I think by now I know that life just gets better and better with time (at least it has so far). I meet this decade with great peace and calm anticipation. And a little bit of sleep deprivation.

In review: the last 10 years represent a third of my life, and from what I already mentioned, the best yet. I married the perfect man for me, and together we built up to a family of four. I got a passport and proceeded to completely fill the pages traveling the world, enough to require extra pages to be put in (a personal goal, more easily achieved if one has so many full page Chinese visas). I lived in 4 countries, five if you count Texas separately (many do ;-)) I learned to speak Mandarin. I finished my degree and had a 5-year career that was accelerated to where I experienced enough to be OK leaving it to go on to other things. I have made wonderful friendships all over the world, creating what I hope to be lifelong bonds with great and interesting people. I achieved far beyond what I ever thought I was capable at with running, and injury free! I learned to bake, and enjoy cooking more than ever. It was a good 10 years.

Status check: From a time when I placed an undue amount of pressure on myself, creating illness through stress and unhappiness through worry and anxiety… to today, where I feel in harmony with my situation. I am happy. I feel almost guilty writing that (see, I’m not there yet, still need to work on that guilt …). I don’t dwell on the past and I don’t stress about the future. Each day is just that, another day. And of course there are moments of frustration, tears, worry and stress, but (in my advanced age) I have learned to deal so much better with those times. I am happy where I am now, and it’s part of the reason we’ve decided to stay put. Tim just signed an extension of his contract, so we are in Penang through at least early 2013.

Looking ahead: I don’t do a lot of looking ahead. I want to grow with my family, see who my baby girl is going to be, and enjoy the little kid years with her and Miles.   Be a mother, be a partner, be true to myself. I could never have imagined the path the last 10 years took, so I won’t try to imagine the next. I can only hope to come out of the next decade with a similar outlook, no matter what may come.

This ended up being a bit cheesier than I was hoping for, but I think at heart I am a sap and not built for clever wit. If you are reading this, I bet you are family, a friend or acquaintance, or maybe we’ve never met. In any case, thank you for being a part of my 30 years. Love, Laurel.

Each Thursday morning, a group of us mommas, usually about 4-8 of us with toddlers, get together at someone’s house or playground to meet up for a playgroup. There is always coffee and always cake. I used to call it the “Gurney Crawlers”, and then they started walking, and then slowly they started kindy, while some of us started growing new bumps.

Remember this?

A couple months later, and the playgroup has taken on a slightly different dynamic.

There’s still coffee. There’s still cake. We’ll call it the “Gurney Breastfeeders”. Here’s Hazel’s welcome, playgroup style (Thanks, Liza!):


I’m getting choked up writing this post. Anything about my babies getting bigger, growing up, makes me really emotional these days. I’ll blame it on hormones. Just look at him…he’s Godzilla!

What’s new, now that he’s 2:

  • His favorite color is pink. Except for candy gumdrops (I-nandy, he says, I believe a reference to “I like candy”, the song) in which case he prefers green.
  • He pronounces butterfly “apple pie”.
  • Miles can swim! Well, with a noodle or arm floaties on. This is a huge leap forward, as he was not very into the water for a long while, preferring the playground instead. Speaking of leap forward, he will also jump into the pool, but thankfully only when we are standing there with arms outstretched. We started swimming lessons today – on his birthday!
  • He eats like a horse, massive amounts but very slowly so meal times take an age. The rule is he has to try everything, and if he doesn’t like it he pulls it out of his mouth and hands it to me and says “no thank you, momma”. Finishing his food allows him to choose a treat, either candy or olives. Bolhouse that he is, he often chooses olives.
  • As soon as Tim started paternity leave, Miles started sleeping in. Only 2 years it took to get here! He’ll regularly sleep from 7:30pm-7am or later. After the 3 weeks of leave were up, Tim started creeping out of the house to not wake him, but Miles often got up to see daddy off around 6:30. Still, 11 hours I will not complain! He also takes an afternoon nap of 2-3 hours. Mom treat.
  • He still loves singing and dancing, and will follow his friends and play monkey-see-monkey-do…He LOVES the moon, and stars…and he loves his baby sister Bazel (his name for her, Baby Hazel morphed into Ba’azel into Bazel)…lots of family time this month, its been fantastic watching him interact in person with people who were once only available on Skype.

Here’s Miles and Ada crawling around in the garden.  The game they are playing is “catch”.  Basically, Ada throws the ball to Miles and he goes and hides it in the foliage, then they crawl around searching for it.  Super fun, I’m sure.

Another fun game: hauling around coconuts:

A gorgeous Sunday morning at PG1.

We had a little help after Tim had to go back to work.  My sister Mariel (aka: Aunt May, May-may) came to visit for 10 days, and was super helpful.  She cooked, ran errands and held one of the kids while I held the other one.  Or while I went for a swim.  So nice.  She got lots of bonding time with Miles while Tim, Hazel and I went for a passport run to KL.  Here they are making pizza:

She also became the champion baby-soother.  Her trick? Side laying position while bouncing on the ball:

Looking forward to more time together in March!

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