December 2013

Hazel opened presents every day for a week.  Suppose that’s what happens to kids with Christmas due dates!  We had a jewelry theme for her birthday party, and a few friends came to join us for some brunch nibbles and cake.

Miles helped me bling the box, and friends brought jewels to fill it up.



She is still learning the art of less is more, so she put on all her necklaces at once.




Her only cake request was “little fishies”.  Rainbow goldfish did the job. The cake was Moosewood’s Orange Cake, and I made a Orange Cream Cheese frosting with a little splash of Cointreau.




She found the fire atop the cake a bit scary.



But the candle was a perfect frosting delivery tool.




Our happy little girl is two!




  • Actually….Hazel’s speech has developed significantly in the last month.  One of her signature sayings: “Actually, green is my favorite.” “Actually, I want to drink water.” Actually, it’s really cute.
  • Why-duh-Dhy? Her wanting to know why and rhymes merged to a question that follows almost every statement or command.
  • Potty Training Going Strong.  Even before her 2nd birthday, Hazel could take down her pants, go use her little potty, empty it into the toilet, flush and wash hands.  It took another small member of our family until past 3 to get there!  Goes to show, girls are more mature.
  • Picky Eater. Morning shakes still go down a treat, but that is about the last opportunity to get veggies into this girl. Favorites are meat, bread, noodles, rice and potatoes.  Cucumber wedges that are wrapped in rice and seaweed dipped in soy sauce are also on the fave list.
  • Straight to Bed!  Hazel loves to get to bed, and often wants to forego songs and momma hugs to get there.  She’ll tell me “I want to go straight to bed!” and squirm to get there.  Once in bed, she puts her little head on the pillow (a development this month that made her seem to me even older than the talking or being diaper free), names each of her favorite animals as I put them in her arms: Don (donnie doggie), Ly (lion roar), Pink (pinkie) and Blank to tuck her in.  Then she sings them a song, mostly “Down by the Station”.



I hadn’t done a triathlon in more than 5 years, the last one being in Moganshan in China.  I’ve had lots of excuses since then, mainly being pregnant, taking care of infants, and living somewhere not very conducive to riding a bike outside.  Then I saw a post about the Penang Urban Triathlon, and something inside me clicked: I used to love it, I was going for it.  So I borrowed some books, dusted off (oiled and pumped up) my road bike and trainer and started training.  I had a spreadsheet and everything!  Then I did something stupid; blinded by the glare off a weekend at a top resort and spa, I booked a holiday smack over my race.  Luckily (?), Tim was not well enough to go so we postponed beach and brunch with hornbills, and the race was back on.  Whew!

I was nervous leading up to the race.  Nervous and anxious and excited.  Tim wasn’t helping, saying “you can win this thing!” Packing my things the afternoon before, I forced myself to calm down and just enjoy it, keep the expectations low.  It was my first race in a long time, since becoming a mother, since becoming a trainer myself, first in Penang.  However, that fact about Penang kept playing in my mind.  Contrary to what “doing triathlons” means in Austin where it seems everyone does one of the hundred races a year, in Penang it is kind of hard core to be even thinking about doing one.  And to actually go there…wow.  Probably like triathlon 20 years ago in the US.  That means Fun!

I slept well before the race, and arrived at 5:30 for body marking and lining up.  The race was small, with about 150 athletes in tri and 200 in duathlon.  The swim was a seeded start in a pool, one swimmer going off every 15 seconds and snaking up and down 8 lanes for 800m.  Based on estimated time, I seeded 11th (of 150! yikes!) and was the 2nd woman in the water, the first being on the Malaysia national team.  Eek.  Despite this, I was passed only once and passed two people before climbing the ladder to the transition.  The bike was 20km on a double loop course and was pretty uneventful as I carefully navigated traffic, dogs and burning hamstrings while realizing I really didn’t train properly for this part (I had only ridden on the road twice before the race!).  I quickly got my running shoes and hat on for the final leg and headed out with high expectations for my run. I was certain I had trained well here, but my backside from my waist to behind my knees was jelly for about the first kilometer of the 5k run.  I felt like I was leaning backwards and hardly moving!  Finally I loosened up and was able to finish strong.

All day I had been smiling, through every event, and crossing the finish line, I felt fantastic!  I do LOVE this stuff!  It was such a good time, well run,  the crowd was small and it was fun to meet people and cheer on friends.  The nature of the course made it very difficult to be competitive – staggered start, bike loops, intermingling of tri and du – made it very easy to just relax about what everyone else was doing and just push myself.  Tim’s prediction did not come to fruition, but I was very happy with my time and placing.  Mainly, I really just had a great time.  Good thing I liked it, I had already registered for the Penang International Olympic Distance Triathlon in March!

Photos from a fourth Penang Christmas:


Ready for the fun to begin!


Do you hear what I hear?




A break from unwrapping.


A Christmas necessity: Skyping home.

Last weekend we attended our fourth annual Hostie Christmas Treat.  There was a trishaw, a jumping castle, Santa in Shorts, and of course some tears.  A good time was had by all (we were missing Daddy though)!





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And fast on the heels of Miles’ last toddler post, Hazel’s last baby post.  They are growing up fast!

  • Do it Hays-self!  Hazel is way into DIY (or DIMyself).  For the most part, I am glad for her independence – putting on her shoes (and swapping them when they go on the wrong foot), attempts at dressing, picking out her clothes, feeding herself, climbing into her carseat – all of these things are very helpful.  Also a help in developing my patience.  We’re working on it!
  • Stubborn.  The little lady can be pretty bull-headed.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the time she is very go with the flow, but when she wants something bad, she will let you know what and how she wants it!  Again, good and bad for the flow of our family life, but I am proud of her for having an opinion.
  • No diapers.  One good thing about the stubborn times, Hazel decided a few weeks back she wanted no diapers, and a few fun size bags of M&Ms later, she was potty trained!  I’m loving watching that cute little butt in her teeny panties run around the house.
  • Pronouns!  One day, I caught Hazel calling herself “I”.  Then out popped a “you” and a “my”.  This is huge in the development of her speech, but does make it a little less cute.
  • Rhymey-Dimey.  Hazel loves rhymes, thinks they are the most hilarious thing ever (hence, her love of Wocket in my Pocket).  It started with Greeny-bean, and now everything is rhymed.  Purple-durple, pinka-dink, Miles-Piles.  Hey! That sounds familiar.
  • And…she has 12 teeth!…she wants to climb out of bed, but Miles tells her no…Miles is definitely the biggest influence in her life, she worships him…She is singing, constantly. Twinkle twinkle and ABCs are favorites…She loves running with the big kids, and works so hard to catch up…even as no longer a baby, she is a joy, a delight and a wonderful part of our lives!